3 things you need to make a mastermind group work


The mastermind group was a concept first presented by Napoleon Hill in the best selling book Think and grow rich. It defined a mastermind group as being a: “coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

This was inspired by the successful wealthy steel mogul Andrew Carnegie. Napoleon Hill wrote:

“Mr. Carnegie’s Master Mind group consisted of a staff of approximately fifty men, with whom he surrounded himself, for the DEFINITE PURPOSE of manufacturing and marketing steel. He attributed his entire fortune to the POWER he accumulated through this ‘Master Mind.’” 

This worked really well for him because everyone was invested in executing the ONE vision. These days mastermind groups have been formed around the world with many people complaining that it is a waste of time or it was not as effective as it previously was. Most of these mastermind group are ones that are there to help each individual with their own visions - this dilutes the "definite purpose" by the number of people in the group, but there are 3 things that can be done to ensure success.

1. Leadership

I can't emphasise how important a good leader is. The leader of the mastermind group will greatly determine its success and effectiveness. The leader needs to be organised, accountable and be able to influence the members. Most people may not have enough time to do all this so an assistant or a supporting figure is essential. The leader needs to uphold the groups rules and responsibilities and ensure accountability between all members be kept. This leads to the next element.

2. Agenda

A set agenda for each meeting is important, especially when you are trying to help everyone in the group. This means that time needs to be allocated evenly between helping each member, and the topic needs to be well adhered to. The leader will play a key role in controlling conversation at this point as it is more common than not to have idle conversation or off topic chatter when large groups meet. Each meeting should be outlined with the agenda communicated prior to meeting so that all members may prepare their part in the conversation and bring something of value to the table. The agenda should be carried out with little time wasted on off topic conversations which can waste time. To make up fo this allocate a chat session prior or after the meeting is held so people have a chance to socialise without interrupting the meeting.

3. Accountability

Especially when it comes to business owners, time is something that we all don't have a lot of. However a lot of problems can occur when members stop showing up. Being present is important as it strengthens the bond between the members and also shows respect to the people that do turn up. Tolerating tardiness or no shows is a surefire way to end your mastermind group. Make it clear that it is a commitment they need to keep and present clear guidelines and processes before members join as to what is expected of them. Reprimand accordingly when members don't follow the guidelines and make it clear there needs to be accountability on all levels. Members that float in and out of the group are detrimental to the groups commitment as it will soon be viewed ok to not be present.

Success is not easy and requires hard work and dedication and the same rules should be applied when you wish to join or create a mastermind group. The success of it's members will depend largely on how disciplined they are with sticking to their "definite purpose". You may have other tips to share as well so please leave them in the comments section!

Wendy Huang

Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes

I am passionate about helping businesses get online with their own blog or website in just a simple 4 minutes.

Comments (1)
Tim Greig

Tim Greig, Owner at Green Galah Pty Ltd

Interesting timing Wendy, as an associate of mine and I have been considering moving forward with this idea. The key is that Mr Carnegie group had that single purpose, vision, call it what you will. That of manufacturing and marketing steel. As you indicated, it is more of a challenge to enact a single vision of "Let's all be successful in our many and varied businesses"! I find business referral groups mediocre at best, in my experience (note the preceding three words) for much the same reason. The purpose of 'referrals' doesn't really do it for me. So, leadership, agenda and accountability are all important but the most important is "What is the point?" Until everyone gets unified and passionate about the single driving force behind the group (other than controlling the steel industry) it may well flounder.