On a cold mid-November evening, we had a simply mystical experience with a select Group of ten podiatry students at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine (OCPM). We had the idea of taking the commonly known concept of the Mastermind Group to a group of students who share a common goal and interesting dynamics with many similar challenges, but have quite diversified reactions and related behaviors to them. The students were freshman and sophomores chosen based on their degree of embracing their practice management class, which is now delivered as a full four year curriculum at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine with much love and passion from some of our profession’s best practice management.
One of the early pioneers of the Mastermind Group concept is Napoleon Hill (we encourage all to read many of his books starting with Keys to Success. The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement) and is a common theme throughout his many incredible books. He professed that there is synergy of energy, commitment, and excitement that participants bring to a Mastermind Group. The beauty of Mastermind Groups is that participants raise the bar by challenging each other to create and implement goals, brainstorm ideas, and support each other with total honesty, respect, and compassion. Mastermind participants act as catalysts for growth, devil’s advocates, and supportive colleagues. The Mastermind Group was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900's and wrote about the Mastermind principle as, "The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, whose work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony." He continues that, "No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind."
In a Mastermind Group, the itinerary belongs to your Group, and each person’s participation is key. Your peers give you feedback, help you brainstorm new possibilities, and set up accountability structures that keep you focused and on track. You will create a community of supportive colleagues who will brainstorm together to move the Group to new heights. The great part of your Mastermind Group is that participants elevate the bar by challenging each member to create and implement goals, brainstorm ideas, and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion.
No matter at what stage you are in your career, there is inordinate benefit for you to form or participate in a Mastermind Group in your community. When inviting participants look for those with similar interests like those who are self-employed, have a positive and embracing attitude, are easily able to share and communicate, are in a particular profession (sometimes there is value in having diversity amongst the occupation), having similar goals, appreciate the support this Group lends, skill and success levels are congruent and want to grow. Decide how many will work best in your Group, typically between seven to ten works well to not give enough exchange without having information overload. Determine how often is practical for you all to meet—a good start is once a month. Your Group can meet in person, telephone, or on the internet with many simple tools now available for online meetings with seeing one another.
Screen potential members and ask them questions such as:
- How will you find time to be an active participant of your Mastermind Group?
- What is your personal mission statement and five year personal and professional goals?
- Why should you be picked as part of this Mastermind Group?
- Do you have a recommendation for another member of our Mastermind Group?
- How do you feel you will benefits and bring to our Mastermind Group?
It is with much joy and happiness that we share portions of messages sent to us from the podiatry students who participated in the first meeting of the Mastermind Group at OCPM:
“I don't have any specific quotes from Friday but I can tell you that I very much enjoyed it. It felt almost like a Group therapy session, different years, and different Groups of people coming together, some of us had never even met, and you asked us to answer questions about things that the people closest to us probably don't even realize. It felt like a safe zone. Amy’s comment made me realize that the people I'm working with are selfless, and it helped me to stop feeling guilty about asking for help when I need it. I don't have a problem asking for help I'll admit it when I need it, but not without feeling some guilt, but her comment helped me wash away that feeling.”
“Felt like I was sitting in a room full little Ornstein’s, Guiliana’s, and Rem Jacksons. Ha. Any doubt I had about the future was filled with hope. Soon it’s not going matter what year we graduated because we will all be working together in a new community - the podiatry world. I know that this specific Group of people will nicely balance each other out - each person offering something special that everyone will get stronger from. I'm so excited to see where this takes us - and the podiatry community”
"This Mastermind Group is a wonderful opportunity to build personal relationships that can be carried throughout the rest of our academic careers, into residency, and even into our practices across the country. The goal of this Group is to allow a handful or more of students with the same goal but vastly unique talents come together to help one another obtain happiness in life today and in the future. I encourage everyone, independent of the profession, to find a Group of people you trust and form a Mastermind Group of your own!"
“I'm excited about this concept. We have only begun at an elementary level, freshly introduced to the medical arena in addition to not really knowing what we're in for with the Group. But that's also part of the beauty of it all. There's something inherently spiritual about it: the faith part, growth, connection, peer mentorship, desire for something more, and even an element of healing. I'm grateful to Hal and to be a part of it, and I'm pumped to see what happens.”
The students were also asked one of their strengths and weaknesses and the list quite interesting and diverse…
- Over think
- Make others feel good
- Commitment & follow through
- Extremely friendly
- Can charm anyone
- Work hard at all I do
- Spread too thin
- Too many commitments
- Do not break rules
- Morbidly shy
- Addiction to food
- Time management
- Sleep too much
- Worry about failing
- Can’t make decisions
- Moving to a new area, making new friends
- Burned out
We encourage you to get started with forming your Mastermind Group to take advantage of gaining remarkable insights to improve your business and personal life in ways you never imagined possible. Be prepared to reap the benefits of the Mastermind Group experience with increasing your confidence, have a strong support networks, be entrenched with others who understand “your world”, get honest feedback, skills to improve and have others help you to take action to increase your emotional and spiritual wealth. Your Group will elevate you to new levels, develop your confidence and skills, expand your network directly and indirectly, make you a more cheerful person, and change your outlook and paradigm that you never thought was possible. It helps you to realize that you are not alone in the challenges you face professionally and personally. Time for a Group hug!
Hal Ornstein, DPM and Neal Baum, MD