Is there anyone outside of your company challenging you to grow yourself and your business?
The "Master Mind Group" I am in is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. This group of business owners and CXOs has been a source of incredible wisdom, insight, painful accountability and great personal growth.
I honestly wonder how anyone goes through the struggle of owning and running a business without one. My strong suggestion is that you don't.
A Master Mind Group is another name for a peer group that works together to better each member. In business, user groups and associations often provide some of this collaboration. But that said, I have always gotten great benefit from business leaders not in my industry from their diverse experiences and often-complementary thinking.
Choosing a Group: What's Important
Members are everything. They are more important than format or facilitator. You are looking for a group with which you have enough connection to develop trust, but you want enough diversity to get great value and insight. For me, this includes what I refer to as the three A's:
Access – You need people who are committed and set the group as a high enough priority that you get access to them, their time and insights.
Authenticity—You need people who are going to drop the mask and share their real issues. Great work happens when there is openness.
Accountability—You join or form a Master Mind Group because you want to change your outcomes. You want to receive candid and direct feedback and advice so that you can make the necessary changes for improvement. That means people who do what they say they are going to do, even when it is difficult.
So who are you talking to?
The following is not an exhaustive list, but these are all groups that I know provide the kinds of Master Mind Group support and value that business owners need:
- Vistage International–Largest worldwide development group of CEOs and senior executives. I have personally been involved with this organization for 17 years and have gotten incredible benefit from them. Groups are formed with 12 to 18 CEOs in geographic proximity and are professionally facilitated.
- The CEO Project –Powerful CEO development organization with diverse national membership; members come together for intense workshop sessions as well as organizational and leadership development done on a 1:1 basis.
- YPO, YEO and WPO–National associations that focuses on the whole person in their role as business owner. They hold great events and universities around the world, as well as smaller forum groups.
- The Gazelles–This organization was developed by business genius Verne Harnish, author of The Rockefeller Habits, and provides tremendous business insights for fast-growing companies.
These are some examples of national organizations that business owners can tap into as a way to form or join a Master Mind Group. These are not the only ones out there. If you have a group with which you have worked that others should know about, post it in the comment section below, with a link or other contact information.
Business ownership is hard. Leadership is hard. And both are even harder when you're alone. Get a Master Mind Group to help and you will be amazed at how much easier it becomes.
More from Inc.com: