Updated: May 1, 2019
I have been involved in a Peer Mastermind group since 1989. You might be asking yourself “Why would he commit that much time away from his business” or “Is there really enough benefit from a group like that”. Well, I am here to share with you 7 reasons why I feel that being a part of a Peer Mastermind group has great value for me.
The model we created for ContinuoUs Improvement Peer Mastermind Groups within the HVACDMA came from my own personal experience with Peer Mastermind groups. In 1989 my father made me the president of our family business, OmniDuct. I was only 28 years old, and even though on the outside I was a little cocky and thought I knew it all, deep inside I desired a group of peers that I could count on to support me on my journey.
I joined an organization called TEC in 1989 - a group of 13 seasoned business owners from a variety of industries. We had bankers, real estate investors, manufacturers, distributors, auto dealers and more represented in our group. In 1999, feeling that I wanted a group that was more aligned with my personal beliefs as well as having strong business wisdom to offer, I joined an organization called Convene. I am still in my Convene group 20 years later. This has been a huge investment in my time, and here are 7 of the benefits that I have received over the last 30 years:
Inspiring Creativity – I have found that spending time with a peer group has inspired creativity within me. Listening to the others share their challenges and successes has given me many ideas of ways to improve our business over the years. I have been able to take something away from each meeting that helps me to improve either personally or professionally.
Lead/Move with Greater Confidence – I remember one particular issue where I was deciding if I should open a second location. I shared the issue with my group, several months in a row. I was having trouble making the decision. Jim, one of my peers that ran a trade show display manufacturing company, very bluntly told me that “he was tired of discussing this issue month after month, and that it was obvious that I thought opening the new facility was a good idea, so just do it.” That was exactly what I needed to hear to move ahead with great confidence and determination.
Clarity of Vision – My peers have helped me to think through the vision that I have for our company, challenging my assumptions and helping to bring clarity to the direction needed to get there.
I make better decisions – My peers help me think through the issues, challenging my questions, questioning my assumptions, and helping me get to the best decision for each issue. I can always count on someone in my group having been through a similar challenge which has helped me avoid mistakes that they have made in the past. I get to learn from their experience, thereby making better decisions for our company.
Community, Collaboration and Connections – Many times, it is lonely at the top. Being the leader of an organization has a tendency to isolate us from meaningful relationships. Being part of a peer group help me to feel understood and valued. I am able to give to the other members as well as receive. We have built true, lasting friendships where we really care about each other’s success.
Peer Accountability – As the owners of small businesses, we usually lack anyone to hold us accountable to doing the things that were key to the success of the business. My peer group has been instrumental in making sure that I take meaningful action and follow through on the commitments I make.
Build a Better Business, and a Better Life – My peer group has helped me to focus on what is truly important and delegate everything that I can to others on my team. I have kept only the things that only I can do, and delegated everything else. This has created margin in my life so that I am only working on the business 10 to 20 hours per week. I now have plenty of time for family and ministry while continuing to run a successful business.
History tells us that plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. When we gather in Peer Mastermind Groups and share the wisdom of the many, amazing transformation happens. When we add the common focus of ContinuoUs Improvement to the group, where all members are working on solving a common challenge, the competitive nature drives incredible creativity among the members, which leads to innovative solutions and significant increases in productivity.
If you are ready to take your HVAC Duct Manufacturing company to the next level, join a Peer Mastermind Group today. You will be glad you did!