I’m in the middle of a closely guarded facility where access is granted to only a select few. I’m surrounded by advanced technology that looks like it’s from some big budget science fiction film.
The feeling of innovation is palpable; even without knowing much, I know the future is being built here. My guide enthusiastically shouts, “Ok robots – Go!” In unison, four, half million dollar robots begin to work together to build the fastest machine I’ve ever had the pleasure of driving.
Recently, I had the privilege of attending the MastermindTalks Retreat with 99 other driven entrepreneurs in California. As part of the conference, we gained access to two amazing companies, Tesla Motors where I was blown away by the above experience, as well as Pixar Animation Studios. MastermindTalks is a community for ambitious entrepreneurs created by Jayson Gaignard in 2013. Through dinners, social media and retreats, MastermindTalks is designed to be a safe place for entrepreneurs and people alike to explore, learn and share.
Why do I leave the comforts of home and my business for a week to travel across the continent to hang out with people I barely know? I do it because I believe that exposing myself to diverse people, thoughts and businesses is vital to my ability to lead and grow my team.
Check out this quote from legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden. “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” I interpret this quote to mean, be careful with whom you hang out with because they play a large role in determining where you’ll end up.
Another reason I believe that it’s important for everyone to get away and to experience something different is because it takes us out of the forest and allows us to truly see the trees. Regularly meeting up with other inspired individuals is important because we’re able to learn best practices and to share our own. Each time I venture out, I come back with tons of nuggets I’ve learned that will help me to become a better leader who is able to help develop my team. For instance, I had no idea that Pixar hires PhD mathematicians to aid them in creating animations that are so close to real life, it’s almost scary. PhD mathematicians at an animation studio? I would have never guessed but the concept of hiring people with far reaching expertise to help them achieve their goals resonated with me. Our goal at Roma Moulding is to create the best and happiest company in the world. My experience at Pixar and Tesla further enforced the concept that unconventional methods truly do produce unconventional results.
The MastermindTalks events work so well because they are a great support structure. I believe that many times entrepreneurs are misunderstood. We’re often labeled as too challenging or even crazy for looking at the world the way we do. When in the company of my fellow Masterminders, I feel somewhat normal, as I’m definitely not the craziest person in the room. As thought leaders, we need a space to be ourselves and to learn from diverse, yet like-minded people.
I realize that not everyone will attend a MastermindTalks event. Gaignard does an outstanding job of curating a sensational group of speakers and an equally amazing job of selecting a limited group of attendees. Over 7,000 people would like to attend but only 100 are invited. Why does he do this? These MastermindTalks events are all about having the right people to collide with. Gaignard needs to ensure that those who show up are successful and willing to share their best practices as well as their failures.
Even though I loved my time in beautiful California, an exotic location is not required if your goal is to simply surround yourself with diverse thought leaders and to learn through sharing. Here’s what I propose – create your own mastermind group! I promise that the outcome will be epic! I recommend the following:
Be creative and look to public spaces such as libraries or parks to host your mastermind. You’ll get the added bonus of being within a creative space that nurtures conversation for free!
Does this sound interesting? Great! I’d love to get the ball rolling and mastermind with some of the great people in my network, so how about this:
I will host a two-hour mastermind session for leaders and entrepreneurs that want to learn how culture can be your biggest competitive advantage on May 28 at our newly renovated Roma Headquarters, just north of Toronto. I’m going to limit the space to ten people. If interested, please send an email to my Executive Assistant and Time Ninja Camilla Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) with Culture Mastermind Event in the subject line!
Let’s give this a shot – I promise that it will be a worthwhile experience and that you’ll walk away with new techniques that will make an immediate impact in your business and leadership style.
Thank you. I’m looking forward to it and I hope that you are to!