Brain Storming

You Can’t be a Leader if You Can’t be Trusted

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As you know, I’m the owner and facilitator of High Stakes Mastermind groups. It is my responsibility to come up with thoughtful, useful and timely information that will add value to the lives and careers of the group members. As with any intellectual business, my thoughts, words and ideas are my livelihood, as they are what keep my groups running, and my clients interested in my services.

Recently, I experienced an incident that bothered me so much, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

An acquaintance asked me some questions about my groups, how they run, and how they are priced. I gave her the answers with the understanding that we were two business owners just chatting and sharing ideas.

About one month later, I found out she was doing a presentation with the information I had so willingly passed on to her. Of course, she did not credit me with the material.

I felt robbed. Although it just stops short of being intellectual theft, it was highly unethical of her not to disclose her reasons for wanting the details of my business, and where it would end up.  If she had been honest with me, and told me why she wanted the information, I would have been more than willing to share the information in a collaborative manner.

Of course, after this incident, I consider the bridges to be burned with this individual, and I’m sure she knows it too.

I can and will move on, but to me, the big question is, was it worth it to her? When she gave the presentation, she must have known that I would find out, be upset and feel cheated, and that we had eliminated any possibility of working together in the future. In our line of work, trust is so important, and your name means a lot – why would she put it all on the line to take that losing gamble?

In this case, she would have had everything to gain if she had been honest. Her presentation would have been more complete, as I would have shared the information willingly, and she would have had a new associate. Again, in this industry two heads are better than one.  Sharing and collaborating are the very cornerstone of what Masterminding is about.

I can only guess that it was a momentary lapse in judgement that prevented this individual from telling me the truth. Perhaps it was fuelled by fear – a worry that I would refuse to share the information, which would leave her in a lurch. Maybe she didn’t even think about it.

Whatever the cause, the damage has been done. The trust has been lost, and a potential working relationship extinguished before it could begin.

The takeaway? Ethics are everything – and can either unite people, or pull them apart. Although I feel as if something had been taken from me, it’s really this person that has suffered the bigger loss – she’s lost trust, respect, and has to live with the knowledge that she was less than honest.


Humming bird only teeny tiny

About Stephanie | Stephanie Angelo, SPHR, SCP

Stephanie has been a Mastermind group facilitator for various professionals of a breadth of industries, from non-profits to counselors, physicians, financial planners, and college professors, and has been a member of several groups in her career. Contact her here.

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Brain Storming

What Will You Do?

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When people are contemplating whether to join a Mastermind group they are really balancing – even justifying, how much value it is to them.

You know we all have pressures on our schedules, and determining where to spend our time is a huge consideration. We might have financial restrictions as well. I get it – there is no shortage of people trying to “sell” you something.  When it’s something you lose out from by NOT investing – that’s golden!

If you’re thinking about joining a Mastermind group, you have to look at what’s the value you’re going to get from it. This is one thing I feel very passionate and very strongly about; in the High Stakes Mastermind™ group we help people make decisions they could be grappling with, and we help them get results from their goals.  My belief is that you never stop learning. In fact, if you’re trying to start, run or maintain a business we help you get better and stronger – faster! We hold you accountable to your goals. There’s there is no substitute for voicing your thoughts and concerns out loud and talking about the steps that you have to do accomplish in order to master your ambitions.

In the High Stakes Mastermind groups were going to ask you very strategic, pointed and sometimes difficult questions.  That’s a great exercise for you because of you can’t answer those questions to us how will you answer the same questions for your clients?

When you work with us it’s the safe place to make mistakes. It’s a place to learn and a place to grow. It’s a place to feel your way around and it’s a place to find guidance.

That way when you’re in front of your clients, whether it’s a 1 on 1 meeting, a group meeting, or something you put on paper in brochures, blogs or any other type of marketing; your message will come out clearer, stronger and more articulately than it would without the power or the Mastermind behind you.

On the pragmatic side, as your Mastermind chair you benefit from my 30 years of Human Resource experience and leadership and my 16 years of being a consultant to organizations where I led them through very, very difficult situations.

In addition, I’m an ongoing student of Karyn Greenstreet’s Success Alliance. That’s where I continue to invest my own time and money so that I can bring keener skills and expertise to you. This ensures a first-rate investment of your time and money.  It’s my commitment to you – at High Stakes Mastermind™ groups we help people master their goals.


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Brain Storming

HSMmG™ – The Right Elements…Make the Best Ingredients

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#4  Dec. 16, 2015 by Stephanie Angelo, Chief Focus Officer

periodic table

Have you ever eaten at a traditional German restaurant in Germany, and then eaten at a traditional German restaurant in the U.S. and noticed the food just isn’t the same?  Or have you eaten New York Pizza in New York, and then New York style pizza somewhere else in the U.S. and your taste buds just didn’t have the same experience?  That’s because all ingredients are not created equal.  There truly is something different within the very elements that make up the individual ingredients.

The same is true of Mastermind Groups.  Whether you belong to a business mastermind group or a group that is based on a book club, a cause or anything else, how you go about your group brainstorming is dependent on the people you have in your group.  Is it a collaborative group of friends chosen somewhat at random?  Is it a number of individuals from the same workplace but in different functional areas?  Are you all from the same industry?  Is there a selective application process, like the one used in High Stakes Mastermind Groups™?

Whether you are the facilitator forming a mastermind group or someone who is thinking of joining one, give careful thought to the element of individual members.  Think to yourself what you want your end result to be.  What are your goals?  Will these people get you where you want to go?  Will you have the energy to help them achieve their goals in return?

Some tips to bear in mind:

  1. What background (personal and professional) do the potential members possess individually?
  2. Are there members of the group who can draw upon past experience to offer you something new?
  3. Are there any that seem to be talking heads that will undermine the process of everyone having a chance in the hot-seat?
  4. Are any individuals simply there for the social aspect, who prefer chatting more about personal issues than participating in a brainstorming group?
  5. Do some individuals balk at the idea of being held accountable?

If you truly are ready to be a part of something better, faster, and stronger than a networking or leads group then you will take the time to research what you’re getting yourself into.  In High Stakes Masterminds ingredient HSMmG, we believe in the strength of intimacy and trust that grows and sustains when members can rely on the consistency of the group.  Isn’t it time you had the best ingredient in your life?



Accountability Partners

HSMmG™ – The Right Ingredient: The People

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Mastermind learning

#3 Nov. 25, 2015 by Stephanie Angelo, Chief Focus Officer

HSMmG™ is The Right Ingredient but the key is that it can’t exist in a vacuum.  It needs something incredibly essential – its members.  That’s the part that makes up the whole.

The HSMmG members are quite picky about who they let in the groups.  They keep me responsible for vetting carefully.  Prospective members have to fill out an application and answer a list of questions.  They also have to write a narrative, and essay of sorts to answer this:

Why should you be chosen for this group? How is this group a means to accomplish growth in your business? How will you satisfy the requirements to commit to this Mastermind so group members can rely on you to give to each of them as much, or more, than what you receive?  Are you willing to remain in the group if your work or personal schedule gets hectic or changes?

As the Chief Focus Officer of our groups watching allied relationships form and the chance to observe group members become each other’s colleagues and collaborators is a powerful and gratifying feeling.  I know if it’s this amazing for me it’s ten-fold for the HSMmG members.

Aren’t you ready to be a part of something better, faster, stronger than a networking or leads group?  Isn’t it time you had this ingredient in your life?

We’re fueled by creative, innovative, productive brainstorming and accountability.  The only way to rely on that is knowing you can count of your fellow members to remain committed.  And they want to, because they always get as much as they give.



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