How to run a Mastermind Group

Why joining a mastermind?

Mastermind is one of the most powerful tools that can help us achieve our goals. I’ve written another article about reasons for being in a Mastermind.

The key benefits are:

  • Accountability
  • Articulating Successes and Challenges
  • Getting Advice and Inspiration
  • Realisation you are not alone

It’s not easy to find an established mastermind group, however it’s fairly straightforward to set one up and the added benefit is that you get to choose who to invite and write your rules.

Here is a summary of my thoughts on setting up and running a Mastermind.

Who to invite?

  • Similar interest and mindset (this is really important — people who don’t want to learn or who believe they are always right are not a good fit)
  • Similar skill and success level
  • Size — I found meetings with 3–4 attendees to be optimal — enough space for every person to speak yet still opportunity for each member to think (i.e. not take active participation at all time).However 6 members was still doable and 2 was still very useful and probably most efficient.

Best Practices

  • Regular day and time — whether monthly, fortnightly or weekly — pick a specific recurring day, so you don’t need to plan each meeting separately
  • Paid Vs Free — I found people to be much more committed if they pay, even a nominal amount, but a free mastermind is definitely better than none
  • Organiser — nothing happens, unless there is one person who organises people
  • Roles — during the meetings we have assigned following roles: facilitator, timekeeper, notetaker
  • Guests– it’s good to have some rules in place about new members, sometimes you meet someone who you think would be a great fit but you won’t know until you invite them, so invite them only as guests for the first time and set no expectations about a membership being offered to them, just invite them to experience it. Then existing members should have a say in whom to invite (I’d seek 100% approval rate for new members)

Process

Integral part of the meeting is preparation — filling in a mastermind group form helps each member to think through their successes and lessons learned in the previous period and current challenges they want to get the group’s feedback on.

The form is super simple — it’s basically a Word doc with 5 bullets (as numbered below) for each member and then sub-bullets in each of the areas. For actions I like to colour code DONE (green), IN PROGRESS (yellow), NOT DONE (RED)

We follow a “hot seat” approach, when we focus on a single person at a time.

Each of us will (in turn) have 15 minutes to focus on their business.

  • 3 minutes to review actions from last time [1],
  • following 6 minutes are only for the person in the hot seat to share their wins [2], lessons learned [3] and challenges [4] — no questions will be asked by others during the first 6 minutes (unless encouraged by the hot seat member),
  • last 6 minutes are for questions, advice and discussion (to be moderated by the person in the hot seat).

At the end of all the hot seats, each member shares their actions they will take before the next time [5]. Which get noted down and shared with everyone after the meeting and reviewed at the next meeting.

Questions?

If you have any questions or suggestions, please comment below.

Cheers,
Martin