Let me start by saying that I love Kenya and I am a proud Kenyan; Kenya is an awesome country endowed with a beautiful topography, rich wildlife , a diverse culture and the most beautiful fun-loving human beings ; well most times – once every five years we act up but that is a story for another day . Whether we are facing the worst state of affairs or experiencing our finest triumphs we still find a way to make fun out of it ; we are one of the most united countries when we are facing a common enemy but once we are done we go back to our tribal , class and gender cocoons to make each other’s lives difficult. But the most outstanding characteristic is how we never miss to make everything a learning opportunity.
From the Death of Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore , May his soul Rest In eternal peace , we learned about the boys club . From the boys’ club we learnt that friendship is intentional and it is an investment. Recently a new friend of mine told me in my mother’s French that ‘ndugu ni kurimirwo’ which means that every friendship has to be cultivated and nurtured. This means that friends have to chose to show up regardless of the different things happening in their lives. I always say that nobody is ever too busy – I mean even on your busiest day you will still find time to check up on the people you love without a second thought. We also learn from the boys’ club about the importance of having like-minded friends in the sense of where your life is going; friends who foster progress for each other without feeling the need to compete. The boys club has a purpose; they endeavor to change the world in their own different ways but also find a way to bring their efforts together to bring about more meaningful change. Lastly fun, laughter and letting lose; you need that group of people with whom you can let your hair down, laugh and just simply have a good time.
As we celebrate Eliud Kipchoge’s historic win at the #INEOS159challenge which once again showed us that no human is limited, we are introduced to a moderately new term; the pacesetters. I love how the newspaper articles put it “the pacesetters that propelled the world’s fastest marathoner to victory”: in other words, Kipchoge was powered to victory by a team of 41 pacesetters who are all seasoned athletes. The pacesetters were needed to ensure he maintained his tempo throughout. They also protected him from the wind in a V-shape Formation to protect him from the wind. No one left this formation at any particular point.
One very important thing to note is that all the 41 pacesetters are the best of the best in their respective fields but on Saturday they selflessly showed up to give their best; time, expertise and knowledge to ensure their colleague finished the race successfully. His win was their win.
So far, from the two examples of the boys’ club and the Eliud Kipchoge pacesetters we learn that we need to surround ourselves with like-minded individuals who propel us to success and vise versa. But does that mean we need to now ditch our current friends to look for the best of the best to run with? I don’t think so. All it means is we now need to be more intentional about the people in our lives; how they contribute to our lives as well as what we contribute to their lives; which brings me to the concept of a mastermind group.
The concept of the mastermind group was introduced by Napoleon Hill in the book “Think and Grow Rich” where he defines a mastermind as “the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony”
A mastermind group which can also be called a peer advisory board is characterized by synergy of dynamism, commitment and resolve. Your peers provide feedback, help you brainstorm on new thoughts and potentials as well as aid you in setting up accountability structures that keep you focused and on track. Simply put its an intentional group of supportive peers who help each other move to new heights in career, business and personal life.
Most mastermind groups will provide a platform for devising pioneering initiatives and results because it will tap into the experience and skills of your mastermind Partners. It is also an avenue to provide answerability and factual improvement in your business and personal life. Another benefit is the sense of a shared endeavor – there are others out there. A mastermind also provides a rich network of reliable partners in case one may need assistance and it provides the increased confidence that you are making the right decision thus promoting a positive mental attitude.
A mastermind should ideally be made up of people with similar interests i.e. business , career or industry ,it should also be made up of people with similar skills or experience level as it is a peer to peer design , the members need to share an inherent desire and inspiration to bring about extraordinary change , have the intention of being supportive of their partners and are willing to commit to change their ways of thinking , doing things in order to grow.
Look out for part two of this conversation where we talk about how to fashion your own mastermind and how it generally works. In the meantime, work hard to ensure you are giving your best to your current boys group or girls group as you also get the best from them.