I had to explain a mastermind group to a colleague a few weeks ago. It occurred to me, that there are probably many more people, not familiar with the concept (don't feel bad, not sure I really knew what one was a couple years ago).
Put simply, a Mastermind group is a collection of people with different perspectives and areas of expertise that you can leverage for advice and they in turn can leverage you. An ideal mastermind group is small (4-6) people and should be made of people with diverse backgrounds. This maximizes the likelihood that people will offer you different opinions and help you see problems from a different perspective.
IT WORKED FOR HENRY FORD AND IT CAN WORK FOR YOU
In Napoleon Hill's classic book "Think & Grow Rich" He relates the story of Henry Ford on a witness stand being cross examined by an attorney who wished to prove Mr. Ford a man of low intelligence and unfit to run his company. After listening to dozens of very specific questions (most of which not related to the business of running a business), Mr. Ford advised the attorney that on his desk, he has a panel of fifty different buttons, that he can push at any time for direct access to subject matter experts that can answer any question he needs answered. This process allowed him to focus on larger decisions and to access smaller details as needed, when they became appropriate.
HOW DOES LINKEDIN BECOME A MASTERMIND?
There are three ways to leverage LinkedIn as a Mastermind
1: Your Connections:
My first LinkedIn ABC "Always Be Connecting." When you add connections, you add resources. I've heard many people say to me, "hey Mike, how do you make use of a network of over 3000 people?" The answer, is leverage. Regardless of the industry, I have a contact. I often have multiple contacts. Since I cannot remember what all 3000+ members of my network do, I simply type in my criteria in the search bar in the top and then refine my search to first degree connections. This is an excellent way for me to engage my network and use my second favorite ABC "Always Be Cultivating." Think about it. If someone in your LinkedIn network, reached out to you and asked you for your expert opinion, what's the chance your going to respond? The answer, pretty darn likely! Get your answer and build goodwill with your network. Be sure to ask multiple people for their advice. If you ask ten people, very good chance you get ten different answers, each with their own unique perspective and value.
2: Pulse Posts
Yes, use this very platform, to ask questions and engage your audience, plus it engages people currently outside of your influence. Last week, I published a post about booksand the response has been wonderful. In addition to receiving dozens of new book recommendations, I gained new connections and participated in some very eye opening conversations. It was (and continues to be) a great learning experience.
3: LinkedIn Groups
You can join up to 100 groups on LinkedIn, learn more about that here. This is my favorite aspect because each group has a different focus. Because of the differentiation, each group can offer different expertise and feedback. You can join small niche groups with a few hundred members and you can join groups with thousands of members. Groups can be based on subject matter, geography or a combination of both. Need an answer? Post a question in your groups, then engage the people that like and comment. Grow your personal network in the process and get the answers you need.
BUT MIKE, I'M NOT IN SALES & I AM NOT LOOKING FOR A JOB, SO I DON'T REALLY NEED LINKEDIN
I realize, many of you reading this do not Identify with this headline. Here is my first call to action. Share this post with one of your friends or colleagues that aren't in sales and not currently looking for a job. Tell them to read this post and then say "There! Now you have a reason to use LinkedIn!"
YOUR CALLS TO ACTION!
CTA Number 1: What do you need help with? Go through the steps outlined here and then comment how long it took you to get a great answer (or multiple great answers).
CTA Number 2: Get serious about ABC "Always Be Connecting." Every meeting, every group event, every party. You don't need to get a business card from every person you meet (but it helps). If you can remember their first or last name and the company (or industry) they work for, there is a good chance you can find their LinkedIn profile. You never know where that next great answer will come from.
CTA Number 3: Add comments to this post & share ideas. Did I miss a crucial point (It's okay, I do that sort of thing all the time) then tell us! Ask questions, involve colleagues. Have a great example of how this has worked for you in the past? PLEASE! Share it in the comments.
CTA Number 4: Contact me personally if you want to take the conversation offline. I love talking: sales, leadership, networking, LinkedIn & public speaking, and if I don't have your answer I know someone that does. 443-808-1670 firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastly, thank you. Thank you for sharing, for reading and for contributing to my posts.