What is a Mastermind Group? A Definition
I have been part of a mastermind group, and have run mastermind groups, since 1994. They have profoundly shaped my life and my business, and I'm a successful in business and life because of my participation in mastermind groups.
So, what is a mastermind group exactly?
Mastermind groups offer a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support in a group setting to sharpen your business and personal skills. A mastermind group helps you and your mastermind group members achieve success.
Participants challenge each other to set powerful goals, and more importantly, to accomplish them. The group requires commitment, confidentiality, willingness to both give and receive advice and ideas, and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion. Mastermind group members act as catalysts for growth, devil’s advocates and supportive colleagues. This is the essence and value of mastermind groups.
What a Mastermind Group is NOT
- It's not a class. While your group can vote to bring in guest speakers and teachers occasionally, the main focus of a mastermind group is the brainstorming and accountability support among the group members.
- It's not group coaching. Mastermind groups are about the MEMBERS sharing with each other, not about the Facilitator coaching individuals in a group setting. You get everyone's feedback, advice and support. Yes, if the Facilitator is an expert on the topic, by all means chime in. But keep the conversation balanced between all members.
- It's not a networking group. While you may share leads and resources with each other, it is not the main focus of the meetings. However, through your connections with other members, you will find plenty of joint venture opportunities, lead sharing, and professional networking.
What About These Mega Mastermind Groups?
You'll see lots of people running group mentoring programs and calling them "mastermind groups." But are they really? Here's a three-part test:
- Do they have individual Hot Seats for each member, where you get to talk about your challenges and your plans?
- Does everyone in the group get to brainstorm together (sharing knowledge, insights and best practices), or is the focus on the mentor being the person with all the answers?
- Is there a function for individual accountability reporting? (Is there someone on the staff who is holding your feet to the fire weekly?)
I have seen huge mega masterming groups (200-500 members) that are true mastermind groups. They're designed so that individuals can get personal attention and the brainstorming, problem-solving, and accountability power of the group. But it takes a lot of smart logistics (not to mention quite a few Facilitators to run the Hot Seats), so not every large group program can call itself a true mastermind group.
Napoleon Hill's Definition
The concept of the "mastermind alliance" was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill in his timeless classic, "Think And Grow Rich," though mastermind groups have been around since the beginning of time. Even Benjamin Franklin belonged to such a group, which he called a Junto.
Napoleon Hill wrote about the mastermind group principle as:
"The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony."
"No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind]."
What You'll Get From Belonging to a Mastermind Group
In a mastermind group, the agenda belongs to the group and each person's participation and commitment is key. Your mastermind partners give you feedback, help you brainstorm new possibilities, and set up accountability structures that keep you focused and on track. You create a community of supportive colleagues who brainstorm together to move the members to new heights.
You'll gain tremendous insights which improve your business and personal life. Your mastermind group is like having a objective board of directors, a success team, and a peer advisory group, all rolled into one.
Whether you find an existing mastermind group to join, or start a group of your own, you'll love what this group process can help you accomplish.
- Want to quickly launch your mastermind group? Join me for my step-by-step class where you'll design your group and create your marketing plan. Learn to design your mastermind group to ensure your members are successful, then create powerful marketing to find new members (and make sure they're a good fit for your group!). Class begins September 30. Get the Launch Your Mastermind Group in 60 Days class details here »
- Read my blog about creating and running a mastermind group.