Posted by Todd Smith
I have heard many powerful quotes during my life, however, there is one that I continue to replay in my mind over and over again. Jim Rohn, my mentor, said, “Success comes from a series of good decisions made over time while failure comes from a series of bad decisions made over time.” The reason I continue to replay that quote is because of its significance.
If you want to live a successful life both personally and professionally, you absolutely must take pride in your decisions. These decisions include everything from the little decisions you make throughout each day as described in Our Lives Are a Mirror Image of the Little Decisions We Make to the big decisions outlined in How to Make a Critical Decision, which includes how Bill Clinton used a mastermind team.
The fact is our lives are a reflection of our decisions. Sure, you can sit back and blame others for where you find yourself today but, if you are completely honest with yourself, you will admit that you are where you are based on YOUR decisions.
Benefits of a Mastermind Team
All the great teachers of success from Napoleon Hill to Anthony Robbins have talked about the benefits of using a mastermind team to make better decisions.
In People Are as Different as They Look, I talked about how everyone’s life experiences are different. When you gather insights, ideas, and feedback from a group of people, you not only benefit from their individual life experiences, but you also benefit from the combined input created as this group kicks around ideas.
Napoleon Hill said, “No two minds ever come together without a third invisible force, which may be likened to a ‘third mind.’ When a group of individual minds are coordinated and function in harmony, the increased energy created through that alliance becomes available to every individual in the group.”
Results of Using the Mastermind Principle
The value of a mastermind team first became apparent to me when I started serving on the board of a successful direct sales company 19 years ago. This board was brought together each quarter to work as a mastermind team on everything from brainstorming on ways to grow the business to making critical directional decisions for the company.
I began sitting on this board as a young 28-year-old who thought he knew everything, but this experience opened my eyes to the value that can come from bringing together a diverse group of people to discuss ideas and make decisions.
At first the board was made up of males—each with different backgrounds and life experiences. When the board was expanded to include females, the creativity of the board went to a new level. I recall listening to the women speak and thinking, “Wow! What a different perspective!” This is one of the reasons I believe that women should be included in the leadership team of any company or organization.
During the 18 years I sat on this board, I experienced firsthand the positive results of a mastermind team. I know why Napoleon Hill made such a big deal of including others in the decision- making process and I now seek out the views and opinions of others. In fact, I will NEVER take on any major project without forming a mastermind team to help me make my decisions.
How I Formed a Mastermind Team
In last week’s post How to Prepare and Plan for New Projects, I shared how I formed a mastermind team when I started the brainstorming process of my Little Things Matter blog. My team had three meetings last fall to kick around ideas and make decisions. In addition, I chatted with others to gather their insights and recommendations.
Step 1. Know the purpose and plan
Before forming this team, I began the process by creating a document called my “Creative Brief” listing all my thoughts, ideas and goals. It was important that I clearly understood and articulated what I wanted to accomplish before involving others in the process. Once this document was done, I selected my team members, scheduled our first meeting, and put together an agenda. Here is our October 31st agenda.
Step 2. Meet together
During the first meeting I reviewed the “Creative Brief” with the team and sought their feedback on each point. This allowed me to gather the views from each person as I walked through the key components of my strategy.
Step 3. Work in harmony
In the two subsequent meetings we reviewed the “Creative Brief” for the website design. This included the sample design layouts that my son-in-law Josh gathered. We then reviewed the “Marketing Brief” my son Gerrid designed, the “Identity Package” my daughter-in-law Jessica created, and finally the “Roll Out Plan” I put together. (The links in their names go to their websites.)
As I sit here today, I can’t recall one decision I have made on this blog in which I did not seek the opinion of other team members. The success of my blog is truly from a collaborative effort of my mastermind team.
Over the years I have used mastermind teams on countless occasions to help me do everything from creating a new brochure to making critical life-planning decisions.
Now it’s Your Turn.
The next time you are working on a project in which you would benefit from the life experiences of others, let me encourage you to put together a mastermind team.
The greatest value of a mastermind team comes from gathering as a group to meet in-person. If getting together is not possible, set up a conference call with FreeConferenceCall.com and have your meeting over the phone.
While you will seek feedback from the team, remember you are the leader of the team and you must be the one to run all meetings and assign responsibilities when appropriate.
If you want to improve the accuracy of your decisions, you would be wise to put your ego on the shelf and seek counsel from those you respect.
Entrepreneurship, In-person Communication
Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 34 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts.
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