In Part I, we established the importance and extensive utility of being a member of a trading community such as a mastermind group. There are many reasons why they are so helpful and supportive to your trading success. Let’s review some of those reasons.
A mastermind group helps to foster a common sense of direction, objectives and aims; and with all of the ways that trading can deter your focus adding to confusion it is reassuring to have individuals that understand your consternation and support you in regaining your bearings. Also, a trading community can support you in being accountable and forging a greater commitment to trade planning and following through with rules through team spirit and emotional bonding. Additionally, these communities encourage personal connections that induce a richer, more involved sense of camaraderie through fellowship while sharing common attitudes, interests and goals. Community can create cooperation and reliable interdependence forming the building blocks for synergy that promote both personal and collective growth.
Mastermind group members act as catalysts for growth through acting as devil’s advocates and supportive colleagues. In a mastermind group, the agenda belongs to the group and each person’s participation and commitment is key. Your mastermind partners give you feedback, help you brainstorm new possibilities and set up accountability structures that keep you focused and on track. You create a community of supportive colleagues who brainstorm together to move the members to new heights. These are just some of the myriad benefits that members contribute with regard to skill development, increased performance and A-Game sustainability.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the conceptual aspects that play an important role in supporting an effective trading community or mastermind group. Here are five core requirements: Ability, Commitment, Contribution, Continuity, and Partnership.
Ability: This is a core structure because there needs to be a level of expertise in the community. Contrary to what you may think, it does not mean that there must be an expert guiding the group. Actually, this equates to the power of the collective that places a focus on all members’ skills so that those strong in one area can complement those who aren’t and vice versa. Learning must also be encouraged as communal undertaking. Everyone’s improvement is everybody’s business. Interdependence (the mutual reliance upon one another) is very important. Members must care about one another and care about going as far as they can, with all that each one and therefore the group has to offer. This is done through constant and consistent communication and substantive dialogue with ample opportunities for open and honest feedback.
Commitment: It’s implausible, if not impossible, to engage in substantive communication towards a shared vision of continual improvement without a commitment to the process and the community. Additionally, the team builds when people are an active part of the experience of creating something they value together. This is done through exploring issues proactively with an objective of inspiring positive feedback which further links and empowers the group.
Contribution: It goes without saying that participation from each member of the community is paramount and that all members must be willing to contribute. Participation and contribution of time, effort, leadership, skills, intellectual and emotional honesty, and enthusiasm are all critical to the success of the mastermind group. Additionally, guidelines that support standards of involvement are helpful to ensure that everyone pulls their load.
Continuity: Continuity ensures the survival of the Learning community. This happens through documenting and memorializing the substantive conversations that take place in the group. The institutional memory must be carried person-to-person and written down. Carrying on the details of meetings helps new members get up-to-speed quickly as they understand their responsibilities in the community system and safeguard sustainability.
Partnership: Finally, team members must work together in interdependent ways which makes for effective collaboration and partnership. In this way, the collaborative efforts are meaningful, purposeful, relevant and substantive. Effective collaboration means that there is a sense of interpersonal reliability…you can count on me and I can count on you. It is achieved through common goals, genuine relationship, a shared vision and a belief in the common cause that formed the initial impetus for the community’s coming together.
Napoleon Hill wrote about mastermind groups and he called these communities a “mastermind alliance.” He described the mastermind group principle as: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony… No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind].”1 Even Benjamin Franklin belonged to such a group, which he called a Junto.2
Mastermind groups and learning communities do have a soft underbelly that can be problematic. You’ll want to be cautious with issues like inter-group conflict that can lessen trust and rapport unless there are systems in place to address disagreements. If members can’t, as Rodney King asked, get along and incorporate ways to bring the parties together for dialogue and a proactive intervention, the group will not be effective in providing support. It is important to confront any and all inter-group turmoil as it can become a wedge and eventually destroy the group if left to fester.
So, consider becoming part of a mastermind group as the benefits to you and your A-Game are priceless. Trading is simple but due to the onslaught of issues that can rise and assault your mental game it is not easy; and trading is primarily mental. It is imperative to get an edge from powerful and productive resources like t communities and mastermind groups to ensure that you are trading from your highest and best efforts and in your highest and best interests. This is what we teach in “Mastering the Mental Game” online and on-location courses. Ask your Online Trading Academy representative about this. Be sure to ask them about how you can join the path that leads to our Mastermind Community. Also, get my book, From Pain to Profit: Secrets of the Peak Performance Trader.
Dr. Woody Johnson – firstname.lastname@example.org
1. “Think And Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill