I often recommend that small business owners and entrepreneurs have three key tools in their “success toolbox”: a coach, a mentor and a mastermind group. Let’s explore the role of mastermind groups in helping you to set and achieve your goals.

A mastermind group is a small group of 6 or 8 of your similarly situated peers or colleagues who gather to do brainstorming, goal-setting and to hold each other accountable for action steps. They generally are not local and meet by phone for an hour or 90 minutes monthly.
Mastermind group members must be able to keep their commitment to the group! This is crucial. They should also respect each other’s privacy. A mastermind group should be led by a facilitator, someone who understands group dynamics and has facilitated before. Groups fail for two reasons: lack of commitment and lack of leadership. This individual should encourage conversation, ask questions but should not be the focus of the group or dole out unsolicited advice.
In the first few meetings, groups should explore what their individual value systems are. You cannot build a success plan if you don’t know what you need for your own personal happiness. Having members understand your values allows them to hold you accountable for setting goals that don’t conflict with your beliefs.
Once everyone has established what their value system is, the group should begin setting individual goals. Members should be encouraged to dream bigger than they have in the past. Goals should be short-term, actionable items. If some one’s goals routinely go unmet, members challenge that person on whether that is truly a value-based goal they want to meet.
One of the best parts of belonging to a mastermind group is that you have many minds versus one. Group members can generate ideas and contacts that one individual is unable to come up with on their own. I encourage you to take advantage of this powerful tool in your business!
by Steven Schlagel