According to Napoleon Hill in his bestselling book “Think and Grow Rich”, the Mastermind may be defined as coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose. Put simply a Mastermind Group is a number of people coming together and working to help one another achieve their individual goals. This is done in various ways for example synergies, trade exchanges, ordinary business transactions, strategizing, advising one another to give but a few examples. In this short article I talk about how we can apply the Mastermind Group concept on LinkedIn. You can set up a Mastermind Group on LinkedIn within an already existing Group on LinkedIn or you can use the concept outside a LinkedIn Group in your own LinkedIn network (first, second and third level connections). Many successful people have used the Mastermind concept to incredible effect in their lives. It is very difficult to think of someone who has been successful in life, all on their own without any help from anyone else. Most people probably already have Mastermind groups without knowing it.
My Introduction to Mastermind in South Africa – Meshack Khosa, CEO of Fresh Thinking Holdings introduced me to the concept of Mastermind in South Africa. I was really amazed by how much work Meshack has done with entrepreneurs using the time-tested Mastermind Principle. He meets every Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm with his Mastermind Group. It is truly amazing what can be accomplished in one hour. Looking at how his Mastermind sessions worked I was able to see how the principles could also be used on LinkedIn.
Expanding your knowledge base
It goes without saying that we can’t know it all and we can’t do it all. The Mastermind group enables us to quickly expand our knowledge base by tapping into the ready knowledge of trusted connections on LinkedIn. Our connections are able to increase our body of knowledge on issues outside our own expertise and field. For example you could be an accountant who connects with an engineer and an entrepreneur. Regular interactions with professionals outside his own field will enable the accountant to gain a better appreciation of the engineering field and world of business.
Selection of your Mastermind group
Before you select members of your Mastermind group, think about the overall goal, vision or objectives in your career and business. Think of the types of skills, expertise and experience that could complement your own. Where can you find these people that you’d like to connect with? Use LinkedIn to see who is in your network. Start with your first level connections, and work out to second level and that level connections. Start with people you already know and then see what else is outside that circle of people you know already. For people who you are not connected, request introductions from mutual connections.
Free to set up Mastermind group
It is very important to clarify one thing regarding the Mastermind group. The group is set up free of charge, which is at no cost to the people involved apart from their commitment, time and effort. If the Mastermind group members are fully committed to their stated goals and work in harmony, every member of the group should benefit in one way or another.
One overriding aspect of your Mastermind group members will be their quality and calibre. Take your time in selecting potential group members. The idea behind this to connect only with people where value will be increased for all parties concerned. So for instance you could have a Mastermind group with only five people but which is far more effective than the Mastermind group with twenty members. In fact with the Mastermind group the smaller the group the better: the more intimate will be the relationships, the synergies and the better the chances of great outcomes for all. The danger with a big group is that it becomes too complex and requires too much coordination.
Meeting regularly with Mastermind group members
The members of your Mastermind group will be people that you plan to meet regularly. In this respect the group goes much further in networking. It may be once every week or every two weeks, it is entirely up to you. However it is very important that you meet to know more about one another, your careers and businesses and to craft strategies.
Active and living Group
Your Mastermind group made up of your LinkedIn connections will be an active group of individuals or professionals that are constantly in touch with one another. These people will always be looking at how to enhance one another’s careers or businesses. The networking in the group will go way beyond communicating online. The Mastermind group members will seek to complement online networking with off-line networking.
Use LinkedIn to enhance communication
Use LinkedIn to enhance the communication and effectiveness of your group. You could have a closed group on LinkedIn where you communicate with your Mastermind Group members. This group will be closed to people outside it and you can use the group to keep track of the discussions you have and to keep track of things that you have discussed. It is far more efficient than email in this regard.