Tag Archives: Accountability

You Can’t Have Epiphanies in a Pigeonhole

You Can’t Have Epiphanies in a Pigeonhole
Photo by Rafael Rodrigues Machado

Comfort can be limiting

The other night at a party, my friend Bob and I got into a discussion about reading books.  How we read them. He’s a diehard Kindle user and I like reading books.  The real ones, with front and back covers and pages in between. Bob was adamant that his way was better.  He likes highlighting passages and making notes.  OK.  Fine. I have a Kindle too. But no matter how insistent Bob got, it wasn’t going to change the fact that I rather read a real book.

Bob was trying to pigeonhole me into always reading my books on a Kindle, Nook or iPad because that’s the way he likes to read, even when I kept telling him I’d rather just read a real book.  I love holding real books!

In my business mastermind groups we won’t pigeonhole you into doing your business the way we want you to.   We help you brainstorm and process your ideas.  We are a sounding board, supporting you in getting your goals accomplished in the best way that’s comfortable for you.  I have a signature system in the way that I work with my clients. Having said that just because it’s a system, doesn’t mean that it’s rigid. It means that it’s a process that works and is successful.

“Pigeonholing” is often a concern when it comes to work, like getting stuck in a niche or considered limited in your capabilities as Cheryl Dahle wrote in her article for Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.com/52849/escape-your-pigeonhole

The Joy of Epiphany Moments

But I look at it as being limited in your business mastermind choices and worse yet, how the mastermind itself functions. Having said that, I’m not criticizing; just pointing out that there are many different forms and styles of mastermind groups, even once your narrow it down to business masterminds.  You owe it to yourself to investigate before choosing.

One mastermind group I know, sits around a board-room table, like a family does at a dining room table and they just start talking about a topic. It might be marketing, it might be how to do your website; it could be any number of things. They sit and discuss it, and that works for them. That’s the way that group operates.

Another group I know of has a facilitator who sets a curriculum and the groups follows that from A-Z over a six month period.  When the curriculum is complete the groups disbands and another starts.

Our High Stakes Mastermind Groups are based on you being able to process through a single page goal plan that we have helped you developed; so it’s very clear and time honored based on SMART goals.  “SMART” goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented and Time-bound.

In the course of discussing what is going on in your business, we have an amazing way of processing thoughts and clarifying opportunities our groups result in “ah-ha!” moments. Epiphanies. Sometimes to the point of bringing on tears – happy tears.

We thrive on our ability to be achievement and accountability based sounding boards for our members. I tell each one that their goal plan is a “living document’ because it must flex with changes and updates in their business growth.  That wouldn’t be possible if we clung to the status quo. In fact you could say we’re about taking you out of your pigeonhole.

 

 

Limbic “Brainiacs” Giving Incentive to Masterminds

Limbic Brain- Its Positive Effects on Commitment to a Business Mastermind Group

By Guest Blogger
What is the Limbic Brain?

The limbic brain is that part of the brain that deals with emotions, memories, instincts, and arousal (stimulation). It is the emotional switchboard of the brain. The limbic system consists subparts like the hippocampus, hypothalamus, and amygdala.  These help in controlling various emotional, endocrine, voluntary and visceral responses to our environments featuring in our daily activities. The best function of the limbic system is the emotion control, while a part of this system called the hippocampus helps in the formation and retaining of memories, which is very crucial for development and learning.  Some of the functions performed by the limbic brain: remembering of past events, making choices based on experience, movement control based on past learning, perceive threats from surroundings, form sensory preferences, etc.

What’s the Connection?

A business Mastermind Group is a group created with the aim of brainstorming and collaborating together to achieve a particular set of goals. This concept was initialized by Napoleon Hill around 75 years ago in his book “Think and Grow Rich”. A Mastermind Group helps individuals to navigate through challenges using the collective ideas of other people. These groups are for real change, growth and trust. They are entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who believe they can easily achieve their set goals through working with high-productive and accountable people.

Joining a Mastermind Group helps to eliminate isolation. Working collaboratively with a mastermind group can be very advantageous, it helps to maximize profit as it integrates business ideas from different sects of experienced people. The benefits of Mastermind Groups  includes insights from the skills and expertise of others, solutions and ideas from brainstorming, trusted network of others who are supportive, a professional community, goal mastering, an instant and valuable support network, accountability and real progress in business, problem-solving sessions, etc.

The brain plays a very important role in the control of the body system. It is responsible for all the human body activities. The brain is divided into different segments which perform their distinct functions. One of these segments is the limbic brain, responsible for memory and emotion control. The way people react to various stimuli is determined by how the limbic brain controls the emotion or how it is aroused. The functionality of the limbic system, to a great extent, affects human social interaction especially commitment to some things like membership of a Mastermind Group. Different parts of the limbic system perform various functions that control human reaction. Below are some of the major parts:

  • Thalamus: It is responsible for detecting and relaying information from the human senses. This part helps in sharing of knowledge among Mastermind Group members as people perceive things differently which will bring about maximization of ideas.
  • Hypothalamus: It acts as the regulator of hormone control. It helps to maintain body homeostasis. Its interaction with other parts of the limbic brain helps it to control the part of the body responsible for “fight and flight” response. Hypothalamus regulates human emotions as this will help in their relationship with one another in a Mastermind Group.
  • Amygdala: This is tied to fear and anxious emotions. It assists in the development of memories especially emotional events and emergencies. Activeness of members of a Mastermind Group is essential, and members must be anxious to seek more knowledge from others.
  • Hippocampus: It is generally associated with memory and focus. This part of the limbic brain helps in retaining of memory/ learning. The main purpose of a Mastermind is for individual development, i.e. gaining more knowledge and experience for maximum output. Hippocampus can help in achieving this.
  • Cingulate gyrus: it is involved in many sections of memory and emotion. This performs similar functions with the hippocampus.
In Summary

The limbic brain plays an essential function in the human brain which tends to affect the cognitive and social behavior of people thereby affecting their productivity. Being in a Mastermind Group is determined by the functionality of the limbic brain which helps in emotion control influencing person’s social interaction decision. The limbic brain regulates the emotional decisions effecting how people react to external stimuli such as being in a Mastermind.

Membership in a Mastermind Group is a part which aids maximization of profit thereby arousing the interest of people to participate more because of its financial benefits. Self-development and enhancement is also a major concern for Mastermind, improving the intellectual competence of its members. This is made possible by the retaining memory function of the limbic brain, storing information/knowledge for future purposes.

Mastermind group members are people who believe they can easily achieve their set goals through working with high-productive and accountable people – and can thank their Limbic brain for the incentive.

 

 

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.

 

 

Measure Up Your Success

When I look at the tracking chart where I list all of the monthly networking groups I go to, how much time spent at each one, how much it costs to go to the monthly breakfast, or lunch, plus the annual membership fees, I measure how much money really goes out in networking group expenses. I’m not saying it isn’t money well spent.  Well at least in most cases, but not all.

I want to see how much measuring the outcome of my networking gets me in terms of new clients, new contracts and retained relationships as well.

That activity of creating my own Excel spreadsheet which calculates the dollars spent gives me the ability to also plug in the number of hours I spend at these networking groups and how many viable contacts came out of those relationships. It enables me to choose which Association I would remain with and which ones I would cancel.

There’s a saying, “what gets measured gets done” Bearing that in mind will always help you to determine the value you get from your activities and keeps you solidly on track to accomplishing goals.

High stakes Mastermind groups are 100% goal driven but there’s no way that our members can achieve their goals if they don’t even know what they’re going after. And that’s why we have them measure everything.  There are a variety of tools out there like spreadsheets, charts, even calendars.

It doesn’t really matter exactly what you use so long as you use something.  The second step is you review your tracking on a regular basis, even if it means setting automated reminders.

We have our members create whatever tracking tool(s) is/are best for them and then they also design how often they would revisit it.  Options range from every week, every day, once a month, or once a quarter. It has to be whatever is appropriate for that particular endeavor. They might have five different endeavors all being tracked using different tools and measured, or revisited, at a different frequency. This is how we guarantee that their goals are accomplished.

Below I’ll list tips for making clear and measurable goals.

I’m often asked how I guarantee success in the High Stakes Mastermind Groups and the answer is that is that I cannot make somebody be successful only they can make themselves be successful in their own goals. However we do everything possible to make sure they have every tool they could possibly need in order to be successful. When we make our measurements and we get them done.

I have also my own measurements for myself because if I’m not on track and not holding myself accountable who will be? If I’m not accountable to my own goals how can I help my members be successful?

It sounds geeky but I have three excel sheets just for tracking my own progress.

Would you benefit from being in a mastermind group that’s facilitated by somebody who’s helping you monitor and track what you’re doing? Our options are both Live and Virtual groups.

Tips for making clear and measurable goals

Write in very specific terms with ambitious, yet doable deadlines i.e.:

  • I will make 5 cold calls every week.
  • I will post on Social Media 3x per site every week day.
  • I will write two articles and have them published in six publications by December 31, 2017.
  • I will complete my online Project Management course by June 30, 2018.

Tracking systems

There are hundreds of tracking systems available. Although I can’t speak for Mac users, those of you who use Microsoft will find several built-in Excel options that you can modify.  Just open Excel and it will show you several samples.  There are more online.

I use simple Excel spreadsheets I create myself, and I set Outlook reminders.  However, others can be found in libraries, business books, from your local government SBA or SCORE organizations.

Michael Gerber, the author of the E-Myth books has books available for a breadth of professions and they include charts and tracking examples.  You can find more on his site http://michaelegerbercompanies.com/web/.

Look back at your own personal goals from the past year and see how many of them actually got accomplished. Then start tracking new goals using measurement tools like Excel spreadsheets, reminder systems or whatever you need. See how much you accomplish – and recognize where and how you’re spending time and money.

You’ll be amazed at what’s being measured and getting done.

Most people I know have trouble clarifying their goals and figuring out how to measure them. Contact me here for help.

 

Master Mind Reader – What’s the Real Magic Behind Masterminds?

Can You Read My Mind?

Here’s a little personal information, mind you. My husband and I use a laundry basket, which is in our closet, but he also has a large laundry bag that he hangs behind the closet door. In it he puts his extra dirty, grimy, clothes that we don’t want mixed with our better clothing in the laundry basket.

Last Saturday after I started the extra dirty laundry from his bag, he got upset with me because I had “forgotten” a pair of his socks and some shorts. “Where were they?” I asked him.  “They were in my cabinet.” I asked, “How was I supposed to know they were in there?”  He said, “I always have my last things from the day before in the cabinet and I put them in the bag on Saturday morning.”

Well, this was news to me. I asked him, “I have I ever seen you do that?” knowing perfectly well the answer was ‘no’.  He said, “I don’t know.” I asked, “How was I supposed to know that you do that then?”  His answer, “Well I do it every weekend.”  “Do you know what I use to separate my eyelashes every morning after I put on mascara?”   “No, how would I know? I’m not clairvoyant.”

“Well, I said, “I do it every day.”  I know perfectly well he’s never seen me do it.

So here we have a problem of somebody expecting another person to have extrasensory perception (ESP).  I don’t have it.  I facilitate Mastermind Groups – I am not a master at reading minds.

The same is true of your Mastermind members. They aren’t Fortune-Tellers. You have to explain what your goals are and what you’re trying to achieve. Only after you are open and verbal about it can your fellow Mastermind group members actually help you. If a member doesn’t have ability to speak, then a written/printed form is used.  In either case, your fellow Mastermind Group members can’t read your mind. They don’t know what you need. Only if you are open and honest and willing to have a discussion help is there to be had.

It’s really up to you how good of a Mastermind Group participant you are. The group is not there to solve all your problems. The group isn’t there to do the work for you. Studies have shown that people who are in Mastermind Groups and put as much into the group as they expect to get out of it are 15% more likely to accomplish their goals than people who are not in a mastermind group.

Goals have a way of falling apart when you don’t have someone to hold you accountable. When nobody is looking, you may take it easier on yourself. Nobody is watching, you think, so if you fail, it’s not a big deal.

Mastermind groups are like having your own Board of Directors. Except you’re not obligated to do what they tell you – they exist for you. That’s the truly cool part. It’s not just having one accountability partner, but many. They offer you professional relationships where the members support, empower and hold each other accountable for their actions. That is the way that members help each other to achieve their specific goals by coming up with thoughtful, useful and timely information that will add value to the lives and careers of group members.

As a member, you’re being backed by and collaborating with some of the strongest, smartest and best thinkers and leaders out there – the people in some of the top leader and executive roles available. Not only are they helping you by feeding your mind with positive energy and fuel to reach your goals, but you’re helping them, as well.  Some people think, “I have nothing to contribute.  These people are way more accomplished than I am”. Well, allow me to stop you right there.  Everyone has something of value to give, over and over again.  We’ll even empower you to contribute- because it’s the cornerstone of your own accountability. Through accountability we help you master your goals. That’s where the real magic is.

What’s your opinion? What do you think about what I’ve recommended above?
Since I’m not a master mind reader you will have to tell me in the comments below!

Oh, and about those eyelashes – I use a little eyelash comb.