If you know much about me, you know I put a high price on character and integrity. It’s part of the brand - View From the Top, Iron Sharpens Iron and The Mastermind Playbook. We go the extra mile to treat people how they should and want to be treated.
This isn’t to lecture you, while you’re busy forming your online mastermind group. Everybody has their own niche they serve, and there are different levels of maturity and growth in every person you meet. I’ll say this, however - mastermind groups get much more complicated if you don’t value things like humility, authenticity and moral character.
In Iron Sharpens Iron, we’ve been reading this book called “The Ride of a Lifetime” by Robert Iger. He was CEO of the Walt Disney Company for the last 15 years. His story is amazing. One thing I couldn’t help but notice was how careful and attentive he was to the people he worked with the most, inside and outside Disney.
Where Credit’s Due
President Ronald Reagan once said, “It’s amazing what we can accomplish when nobody cares who gets the credit.” One thing I’ve observed, curating people for masterminds online, is that you have to search far and wide for people who don’t care about getting attention or credit.
So maybe you aren’t a Christian life coach like me. I think we can agree, that doesn’t protect anyone from insecure applicants. I can promise you this - once those people get into your mastermind group, it’ll begin to spread. Your more humble members will find it annoying and embarrassing. If you have members who are easily swayed by it, your problems will multiply. The last thing you need is a mastermind group full of people getting worse instead of better.
So, even if you’re starting a business mastermind that doesn’t talk much about faith, you aren’t off the hook. Nobody worth their salt in business wants to be part of a group that slacks on ethics, trust, integrity, privacy and commitment. The kind of credit your applicants should seek is the faith and confidence of others around them, because of their character.
Recognition That Counts
I hope I don’t sound like I’m discouraging acts of merit, because I believe we can do them all day if we have the right heart behind it! In fact, in Iron Sharpens Iron, we hand out several awards to members at our annual live events in Nashville.
But the awards we give have nothing to do with our members’ economic performance. In ISI, it’s all about incredible levels of service and virtue toward others. We mix in a few joke awards, just for fun. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of awards for X amount of dollars in sales. The truth is, you can have the highest-grossing sales numbers, and still not be a very good business owner.
How do you find the kind of people that can be trusted with recognition like this? Well, there’s a tool we’ve added to The Mastermind Playbook that helps you, as the facilitator, separate the wheat from the chaff. You can eliminate this “question mark” early on by getting abundantly clear on whom you serve, and why.
Credit for Leadership
There’s one other pitfall I want to warn you about, and that’s believing the applause of the moment. When Robert Iger led the ABC Sports team that covered the 1988 Winter Olympics, he did such a great job under pressure that they promoted him to lead the entire network. He writes:
I was flattered, but I also knew this was a big risk for them. This would be the first time in the history of the company that the person running ABC Entertainment wasn’t from the entertainment world … “Look, I appreciate your faith in me,” I told them. “But I haven’t read a script since my TV-writing course in college. I don’t know this part of the business.”
Now, don’t get me wrong on this. When your members praise your leadership, they’re recognizing something in you. The problem is, we usually think they’re recognizing something external, like market performance. The world’s done a great job of making us think we’re only valuable if we help them make money.
Closer to the truth, these members are probably sensing your firm commitment to rock-solid character, strong leadership and genuine concern for their success. It’s resonating in your voice, coming across in your body language and reflected by your actions. After all, you provided the place and context for them to grow - your mastermind group online. Those are good qualities, and if you’re living a life pursuing them, it’s commendable. Just remember that success can be “here today, gone tomorrow,” but your character and integrity take a lifetime to build, and even longer to recover if you compromise them.
If any of this sounds familiar, or you’re thinking about it in advance of starting a group, I want to invite you to check out The Mastermind Playbook to see how we can help you sidestep a lot of growing pains and get your groups moving in the right direction.