June 3, 2024

The Transformative Power of a Mastermind

In this episode, I'm thrilled to chat with Steven Writer-Maguire and Wei Wang about the magic of mastermind groups and the incredible growth they foster. 

We dive into shared challenges, the power of vulnerability, and how these groups create a safe, non-judgmental space for leaders to evolve. From their personal journeys of navigating leadership during the COVID lockdown to the transformative feedback loops in mastermind sessions, Steven and Wei share insightful stories you won't want to miss. Plus, we explore the often-overlooked skills in leadership—like storytelling and relationship building—that truly make a difference. 


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Big shout out to my podcast magician, Marc at iRonickMedia for making this real.

Thanks for listening!


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It comes back to the commonality we talked about. I think there's seniority, the maturity level that we have from mastermind, something was triggers, and then my energy level was boosted and picked it up. And then what supporting others turns around to be a my personal reflection that was helpful and valuable for me that I did not plan or expect for the session starts. So I think there'll be energy and mindset is often the two things that kind of come into play, which always sound a bit abstract. But I keep using the word magic, that there is something magical about the mastermind, that somehow very quickly something something is bias and spot that I will walk away with a tremendous amount of love.

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When you go for support, when you're faced with decisions that aren't obvious or clear, or maybe lack data, how do you ensure that you're on the right track in this is a real common challenge for people in leadership positions. And if you've got a supportive team, which I expect many of you have, there are decisions you're going to have to make that you're going to have to do on your own that you just wouldn't be appropriate to share or bring your team in on those decisions. And that brings us to the topic today mastermind programs. Hello, and welcome to unset at work I'm your host Katherine Stagg Macy. I'm an executive and team coach interested in the conversations that we don't have at work. So what the heck's a mastermind, mastermind groups come in many shapes and sizes, but at their core, they provide a safe space a facilitated space where you get to meet with your peers and share experiences and can support and feel seen and heard and perhaps one of the loneliest roles in the business world, there are mastermind groups for any grouping of people that you might think in the leadership position founders, salespeople, entrepreneurs, local business owners, I have been in two different mastermind forms in the last three years. One was a large group for entrepreneurs like myself that have set entrepreneurs. And there were like, 50 of us in the group, it was a nine month program. And then more recently, I've been in three iterations of a much smaller group, which is 12 of us, okay, three or four weeks of support. So I have some real positive experience of this, which is one of the reasons why I decided to start what about 18 months ago, so now in the second year of running to mastermind groups, when that means in the morning when it's in the afternoon, and then we'll meet monthly. And to give you a better understanding of what this is about, you know, the shape and the form I've invited to folk who aren't part of that group and have been since the pilots back in November 18 months ago. This is gonna join us today. For this episode, let's talk about what is mastermind and what value there is in pure sport. So my two guests are Stephen and Wei and Steven is the Tyent chief client officer at Clara's us which is a London based consultancy, and he brings over 25 years of experience and strategy and people centric Chang, Wei Wang, you've heard him before in the podcast, we were talking about artificial intelligence several episodes ago. He's part of a leading a commercial operations team and a medical device company was a real tech enthusiast and loves digital transformation. And in this episode, we talk about how they've experienced mastermind as an incubator for personal growth, their own individual stories of how their leadership style has changed and adapted.

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And the time that we've been working together, the value of having an environment where you get to share your challenges through the potty coaching format, where you sort of brainstorm solutions, and success to seems to belong to everyone at the end, real relief of being part of a discussing challenges and in the sort of safe and non judgmental space.

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And the value they found the diversity of the group. They're all senior leaders, but the companies they represent are very different both in size in the sector. Some are commercial, and some are nonprofit. So real diversity and lenses and perspectives that everyone brings. So with that set up, let's go listen into Steven and weigh my conversation. Way and Steven, thank you for joining me on the podcast. Today we're going to dive into your experiences as a leader and also experience with the mastermind.

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But let's start by getting to know each of you a little better this year about who you are and what you do. And what do you love the small questions

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straight off the bat. Thank you for having us. Katherine, delighted to be here. I'm Steven. I'm currently chief client officer at a consulting firm called Claris. We specialize in customer and employee experience and all of the wonderful digital service design and operating model type change work that comes off the back of that I've been in consulting now for Geez almost 25 years. So other than flipping burgers at uni, I've never had a real job. I absolutely love it. I've worked I started out at Andersen consulting as it was it shows how old I am mainly in financial services sort of strategy, strategy and operations type work. Since then, I've built my career doing a range of thinks actually across multiple sectors, public and private, but all anchoring around strategy and people centric change, culture, change, work, that type of thing. That's what gets me jumping out of bed every day.

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Other than my four year old twin boys stroke. Labradors are actually children, not dogs, but they do behave like dogs.

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You say that you love what you do? What is it about that you love? Well,

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as consultants in the type of work we do, I have the luxury of privilege of peering into lots of different organizations and seeing what makes them tick the structural aspects which are interesting, but the unsaid aspects around culture that the stories that carry through the business, sort of what it's like to be there, what success looks like. And that's interesting, because the solutions or services we develop, are completely unique to those set of circumstances. So one model change or organization design project, for two organizations that look quite the same on the surface, what makes them work can be very, very different. And I just find that a big secret of curiosity and serendipity. And I just get to explore and dig under the covers of organizations from big multi corporates, to professional rugby clubs have done work with so the variety is just it's just phenomenal. I feel very lucky.

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a bit like coaching as well, I get to speak to a lot of different people. And in that you get that little insight into like, well, how does how does that operate?

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How does that organization really work?

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Running a consulting firm is, you know, consultants of phenomenally smart, high, highly motivated, high maintenance individuals. So keep keep us all on our toes, and the pace of technology changes, but also the pace of people's expectations and what they want out of their careers changes too. I hit on my own personal purpose statement, actually, as part of the mastermind process was to build the best for many of us, one of our workforce, corporate visions aside strategy, etc, that that's what really motivates me is to, in every decision we make, are we really creating the firm that, you know, when we're shuffling down the beach, somewhere at whatever age, we're lucky to get to feeling proud of the firm I've built is that that's, that's what I want. Love

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people listening, I'll go like, I would just love to have some sense of what the hell I'm doing. So yeah, it's a wonderful place to find that clarity of the purpose. Well, let's hear from lots of you, because you come from quite a different part of, of, of business than

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from the dark side, apparently, very into professional services. So my name is way today, I lead a commercial operations team for a medical device company. So throughout my career, I've always I've been in consumer goods, industry, healthcare, pharmaceutical medical device.

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And my background has always been in technology, so passionate about digital transformation, really taking technology through customer journeys, sales journey, and really driving that change. Like Steven I love I am a tremendously curious person, Curiosity is one of our mantra.

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And with a curiosity, I love connecting dots, I love coming into a complex environment and create simplicity. And that really getting the different teams together towards a common goal and objective. And also driving change in a scalable way. Scalability is is one of the things that is undervalued in many companies, I think, taking speed to true agility so that whatever, faster and better you do is also scalable and sustainable.

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You also live currently in Switzerland, and keep sending me beautiful pictures of skiing. And yeah, so we have we have both sides of the river consulting industry in the commercial industry are represented here. And both of you have been on a different journey to your positions and sort of senior leaders, what is in? And we've discussed this in the mastermind, what are some of the experiences that have shaped who you are? Now as in terms of how you lead?

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That's a great question. Consulting, as was supposed to, in the loss of firms, still is today attracts highly motivated people, but puts them in an environment where they have to make stuff happen. I have an analogy which I use my leadership reference around fire consultants would get promoted and be successful for either starting fires or putting them out. So making something happen, go make an impact somewhere, go and sell a big piece of work and develop something new and exciting, or be a hero in helping a client solve a problem. Or maybe one of your fellow consultants, teams that struggling so there was a very, very clear method of what success look like. That becomes consulting DNA and skills that you develop is how you get promoted. And as I've progressed in my career, and I suspect the same as in commerce as well, I mean, well sure have you they become less important. Those skills, you still might need to put out a fire as it as an experienced or senior person.

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But it becomes much more about connecting dots as you were saying wave storytelling, sharing coaching, creating a safe environment for people to to fail and help them learn. So they feel much more like campfire moments rather than starting fires or putting out fires and it's so much more reflective. It's much more about wisdom, but it's a completely different set of skills. And it requires to switch off a bunch of instincts to go and be a hero fixing or starting and allowing your teams around you to learn.

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And figuring out that balance.

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And when it's a fire starting moment, or a campfire moment is something that I I'm constantly asking myself now in different scenarios. Did

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you have a moment, Stephen, where you were that sort of metaphor came to you? And you realize that, if not the metaphor, but that sense of like, I need to be consciously pivoting my own set of skills? Yeah.

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Well, how I show up, yeah, and I'll give you huge credit for that, Catherine, it was it's coaching sessions we had and we were doing some work exploring my values. And when when a value is not being met, what my stress behavior was, because often the stress behavior might look very similar, but might be coming from a very different place, and didn't exercise around imagery and pictures of what that value would look like. And words like having an impact or making a difference was five starting using strategy skills, or deep complex problem solving was was putting out fires. But that what I was really developing was my awareness of how much it matters to me to seeing people develop creating space, a calmer sense of being or Jay was helpful, because otherwise, I would have probably ended up in hospital somewhere. But the the analogy of campfires, which is a national natural extension to that, and it served me really well, because it's in our conscious choice. It's not that one is bad or one is good. It's just being aware of which of those modes suits me in this situation best has now just become a think about it as much now I just suddenly realize, Oh, I'm gonna, I'm sitting in a meeting here and all hell's breaking loose. And I'm the one in the corner not saying anything, and that's okay.

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Yeah, this was a really strong metaphor for you to know where, which which stance you're, you're taking? Yeah. And I think that's what I see a lot in the coaching is people getting to certain places their career and then wondering why I feel so hard, because you apply your way to doing all the things that you've done successfully to get you there. But that next, what gets you to the promotion, the leadership position is not what got you here. Precisely. Yeah.

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And there's a range and that that I can hear so clearly in your, in your story of, of how to use fire, many ways of using fire Well, what's, what's some of your experiences and on the journey to becoming a leader. My

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journey definitely started, I think I come from a very strong academic background, I did a master degree, I did a PhD degree, which really gave me I think that reputation and credibility around intelligence. And I started off as a problem solver.

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Using analytical mind to solve problems, I think definitely is a typical journey of moving towards the direction of thinking more about people from the tip of the team, about the culture, about moving out of individual contributor, if you may remember, one of the things that came out from our sessions was this analogy I heard before is there's a horse carriage. So the horse is normally not driving the carriage but the driver and that driver is often our subconscious right. And I think that subconscious is something that I've learned a tremendous amounts in your sessions and mastermind as well, and really brings into into my passion for people and team around how important trust is, I think we all have this habit of running into projects only to meetings without really thinking about that driver in the in the carriage and just looking at the horse. And I like what Stephen said about pardon my French quite often in the companies do you have to get the shit done?

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That's always been the commercial objective. But the question is always in the how, right? It's think about all the team members in there in terms of the question of what's in it for me, right apart from we have to get the growth and the revenue and the profits. So those are definitely my journey is I feel like it's these hidden things that on a intellectual level, understand. But getting to the level of the emotionally and feeling level to really know what that means for me and for my team, and really gives me a different different kind of conversation with my team and my peers. I think that that's something very deep that you wouldn't know what it feels like until you actually go through with it. Yeah, I

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think if you've put words around the journey that many of us who are smart go through of being the smartest person in the room and being defined by that, and then gets to a point where it actually is not the point. We might not be the smartest person in the room anymore, or actually, that's not your role.

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And how do you step back from that identity around? I'm, I'm the smart person. I know, I know how to solve this. I can save us time by telling us the answer here. But rather leading people and bringing people along with you on that journey. Yeah, I hadn't heard you talk about that analogies way of with the course. And I think it's because as well how much we are being run by our own subconscious, which I think a lot of feeders wouldn't like to admit. I saw both of you, in very, very different reasons have to dig really deep and log down. And know, it feels feels like a long time ago. But I think it's raises the interesting point of leadership in a crisis and who do you Who are you and what do you lean on in yourself? What was that Time like for each of you, were, let's start with you and what kind of what strings were you drawing on in those moments to find your way through that?

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God, it's just painful. reminiscing.

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Sorry to bring it back. If leadership crisis, which I think is isn't very unique time, and

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I think largely we mitigated that, but because we said that we are in this together, and we're all going to play different part.

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And actually, I don't think anybody sat in the garden because we ended up doing a whole bunch of pro bono work with various charities. And that was some people came out of that saying that some of the most fulfilling, fulfilling work that I've done, but we definitely came through it as a firm feeling like we went through it together. That is important.

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Consulting market at the minute, for example, is been isn't it's not a particularly easy place to occupy. And some of those same kind of chic, unshakable belief, we'll get through it. And we're going through these things together, we're just doing it we're not even having to overtly stated that it's just no part of how we approach a crisis or challenging period. And this conversation is actually quite useful, because reflecting back on that, you see, the fingerprints of decisions we made three or four years ago, are still alive in the firm today, without necessarily realizing it.

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I think that's what I was alluding to, like, I can see the cultural fingerprints that I know where they were born, what they were born out of. And then this idea that never let a good crisis go to waste as a consultant, but but that crises have long lasting impressions good and bad. And as leaders, there's an opportunity. Yeah.

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What's interesting about that, is that it never let a crisis go to waste. We were like, Let's do this. Let's solve, how are we going to do it, and then you come out the other side, and businesses running fine. And there's nothing that we need to run around and solve. They're all a bit like.

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It's like, let's break some things.

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So we can

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sit around the campfire. I want to go put a fire out. But the adrenaline rush in consulting is a thing. And we have to manage that intentionally. And you see it, we see it now when people come off the back of a big project. And they're like, I'm only working 10 hours a day, I'm not adding enough. It's like okay, slow down.

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And actually by the campfire. If you're finding value in this discussion, and what experiences supportive mastermind group firsthand, then I want to invite you to join the waitlist. The link is in the show notes, the groups are closed group. So people that come and go through the year is usually one time a year where people come in, and that's the beginning of each year. So that means come October, November, I'll be having conversations with people about whether they would like to join in the New Year 2025 data 2025 You're having this close group structure really helps create a real sense of safety and allows the group to build trust. If you are interested to be part of this and how this is part of your support for 2025. I would love to have a conversation with you. So add your name to the waitlist, and I'll be in touch. But let's get back to our conversation with Steven and wait. Let's talk about the masterminds you've been part of my mastermind for about a year and a half. Now.

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You're in two different Iran two tracks, you eaten a different code. I know when I asked you I invited you both, and amongst with everyone else who had no idea what this is, but I'll come along anyway. Which I think is understandable. Like who knows what the hell a mastermind is until you've no someone else has been on it. It has such a broad definition. How would you describe this mastermind to people who have no mastermind experience? I don't even know what ended when you understand what that mean? What word means?

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Way? Let's hear from you.

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When we started, I didn't know what to expect. But there is this blind trust that we seem to place in you, Catherine, I think that speaks volumes of all the Rila coaching relationships that we've had, I think I came in with an open mind to say leadership is lonely journey. And having some like minded executives and leaders, we would have some topics to share and solve some problems that I can't solve myself. But I think it quick I quickly realized that first of all mastermind, the safe environment and safe space that you have created, or at least enabled and I think co created by the participants to is a space with mutual trust. And I think that's the foundation for all the other values to to prosper. I feel comfortable and safe to talk about. Some of the business problems I have some of the people challenges I've had in a space where I feel that there is never a judgement. I think participants don't really jump in to provide solutions but really helps each other to support each others open up the mind brainstorm about different possibilities. And I'm impressed by the diversity. I think there are people coming from different industries, startups, corporate consultancy different walks of life and expertise. But strangely enough without diversity there is so much commonality To think, coming from probably, you are filtering through your client base, there was your selection of people coming in with a big heart. And I remember, sometime we're joking that it shouldn't be called a mastermind, it should be called a master heart as well, which just speaks volumes for the value and the trust that is embedded mastermind.

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I'm not sure I could tell anything called a master heart to hear acknowledged what yeah, my experience of how people show up for sure. Steven, how would you describe mastermind, this mastermind to people who don't have an experience?

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Yeah, well, what a bit a bit like why there was a having worked with you and the clarity, quite extensively sort of trust in the process. So I knew whatever, whatever it looked like it would be it would be great. And it has been, continues to be, I think my reason for saying yes, to give it to give it a go. And I'm pleased I did was not to the consulting industry to service here, no, but if you were to get 10, partner ish level people in a room and talk about a set of challenges you're going through, you get some nuances, but you'd probably get a very similar set of, of ideas or, or sort of, yeah, well intended empathy. But it wouldn't be that creative or interesting, to come into a room with the CEO of a social care business, a CMO for a fashion pie meeting fashion brand, a theologian, philosopher who's who set up an apparel brand for transgender, I mean, it's like, you're just gonna get a different perspective, I think I said to you before it's go go way, way back in my days at university, my second year, in my house, I lived with an archaeologist and lawyer, I was a medic, a chemical engineer, and a tax guy. And some of the conversations remind me of, I'll come back in talking about particular thing at uni, and you just gonna get very, very different perspectives. And you get surprised by some stuff, some stuff you think, is not going to work, because they're trying to relate my problem to digging holes and digging up bones. But mastermind gives you a light hearted like minded bunch of people who share sort of similar value sets around curiosity, serendipity, let's explore new ideas, let's be welcoming and supportive. But just through very, very different lenses. And a lot of the learning as a result of that is, is seeing some of the things that you're battling with or thinking through the someone else's as well. But from a very, very different context that it's less about, I found me taking an issue and saying, Hey, give me some ideas on this. It was seeing myself reflected in others. And you end up giving advice to yourself. So I found that group dynamic, very powerful. And yeah, just the diversity of ideas and insights was, so I know what whatever the topic of conversation comes to the table, I'm gonna get surprised. And you can probably tell people listening, I'm a big fan of surprises and curiosity.

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And you get a lot of a lot of lot of book recommendations.

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I think the format that I've taken a stand for really mad is this idea of Hot Seat coaching. And you you bring your topic, you state your case, and ask what you what help you want, and that people are kind of downloading their experience the questions they might have for you. It's not a place for ego. It's not a place. Oh, Steven, let me tell you, this is this is what you need to be doing. Because I think we also get that in our we have enough of that in our life.

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For people who think they know a lot about our life and tell us what should we should be doing.

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So as I'm quite protective over that format, because I think it's unique in for you as leaders to have that space, which is it's very spacious. And then you get to ask for the kind of help that you want. Yeah,

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and the conversations do do take different turns, and it does become very organic. And for those listening, it's not so it's not unstructured that the science behind it. What I find gathers things surface naturally, are the important things to talk about. And and what you do Catherine, which is brilliant is note spotting the difference between an area that's worth digging, and what's just a rabbit hole that has been really valuable when just four or five of us going crazy off on something and knowing when you're sad, sad, just letting us go for it or whether you're going Okay, hang on this is this is taking it somewhere that might not be that helpful.

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For me, the kind of coding language as a sort of this generative, it's a generative conversation, that I have no idea where it's gonna go. But if we go in with curiosity and open heart, and really listening to each other, things come up for ourselves, things come up for each other, that becomes much richer than then we could have done on our own on a very pure problem solving mode that we might have a lot of access to at work, or you're nodding I felt the

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same way that I think I think when we started I remember Catherine I think we've gone through a journey to is that you felt more responsible for driving and leading session a little bit, I think. And then over time, I feel like there is a different balance of co creation for multiple segments and where you are facilitating, and as Steven said, is stepping in at the times to kind of guide the co creation to a certain direction rather than rabbit hole, but rather than you are driving the session, and that's why I kind of felt like part of the magic is this co creation and your facilitation, that balance. But also, I felt that part of the magic is, is a natural progression from individual coaching with you, at least for me, it feels like I wouldn't be ready for this three, four years ago, before I started session with you. And it prepared me to become, I will say, a qualified member of the mastermind, if you may, and equally for the other participants that we can co create in the way that coming off the coaching from you on individually. And it feels like a natural next step to come into this co creation group session rather than in one to one.

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I think it is a natural it I don't think it's a prerequisite. But it is a natural step. If we have done work together, yeah.

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And you can see that those relationships come come alive in the group sessions where you might have always signposting respectfully sort of bringing in topics that they'll do, you might have discuss one to one. But I've I've recommended these sessions to people who haven't known you or had any form of exec one to one coaching and who might be in the mindset of No, no, that's just gonna get too deep. And I'm just not not in the headspace that I need help with a specific thing. And actually, for those people listening who just want a different perspective, or want to experiment with something, he made me think that once when coaching is not for them, then I think they'll probably come to the end of this end of his series thinking they wish they had. But but as a as a safe taster, or way into a different type of coaching. So it's a good show, and

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a different kind of support for leadership, where you use it earlier, leadership is a lonely, it's a lonely endeavor. Yeah.

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And the network as well, that builds with the other. The other mastermind is, if that's an hour alone, I've had a few one on one sort of side conversations about a specific thing. So just from a networking point of view, I would never have met the Chief Marketing Officer for a high fashion, you know, networking.

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And in a different way. I know a lot of people have feel icky about networking, when I've run out, raise it or something that maybe somebody needs to do. Because I think it has a sense of it's not, it's not naturally a networker. It's not really who I am. This is a very organic way of building relationships with someone and understanding their world and understanding how you might be able to support them in whatever they're their challenges. I'd love to hear from each of you about some of the some of what you've personally taken away. And what's the impact venum what's changed for you as a result of showing up once a month for the mastermind thing

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has changed my some of my habits and rituals around asking for feedback. Classes is a place where we we champion giving feedback and coaching and mentoring and all great, but for those of us who are more experienced in the business, we often don't do what we say it's a very different learning space.

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And if it's a previously if I was in a round of feedback, getting or seeking, it would be off the back of a one to one with somebody, line manager or whoever. Or they'd be maybe with you, Katherine from a coaching point of view. And as I know, I need to get some specific feedback on this particular thing that I'm working on.

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Whereas what mastermind has done is create a different mindset.

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Rather, I'm just curious about this, this question or what people are observing in how my leadership style shows up in this situation? Or what do they like about what I do that they wish I did more of. So it's a more open style of asking for feedback that we when we shared it with a group was really was really powerful. And now I've actually I think, paid more attention to that read of feedback that I have when I've gone out deliberately asking for a specific feedback on a specific thing. There's something different about the mindset, you go into feedback, when you're doing it as part of mastermind, compared to a one to one coaching session.

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Well, aside from a few networking conversations that you know, you see these people once a month or two hours, and yet, we all have opinions of each other, which comes out of that feedback, right? Like we were able to see and mirror back the greatness that we see it in each other. I think there's something very powerful and you only known each other for 1020 hours. And yet these people can say things you like, can I That's true. And like wow, you see that in that limited period of time that that's that's powerful.

00:29:21.869 --> 00:29:54.750
Yeah, that's interesting, because those relationships formed quite quickly, actually, surprisingly, things he was in the second, maybe the third session one of the members was talking about, I really need to change this particular thing about how I respond to stress and we're all set to go. No, you don't. That's good. We like that. We like that fire, go for it. And she's really because everyone's telling me, okay, it's situational, or you make choices for sure. But there was a lot of quite quickly we we got some deep, deep places of saying to someone offering a different voice of something they thought they had to work on and we're going maybe now maybe you shouldn't

00:29:56.279 --> 00:29:58.079
wait, what about you? Steve

00:29:58.079 --> 00:30:17.099
was talking about how quickly the relationship for And I think I mentioned the word Trust before I feel part of the magic is that with a mutual trust I was built so quickly in the mastermind group, I remember every time I leave a mastermind session, I always feel a boost of energy.

00:30:17.700 --> 00:31:38.789
And that boost of energy comes from various sources, I think there is there is a level of feeling that there are people who share the similar challenges and at least understand the context of the topics I bring to the hot seats, and giving me the emotional support feeling coming off the mastermind. By the same time, I think there is also some very tangible ideation and exploring possibilities. There felt like whatever I bring into the hot seat and mastermind, is open up to broader scope, that my mind is opened up, rather than saying the problem is solved. I think that that's often a very important leadership learning. And the other piece, I think, I want to follow up what what Steven said about feedback, over learning both about giving feedback and receiving feedback. I think I started off learning a lot about how do you give quality feedback, what is the feedback, but also receiving feedback is something that in the hot seat sessions in mastermind that I've learned a lot as well, which really transformed my relationship with my team and my peers that I have different kinds of expectations on those interactions, whether it's a coaching session or a mentoring session, or just talking about growth opportunities. I think that has changed how I address it. And I've seen a clear improvement in the relationship within my organization. You

00:31:38.789 --> 00:32:50.579
surprised you both I wasn't expecting to your feedback is sitting with that. I mean, I know because folks like yourselves have told me that you how much of a leadership vacuum you live in, and even an organization seven like yourselves that my pride themselves and feedback, it's, I think the more senior you get, it depends very much on the skill of people giving it back to them. And how do you speak out more meetings like well, I It wasn't helpful, like in what context? And should I have and all that's your opinion. And so I think it's an unintended consequence that you get some that you've taken feedback as one of the key benefits. And feeling I'm hearing less lonely, like both of you just a sense of I am in good company from people, like have varied industry spaces, like we're all out there in the corners of the world. But we're sort of connected in this in this web of and I think what all of you do share is is way of leading like you give a shit. Like leadership has impact leadership matters, because I impact people's lives every single day about how I show up. And what am I creating weather today? That's definitely a common common ground. And then where do you feel this is a place for you to feel the support on your back for me and everyone else in the room?

00:32:50.640 --> 00:33:19.920
Yeah. And I'm always struck as well by the commonality in the the challenges of leadership as well, regardless, and we sometimes convince ourselves that our set of circumstances are completely unique. They're not. So just hearing that reminder, when somebody setting up a fashion brand on the other side of the world is still struggling with conflict with one of their business partners, or how to deal with it and when to know whether it's an issue or not. And I'm not going yep, I can see that. And it's it's the same set of learnings

00:33:20.819 --> 00:33:31.049
was doing that last week. Yeah, yeah. And then the humanity in that, like, I'm in going really good company. Really good company.

00:33:27.690 --> 00:33:32.730
Yeah. In the stream, these challenges I'm facing. Yeah.

00:33:32.730 --> 00:33:34.170
And it's quite humbling as well, right.

00:33:34.170 --> 00:34:07.500
Because lots of industries bots, speak for clarity. We're full of anxious overachievers. And you don't have to scratch too deep in someone's challenges. And it's the same set of insecurities and issues at play here. So there is having a conversation with a fellow consultant who's sharing a particular issue with you, great empathy can lean into it, we can help each other. But talking to someone the other side of the world in a completely different context, who's going through the same thing, just you just get way more insight or it just it just feels different? It has more impact.

00:34:08.400 --> 00:34:16.409
But also, I don't know whether parallel universe is a good way to describe mastermind.

00:34:11.489 --> 00:34:43.860
I always feel like starting a mastermind session, I can quickly go into a different space. But I think quite often growth and development comes from switching your mindset and we all know how hard it is when you come off a day of meeting and then switching mindset to something else is so hard but mastermind creates such an environment that I can switch over to a mindset a different mindset it within minutes, and it feels like the learning the vulnerability the sharing would all carry a different kind of value. When when my mind is different space,

00:34:44.730 --> 00:35:06.809
learn and grow when we feel relaxed and safe. We don't grow at all otherwise. I mean, my intention always was and I never told anything ever told you the Steven was that this would feel like a campfire. Just to circle back on your feet. I come in, grab a blanket, take your shoes off, put your slippers at, like whatever you want to do.

00:35:07.380 --> 00:35:27.090
Breathe, sit in circle. And now it's here in the sort of fast paced world that I know you're all asked to operate in. It just felt like such a counter revolutionary counterpoint to can we just all slow down together and breathe into the humanity of what it is to be a leader in the way we want to show up in the world. That's

00:35:27.090 --> 00:35:59.849
a great shout because the Hot Seat makes it sound quite intense. And for people thinking about, it's like, Oh, I've got to bring a thing. I've got to bring a thing and it's been quite a few sessions where one of us has gone. Now go, nothing to bring here. I'm a bit wiped out and a bit frazzled. I'm just going to sit here and listen. And then something will surface and then the conversation starts to evolve like you're you feel sat huddled in slightly in the shadows around the campfire and not part of the main action and then it then just moves and the conversation evolves. So I think it's always good to probably guilty of under preparing for some of these sessions always.

00:35:57.809 --> 00:36:12.420
I've always got more out of them when I've done a little bit more thinking beforehand, but people are time poor, right? But you can engage with mastermind in a in a in a very relaxed way that will you can just go with the flow. You don't have to doesn't have to be as big intense burst or something.

00:36:12.750 --> 00:36:17.460
And I think both of you have come away everyone has at some point and said no, I've got nothing today.

00:36:17.670 --> 00:36:23.969
You have nothing for the hotseat. I do need to rebrand hotseat because it sounds like some form of punishment. Comfy rosy lounge seat. I

00:36:23.969 --> 00:36:25.860
don't know, the red share.

00:36:30.539 --> 00:36:51.630
But I'd love you both to speak to this idea of I can show up without some issue like lives, maybe lives traveling quite okay, actually. But still take something from it. Because I think that's an unusual experience. But I know that to be true. Could you just speak to your experience of coming without a topic and kind of coming away with something valuable? Because we learn through other people? Right?

00:36:49.650 --> 00:36:51.630

00:36:51.630 --> 00:36:57.239
just a couple of hours of space? I don't think this has actually happened where I've said nothing on a call shocker.

00:36:58.019 --> 00:37:02.639
Not that you've said nothing we didn't have you didn't have your topic?

00:36:59.340 --> 00:37:02.639
Because you didn't have a topic.

00:37:02.639 --> 00:37:03.869
Yeah, yeah,

00:37:03.900 --> 00:37:44.610
that just a bit of stillness to let the conversation flow around you is deeply cathartic as a bit of a meditative type state. That's one example. Another example would be with someone was talking about a relationship with somebody. And they weren't quite sure whether it's a performance issue or whether it was a style issue or what was going on there. And you find yourself reflecting on some of your own experiences. And then you share a few stories of where that's you've experienced something similar and but what you end up doing is reminding yourself of a learning that might be buried away, that then suddenly comes to the fore, or you're actually I'm glad I remembered that because that might apply to this other situation, I'd forgotten that learning. So it kind of has a way of refreshing your archive of learnings as well.

00:37:45.000 --> 00:38:57.750
I agree. I think I think there is a definitely a feeling of camaraderie, camaraderie of supporting each other. I think I come into the session feeling comfortable that I may not have a burning topic to share. I may feel about energy below, but I know that I'm here to support the others in the mastermind too. Similar to what Stephen said, coming off the supporting each other, something always sparks and inspires in the session. And as we I think that comes back to the commonality we talked about, I think there's seniority the maturity level that we have for mastermind, something always triggers and then my energy level was boosted and picked it up and then what supporting others turns around to be a my personal reflection that was helpful and valuable for me that I did not plan or expect before the session starts. So I think the the energy and mindset is often the two things that kind of come into play, which always sound a bit abstract. But I keep using the word magic that there is something magical about the mastermind that somehow very quickly, something something inspires and sparks that I will walk away with a tremendous amount of learning.

00:38:57.780 --> 00:39:44.429
Maybe I'll rename the hotseat the magic seed way, the magic seat where the magic happens. Thank you both for sharing so generously in the experience and in kind of where you're at what you're getting from this because I even if people don't join this mastermind, that that people find other ways of supporting people like you find ways of supporting yourself like you don't have to do this leadership journey alone. There are other people like you with similar values, similar ways of wanting to have an impact on the world would be great if they come join us. But I think my message would be ready for this to find. You deserve support as a leader and it may not look in the form that you're used to. And there's lovely, there's lots of lovely ways of finding that. So thank you both for sharing your experiences. And here's to some more magic masterminds ahead of us.

00:39:44.880 --> 00:39:46.739
And thank you for the trust. Absolutely.

00:39:47.579 --> 00:39:48.420
Thank you, Katherine.

00:39:48.510 --> 00:39:55.829
Thank you both. We've run it we've just run over two o'clock steering summit the meeting somebody's bang in the meeting door at the door. Yeah, sorry about that.

00:39:56.400 --> 00:40:04.079
We're doing fine and then all of a sudden so you We'll let you go. I'll keep you posted on all of this. I see you in a few and few hours. I think

00:40:05.219 --> 00:40:06.480
you're cranky. Yeah. Okay, great.

00:40:07.230 --> 00:40:44.190
Thanks everyone. I'm grateful for Stephen wave coming on the show and sharing their experiences and I hope to take out some of the mystery of what happens behind the closed doors of a mastermind. These masterminds of mine are evolving you know, at the heart, it is all about coming together for the hotseat coaching, your turn to bring your challenge, your specific challenge and get perspectives and support. And this year, I've also brought in guest speakers, each quarter, just extra topics that I think really hit home for the group that I'm working with.

00:40:41.250 --> 00:41:07.800
And I've continued to evolve the program just to meet the needs of them so and so if it sounds like the kind of support that you want for yourself, let's talk the details are in the show notes. I'd love to talk to you if it's the whitelist and have a conversation. You're going to be surrounded by like minded people in a community of people where the attitude is about what's possible and finding fulfillment and meaning. Thanks for listening with his young woman signing off until next week.