Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mastermind Conference

Yesterday I attended the First Mastermind Conference in Israel, held at the 09 Conference Center in Kfar Sava. About 70 people attended.

This conference was organized by Ronnie Dunetz, who has created the DunetzMastermind system, and his team of Mastermind group leaders, known as the Masters of Mastermind.

Masterminds are groups of business professionals who meet to help and support each other. The idea originated in Napoleon Hill's book Think and Grow Rich, first published in 1937. Hill researched the secret of the success of many business leaders, and discovered that they all participated in groups of peers who consulted each other regularly.

I have been attending one of the Mastermind groups for several months. We meet about once a month, and one or two members share a business or management issue they are facing, then the others make suggestions. It is more than brainstorming, since personal and emotional factors are taken into account. The meeting also includes other positive exercises, and the atmosphere can be really supportive and encouraging. The members come from many different types of business, and are at different stages in their careers and personal development.

The conference started with a presentation by Ronnie Dunetz, describing the system for audience members new to the subject. He led an exercise in pairs, which showed the power of working together. Then the seven group leaders presented themselves.

Then, the participants split into groups of 6-10, and each group held a sample Mastermind sharing exercise. I had been asked to present an issue for discussion, and I was pleased with the feedback and support I received.

After a break, we heard a lecture on Positive Psychology by Prof. Oren Kaplan. I have heard him lecture before, at a BNI event. Among the insights I gained from this lecture: Happy people have at least 3 times more positive than negative thoughts; variety is not necessarily a good thing; when you decide to do something, willpower is not enough, and it is better to turn it into a habit, for example, by scheduling time for it every day or every week. Finally, people cannot improve from their weakness, they can only do this by concentrating on the successes in their lives.

The conference was well-organized, with everything starting on time, and all the stages thoroughly prepared and designed to showcase the power of Mastermind. The atmosphere was positive, and I had the satisfying experience of both learning a few new things and reinforcing much I already knew.

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