Yes, all the great geniuses have used MasterMind groups or “Circles” as Scott of Making Ideas Happen (Resources Area) likes to call them. Edison had people like Ford and Firestone in his MasterMind group. As the saying states: “NO man is an island.” Or Woman.
Scott shares his “Rules of Circles”:
1. Limit circles to 15 or less. I actually think that your Inner Circle should be no more than 9 including yourself. Others can go up to 15 like ones at MeetUps. You should do as Edison did and invite people who are from all walks of life, backgrounds, shared purpose, etc. I especially think that your Inner Circle should be with people who do share your purpose or vision.
2. Establish a clear and consistent schedule for meetings. I definitely agree with Scott! Your Inner Circle has to meet a minimum of once a month and it should be IN PERSON. For instance, if you are developing a group of DecaMillionaires in training it should be once a month and also in this case it should be at a place that has a DecaMillionaire environment like the Atlanta St. Regis. You feel more like a future DecaMillionaire meeting there than at Starbucks! If you are in Networrk Marketing stop meeting at the Waffle House and meet your prospects at a place like the St.Regis!
Like Scott I agree that you must make a COMMITMENT to attend your Circle and don’t let ANYTHING short of your own DEATH interfere with it! I was in a one year workshop where we committed to being there EVERY month without fail and there were NO excuses for not attending except your own passing. My Mom died unexpectly in Jacksonville, Florida and I was in Atlanta. It was the weekend of my workshop coming up. She died on a Friday. I decided that she was already dead and that one weekend would not make a difference to me or her. I was certainly upset and actually my friends in the workshop and the teacher Marshall Thurber helped greatly in the healing before I left to return to Jacksonville.
If you miss ONE meeting you could change the results of that meeting for not only you but everyone else!
3. Meet frequently and stay accountable. As mentioned with your Inner Circle you want to meet a MINIMUM of once a month. With other meetings it might even be more frequently. We discussed Accountability above. NO excuses!
4. Assign a leader. So true! This person is responsible for making sure that the Circle begins and ends the meeting ON TIME. Today with so many events occuring both offline and online in our lives we have to stay right on schedule. Being late to especially your Inner Circle is just plain unacceptable and rude. It shows that you don’t RESPECT your Inner Circle members. If you have to be late then at least have the courtesy to call ahead and let the leader know.
Also the leader should try to keep the Circle moving ahead especially if there is a set agenda. Don’t let ANYONE dominate the meeting! Personally I think it is good to set time limits for each area of the meeting. For example you should realize that with an HOUR and up to 9 people in the Circle you have a VERY limited time for sharing. My math comes to less than 7 MINUTES! So you can see right there that one hour is probably not enough time for an Inner Circle meeting. It would be more like 1.5 hours for 9 members. Now you would have over 15 minutes for each member. Even with 15 minutes you as the leader have to keep the meeting on track.
If you are the leader then you are going to be responsible for making sure EVERYONE attends. If there are non-attendees you should have made RULES with the group BEORE this occurs. Here I personally don’t agree with the traditional “3 strikes and you’re out!”. I want you COMMITTED!
5. Extend your circle online. Yes you definitely extend other Circles EXCEPT your Inner Circle using social media like Facebook, Google’s Circles, Skype, etc. I still believe that your Inner Circle should be IN PERSON. Certainly you can use social media for touching bases between the set IN PERSON meetings.
With other Circles you might want to consider the aforementioned MeetUp which combines offline with online. Still these meetings should be limited to 15 or less.