Articles by Mike Tollar

Power Circles Generate Power

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Power Circle: Counterclockwise, starting with Mike Tollar (leaning over writing), Cindy Stevens-Tollar, Dennis Hickle, CPA, Mike Crumbo, Glen Parker

Mike Tollar will talk about Power Circles as part of a triple-header at Insider’s Circle Chapter Meeting. Register here.

Mike Tollar, of http://www.powercirclenetwork.com., has grown Power Circles into an important force for developing relationships and as a result, dramatic business growth. He has worked the last year developing his model and currently there are six Power Circles that are meeting as a result of Mike’s initial efforts. These groups meet regularly and complement strategic business training, as well as the networking that has been a focus locally.

Mike will tell his own story:

Power Circles are nothing new. You should probably not buy if anyone is selling something “new.” I believe there is “nothing new under the sun.” Everything is old. Jesus and his disciples built a good power circle. The Joint Chiefs of the United States Armed Forces form a good power circle. Rotary International certainly set a good early example for me of an organization that has duplicated well. Of course, recently, the BNI and the Rainmaker model has affected me a lot. However, the most credit for this idea I would have to site Fran Tarkenton who has integrated the BNI and Direct Sales business models in a very cost-effective manner.

The purpose of the Power Circle is to create an environment where “iron can sharpen iron.” It is a place where businesspersons can meet to get more serious about the S.H.A.R.E. philosophy that Rainmakers promotes. I see the stress on Accountability issues and behaviors as the most important component of what happens in the circle. Some see it as deepening or furthering Strategic Relationship development. I also see a third and crucial component of Expansion. This has two meanings: expanding the circle to critical mass and secondly teaching members of the power circle to duplicate to lead their own circle.

There are several key benefits that the Group provides.
A safe place to learn and grow. Deepening strategic alliances and relationships. Accountability to execute your own business and marketing plans. Expansion of your own power circle set of contacts and perhaps leading other power circles. You just will come to understand the process of networking. This might be hard to put into words or into a book. You have to do this. You have to personally develop along the way. You can’t stay the same as you are. You have to learn from others and get stronger along the way. You have to be transparent and be vulnerable. You have to be open and honest. You have to own your results and be responsible for your situation in life. Power Circles tend to uncover pretenders. They tend to avoid this because truth is easily seen.

A Power Circle starts with one person being committed and then 2, then 3. I think a Power circle is going to find a sweet spot between 5 and 10. Regular attendance is a must for it to work.

Every circle is different and will be run differently. It is designed to be an hour long. Introductions happen. There might be someone who presents for 10-15 minutes. There may be an open topic of discussion. There may be a theme for the day. There might be a book that is being consistently reviewed over time. The circle will reflect the intent of the leader and the key members. Again, you will learn by attending. You will be referred on to other similar events once you start attending. Attend a Power Circle, help build the one you like; then choose to build your own. You help build a circle and then someday you build your own circle. It really is your choice.

A key purpose of a Power Circle is to leverage your time to meet in a 5-10 on 1 situation. It’s a place where you can see someone operate in small group dynamics before you invest 1-1 time with someone new. Essentially, once the Power circle has a critical mass of attendees, guests can come but they are coming to audit the circle and will move on to join a newer one. Essentially there are no rules. It is a best of breed situation and the leader of the circle will keep a grip on the environment.

Those who enjoy the group come back. Those that don’t, do not. Some people attend sporadically. That’s OK too. Some people are more transactional. It’s about building close business relationships. It’s intentionally set at zero cost and intentionally nothing to join. It’s currently organized to be totally de-centralized. Each circle will reflect the objectives of the leader and everyone will have an opportunity to participate. Everyone is encouraged to treat the circle as their own until they want to help starting their own. It’s a place where leaders discover themselves.

A power circle is more about character and competency than about a product line. It is about strategic alliances among people selling to the same market categories. There should be people from the same industries in a power circle. I see abundance with coordination being the central objective rather than scarcity with competition being the rule.

Personally, my participation in Power Circles has been productive not only in relationship-building, but in business building. It’s too early in the game to run those numbers, but I already see my personal power circle operation as a tool to help double or triple my income in the next year. I HAVE TO now build power circles just to make it convenient to channel my existing database into events where I can have the opportunity to interact. Power Circles have already provided LEVERAGE to substantially magnify my personal sales activity. I had a $1500 personal sales day directly attributable to Power Circles. While not a big deal for me as the majority of my income comes from other people’s sales activity, when I get down to personal production, it is very profitable. That would not be possible for me in one day with 6 people, had I not built this power circle system to organize my time and activity. In addition, Power Circles give me a way to coordinate more personal face-to-face contact with referral sources that have been developed or are currently developing. Similarly, those who participate and engage in Power Circles can expect a leveraging of their time and effort in proportion to what they put into it.

Essentially this is a work in progress. It is changing as I grow it and I will master it here in this marketplace just like Edison mastered the light bulb. I already know what doesn’t work well. We’ve got something that works now. I think the less “law” we put on this the better and easier it will be to duplicate. A little structure is needed but not a lot. Most people put too much into the Knowledge and not enough into the action. I will focus on action every time. It tends to generate results.

I encourage those interested in Power Circles to go to http://www.powercirclenetwork.com and contact one of the Group Leaders in your area to inquire about a Power Circle.

Mike Tollar will talk about Power Circles as part of a triple-header at Insider’s Circle Chapter Meeting. Register here.

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