What is an Industry Mastermind and why should you join one?

leadership mindset personal effectiveness Sep 15, 2022
Image of a group of Meerkats together with the caption 'What is an Industry Mastermind and why should you join one?'.


"So what is a Mastermind anyway?"

I’ve been asked a few times in recent weeks what a Mastermind Group is. As a result, I’d like to share again this article that I wrote a couple of years ago to answer that very question (at the time we were offering a different Mastermind-based programme).

Mastermind? People have wondered what it is, whether or not it’s different to training, whether it’s just another name for group mentoring. Most amusingly, a couple of people have asked rather wearily ‘Is it just another Zoom Call?’ 

The short answer to all those questions is ‘No’.  A Mastermind is a gathering of people who come together with a very specific format and a specific purpose. Wikipedia tells us that a Mastermind is “a peer-to-peer mentoring group used to help members solve their problems with input and advice from other group members’. 

Napoleon Hill, author of the 1930s best-seller ‘Think and Grow Rich’ is credited with introducing the concept to the business world, although masterminds existed long before then. He strongly encouraged people to gather together in a structured, repeatable environment for the success of all. His reason?

“No two minds ever came together without thereby creating a third, invisible, tangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the mastermind].’

Mastermind Groups are built on the principle that ‘none of us is as smart as all of us’ - by pooling our knowledge, skills and insights together, we become greater than the sum of our individual parts.


What is the purpose of a Mastermind Circle?

The purpose of a Mastermind Circle is to enhance the business and personal skills of its members.  Its objective is to help the members achieve success, however it is that they define ‘success’ for themselves.  A key function of the Mastermind is to encourage its members to set strong and stretching goals while also putting in place accountability mechanisms.  Accountability provides focus and helps keep members on track and committed to actually accomplishing their goals. 


What happens in a Mastermind?

The activity of the Mastermind rests on a combination of brainstorming, problem-solving, learning, accountability and support processes. When the group comes together, members will set individual goals and then design a plan to help them achieve it. Peers in the group help with creative ideas and decision-making. As members implement their plans over time, they may bring successes and challenges that they encounter on the journey to the group. Challenges are addressed through peer brainstorming and collective decision-making. Colleagues in the Mastermind Group fulfill a number of functions that may not otherwise be so readily available e.g. devil’s advocates, advisory group and a board of directors.

A true Mastermind will consistently ensure three things:

  • A regular opportunity for each member to share his/her challenges and plans.
  • A chance for everybody in the group to contribute to brainstorming and problems-solving
  • A space for individual accountability reporting.


What makes a Mastermind successful?

Here’s a quick list of a number of essential elements for a successful Mastermind.

  • A cohort of members who participate fully and willingly and who are open to both receiving and giving wisdom.
  • A skilled facilitator who does not dominate the group, but instead holds a space for members to achieve deep and meaningful engagement through brainstorming and problem-solving.
  • An organized and reliable approach with scheduled meetings and an agenda for each one.
  • A spirit of collaboration and confidentiality.


A high value process

The true value of a Mastermind lies in the process of the group brainstorming, problem-solving,  and accountability supports. This process delivers tremendous insight on one’s business and personal effectiveness. The creative thinking and supports for effective decision-making found in the Mastermind can truly elevate a business and be a catalyst for dramatic progress towards one’s goals and even beyond them. 


“None of us is as smart as all of us”


Tina O'Dwyer is a Certified High Performance Coach and member of the International Coaching Federation. She is a professionally trained and accomplished facilitator.  If you are interested in being part of a Mastermind Group now or in the future, get in touch on [email protected]

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