5 Advantages of Joining a John Maxwell Mastermind Group


John C. Maxwell, the world-renowned expert on leadership, has written many books on the subject of leadership and communication.   I came across his works through a fellow Toastmaster, who was also interested in these two subjects.  She had joined a John Maxwell Mastermind group, enjoyed the experienced tremendously, and went on to do training to run her own Mastermind group.   Last fall I preceded to join one of her groups, which discussed the book 21 Leadership Qualities, and this spring I joined another one, this one on communication which discussed his book Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.

I have spent about half a year then going the material in both these books first by reading them, and then by experiencing them in a Mastermind Group.   The purpose of today’s post is to give you 5 advantages you will have when you join a John Maxwell Mastermind Group.

Before I relate those advantages, I wanted to explain briefly what a Mastermind group is.    It is a group facilitated by the group leader which meets periodically to go through the material in one of John Maxwell’s books.    Before each week’s group discussion, the members of the group are expected to read the chapter, go through some exercises to make sure they comprehend the material, and if they are called upon to do so, to make a short summary and commentary on the chapter, giving examples from that person’s own experience which reflect the material taught in that chapter.

Then at the meeting, the leader goes through the outline of the chapter, asks a member to give their own summary and commentary, and then the discussion is opened to the group regarding any additional comments members may have about how the material is reflected in their lives.    Then there is an assignment given to put the material into practice.   This is either discussed at the next meeting or turned into the facilitator who reads the responses from the members of the group, gives commentary and sometimes reads excerpts at the following meeting.

Given this structure, here are the 5 advantages of joining a John Maxwell Mastermind group.

1.  Learning through Reflection

Normally, when you a book you go through the material once, and you may only end up retaining 10% of what you have read.    When you not only read the book, but do the exercises that help test your comprehension, you are going through the material with certain mental checkpoints in mind that help you zero in on the most important elements.   This allows you to retain more of what you read.    If you do a summary of the chapter for others, this also forces you to pick out the most important elements in order to condense them into a short, 5-minute presentation for the group.  This also reinforces the material.

2.  Living earning through Application

If you are asked to comment on a chapter, besides summarizing the material, you are asked to comment on any situations you have encountered, either recently or in the past, which illustrate the material involved.   By relating it to your own life, you are starting to own the material, rather than just reflect on it intellectually, because it is something which connects to your experience.

3.  Living the Material

In the last section of the chapter, John Maxwell poses some exercises for those who want to practice the material between discussion of the chapters.    This is an excellent time for you to plan out those ways in which you will, with the support of the group, go beyond your comfort zone and try to connect with people even if it is uncomfortable to you at first.    The rule is:   it gets better with practice.    Avoiding connecting with people because it is uncomfortable will never make the situation any better.

4.  Positive Reinforcement

Let’s say that, after once week, you have tried to apply the material.   You will either succeed, try and fail, or fail to try.   If you succeed, you should get positive reinforcement from the group.   If you try and fail, you should get positive reinforcement from the group as well, and suggestions for trying again so that you succeed the next time.   And if you fail to try, admit it, and ask the group for help.   They will offer positive suggestions that will help you.   Just remember, the group won’t give up on you.   They will not let you fail unless you decide to fail yourself.   If you love and respect yourself enough as a human being, you will not give up on yourself either.   Especially when the rest of the group is your cheer-leading squad!   What do they get out of it?   Well, you do the same for them!

5.   Networking

Finally, by entering a group with like-minded people, you are entering a field of energy in which your mind and indeed your whole consciousness is focused like a laser on the particular topic of communication or leadership around which the group is based.    You will gain insights from others in different jobs or different walks of life than you are, but the fact that you all have in common the pursuit of excellence is something that will spill over into your regular, everyday life outside of the Mastermind Group.

Since I have started the group one half-year ago, I have been approached with the following opportunities:

–Chief Project Manager for the largest educational event of the year for the Chicagoland chapter of the Project Management Institute

–One of the Directors of the Board of that same chapter of the Project Management Institute

–Board member of my church

–President of my home club in Toastmasters, and Area Governor as well

I have only been a member of that chapter, that church, and that Toastmasters club for one year.    I am convinced that these leadership opportunities came to me because I showed through my gradual mastery of the material in the two Mastermind Groups to those in positions of authority in those institutions that I was ready for those opportunities.

Now, I hope to continue to join Mastermind groups in the area to make sure that I succeed at those opportunities I have been given!

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