Executive Development: The “What” and “How” of Masterminds


I have found Mastermind groups to be an amazing format to build executive excellence. In case you haven’t attended a Mastermind group, I’ll tell you how and why they work so well. It starts with the group leader or chair hand selecting executives who have the right mindset and motivation to work collaboratively. The leader is generally an executive mentor of some sort, and the best leader is someone who has years of experience working with executives both individually and collectively. After the leader selects 8 to 16 executives from various industries, the group begins to meet – either once a month for between 4 and 8 hours, or twice a month for 2 to 4 hours. The idea is to have each executive delve into some of their goals and challenges as they grow their organization. The members listen, and then assist in the problem-solving by sharing their own experience, providing referrals to other experts, and supporting each other as the discussion unfolds. I should also mention that the group is in a confidential, closed-door atmosphere where honesty and integrity are the foundation of candid, open discussion. What happens in mastermind group, stays in mastermind group.

Additional features of the Mastermind approach that depend highly on the leader include: 1) Specialized training or instruction by external professionals covering a range of topics – often based on the needs and requests of group members. 2) Prepared topical readings pertaining to relevant aspects of business such as leadership styles. 3) One-hour, Individual “intensive” meetings between the mastermind leader and each group member at least once per month for laser-focused support, guidance, and processing. 4) Possible social gatherings for group members outside of the mastermind setting to get to know each other and strengthen inter-group relationships. 5) Visits to each member’s place of business to get a firsthand look at the setting and dynamics of each member’s company. Other possible options to build the group, teach, train, and learn are at the discretion of the group leader. I will note that mastermind groups rarely include any/all of these features, however the Executive Excellence Accelerator (E2A) program I’ve developed does.  Check into it here:

Executive Development & Mentoring

As you can imagine, given the parameters I’ve outlined, over time this group of executives learns to rely quite heavily on one another and I’ve witnessed amazing insights and breakthroughs occur in such groups. The members build respectful, trusting relationships that they otherwise would not have found within a truly collegial environment. Not only are they building their own businesses, they are giving each other lessons from their experience to selflessly guide, advise, and support. It is incredibly powerful to have a group of peers holding each other accountable for both their participation, and for making progress towards their goals week in and week out. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard that the highlight of each member’s week or month is getting together with their group and tackling a new goal.

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Executive Development, Executive Leadership, Organizational Development, Leadership training