What Are Mastermind Groups?
As a business owner, entrepreneur, manager, or a career person, you may find that you are wanting to take your business and career to greater heights. Perhaps you want to establish yourself as an innovative leader within your industry but are struggling to connect the dots between points A and B.
In this place, it becomes easier to feel alone and overwhelmed. Fortunately, you are not alone. Many people around you in various niches and in your industry are facing that same feeling and desire. As such, a common purpose unites them. They begin to take action in their work environment with outstanding results.
Take Responsibility As A Way To Improve
As you analyze your work environment, you may see a variety of things: a need for fresh ideas and perspectives, stuck in a rut, a lack of mentoring and training (or the training available is not taking you to where you want to go), etc. How can you take action in your work environment?
Deciding to change your work environment may seem daunting and a million thoughts may race through your mind laced with doubt. Yet, change is possible and you can be the facilitator of change in your work environment. If not for your department or business, perhaps for your own career and business growth. As you advance your business or career, the effects of changing your work environment filter through into other areas of your business, inspiring colleagues or encouraging your department to take action in re-evaluating training and mentoring of employees.
The desire to advance in your industry eventually becomes stronger than any doubt. So, you explore your options: training opportunities, networking in the hope of finding that mentor who will give you the advice you are looking for, team building, team meetings, etc.
One area you may wish to explore and that I want to explore with is that of mastermind groups. Mastermind groups are one of the ways that you can take action in your work environment and benefit from personal accountability with your career and business.
What Are Mastermind Groups?
With mastermind groups, you are benefiting from personal accountability for both your personal life and your business. A mastermind group can take your business and professional capacity into leaps and bounds as you learn from other experts in your niche. Together you work towards a similar goal.
Understanding what a mastermind group is, its history and the types of mastermind groups available will help you decide if you want to enroll your business in a mastermind group. Here’s a quick look at the history behind mastermind groups:
History Of Mastermind Groups
The concept of a mastermind group was first pioneered in the 1900s by Napolean Hill with his book, “Think and Grow Rich”. In his book, Hill explained mastermind groups as two or more people working together towards a similar and definitive goal or purpose. As the saying goes two heads are better than one. In fact, Hill claims that where two minds come together a third mind is created albeit a more “intangible force likened to a third mind”. (Greenstreet)
With a mastermind group, the group decides on the agenda for each meeting. With mastermind groups you are in an environment for personal accountability as your peers are able to give you feedback, brainstorm new ideas and possibilities, and create opportunities for personal accountability. As such you are able to take your business to greater heights since you are benefiting from the collaboration of brilliant minds in your niche.
Interestingly, history has been laced with mastermind groups dating back to before Hill pioneered the concept of mastermind groups and after. Ryan Battles gives us a few of these historical mastermind groups:
- The Junto which was formed by Benjamin Franklin in 1727. It was comprised of twelve members who met regularly to discuss scientific, moral, and political topics.
- The Inklings came into being around the 1930s and 1940s to discuss unfinished written works of some of history’s greatest authors. These authors included CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein.
- Nine Old Men was Disney’s mastermind group (1930s to 1970s) responsible for many of the Disney classics loved by animation movie fans. These classics include Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and Cinderella.
Different Types Of Mastermind Groups And Their Purpose
Mastermind groups are formed around almost any topic. What makes a mastermind group is that the group meeting meets the definition above and has clear goals and vision. They can be formed around business, politics, science, personal growth, or inspirational reasons and topics.
However, the key to a mastermind group’s success lies in the participation of each member in the group. A high level of commitment and participation is needed in order to experience the depths of personal accountability provided by these groups.
Given, that mastermind groups and personal accountability can be formed under any given topic or motivation, we can categorize them into two categories:
- Traditional mastermind groups are those groups that meet face-to-face on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. These groups provide the most effective growth and personal accountability than long-distance relationship because you see each other more regularly and have a stronger support and involvement in your business life. (Sieverkropp,2013).
- Long-distance mastermind groups also provide personal accountability however they operate more on Google Hangouts, Skype, Facebook groups, etc. This allows people all over the world to benefit from personal accountability, support, growth, and other benefits that mastermind groups provide. The challenge is keeping such a group focused on applying the definition of a mastermind group. (Sieverkropp,2013).
Why Should I Join A Mastermind Group?
Besides personal accountability mastermind groups provide you with a myriad of great benefits. These benefits include the following:
- Personal accountability for forward planning and thinking per meeting that you attend. You will also experience personal accountability for implementing those plans and ideas. (Battles). Most successful growth can be attributed to personal accountability since you know that someone is waiting for you to follow through or is reliant on your follow through of your plans. With personal accountability, you are pushed to deliver and give more of yourself. The result is greater growth in your career, business, and personal life.
- Networking grows rapidly and exponentially. You get to access the networks of other members and share your own networks. This puts you in touch with other key experts and opens the door for future collaboration and opportunities. (Burns)
- Opportunities to learn new skills, solutions, and tactics from group members as you share and interact with each other. (Burns). This can also apply to the opportunities that will arise thanks to your growing network. Growth is inevitable in mastermind groups.
- Constructive feedback from people in your niche who want to see you grow and succeed (Battles). Both you and other group members are able to benefit from sharing expertise and experience and receiving it from each other. (Burns). Although feedback is hard for most of us to give or receive, you’ll benefit more from the personal accountability and growth feedback will bring to your success and business growth. In addition, you may also find yourself gaining experience in giving and receiving constructive feedback which you can integrate into your work environment.
- Think bigger with mastermind groups as they stretch your boundaries, break down boxes, and challenge you to think beyond your current situation (Burns). You’ll also be challenged to think from different angles thus enhancing your creative thinking.
- Opportunities to learn new skills, solutions, and tactics from the group members as you share and interact with each other (Burns). The group most probably will create exercises and opportunities to test out new ideas and skills learned each week. Or you may find yourselves working through a workbook based on a specific topic agreed upon by the group to further understanding and knowledge.
- Further collaboration opportunities present themselves as you get to know other members. Not only do you work together in group activities, brainstorming, and discussion, you may also find someone who fits your latest project endeavors.
- Exclusive community and support. A mastermind group provides you with a community of like-minded people who can easily become your tribe, a people who understand you, support you, and think similarly to you. In such an exclusive community, personal accountability rises and for some people may be easier since greater levels of trust are established. Many mastermind groups are strict with who comes into the group because they are looking for like-minded people who can commit to high levels of participation and commitment. This provides that exclusive community and high levels of support and personal accountability.
Mastermind groups are responsible for many business owners, entrepreneurs, and career people’s success in business. Find you mastermind group or create your own and reap these benefits and more. Watch your career and business soar thanks to mastermind groups.
Battles, Ryan. What Is a Mastermind Group? Ryan Battles. https://ryanbattles.com/post/what-is-a-mastermind-group
Gimmer, Christopher. 2016. How to Start a Mastermind Group: The Definitive Guide. Snappa Blog. https://blog.snappa.io/how-to-start-a-mastermind-group/
Burns, Stephanie. 2013. 7 Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/chicceo/2013/10/21/7-reasons-to-join-a-mastermind-group/#42d3421a17ab
Greenstreet, Karyn. How to Create and Run a Mastermind Group. Passion for Business. http://www.passionforbusiness.com/articles/mastermind-group.htm
Sieverkropp, Mark. 2013. 3 Types of Mastermind Groups. Sieverkropp. http://www.sieverkropp.com/mastermind-group/