Leadership can be lonely but it doesn’t have to be.

Recently, during a speaking engagement in Sydney, I happen to be in the suburb of St Leonards where I walked past an old haunt, the Moody Café. [I lived in Sydney many years ago.] I had forgotten about the cafe until I was right there staring at it; it’s easily been more than 10 years. 

I was delighted to see it because a flood of memories came back, it was the venue for my very first mastermind group; it was a place of very early morning‘s, coffee and great food, and fantastic brains. A group of amazing professional entrepreneurs and business owners, who, to this day, I call friends.

Mastermind groups are fantastic for business owners and entrepreneurs as it can be lonely. The few years I’ve been without a mastermind were probably the toughest.

The concept of have a group of smart people sitting around a real or virtual table to challenge your assumptions, ideate with you, and to cheer you on is the best! You receive as much as give and you become a much better version of yourself.

When I was a middle manager – surrounded by many, many people – it was lonely. I felt alone in the crowded place. It was so hard to put my head up long enough to look left and right and get to really know my management colleagues. We met regularly and it was mainly  transactional, not unpleasant, but we were all busy so meetings were all focused on the work our respective teams needed to get done.

There was a missed opportunity for better support, more peer coaching and leadership development. We could have made our own mastermind group that focused on our roles, our leadership, our challenges. We all got on fairly well, but upon reflection, I’m sure there were opportunities missed where collaborating would have resulted in saved resource, shared gains.

Middle Manager Mastermind

  • Imagine having a group of managers you can turn to as a sounding board before you pitch an idea up the chain.
  • Imagine having a group of managers you can share a win with because “they get it”.
  • Imagine having a group of managers you can discuss performance issues with, without the judgement, hassle or angst.
  • Imagine having a group of managers who you could collaborate with: discuss job rotations, projects, resource sharing, etc.
  • Imagine having a group of managers who will respectfully call out behaviour or assumptions because they care and have your back.


Employees want their manager to have support so that their manager can be an even better leader.

While the Moody Cafe kicked off great memories, it triggered the realisation of the huge value the mastermind model is for a management team.

Keen, but where to start?

Start small, start with a coffee and asking what others think of mastermind groups and what you would do if you formed your own mastermind.

Too busy? Maybe that’s the exact reason why you could start a mastermind group – a model that could help everyone to slow down (a little bit) to focus or re-focus on the priorities and the work that brings the greatest return on effort and investment.

Permission? Don’t wait for permission to start a mastermind group, start! This initiative is for all the right reasons, it’s to help every manager be a more effective leader. Proceed Until Apprehended is one of my most favourite mottos a mentor shared with me. You don’t have to shout about this to everyone in the organisation, just start small, ensure you have agreements on participation, and let it grow organically.

I’d love to know how you go, and if you need help I’d be delighted to support you.

I appreciate you