Loyalty

Do You Give as Much as You Expect to Get?

Let’s talk a little bit about loyalty, shall we? I’m going to guess that loyalty means different things to different people. Some people think that they’re loyal, to friends, for example, but they are sporadic and undependable; yet satisfy themselves that that is “good enough”.

For me it’s not enough. I’m constantly accused by my husband of having too high expectations of other people. I beg to differ. I don’t expect anything different from other people than what I expect of myself. And one thing I pride myself on is when I have a friend I’m loyal to them and I stay that way.

Some of my friendships have ended and it’s always been when the so-called friend did something really hurtful that directly affected somebody I know, or love, or did something directly to me. Having said that though, I do watch how my friends treat other people. Because that is also a huge indicator of their true character. And true character is, in my book, the be-all-end-all.

For example, years ago an Exchange student of ours had a best friend she made here in the U.S.  These two girls not only treated my daughter horribly, but several other girls at the high school as well.  I would talk to my student about her good friend’s ultimate character, and her choice of friend.  It fell on deaf ears because to her, as long as the friend treated her well, how she treated others didn’t matter.  In the end – the poor character of both girls caused the falling out of several relationships.

I found this portion of the definition of loyalty on Wikipedia: Josiah Royce presented a different definition of the concept in his 1908 book The Philosophy of Loyalty. According to Royce, loyalty is a virtue, indeed a primary virtue, “the heart of all the virtues, the central duty amongst all the duties”. Royce presents loyalty, which he defines at length, as the basic moral principle from which all other principles can be derived. The short definition that he gives of the idea is that loyalty is “the willing and practical and thoroughgoing devotion of a person to a cause”. Loyalty is thoroughgoing in that it is not merely a casual interest but a wholehearted commitment to a cause. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loyalty)

In my Mastermind groups the loyalty that develops among the members is astonishing and yet I’m not surprised, because I have a tendency to choose people who really have true and loyal character; and for that I’m ever grateful. The expectation of my members to be loyal to each other is a good portion of the very foundation that High Stakes Mastermind Groups are made of.

I don’t particularly have an expectation that they will be loyal to me beyond the year in which somebody is a member. Having said that I’m enormously heartened by the number of members who have said they will continue to be a part of High Stakes Mastermind Groups for as long as they can imagine.

I’m not holding their feet to the fire and I know that there are no guarantees in life. I will tell you this though, hearing those words prompts me to be even more loyal to them in everything I do; during the meetings, behind-the-scenes, and continuously looking for contacts and opportunities to grow the businesses of each and every member. That is at the heart of High Stakes Mastermind Groups. And in their loyalty to the group, we all get as much as we give.

 

 

On Being “Allowed” to be Your Authentic Self

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Photo credit: eye-for-ebony

Your Authentic Self

Not long ago I was at a presentation where, during a break, I was talking with a couple of women.  I re-told a personal story and happened to say somebody had mocked a circumstance I was in, when they could have empathized with me.  When I told the two women the story, I said that the mocking hurt my feelings. To add insult to injury (at least as far as I’m concerned) one of the women scoffed, “Oh just get over it”.

Why is it that we tell people to be their “authentic self” and then when they do reveal something, such as hurt feelings, they are criticized for it?

What was really ironic, was the speaker for that presentation was encouraging us in the audience to “be our authentic selves” and everyone in the audience applauded enthusiastically.  Including the woman who had just criticized me.

If it’s Important To You

You’ve heard the saying, “People do business with those that they know, like, and trust.”  Interestingly enough, the woman who made that comment to me has been sending me marketing materials for me to go to her events, non-stop, and I had considered going. But as soon as she made that remark, the doors in my mind shut and I knew in that moment I would not do business with her, nor would I refer anybody to her.  Why?  Because the trust was gone. It’s essential that your clients trust you.

Think about how it’s going to affect you, and your work, if you have a knee-jerk reaction and just bark off insensitive comments to somebody who reveals an inner feeling.  You could lose an opportunity, and it’s not just one opportunity, in that moment, your reputation could be crushed forever.  Are you willing to risk that?

Pause and Consider

Here’s what I suggest you do.  You don’t need to be a therapist, counselor or social worker. But you do need to be human. So stop, pause, consider, and think over the words you heard the person say. Then, before opening your mouth to respond, think through what might be behind their words and what you didn’t hear.  There is often more being revealed in the non-spoken words than what is actually coming out of somebody’s mouth.

The opposite of a thoughtless remark, that can cost you everything, is a thoughtful remark that will be pleasantly remembered. One of my favorite quotes of all times is Maya Angelou’s, “People will forget what you did. They will forget what you said. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”

And though we’ve all heard the argument that no one makes us feel anything, and we are responsible for our own emotions, there isn’t a person alive who can’t agree that others actions towards us can have a great deal to do with how we feel inside.

Why do you think bullies are so successful in causing emotional pain?  Why do you think coaches that help people with self-esteem are in such demand?

Why We Succeed

As I said before you don’t need to be a therapist, a social worker, or a counselor.  But be human. That’s our commonality.  It doesn’t take a lot of education and it doesn’t take years of experience as a business owner. This is why the members of my High Stakes Mastermind Groups are so valuable; because they come from varied backgrounds and different levels of experience. And yet every single one of them has a wonderful ability to contribute and to support each other.  You will never hear members say to each other, “Oh get over it!”

That’s where my own listening skills have come in handy for me. Because the people I have in the Mastermind groups exhibit the empathetic behaviors that it takes to stop, pause, hear and then respond.

I have not said that the respondent needs to agree with the commenter. I only said they need to be considerate and not lash out with something that could be hurtful, rude or inappropriate.

The next time somebody mentions that something caused them pain, rise to the occasion, and opportunity, to offer a moment of affirmation.  People won’t forget how you made them feel. And if it makes them feel good, they’ll remember for a lifetime.

 

The Power of “Ding!” – What a Timer Will Do for You

Photo by Veri Ivanova

What a Timer Will Do for You

Do you have a list of “to-dos” and you’re having trouble maintaining your focus so as to get things done? Or maybe you find yourself jumping from one incomplete task to the other or skipping from one project to another. Have you tried setting a timer to help you in accomplishing your list of to-dos?

Well, a timer may just be the solution you need to help you stay focused and get done with, with your list of to-dos.

Most times our excuse for being less efficient is limited time. But the main reason why we’re often less efficient at getting tasks done is that we spend too much time on a single task or project. Setting an alarm could just be the magical solution you need to help you stay focused and spend limited time on a particular task from your list of to-dos. All you have to do is prioritize your tasks and decide how long it will take you to accomplish each of them.

Chances are, you’re most likely going to accomplish the task within the limit you gave yourself. If you were unable finish with that particular task. Or schedule a “meeting” with yourself on your calendar for another working session on that project.

Nothing can motivate you more to be more effective at accomplishing your projects than setting a time limit for yourself.

My timer for this article will soon be up. So, without much ado, below are three reasons why setting a timer is so effective

  1. It gives you speed

Without a timer, you can spend time which would have been enough to accomplish two tasks on accomplishing one only. For instance, I could spend more time developing this piece, but for the fact that the time limit I set for myself is almost up, I need to look for a way to round it up. The implication is that I’m getting this article done at a faster pace than I would have if I had not set an alarm for this task. So, setting a limit for yourself will motivate you to accomplish the task at an incredible speed while resisting distractions.  Since goal accomplishment is the primary objective in High Stakes Mastermind Groups, I not only have to help our members achieve their goals by coaching them to find solutions like this one, I have to model it myself.

  1. Work becomes more like a game challenge

Nobody can say he or she gets tired of playing and winning his or her favorite game. The moment you set a timer to accomplish a particular task, it becomes as though you are playing your favorite game of which your primary goal is to win. Beating the timer you set for a given task is like winning the game in the sense that you feel happy about it.

  1. You Work With More Focus

Setting a timer for 15, 30 or 60 minutes will help you tune out distractions; this is because you know you need to stay focused in order to complete your task before the time runs out. And since you already know what you need to accomplish during that time frame, you won’t waste time trying to multi-task.

Okay, my egg timer just went off, so I think it’s time to wrap up this productivity tip! You should try using a timer today and see how it goes. Personally, I use either a simple egg timer or the timer on my phone. And if there are so many distractions, then put your phone in airplane mode and get to work!  I also don’t allow my email to flag a notification, or make a sound for incoming messages.

So that’s it, now you know how beneficial using a timer can be – it really helps in keeping you organized as you’re able to check off each and every task on your to-do list.

7 Reasons You Want a Trained Facilitator

Photo by Stefan Stefancik
How is it Different?

As a facilitator, one of the most consistent questions I’m asked about my mastermind groups is, “Is it a networking group?”

While there’s no doubt that networking certainly occurs between the members of the mastermind group, relationships are built and cross referrals happen on a consistent and regular basis.

But at the end of the day, true mastermind groups and networking groups are very different. In a networking group you’ll meet lots of people and it’s really up to you whether you build on those relationships; and have coffee with people outside the regular meetings, or talk to each other about your businesses.

There may also be educational sessions, but nobody’s holding you accountable to make sure that you apply what you’ve learned. But a mastermind group is significantly different. A mastermind group is about accomplishing your goals and holding you accountable to build and grow your own business. And the only way that that’s going to happen is to have a skilled and trained facilitator at the helm.

Here are seven more reasons why having a skilled facilitator is so important.
  1. Not the Chairperson of the Board

A trained Mastermind facilitator knows how to bring out the discussion. They know how to make sure that no one person overwhelms the conversation and monopolizes the group’s time while others sit back quietly, not speaking.  And not being heard.

They will make sure the meeting moves according to the agenda but draw out participation from everyone.

Trained facilitators know how to keep the Mastermind groups structured and moving so that there is value for every minute spent in the Mastermind.

  1. Unbiased

Having an “outsider”, as trained facilitator will also ensure you that you have an impartial and unbiased individual guiding your group. When you have a facilitator who is not a part of your organization, and is completely unbiased yet cares deeply about the success of each individual member, than members of the Mastermind group feel comfortable in confiding with the group. The outside facilitator makes the Mastermind group of safe space to speak honestly, opening without fear of reprisal or embarrassment.

  1. Have Your Success Top of Mind

A trained facilitator also has the skill set to make group members successful.  Mastermind group members grow their businesses at a much greater rate than individuals who are not in Mastermind groups.  If you want your investment to pay off join a group with a trained facilitator.

The facilitator doesn’t answer to a corporation whose agenda must be met.  They have a vested interest in individual member success.  Every member’s.  No other business group environment can equal that claim.  Gymnastics teams yes, business groups – you’re not going to find anything comparable.

  1. Not Your One-to-One Coach

While there can be elements of coaching in a mastermind group the facilitator’s purpose is to make sure that all of the members participate, and help all members with value-adding suggestions; giving resources so that each member has a plethora of information they can apply to their own businesses.  In our groups sometimes the “homework” assignment for one translates into similar goals for the rest of the members.  There’s a good deal of anticipation for the next meeting, “How did yours go?”

Trained Mastermind facilitators are knowledgeable about goal setting and accountability. They know how to make it much more effective than simple brainstorming sessions.  If you want to get things done, be in a Mastermind group with a trained facilitator.

If you want to accomplish your goals you’ll get better “bang for your buck” by going with a group that has a trained Mastermind group facilitator.

  1. It’s a Dirty Job – But Someone’s Gotta Do It

It isn’t a dirty job. Not at all, not even close.  But it did get you to keep reading!

Your facilitator will take on all the logistics of your meeting: time, place, refreshments, note taking, follow-up, message boards, PR, meeting agendas, honestly the list goes on.  And we love doing it.  Even the administrative parts of everything behind the scenes is an aspect that makes for healthy, thriving and productive groups.  Thriving productive groups are comprised of thriving and productive individuals.

  1. Celebrating Your Success

What a party!  We have the same pride in our individual member’s successes as we would if they were our kids.  Like peacocks puffing their chests out.  It’s like, “We did that together!” when one person achieves a milestone, or a goal.  Whether it’s learning to do their own accounting or landing the most elusive client for a six-figure project.  Every success is a celebration. Just writing this blog makes me look forward to our next meeting!

  1. Full Circle

We’re talking about trained facilitators here, right?  So we’re talking about people who have spent their own money and time to complete a course or certification; an investment in themselves so that they can translate that into an investment into you. If you’re a member of a group and your success is stemming from your facilitator’s skills – then tell someone.  Tell a lot of someones.  Give credit where it’s due.  Your facilitator succeeds when you succeed. It comes back to them full circle.