Archive for October 2011
Getting more done with less stress, effort and frustration is what many business owners wish for.
At a recent presentation, Steve Hoare (Management by Reflection), explained why, if we want to grow a business, have a home life and enjoy what we do with the minimum of stress, it is important to spend our time doing the things we are good and learn to appreciate the contributions made by people who have different strengths to us.
To illustrate the point, members of the group were asked to put themselves into one of three groups that they most identified with while acknowledging that there may be some crossover.
The Blue Group identified most with the words:
Thinking, creative, problem solving, strategic, discerning, self starting, single minded.
The Yellow Group with:
Inclusive, mature, communicator, diplomatic, co-operative, enthusiastic
The Red Group with:
Challenging, dynamic, action, perfectionist, reliable, efficient, conscientious
Each group was given the same task and assigned an observer.
The idea was to show what happens when people with the same strengths work on a task, compared to when people with a whole range of strengths work together.
The result is that people adapt to fill the gaps but usually feel uncomfortable in these roles. This is OK for a short while (our experiment only lasted for ten minutes) but the longer it continues, the more the cracks begin to show.
The ensuing discussion focused on the importance of not seeing the absence of a particular type of behaviour as a weakness but on playing to people’s strengths.
It is equally important not to let the ‘weakness’ become a crutch or an excuse, e.g. “What do you expect? I’m this type of person not that type.”
In terms of identifying the people most likely to produce the best results we often look for skills first followed by personality but profiling the behaviours needed to complement a team can often improve the way everyone works and reduce the stress, frustration and effort while getting much more done in less time.
There is a huge amount of research that shows that we are really poor judges of others and relying on ‘gut instinct’ is the worst possible way to select people to work with.
When employing people, Steve recommends the Belbin Team Role profiling tool be used along with a suite of other tools for assessing personality and aptitude. Many tools on the market have no scientific validity so it is best to check this out and use an accredited practitioner to analyse the results.
Any double about the value / cost ratio will be quickly dispelled by a calculation of what it costs to make the wrong decision!
A MasterMind Group is sometimes known as a peer group mentoring forum or a Boardroom forum.
These groups simulate the many different roles that it takes to run a successful business and giving a business owner independent advice from people with no hidden agenda.
I often get asked, “Why would anyone want to join a mentoring group with people who know nothing about each other’s businesses?”
There are three excellent answers to this:
1) The product or service a business delivers may be different but the process of running and growing a business has many generic activities. Almost everyone who starts a business has had experience of other businesses and brings many skills and lots of expertise to a group.
2) The process used in the most successful MasterMind Groups produces a situation where solutions are created from the combined efforts of the group members and do not rely on one person’s pre-existing knowledge.
3) One of the major benefits of a well run MasterMind Group is accountability. The members commit to certain actions and keep each other on track.
If people have heard of MasterMind Groups its usually in relation to Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich”.
Hill established that many of the successful people he interviewed in the 1930s attributed part of their success to meeting with a peer group on a regular basis to discuss ideas and create new solutions to problems. He describes the process as ” When two people come together to discuss ideas it is a s though a third person appears with ideas that the others would not have thought of on their own.”
What do a potter, a metalworker, a doctor an engineer and a preacher have in common?
There are many wonderful examples of MasterMind Groups working to create success for their members but for me, one of the most powerful examples occurred long before Napoleon Hill wrote his famous book.
When the potter is Josiah Wedgewood, the metalworker is Matthew Boulton, the doctor is Erasmus Darwin, the engineer is James Watt and the preacher is Joseph Priestly the ideas produced quite literally changed the world.
Steam trains, electricity, canals, mass manufacturing, the discovery of new gases, processes and materials accompanied dramatic social and educational reforms in the middle of the 18th Century that brought about the Industrial Revolution and great wealth but for the original group of friends the support they gave each other was crucial.
Known as the Lunar Society because they met when the moon was full to aid their journeys, these men worked together to break down physical, social and educational barriers.
The internet has brought down even more of these barriers and made it easy to collaborate, to produce great ideas and to take the idea of MasterMinds to new levels.
When Napoleon Hill wrote “Think and Grow Rich” he meant think as in develop the ability to think, to process ideas and solve problems. By rich he meant not just monetary wealth but knowledge, discipline and fulfilment of potential.
All of this is achieved by mastery of the mind.
A Master Mind Group is exactly that: an opportunity for you to develop mastery of your mind, to think and grow rich with the support of a peer group.
If you would like to join us or have questions about how to get involved, just give me a call on 07711 705038.