Welcome to this series on Success. I hope you find the readings thought provoking and inspiring. Please enjoy.

A Mastermind Group is a small group of like-minded people who meet for mutual brainstorming and accountability session.

Participants raise the bar by challenging each other to create and implement goals, brainstorm ideas, and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion.  Mastermind participants act as catalysts for growth, devil’s advocates and supportive colleagues. They bring synergy of energy, commitment, and excitement.

A Mastermind Group is a meeting of highly motivated people who share a common goal, and are looking to encourage each other, and help each other to improve.

The concept of the Mastermind Group was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900’s. In his timeless classic, “Think and Grow Rich”, he wrote about the Mastermind principle as:

  1. “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”
  2. “No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.”

In a Mastermind Group the agenda belongs to the group, and each person’s participation is key. Your peers give you feedback, help you brainstorm new possibilities, and set up accountability structures that keep you focused and on track.

You will create a community of supportive colleagues who will brainstorm together to move the group to new heights. You will gain tremendous insights, which can improve your business and personal life. Your Mastermind Group is like having a objective board of directors.

Small groups of people can change the world.

Mastermind Groups create a win-win situation for all participants. New friendships develop and everyone grows because of the support and encouragement of the Mastermind Group.

Benefits to be gained:

  • Answers and ideas, which come from brainstorming with the group
  • Tap into the experience and skills of others
  • Increased confidence that you’ve made the right decisions and are taking the right actions to achieve your goals
  • Accountability and real progress in your business and personal life
  • An instant and valuable support network
  • A sense of shared endeavor – there are others out there!
  • Design things to be the way you want them to be, not as you’ve been told they “should” be
  • A boost to your everyday positive mental attitude

 Who Should Attend?

People who:

  • have a similar interest (such as a group for self-employed people, first-time authors, CEOs, real estate investors, or a group for people in a certain corporation or industry)
  • have a similar skill and/or success level
  • have the desire and inspiration to make this year extraordinary
  • want a supportive team of Mastermind partners
  • want to reach or exceed their goals
  • are ready to let their desire to be passionate about their life and work overcome their fear of change

Decide in advance how many people should be in your group (I recommend that a group be 5-8 people), and only allow new members into the group with the unanimous consent of everyone in the group.

  • Do you have a personal or business mission or vision statement?
  • What are your three-year goals?
  • Where will you find time to participate in the Mastermind Group?
  • What is your commitment to moving forward in your business and personal life?
  • Why should you be chosen to participate in this group?

Even with a screening process your group is likely to run across people who say that they’re committed but then don’t participate, or who say that they’re honest but then fail to keep the trust of the group. Be prepared to ask people to leave the group who are not participating up to the group standard and do it quickly once the poor behavior becomes evident.

A Mastermind Group can definitely be linked via the Internet. What a wonderful way to obtain cultural diversity.

A “slacking” member will bring down the energy and fun level for the whole group.

How Does It Work?

Mastermind Groups can meet in person, on the telephone, or via online message boards. Also try Google+ Hangouts, Facebook groups, etc. For those groups that meet in person or on the phone, typically a once-a-month meeting is scheduled.

A commitment is required, because of the group nature. Look for highly-motivated people who are willing to ask for — and give — help and support, and are willing to show up for every meeting.

Whatever the problem, issue, challenge or dilemma you are facing, you can just about guarantee that someone in the Mastermind group will have the answers that you are looking for.

The Master Mind Principle.

 What is a Mastermind Group Facilitator?

A mastermind group Facilitator is the person who runs the group. It’s their job to create trust and rapport in the group, help the members coach and advise each other, assist members in creating powerful goals, and hold members accountable. In mastermind group meetings they guide the group to deeper levels of discussion and manage any problems that arise among group members that threaten the harmony of the group.

Note that a mastermind group Facilitator should not be confused with an instructor/facilitator or a team leader/facilitator. Mastermind group facilitation has its own set of skills and roles, different from teaching adults or working with a corporate team to implement a single, common goal.

The success or failure of a group is directly related to the skill and knowledge of the Facilitator. Someone who is capable of running excellent meetings, holding the group accountable, and brainstorming with the members to find solutions to thorny problems will enhance the group.

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Nick Thorne is the founder of Nick’s Digital Solutions Limited. He lives in Levin, New Zealand.