What is a Mastermind Group?

Mastermind Groups are a combination of brainstorming, training, peer engagement and support in a group setting to sharpen your business and personal skills. A Mastermind Group helps you and your group members to achieve success. Members challenge each other to set strong goals, and most importantly, to achieve them.

Mastermind Group facilitators initiate and lead the groups. They help the group immerse itself deeply in the discussions, and work with the members to create success – however each member defines it. Facilitators are the secret to the success of Mastermind Groups. I have seen many groups fail because of poor leadership.

How does a Mastermind Group work?

Through the process of a Mastermind Group, first a goal is created, and then a plan is designed to achieve it. The group helps you with creative ideas and wise decisions. Then, when you start implementing your plan, you bring both success stories and problems to the group. Success stories are applauded (out loud!), and problems are solved through peer-to-peer brainstorming and collective, creative thinking.

The group requires commitment, confidentiality, a willingness to give and receive advice and ideas, and to support each other with complete honesty, respect and compassion. Mastermind Group members act as growth catalysts, devil’s advocates and support colleagues. This is the essence and value of Mastermind Groups.

Each meeting has an agenda to keep the discussions focused. The Facilitator has the task of ensuring that the conversations are deep and balanced, and that all the topics on the agenda of the Mastermind Group meetings are covered in the allotted time.

What is not a Mastermind Group?

To clarify what can be obtained from the group it is important to know what you should not expect from it.

  • It is not a class. Although your group may vote to bring occasional guest speakers and professionals, the main focus of a Mastermind Group is brainstorming and supporting accountability among group members.
  • It is not a networking group. Although members may occasionally share contact information, this is not the main focus of the meetings. However, as the members get to know each other better and find synergies, it is not uncommon for opportunities to emerge for joint ventures, sharing of leads, and professional or even personal networking to take place.
  • It is not a training group or a master class. Mastermind Groups are for members to share with each other, not for the Facilitator to train individuals in a group. You get feedback, advice and support from everyone. Yes, if the Facilitator is an expert in the subject, he or she can of course participate and contribute. But his or her main task is to keep the conversation balanced among all members and to ensure the group’s dynamics.

What is the right size for a Mastermind Group?

For a Mastermind Group to be effective it is necessary that participants feel free to share confidential information, plans, strategies, … about what they are achieving and what they want to do. This implies that the group should be small and stable.

A group of 4-6 participants plus the facilitator is recommended. If they are less, the value that the others will bring may be little. More participants will lose that feeling of trust that limits what people will dare to share.

It is also vital for the group that people in similar professional situations participate. It does not make sense that a person who is devising their professional project is in the same group as someone who has a company developed with an important team. In a case like this, the contributions that some could make would most of the time be inapplicable to the others. In both directions.

I have seen huge mega Mastermind Groups (200-500 members) that are true Mastermind Groups. They are designed so that individuals can get personal attention and the power of brainstorming, problem solving and group accountability. But it takes a lot of smart logistics (not to mention a few facilitators to run the hot seats), so not all large group programmes can call themselves true Mastermind Groups.

Napoleon Hill’s definition

The concept of the “mastermind alliance” was introduced by Napoleon Hill in his 1920s book, The Law of Success, and expanded in his 1930s book, Think and Grow Rich. While Napoleon Hill called it the “alliance of the mastermind”, it has been shortened and modernised to the “mastermind group” or “Mastermind Group”. Mastermind Groups have existed since the beginning of time. Even Benjamin Franklin belonged to one such group, which he called “Together”. But it was Napoleon Hill who explained it clearly and encouraged people to meet in a structured and repeatable environment for everyone’s success. Napoleon Hill wrote about the principle of the mastermind group as

“The coordination of the knowledge and effort of two or more persons, working towards a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.

Napoleon Hill

And it continues…

“No two minds unite without creating a third invisible intangible force, which can be compared to a third mind [the master mind].

Napoleon Hill

What will you get by joining a Mastermind Group?

In a Mastermind Group, the agenda belongs to the group and the participation and commitment of each person is crucial. Your fellow group members will give you feedback, help you to think up new possibilities and set a demanding framework that will keep you focused and on track. You will create a supportive community of colleagues who together participate in a creative process to take you and the other members to new heights. You will gain a tremendous understanding that will improve your business and your personal life. Being a good member of a Mastermind Group creates massive value for you and all the members of your group.

Your Mastermind Group is like having an objective board of directors, a successful team, and a peer advisory group – all in one. Whether you find an existing Mastermind Group to join, or start your own, you’ll love what this group process can help you achieve.

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