When I’m trying to achieve a difficult goal, I’ve found it helpful to surround myself with people who will hold me accountable as I make progress.
Accountability is the key principle behind Mastermind Groups — small groups of people pursuing similar individual goals who meet weekly to check in on each other’s progress, help members overcome obstacles, and make sure everyone is sticking to the schedule they committed to when the group formed.
I’ve been involved with Mastermind Groups in one form or another since launching my side business in 2013. Now, I help facilitate Mastermind Groups at Venture Café, collaborate with Menteaship, and participate in an online group with members based in Chicago.
These groups are designed to be supportive but also straightforward and challenging. For example, some groups have a “three-strikes-you’re-out policy” where members are kicked out of the group if they fail to meet weekly goals or miss meetings. Other groups find different ways to incentivize people. Whatever the method, the objective is to keep members on track toward their goals, which can include:
- Launching a new business
- Increase performance in an area of work
- Landing a new job
- Learning a new skill
- Obtaining a certification
Mastermind Groups usually work best when there are 3 to 6 members; with more, each member would only get a few minutes to speak at the hour-long meeting. Groups must also designate a facilitator who keeps meetings on track. This can be a dedicated position, or members can take turns each week.
After facilitating and participating in many Mastermind Groups, I’ve seen how people can push themselves and others to succeed when they embrace accountability and form synergistic relationships with people pursuing similar goals. By regularly collaborating and sharing knowledge with motivated people who share similar yet unique skill sets, you learn quickly.
In many ways, 1904labs and Mastermind Groups share a similar philosophy. Our company encourages every team member to set individual goals, and allots time to work toward goals during weekly innovation hours. Like Mastermind Groups, these goals can include anything from improving a skill to starting a side business. What’s more, we place a high value on collaborating effectively as a team — in ways that are productive, open and honest.
The open and collaborative nature of the Cortex Innovation District is also especially conducive to Mastermind Groups and similar groups, and it’s been rewarding to facilitate groups and watch people succeed at Venture Café. In a space so rich with talented people of varying backgrounds and skills, it only makes sense to find targeted ways for people to connect, share what they know, and motivate each other to reach their goals.