Earlier this month, we talked about establishing a Mastermind group – a group of trusted advisors or board members that meets regularly to discuss all the major successes or concerns happening within your business. In my first article, I outlined six characteristics of a successful Mastermind group. Ready for seven more? Keep reading!

Tip No. 7: Be goal-oriented

The end of every meeting should focus on goals the members are willing to take on. These goals can then be re-visited at the beginning of the next meeting. Having a regular forum where you can hold members accountable for these goals is the best way to ensure they’re accomplished.

Tip No. 8: Stay focused

It’s easy to have the meeting cluttered with social niceties (which is nice) but don’t let it derail the meeting. Restrict the light social stuff to the first five minutes of the meeting — better yet, chat before or afterward.

Tip No. 9: Be equally needy

If you’re brand new to your role (or to business) and you’re in a group with seasoned and established folks, you’ll probably need them a heck of a lot more than they need you. Not a good fit, newbie! Make sure your board members complement each other in their level of contribution.

Tip No. 10: Be committed

To the meeting, that is. With few exceptions, the Mastermind meeting should be as important as a sales appointment or even a paid engagement. Otherwise, it simply won’t be an important meeting. If it’s scheduled way ahead of time (ideal), you’re less likely to face scheduling conflicts.

Tip No. 11: Have a “Convener”

Someone in the group should be the one to keep everyone else in line. Every group has members that don’t keep their promises, show up late, miss meetings and are downright unreliable. (Bad people, really.) The Convener deals with this and may ultimately ask wrongdoers to leave. This should all be according to rules established ahead of time. There is justice in the world.

Tip No. 12: Know when to fold them

If the Mastermind meetings don’t seem to click after three or four meetings, bring the discussion up in the meeting. Discuss what’s wrong and see if it can be resolved. If it can’t, cut it loose. When it’s the right people and there’s a fit, you always know. When there’s not, same deal. You’ve got to go with your gut and mine has never been wrong about this. Has yours?

Tip No. 13: Have fun

It may not be karaoke, but you should enjoy spending work time with your team. If you’re lucky, it’ll turn into play time.

Most importantly, remember: It’s tough to work alone. When you’re ready to turn up your business a notch, start a Mastermind Group and use these battle-tested guidelines to keep you on track.

Michael Goldberg is a speaker, consultant, author and the founder of Building Blocks Consulting. His book, “Knock-Out Networking! More Prospects, More Referrals, More Business!” is available now. For more information or to subscribe to Michael’s free blog, The Building Blocks to Success, please visit www.TheBuildingBlockstoSuccess.com or www.BuildingBlocksConsulting.com.