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Lazy Masterminding

I have a sad story to tell…

I was speaking with a colleague, Sharon, who belongs to a mastermind group. She recently did a joint venture with a guru, Jim, who works with architects, where she pitched her 4-week course. It was a smash hit and she sold $40,000 worth of course enrollments to Jim’s audience.

Fast forward to this week, when she tells her mastermind group about her success. What do they suggest? That she completely abandon her previous business and marketing model, and focus solely on the architect target audience because she had such a great success with them.

Lazy masterminding!

Her mastermind group didn’t think, didn’t analyze. They went with a knee-jerk reaction, and the others in the group didn’t pull back the reins and say Whoa!

Here’s why their suggestion might be a bad decision: it’s called the Fallacy of the Small Sample Size. She had ONE success, with ONE very warmed-up audience who trusted Jim, their mentor. Anything he suggested to them was to be trusted. So when Jim recommended Sharon’s course, naturally his audience responded.

But you can NOT extrapolate that one success into a guaranteed future of successes with a cold audience. The sample size was too small to be significant and predictive. And the type of audience (warm versus cold) can change the calculations significantly.

When one of your own group members makes an across-the-board recommendation, ALL your members must evaluate that suggestion to see if it’s valid. They shouldn’t just jump on board and agree. It’s EASY to agree, and it’s EASY to assume, but it’s LAZY and not helpful to the person in the Hot Seat.

Take the time to analyze and think through suggestions, weighing the pros and cons together as a group, so that each member can make a better decision.


6 thoughts on “Lazy Masterminding”

  1. John Orian says:

    Excellent points Karyn, about sample size, and also about mastermind peers taking time to think through suggestions.

    One of the ways I’m asking members to play ‘Devil’s Advocate’ is to challenge any assertion made if they don’t understand the basis of that assertion, or if they derive a different conclusion from the same set of facts.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

    1. Karyn Greenstreet says:

      I like your approach, John…ask them to question assumptions and conclusions to make sure they have a sound foundation and are well-reasoned.

  2. Benay says:

    Thank you for the distinction Karyn. It would be too easy to think that the universe is sending Sharon a message to run with the new idea. What did she decide to do as her next step?

    1. Karyn Greenstreet says:

      She’s going to do more market research and test the theory to see if it’s a viable strategy. But she’s not going to sink everything into focusing on this one target audience until she’s sure.

  3. Jim Hogan says:

    Karyn, Great example, and glad that you continue to help us focus our talents and collaborative efforts to get results. I would describe this situation as not just lazy, but a leadership failure. It is the facilitator’s job to identify complacency or groupthink and help adjust the efforts of the members. But you already know that…again thanks!

    1. Karyn Greenstreet says:

      I agree completely, Jim. As the Facilitator, you have to keep your eyes and ears open at all time.

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