Here are some answers to frequently asked questions relating to our mastermind groups. If your question is not answered here we'd be happy to field your enquiry during the application process
Our mastermind coaching groups are only available to Startup CFO members. You can apply on the Startup CFO website, where you’ll be offered a consultation with one of the team. During that discussion, we seek to understand your development objectives so that we can ensure that we allocate you to a suitable group.
Joining a mastermind or coaching program is the best thing you can do for yourself as a leading finance professional. It’s like hiring a coach, or multiple coaches, to oversee a period of high personal growth in your career. Our programme pools together CFOs, in similar Tech verticals, who are all experiencing the same kinds of challenges.
That does two things for you. Firstly, you realize that you’re not alone. We all face challenges in our roles, and the ones you face are likely to be similar to the ones your fellow finance leaders face. Second, you get to brainstorm solutions with these carefully selected peers. This is a highly effective mechanism to deliver solutions and foster personal growth.
We’ll match you to five other members and an experienced coach familiar with C-Suite coaching and our mastermind format. We provide the venue, a comfortable private meeting room, usually within the setting of a members club, and establish the programme for collaborative problem solving and career development.
Our programme will have an agreed start date and will run bi-weekly for twelve coach facilitated sessions that are an hour in duration. For those keen to network before or after the sessions we make lounge space available at the venue for this purpose.
We expect many members to be involved in mastermind coaching each year, annually embarking with a new group as a means to continuously extend their professional circle.
The Startup CFO group has invested a substantial amount of time looking at the conversations occurring in Slack and topics members discussed when they got together, as well as working with some executive coaches with a track record with CFOs. The major takeaway from that study was that something is usually unlocked in small group events. The situation is sufficiently intimate for detailed sharing, whilst also having sufficient breadth to bring a variety of insights to any problem shared.
In addition, we see this coaching format as an economic solution. One that members could afford to maintain on an ongoing basis. We encountered members who had found one-to-one coaching fizzled out after a few sessions or was not sufficiently economic to continue into a second year. With our Mastermind format, we believe we have formulated an ongoing support structure that members would seek to have in-situ throughout their career. The majority of members tell us that the annual subscription for this coaching falls within their companies Learning and Development criteria.
We ran a beta-group for the format in 2021 and all the participants in that sought to continue to foster those newfound connections. We believe this approach is also an amazing way to build insights. This is why our primary format is to run face-to-face Mastermind sessions, typically at venues in central London.
All members going into these sessions sign up for a confidentiality agreement for the purpose of mastermind coaching. In addition, our coaches remind all participants of the approach we take as a part of each session and are trained to identify any topics that might not be well suited to group discussions.
The coach is the facilitator of our mastermind coaching sessions. They are experienced working with CFOs and bring the skills to create trust and rapport among the mastermind coaching group members.
They will help members set powerful goals and help them coach and counsel each other. And will also hold the mastermind coaching members accountable for delivering on their objectives derived from the sessions.
If you’ve ever moderated or chaired a meeting where participants discuss topics with great passion you’ll know how hard it can be to ensure balance in the dialogue. Our coaches bring that balance and can shape group conversations to ensure that they progress towards actionable change.
The majority of our members are CFOs, or clearly on the CFO path. That role will very often include being a trusted counterbalance, or the voice-of-reason, in a wide range of C-Suite discussions. If we can enable you to problem-solve some of those challenges, in the strictest confidence, with a carefully selected peer group, then we’ll accelerate your career development and ensure you’re performing at your optimal level.
With over 800 Members, the majority of which are in London, we have a unique ability to match members to a group. Group sizes for this programme are usually six people.
We have some insights from the application interviews, LinkedIn and other data-points to support our process in formulating really compelling groups. We are so confident that we’ll deliver a great match that we provide a satisfaction guarantee in that regard. If anyone highlights to us that we did not match them successfully to a group of their peers then we will reallocate them to a new group completely free of charge.
We select Members Clubs that we use for these sessions. Those venues have comfortable private rooms for the mastermind group discussions and also break-out spaces if members seek to network before or after the sessions.
General networking is encouraged, in fact, we tend to schedule the first meeting of any one group for 5pm with the intention to go for drinks or dinner afterward.
If you believe the group is not a match for your development needs then we are happy to allocate people to new groups, assuming this is highlighted early in the process.
Very rarely we find some members embark on the mastermind coaching but find the group format is not for them. In these cases, we’ll make reasonable endeavours to allow unutilized credit to be applied to one-to-one sessions.
Mastermind groups can be run over many cadence cycles. We learned a good deal from the beta study and we are recommending a bi-weekly cadence, meeting in person every two weeks. We believe that this routine leads to a strong pattern of engagement and sufficient time to see through the accountability tasks. Most of our groups will be six members, meeting on twelve occasions for one hour each time to complete the course, supported by an SCFO affiliated coach.
We work with a carefully selected group of executive coaches, all of whom have rich experience working with C-level leaders, COOs and CFOs in particular, working in high growth environments. Our current roster of Mastermind Group coaches includes: