What is a Mastermind Group?
Harness the Incredible Power of a Mastermind Group
What is a Mastermind? Maybe someone you’re following on Twitter mentions what a great mastermind meeting they attended recently. Perhaps you overhear a colleague refusing front-row tickets to a sporting event or concert because it is the same night as an important mastermind gathering. You finally have to ask yourself, “Exactly what is a mastermind?”
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The word “master” is often used to indicate someone who operates at the highest skill level. A master auto mechanic, for example, is in the top tier of technicians who repair vehicles with superior knowledge and expertise.
The term mastermind may refer to someone who creates, organizes or directs an outstanding project. When people refer to the mastermind behind a successful business, they are talking about the entrepreneur who is the driving force in establishing and building the enterprise.
Specific Explanations for What Is a Mastermind Group
In short, a mastermind group designates a business trend where colleagues help each other with goals, plans, setbacks and accountability for staying on task. The group may vary in size, format and membership requirements. Some meet online while others may schedule regular in-person meetings.
Although entrepreneurs have refined these gatherings in recent years for optimal results, the idea itself is not completely new. Some feel Benjamin Franklin’s Junto or Leather Apron Club in the early 1700s was a type of mastermind group. Composed of skilled craftsmen and working tradesmen, this club helped and encouraged each other in self-improvement endeavors and business success.
In England during the 1930s and ’40s, C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien were members of a literary mastermind group that read their unfinished works and helped each other with critiques and suggestions. In the 1930s, Napoleon Hill talked about the value of mastermind groups in “Think and Grow Rich,” a book still available today.
The Minds of a Mastermind Group
Although some groups set high standards for membership, the “mastermind” in the name does not necessarily indicate the intellect or skill level of individual members. Rather, it refers to the collective knowledge and skills of all the participants that is made available to everyone in the group. The point is that cooperative brainstorming and problem-solving lead to a higher level of achievement than trying to figure out things on your own. This is the rationale behind such team-building efforts in business today.
Components of an Effective Mastermind Group
Efficient facilitators organize the group and keep everyone on a predetermined course. They select members who are balanced in skills, experiences and personalities. They ensure that each participant receives equal time to make presentations and give input to other members. If the group utilizes an agenda, they enforce it and keep everyone on task. Facilitators are not coaches or instructors. They may offer opinions and ideas the same as everyone else, but their main task is to keep the meetings flowing smoothly.
Perhaps the most important characteristic for members to exhibit is commitment. This includes dedication to their own goals and projects, responsibility for helping other members achieve their objectives and overcome problems and a firm pledge to attend meetings faithfully. Without commitment from every member, it is hard for the group to succeed.
Mastermind groups provide many benefits, and one of the most valuable is accountability. When you join one of these groups, you become accountable to all the members. You give an update on your goals at every meeting, and if your fellow members feel you need to push ahead harder, they will respectfully tell you.
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