By Jay Mazurowski, CRA, FAHRA
November 2010–“Peter’s Principles on Personal Development” is a four part series that parallels a young boy’s journey to the Broadway stage with the same personal development skills employed by millions of successful business leaders.
“Thanks so much to Mom, Dad, Dana, Uncle Chris, all my family and friends at home, my teachers, and my dance school team! I could never have done this without each and every one of you!” So reads the Broadway Playbill profile of my son, Peter. Here, he makes evident his understanding and appreciation of the significance of receiving input, training, and encouragement from a broad spectrum of people with differing perspectives. This special team, or what might be referred to as his “mastermind group,” was integral to his personal growth and development as a dancer and performer, and served to lead him closer to his vision to perform on Broadway.
Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, first defined the mastermind as a “coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” He suggests that a mastermind group allows you to tap into the knowledge, skills, and abilities of others.
Do you have access to such a mastermind group interested in meeting with you regularly to help you achieve your goals or move you closer toward your vision? A novel concept perhaps, but for many, such groups actually do exist. It may be our management team, board of directors, rotary club, or social network.
There are two basic types of mastermind groups: One that is focused on the success and vision of one individual, and another that is focused on helping everyone in the group. In the spirit of personal development, we will focus on the former.
In simple terms, a mastermind group can be thought of as a team of consultants. Like any good team, it should consist of members who have different perspectives and talents. These differences are useful when it comes to both problem solving and learning. The benefits of surrounding yourself with such a team are obvious:
- You have access to a group of people interested in your success
- You get the benefit of differing perspectives, input, and feedback
- Your team may offer resources and connections you might not have had on your own
- You receive inspiration from the group, thus enabling you to maintain focus in achieving your goals
At his dance school, Peter had access to instructors knowledgeable in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical, and acrobatic dance techniques. But he also pursued master classes and dance intensives outside of his school, which offered new and different styles and influences. Fellow dancers, particularly those older and more experienced, also served as mentors and coaches along the way. Peter soon became a competitive dancer where he began to receive constructive feedback from impartial panels of judges.
As Peter set his sights on Broadway, he realized that strong dance skills would not be enough to achieve the level of success he envisioned for himself. He had heard the term “triple threat,” which, within the context of a Broadway performer, means having the ability to sing, dance, and act. At this point, he realized he needed to expand his mastermind group to include training in these two additional disciplines. He began to participate in local theater groups to hone his acting skills and soon found a vocal coach expert in musical theater.
According to Napoleon Hill, there is a mystical quality created when a mastermind group is formed: “No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind.” It is that third mind that often raises the questions you didn’t know you needed to ask; illuminating and solving problems or overcoming challenges you didn’t know you were facing. In this way, the mastermind group fills your knowledge gaps and compensates in areas where your experience or knowledge may be lacking or modest.
You can create your own mastermind group by reaching out to those who share your interests; people in your network or within the AHRA membership. AHRA is an invaluable and inexhaustible source of diverse knowledge and expertise. When I served on the AHRA Board of Directors, I felt I had access to some of the best minds in the radiology industry. My service to the board served to enhance not only my professional career, but my personal life as well.
You’ll be surprised at how willing people are to help when asked, since most people feel it’s an honor to be asked for advice or an opinion. However you create a mastermind support system for yourself, you should consider it an essential part of your success plan.
Jay P. Mazurowski, MS, CRA, FAHRA is director of radiology at Concord Hospital in Concord, NH. Jay is the recipient of the 2009 AHRA Gold Award, as well as a past president of the AHRA Board of Directors and a contributor to both Link and Radiology Management. He can be reached at email@example.com.