What is a Mastermind Group?

MMG for web


I refer to a Mastermind Group as a group of like-minded individuals working towards and supporting each other on a common goal.

The term was originally coined by Napoleon Hill in his book “Think and Grow Rich”. Hill thought of a Mastermind as a moment of time “when a group of individual brains are coordinated and function in harmony, the increased energy created through that alliance becomes available to every individual brain in that group.”

In his 20+ years of researching successful people Hill concluded that participating in Mastermind groups were critical to achieving success.

For example, Mr. Hill noticed that Henry Ford’s most rapid strides became noticeable after he became personal friends with Thomas Edison. Why? Because Edison helped him to form acquaintances with people such as Harvey Firestone, John Burroughs, and Luther Burbank. The four men formed a Mastermind that collectively added to the intelligence, experience, and knowledge of each of the four men.

To share an excerpt from “Think and Grow Rich: The 21st Century Edition”, “Masterminds are formed of individuals who have the same agenda, a deep sense of mission, and commitment to the same goal. Masterminds represent the highest order of thinking by a group of knowledgable people, each contributing their absolute best according to their own abilities, expertise, and background.”

Effective Masterminds include learning, but go far beyond simply learning from an informational model. They also involve brainstorming, peer support, and peer accountability. I often say that when you learn new information and then Mastermind on it in a group, you drive Retention, Reinforcement, Application, and Accountability to new heights. The goal is to not only set goals that defeat the status quo, but to then reach and exceed them. In essence, the group begins to become the catalyst that propels each individual toward achieving incredible levels of growth, both personally and professionally.

What a Mastermind Group is NOT

  • It is not training. During training, the instructor comes to the group with the information to be shared. While this often fits when a group needs to be provided with new information, the Mastermind Group is not the place for this. The goal of the group is for the leader to simply facilitate the discussion and ensure that the entire group is participating and contributing.
  • It is not a group coaching session. Group coaching is a powerful experience, but it is an experience that is led by the qualified Coach. In those sessions, the other participants are usually spectating when others are being coached. In a Mastermind, everyone brings their expertise, advise, and feedback to the process.
  • It is not a book study. Some people have done the process a disservice when they simply reviewed chapters in a book and called them a Mastermind Group. While there is certainly nothing wrong with Masterminding around a book (in fact, that can be quite powerful when done correctly), as previously stated, the goal of the Mastermind is to ensure Retention, Reinforcement, Application, and Accountability are achieved. I have seen many people read a book, put it on the shelf, and change nothing. I have also seen people Mastermind around a book and ignite tremendous change and growth.