Your Personal “Board of Directors” – The Influence of the Mastermind

March 28th, 2011 | Posted by John Kapeleris in Knowledge | Networking | Personal Development | Success

Napoleon Hill in his all-time bestselling book “Think and Grow Rich” makes mention of the power of the Mastermind. The mastermind principle is defined as the coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people for the achievement of a definite purpose. A mastermind group can be a powerful way to achieve your definite purpose or goals. I have joined a few mastermind groups each having a specific purpose or goal where the contribution of the knowledge, experience and united spirit of all members can catapult you to the next level of achievement. Members of a mastermind group will have a common interest where each person is willing to discuss topics openly and contribute knowledge and experience. The mastermind groups that I belong to meet regularly and have formal and informal agendas for prior preparation and subsequent discussion. A number of outcomes have emerged from my mastermind groups, including sharing knowledge and ideas, creating new start-up businesses, identifying new commercial opportunities, and developing solutions for business and community problems. Some of the most successful people in the world (e.g. Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie) have relied on their mastermind groups to guide them or provide wisdom and inspiration.

Another mastermind concept is establishing your personal “Board of Directors” which involves a group of trusted people or mentors who can guide you or coach you in various aspects of your life, including business, career, personal development, financial or health. For example, when I was between jobs I had a personal fitness and conditioning coach, a career coach and a personal development coach. I would meet with my personal fitness and conditioning coach three times a week for a period of eighteen months undergoing fitness, physical endurance and mental conditioning training. I would also meet with my career and personal development coaches once every two weeks, alternating between each coach weekly. When I met with my personal development coach I would discuss my progress in building and enhancing my skills for my next challenge in life. My mentor would give me self discovery exercises, references to read and small development projects to complete between the meeting sessions. My mentor also opened my mind to a wealth of opportunities that I would investigate and develop in later months and years.

Many successful people establish their own personal “Board of Directors” by identifying key individuals who can assist them in specific areas of focus. If you need a business mentor or adviser you proceed by identifying and choosing someone who has had considerable success and achievement in business. Finding the right mentor or business coach can have a significant affect on your life. A mentor can teach and guide you through your life journey and can be one of the best ways to achieve personal success. Mentors can also accelerate your learning curve by providing the knowledge to fill the gap of “What you don’t know you don’t know“. For example, a business mentor can provide you with the tools and resources to grow your business or to teach you the strategies and processes (tricks of the trade) for a new business opportunity.

Following is a process of finding the right mentors to build your personal “Board of Directors”:

  1. Identify a person in your domain or area of interest who has been successful and would make a great mentor. e.g. a business mentor
  2. Your next step is to contact the person via telephone or a written letter and request whether they can be your mentor.
  3. Don’t be afraid; the worst thing that can happen is that they say “No”.
  4. If you do get a “No” then continue to look for another possible mentor.
  5. Once you have found a group of mentors establish a meeting schedule with an agenda to maximise the full benefits of the engagement. I find that monthly meetings over a coffee or tea is the best approach.
  6. The engagement should be a “win-win” therefore it is important that you also provide some value back to your mentor. This could be in the form of new leads, new business opportunities, information of interest or business intelligence.

Don’t hesitate. Start identifying potential mentors today and begin building your personal “Board of Directors”.

Dr John Kapeleris

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