How One Company is Staying Safe While Staying Connected

by Virginia Knudsen

Masterminding is not a new concept. Over 75 years ago Napoleon Hill described Mastermind Groups in his best-selling book, “Think and Grow Rich” as:

“Mastermind is the principle through which you may borrow and use the education, the experience, the influence and perhaps the capital of other people in carrying out your own plans in life. It is the principle through which you can accomplish in one year more than you could accomplish without it in a lifetime if you depended entirely on your own efforts for success.”

One of the most famous mastermind groups of the last century consisted of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs. These famous men came together to share ideas and used their collective experience to solve problems within their companies and personal lives while improving their leadership skills and creating unparalleled results.

As CEO of BOAR, a personal and professional development company founded on many of the principles of Mr. Hill’s book, we provide a variety of mastermind groups designed to help CEOs, business owners and executives be the best leaders they can be. Our BOAR Rooms are a safe place for them to come together and focus on their specific challenges and opportunities.

Masterminding in the midst of a pandemic provides its own set of challenges and our members feel there is never a more important time to surround themselves with greatness than in the midst of a crisis.

Having their own tribe of highly successful, educated and experienced business professionals to rely on not only alleviates the feeling of isolation but also has helped them adapt and pivot during these unprecedented times.

How do Mastermind Groups Operate During a Pandemic?

Having 16 to18 business executives meet in a boardroom during a pandemic is not ideal nor would it be considered safe. Therefore, we quickly adapted to current health guidelines and provided other avenues for members to come together and support each other. Our strategies can apply to any size mastermind group that wants to overcome the tidal wave of changes and unforeseen issues they may be facing.

Immediately following the mandated closure of Las Vegas, we implemented a variety of initiatives to help our Mastermind groups connect and stay on top of current events. A few of these initiatives include:

• Implementation of weekly Zoom calls (in addition to their monthly meeting) for members to discuss immediate concerns, issues and opportunities.
• Provide up-to-date coverage on local mandates, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) rules and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) requirements.
• Research and provide articles to support members in navigating through tough issues, like work from home policies and procedures.
• A revision of our meeting and speaker schedule to include relevant topics that provide tools and techniques geared to help members adapt and look for opportunities within the crisis.

Once safe to do so, we introduced a hybrid meeting model where, depending on comfort level, members could choose to meet in person (with social distancing protocols) or Zoom into the meetings. The unintended benefit of this option was that members who were previously unable to attend in person now could choose to Zoom in for all or parts of the meeting as opposed to skipping it all together.
We have found a variety of methods, using technology, that help maintain a mastermind environment; albeit, everyone in their own bubble.

Our technology platform of choice is Zoom.us and we utilize many of their functions including:
• Screen Sharing
• Hand Raising
• Breakout Rooms
• Whiteboards
• Polling
• Chat

These functions allow members to remain engaged and focused in a safe and secure environment.

We use the Meeting OWL, a smart video conferencing camera that captures 360° video and audio for a near face-to-face experience. Paired with a Jabra Speak 710 MS Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, we are able to provide members with the ability to join the meeting virtually, and still feel like they are physically in the room. The Meeting OWL also records sessions, which can be uploaded to your secure member site, allowing members the ability to review speaker sessions and exercises at their leisure. We have found these cost-effective enhancements have added tremendous value to our member’s experience.

What are the possibilities for you and your business when you begin to Mastermind with other CEOs, executives and business owners who have started, built and sold multi-million-dollar companies? They are unlimited and there is no better time than now to join a group like that, which we have available at BOAR, or start your own. Either way you win!

Virginia Knudsen is the CEO of BOAR Courageous Community. boarcommunity.com

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