Our son Gideon joined a paid mastermind group when he was 17 years old.
He joined Aaron Walker’s group Iron Sharpens Iron by View from the Top. The purpose of the mastermind groups that Aaron puts together is to foster a community of men (Gideon was clearly the youngest in his group of younger men) who could keep each other accountable and excel in their business, personal and spiritual lives.
Within just a few months, I noticed the value of Gideon’s mastermind group. Gideon was able to accelerate his day-to-day goal-setting and increase his decision-making significantly. The choices he made gradually became more strategic and the conversations about the plans for his future more fluid and balanced.
I was sold on the concept of the mastermind group applied into the life of a teenager!
What is a Mastermind Group?
A mastermind is a group of peers who meet to give each other advice and support. It’s a place to both give and receive advice, and often involves a “hot seat” where a member is given the opportunity to take the floor and get valuable feedback.
How does a Mastermind Group fill in the gaps for a teen who is motivated to take charge of his future after high school?
Chris Render and I joined in an online conversation about how masterminds could be a powerful tool in an older teenager’s life.
Chris has 20 years of both public and private school experience advising parents and teens for life after high school.
You can find his website at: InitiatingImpact.com.
Chris had stepped up his own game as a father, husband, and career man by participating in several masterminds over the last few years. His current Mastermind group for the past two years has been an invaluable source of strength and clarity to accomplishing his own goals.
It wasn’t until he looked at the aspirations of his own older teenage daughter that he realized she would have had a much stronger boost and acceleration of confidence had she been able to participate in a teen equivalent of the adult mastermind.
His daughter, with the support of her parents, was indeed highly motivated but found it difficult to find that peer support in her immediate environment. This lack of a support venue for his daughter was the catalysis for exploring the application of the mastermind concept to the context of the motivated teenager.
As Chris shares in this conversation, a mastermind group operates with a group of no more than ten people who meet online on a weekly basis. The men he meets with support each other, keep each other accountable and help come up with ingenious and insightful answers to their problems.
A mastermind group recognizes that career and business goals are just a part of the larger success package. An ideal mastermind group will also take into account the other goals in one’s life. Accountability, goal-setting for work, and personal and family goals should all come together.
He attributes much of his current personal growth to his participation in the network masterminds groups led by Aaron Walker of ViewFromTheTop.com.
The end result of participating in a mastermind is a Greenhouse Effect. So much growth happens when you let others speak into your life.
The people in that group are typically on different playing fields. This means lots of insights and angles work together for maximum wise advice.
Members have answers and resources for each other.
When you have a group of highly motivated, like-minded people together in a group, everyone in that group grows. There’s a shared attitude of: “If you win, I win.”
How can a mastermind specifically benefit teens?
- Teens have peers giving each other genuine advice who are also in the thick of this transition time.
- They know the teen world the best and some have already encountered the obstacles your teen is soon to experience.
- They learn to communicate with others outside of a school, co-op, work environment, etc.
- Teens can grow and figure out their identity in the context of other highly motivated teens.
- They connect with others from across the country who share their high-achieving goals.
- Teens who struggle with finding local relationships and friendships who are as strong as they are can find much stronger friendship ties in a mastermind
- The most inspired teen can feel beat down if they’re only around family and friends who don’t “get them” and unintentionally discourage their efforts. A mastermind group fuels their enthusiasm and keeps them going.
- Parents can be more relaxed about coming out of the nurturing role so that teens can take more control of their own future.
- While the local peers of the teen have created excuses for not trying to be successful, a teen mastermind group will show all the reasons that could get them to accomplish their goals, with reasonable, bite-size chunks.
How do Teen Mastermind Groups Meet?
It all depends on the group, but typically it’s online, on a weekly basis, making it very accessible. Occasionally they may also want to meet once or twice in person during the calendar year.
How does a Mastermind Group Set an Agenda?
A mastermind’s agenda can be set up however they’d like to.
The main idea is that a group of minds come together so that the whole counsel emanating from the group is greater than the sum of the individual pieces of advice.
The group of advisors that makes up the mastermind group doesn’t create a list of things to do for your teen nor does it set the goals for your teen.
The teen brings his goals and plans to share with the group and solicit honest feedback.
The mastermind group expects regular progress reports from one another:
Not wanting to have to say “I told my group I would be doing this next week and I didn’t do it” is often motivation enough for your teen to step up to his own commitments.
There’s so much more to be gained by a group vs solo.
The group asks the right questions (“why?”) to get the person in the hot seat to respond to their goals and aspirations with realistic and do-able next steps.
Each week gives one person has an opportunity to be in the “hot seat”. Often the person in the hot seat has a big ‘aha!’ by the time they are discussing it with the mastermind group.
That person presents an issue, by verbalizing it gets more clarity, and they get more to the core of what their project is about.
Would you like your older teen to participate in a mastermind group?
Chris Render would like to offer your teen the opportunity of a Mentormind group hosted through his InitiatingImpact.com service.
The Mentormind is an adapted form of the mastermind group specifically tailored for high-school-aged students.
This is how the Mentormind group runs in practice:
Each Initiating Impact Mentormind Group is intentionally small, consisting of no more than 12 students, to foster a real sense of community & accountability.
Your senior can apply to be part of a College focused OR to be part of a Career/Entrepreneur focused group.
The group meets for one hour each week (usually 4 times each month) via Zoom & stay connected throughout the week via Discourse or a dedicated Slack channel.
Each session is broken into 3 sections:
* Teaching based on the monthly theme/applications
* Personal updates & accountability check-in based on monthly applications
* Student ‘Hot Seat’ – weekly rotation where students are able to present challenges, questions, goals, & achievements and allow the group to provide support, encouragement, insight, & honest growth-oriented feedback
Each month also offers mentorship & discussion with a successful entrepreneur, business, education or church leader based on the monthly theme & applications.