The Mastermind Way of Co-creating

Napolean Hill, who first coined the term “mastermind” in his book, Think and Grow Rich, described a mastermind as follows:

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

The key feature of a mastermind is that there is a collaboration among participants that causes a greater level of genius to emerge than any single person could have achieved on his own, no matter how brilliant he is. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

The Successful Mastermind

The key to a mastermind group being successful is a combination of self-awareness, respect for other members and their perspectives, and a willingness to learn and change as a result of the conversation. It is also helpful to simply know HOW to engage in difficult conversations without becoming emotionally charged. There is a skill to civil debate that is largely developed through a combination of instruction/modeling and practice.

Without self-awareness, one is likely to respond defensively when the situation calls for flexibility and a broader perspective.

Without respect for others in the conversation, it is unlikely participants will truly listen to what others are saying or be willing to let their own views evolve as a result of what they are hearing.

Without a willingness to learn and grow during the course of the interaction, discussions devolve into arguments. No forward movement is possible.

And without skill, the best intentions still fall into chaos.

An Example of Getting it Right

I recently took part in a spontaneous mastermind that came together on Blab. We were just intending to discuss the state of civil discourse in America, and what to do about it. Instead we unconsciously utilized all the features of a mastermind group, to great final effect.

Find out more about that meeting, its co-created solutions, plus upcoming community conversations, and implications for our collective future within the full article from which this is excerpted at

Have you ever been a part of a mastermind group, however formal or informal? How do you feel it benefited you to collaborate in this way?

I look forward to your input. What can we co-create even just within a comment-based interaction?

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