Jonathan Milligan on Mastermind Groups

048: How to Create and Run a Mastermind Group | Interview with Jonathan Milligan [Podcast]

by | Mar 11, 2014 | 1 comment

Mastermind groups are the magic bullet for success. I have found the only people who do mastermind groups, and continue to do them over time, succeed. But, over the years I have struggled to find good groups. Most people do not want to commit or will bail out soon after we start. But, I have now found the secret – or at last the person who has the secret formula.

In this interview with Jonathan Milligan, he will uncover how he runs a mastermind group that not only keeps going, but prospers.

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Topic of the Week: How to Create a Mastermind Group

In this interview Jonathan shares how he got started in mastermind groups and the steps he has taken to keep the group working.

Step 1 – Find the Right Group of Prospects

Jonathan shares about how he went about methodically finding the right group of people. Like minded people, not only in their business objectives, but also in the values.

Some of his key questions in finding group members:

  • What values do I want the others to have. For Jonathan he was looking for people who wanted to grow a platform the correct way, who had a spirit of giving, and who had Christian values.
  • What objectives should they have?

Jonathan felt it was key to look for a set of people willing to share and learn from each other. He wanted to avoid those people who only want to be in the group to advertise their product or services or to dominate with their purposes.

Now with this information in hand, he searched for places where these people hang out. Jonathan searched forums to find his right group. He found that forums in which you had to pay to be a member worked best.

Step 2 –  Qualify the Applicants

Once he had some ideas of where to find people, he posted a call. In it he was clear about what he wanted to do, and asked people who were interested to fill out a quick form answering questions about where they were professionally and their goals for being in a group.

Then he did  a phone interview. The purpose of the interview was to see how that person might fit in and understand their own objectives.

Jonathan was clear that not everyone who expressed interest was let into the group.

Step 3 – Set the Ground Rules and Expectations

Everyone should know what is expected in time and commitment. And, while being flexible, a set of ground rules will help. Jonathan asked us to vote on a set of Mastermind Guidelines. These guidelines stipulated some very important issues we all needed to agree on or at least discuss if we did not agree. These included:

  • Group purpose
  • Role of each member
  • When and how (where) our group will meet
  • Attendance expectations (we do 9 out of 12 over 90 days is a commitment)
  • Group etiquette and dismissal guidelines. Two key things in this are tearing each other down or sharing content outside of the group.
This document is only one page, but makes it very clear how we operate.

Step 4 – Keep it Fresh

The group periodically explores some different focus areas. We might explore a book or a strategy together, but we do something to keep things fresh and moving forward.

How to Manage Your Mastermind Group

Having worked with many groups and seen things fail, a good management plan is key. Here are things that our group – under Jonathan’s guidance – does.

  • Quit on time – Our group meets for 1 hour weekly. While we might go over the one hour mark slightly at times, we are amazingly close to being on time. At very worst we are 15 minutes over.
  • Start with a round table of highs and lows. This lets each member share what is on their hearts. Only about 50% of the time are these issues business. They are truly personal issues. But this helps us each to know issues in each others lives. Amazingly simple and effective tool to connect.
  • Status of last weeks commitment – At the end of each meeting, we commit to do something next week. Here we tell the world (OK it feels like it) how we did.
  • Hot seat – Each week one person brings their issue to the table. We all discuss and help each other work through that issue.
  • Discussion question – When there is time we pull together a current theme in our industry to discuss.
  • Commitment – What one task do we commit to do before next time. We each record in a public spreadsheet.
Logistic Issues

Since our group is an international group, we meet over Google Hangouts and have a separate and private Google+ community. Documents and the tracking spreadsheet are all part of the community. Everyone has access to everything.

Learn More about Johnathan Milligan – About self leadership, productivity

Blogging your Passion – Find your passion and make money blogging about it!

Twitter @JonMilligan

Jonathan’s Current Project – The Heart of the Matter!

Jonathan is currently working to raise money for his niece for the Carolina Parson Fund.

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[reminder]Have you been part of a mastermind group? What is your experience?[/reminder]

About the Author

Dale Callahan

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1 Comment

  1. Jonathan Milligan

    Thanks Dale. I love talking about this topic and thankful to have you in our mastermind group. Thanks!

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