What is a mastermind group? No, it’s not an evil Mastermind like Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies, or the guy who tied the pretty lady to the railroad tracks in the old silent movies…what do you think when you hear Mastermind Group or Mastermind Coaching?
I was recently asked to take part in a Mastermind Group with Business Women Connect, our first topic, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This book was originally published in 1937 and its guiding principles are as relevant today as they were then!
Napoleon Hill first defined the mastermind as a “coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” His concept of the Mastermind was inspired by Andrew Carnegie and according to Mr. Hill,
“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.’
Since the publication of Think and Grow Rich, the idea of mastermind groups has grown and evolved to become a staple tool of successful individuals. The benefits of such groups are abundant, you have a group of people available to help you succeed, you benefit from others perspectives, access to resources and connections of others in the group, and you receive inspiration and accountability from the group toward reaching your goals. Napoleon Hill even went so far as to say there was a mystical quality created when a mastermind group was formed. He said: “No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind.” In other words, your ability to create things in the world is increased by having that invisible “third mind” of the mastermind group.
There are two basic types of mastermind groups: One which is focused on the success and vision of one individual, and one that is focused on helping everyone in the group. The mastermind group Carnegie had was solely directed at his personal vision. The 50 men in the group were not all there to discuss their own projects. They were all focused on one main goal: the building of a steel empire.
The second type of mastermind group is one where all members of the group are meeting to support one another in achieving a goal. These types of groups are everywhere, but aren’t always named “mastermind groups”. An Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is a form of a mastermind group, where the members get together to support each other in their sobriety. This is the most common type of Mastermind, when someone mentions that a Mastermind is forming, they mean a group dedicated to success and achievement. You can create a group that is led by a facilitator (sometimes paid), or a group that is run by members. These groups can meet in person, over a telephone conference line, or even in online chat rooms.
Are you part of a Mastermind? Many of us have created our own “mastermind” simply by those we associate with! The Group (my personal group of exceptional friends) are a mastermind, we give each other support, feedback and ideas on life decisions…let’s just face it, they are great friends! However you create a mastermind support system for yourself, consider it an essential part of your success plan. As Napoleon Hill said:
“Analyze the record of any man who has accumulated a great fortune, and many of those who have accumulated modest fortunes, and you will find that they have either consciously, or unconsciously employed the ‘Master Mind’ principle.”