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Do You Have A Brain Trust?

by David Brock on August 3rd, 2021

Every two weeks, on Friday afternoon, I have a call with Brent. Once a month, on Saturday mornings, Ned and I speak. Mitch and I speak monthly, Jill and I speak monthly Kelly and I speak about every six weeks, Rene and I have a talk every 4-6 weeks. The list goes on, it’s about 15-20 people. Tamara, Hank, Glen, George, Scott, Mike, Howard, Shari, Alice, Charlie, Bert, Maria, and more. They are all great friends, they are in very diverse careers and backgrounds. Some are consultants, most are executives in various industries. They live in 4 continents.

These people are the core of my brain trust. They are friends, we enjoy our conversations. There’s always some social banter, usually we each have something to whine about, but most of the conversation focuses around ideas and thinking differently.

Conversations go like, “Have you read this…..(it’s seldom a business book, usually history, biography, social affairs).” “Have you heard about this…(usually it’s about an idea)” “Have you experienced this…..” “What do you think about this….(again, it’s usually an idea).” “What would happen if you tried that…..” “You should talk to ……” “I mad a mistake, this is what I learned…”

My brain trust helps me think differently. They help me learn. They help me innovate. They help me change.

Part of what makes these conversations so great is they are relatively “ego-less.” Each is one of the best at what they do. We don’t have anything to prove to each other, so we don’t waste time playing ego games. Each is insatiably curious. We call each other out, the other day, Jill said, “Dave you are overthinking this….” Each is very open minded (I think it’s hard to be curious and not open minded). Each is focused on continued learning, improvement. Each wants to make an impact–we our driven by our various purposes and values. Each of cares about the other, as a result are very generous with time.

While there is a lot of mentoring and coaching, somehow the terms mentor/coach don’t describe these relationships or the depth of the conversations. This isn’t a mentoring group, most don’t know the others. Each of them has their extended “brain trust.”

These conversations keep me fresh, they gently remind me that I’m fallible and have so much to learn.

Do you have your brain trust? Do you have your group that you can use to share ideas, to learn, to explore? Do you have a very diverse group? Do you park your ego at the door during those conversations?

Each of us needs our own brain trust. They make each of us better, they help each of us grow, they help each of us think differently.

I am deeply appreciative to my brain trust! Thank you!

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