You’ve probably heard the old expression, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This concept proves itself over and over with the exponential power of the Mastermind Group. The idea of a mastermind collective was formally coined in Napoleon Hill’s classic book, “Think and Grow Rich.” Hill wrote, “No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.”
Today, more and more people are harnessing the power of the Mastermind Group to help them think bigger. This concept can be applied to business, social causes, politics, relationships, health, and artistic endeavors. Combining the abilities of multiple individuals to solve problems, brainstorm ideas, seek solutions, and develop strategies creates greater results than going it alone as a “lone ranger.”
The size of a Mastermind can range from two to eight members. Any more than that can get chaotic. The group can meet in person if they are in a similar geographic location. Or if the Masterminders live in different states or countries, they can also meet via a bridge line. The members of the group make a commitment to show up regularly and to contribute to each others’ success.
The types of groups can be as varied as your imagination. However, compatibility is vital to the success of the group. Members should have similar interests and/or should be at a similar “level.” For example, participants can be in a similar area of business like realtors or life coaches. Or the group’s members can have a common goal like writing a book, building an Internet subscriber list, or losing 30 pounds.
In this way, stronger bonds are formed and the group creates win-win situations for all of its members. When selecting members, only invite participants who have a strong desire to succeed and a demonstrated ability to contribute. Your group will be the most successful when you have members who are passionate about Masterminding.
If you want to start your own Mastermind Group, here are some guidelines:
1) Define the purpose to the group: What will your objectives be when you meet? What do you want to accomplish together? For instance a Mastermind of college students could set a goal of academic excellence.
2) Decide on the groups’ ground rules: What is acceptable? And how will the ground rules be enforced? One of the groups was extremely committed to attendance and promptness – we decided that if a person was late showing up for a call, he or she paid $1 per minute to your charity of choice. Miss the whole meeting and it was $60.
3) Determine the structure of the groups’ time together: You can have an agenda and a facilitator. Or, you can rotate leadership. You can have freely-flowing conversation. You can also decide to have closely monitored time frames for each person to speak.
4) Plan the groups’ logistics: Where, how often, and how long will you meet? When will your group start and when will it be completed? For instance, one of my Mastermind groups met every week for one hour for a period of four months.
5) State wants and needs: Mastermind groups can only reach their full potential if each member is willing to think big and ask powerful questions. At your meetings, each Mastermind group member can tell the group exactly what he or she wants – the member does not have to know how it will be accomplished. Case in point, a group member might start off – “This is Jane. I am facing a problem in my business [describe] and I need the group’s ideas on how to solve it.” Another group member might say, “This is Tyler. I want the group to help me develop a strategy to make me an additional $100,000 in my consulting business this year.”
6) Commit to contributing: Your Mastermind group’s success depends on you. Make a commitment to listen carefully, be present, show up on time, and fully support your fellow Masterminders. In this way, you exponentially increase the groups’ synergy and other members will rise to your level of contribution.
Being a part of a successful Mastermind group is an enriching experience that will accelerate you professionally and personally in ways you can’t imagine. You don’t have to be a lone ranger and you don’t have to figure things out on your own. So, don’t wait to start or join one!