May 21, 2011

Smart Six™ Alliance for Business Growth

In the business classic Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill talks about the power of the mastermind principle. It is a power that is created when there is a group of like-minded individuals working in harmony.

Whether you want to achieve business or personal goals, or just have access to a creative source that can help you identify and refine new ideas, a mastermind group is the key to leveraging this power.

The ideal mastermind group is six people, what I call the Smart Six™ alliance for business growth. A group of six people, aligned in harmony and committed to achieving the utmost in prosperity and abundance, can be a powerful force. Six provides two groups of three, or three groups of two. This organization is useful if you want to have smaller groups of people working on different aspects of a problem, or to springboard creative thinking when the group itself is stalled.

A group of six is manageable and can easily fit around a table. A group of six can travel together in one vehicle, and walk together down the street within hearing distance of each other. Six people can have a discussion without anyone feeling left out. A group of six can easily communicate among themselves and with each other, without creating complexity.

For additional brainpower, have two groups of six meet as a conclave of 12. That number is still manageable for a meeting, and can be reconfigured for tasks into 6-, 4-, or 3-person subgroups. Communication among 12 people is more complex, but still easily handled.

Hexagons

Strength of the Hexagon

The hexagon, a six-sided figure, is a strong symbol in nature. The cells of a beehive honeycomb are hexagonal. The hexagon shape gives the cells the greatest area for holding honey, is easy to construct, and multiple cells can be placed together without any wasted space. Indeed, they even “lock” together when placed side by side, and the pieces reinforce each other.

I like the symbol of the hexagon to represent the solidity of the Smart Six™ Alliance. When you have such a creative and committed team on your side, opportunities abound.

Recruiting your Smart Six™

Don’t hesitate to start looking for members for your mastermind alliance immediately. Think about all of the people in your personal and professional network. What skills, abilities, traits, areas of expertise, connections, resources, and personal qualities do they have that complement yours? What aspects of their lives could use what you have to offer in the way of advice, experience, or support?  Look for people you can get along with, who have similar goals for business or personal growth and success.

Avoid allying with people who are too much like you. The greater the diversity, the more opportunity there is for cross-pollination and new ideas to be generated. You may even want to ally with someone you feel is “outside your comfort zone”, someone you might not normally associate with. Your mastermind alliance is not your main social group, reference group, nor your “buddies”. It is a group convened specifically to provide thinking power leverage. Six intelligent minds united in thought on one problem can achieve far greater results than one person mulling things over alone.

In your Smart Six™ mastermind alliance, none of you should be in direct competition with one another, and you should all be committed to freely sharing your ideas and impressions. It is important to make sure you all have a sense of all ideas, opinions, and feelings being gladly given. If anyone is afraid that some good idea might be “stolen”, and consequently holds back, then the group will not achieve its potential. This principle of offering ideas to someone else is an important part of keeping yourself in the flow of abundance. If you approach business with the intention of GIVING rather than GETTING, you will have more fulfilling interactions with others. This principle of giving works extremely well in a mastermind alliance, and all benefit.

Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure

For mutual benefit, agree beforehand that all conversations within the group are confidential, and no one is free to disclose the ideas, concepts, plans or techniques of anyone else in the group. If you are allied with people you trust, this agreement simply articulates the professional attitude you each bring to the group. That’s why it’s important to select people of integrity, and take some time to build an atmosphere of rapport and trust before offering your most precious ideas. Know too, that very few people will betray that trust in such a group. By its very nature, a mastermind alliance group elicits the best of each of its members, and returns to each exponentially greater benefit.

Benefits of the Smart Six™

Hill points out that there should indeed be something in it for each of the members of the group. If you call together a mastermind group to work on your problem, there must be some form of valuable compensation to the individuals for their participation. This could be monetary, given in the form of services, or simply be a commitment that each member of the group may present a problem to the mastermind for solution. As long as each member of the group feels they are receiving a reciprocal benefit for participation, the good feelings within the group will foster the most creative results.

A powerful mastermind alliance can be your strongest asset, and your most valuable tool for business and personal success.

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Need help with creating a Smart Six™ Alliance or growing your business? I have some ideas for you. Contact me: beth (at) bethagnew.com

Notice: Smart Six™ is a trademark of Beth Agnew & Associates. All rights reserved. (c) 2000-2012

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