What is a Mastermind Group and Why Should I Join One?Apr 02, 2021
If you’ve ever found yourself asking, “What is a mastermind group and why should I join one?,” I’ve got you covered. Not only do we run mastermind groups here at Womxn Led, but I have led and participated in many of these groups over the past decade. For starters, here is the general overview:
General Mastermind Group Guidelines
- Typically, a Mastermind Group is a small collection of peers who meet regularly to discuss the specific challenges that come with their role or to discuss a specific topic put forth by the group host.
- The structure of the group can look very different depending on the intention set for the Mastermind and who is leading it, but the common denominators are that it’s a relatively small group of people who share a common interest who agree to meet regularly to discuss said interest area. For example, most of the groups that I lead have five to seven members and we meet for 90 minutes once per month to discuss the specific challenges that come with being a founder or CEO.
- Generally, the group is facilitated by a host and has a set structure for each meeting.
- In most Mastermind Groups, the participants commit to attending the meetings for a specific amount of time (e.g., 6 months) and the members of the group remain the same the entire time. That said, there are variations of Masterminds where participants come and go as they please and new members are welcome. Again, it all depends on who is hosting the meetings and the intention they have established for the space.
Now that we have the answer to the question of “What is a Mastermind Group,” we can move on to the most common follow up questions, “Why should I join one?”
Listen, I get it. We all have too much on our plates as it is. Committing to yet another regularly scheduled meeting is enough to make most of us want to throw our computers against the wall. So, why on earth would committing to another meeting be valuable? Here’s my take:
Why Are Mastermind Groups Valuable?
They help you find your people and feel less isolated
In your professional role, have you ever met someone who is in the same role at another company and you get to talking and you feel that ooey gooey feeling of, “THEY GET ME!!!” You start commiserating over the common challenges of your role, you speak the same professional language, and you find the same interest areas.
For me, when I meet another CEO of a social enterprise I feel like I can take a huge sigh of relief and just speak plainly about my work. Now imagine being in a room with not just one person like this, but four or five people who are like you! You can dive so much deeper and really get to the heart of issues you’re facing.
For example, in the Mastermind Groups I am in, we’ve discussed things like how to deal with trauma when you’re the CEO, what to do about limited childcare, burnout, and even transitioning from your role. Being able to discuss these types of topics with other CEOs has helped me feel not quite as lonely in my role. Every time you're in a group of people who “get you” it helps you to feel more connected and less isolated, which only serves to energize your work.
They help you more effectively network
When many of us think of networking, we think of shaking hands and making small talk over a plate of orange cheese cubes while attempting to pass out as many cards as possible. Personally, I loathe these environments. It’s just not my jam. Before I am willing to make introductions or agree to work with someone, I like to truly connect with them and get to know them, which most conference environments don’t allow for. Enter the Mastermind Group. The Mastermind Groups that I am a part of or that I lead have provided me with some of the best networking of my career. The very best networking is built on trust and a Mastermind Group done well can lead to some of the most trusting relationships you have in your professional life.
They help you surface solutions to problems that no one else can
My brother and I are both relatively intelligent humans. He works at the Gates Foundation in the Life Sciences Department in the infectious diseases program and I am an entrepreneur. You’d think with our brains together we would be dynamite, but if my brother comes to me with a challenge that has to do with the pharmaceutical industry, I simply can’t help him. I can ask him general questions, but I don’t know enough about his work to be able to ask the specific questions that would really help him work through his challenges. The same goes for him. He has never been a CEO or an entrepreneur. So, while we’re both smart and caring people, we can’t really talk about our work with each other except on a fairly surface level.
This is how most of us roll through the world. The people who are in our lives from spouses and family to friends and even co-workers don’t know enough about our professional roles to be able to really help us face many of the challenges we’re asked to contend with at work. Do you want to know who can though? Other people who have the same or very similar professional role! As a CEO, there are things that I can only talk to other CEOs about. As an HR professional, there are things that only HR professionals can talk about together — same with finance, same with admin, same with operations, same with IT, same with...you get the idea.
Being in a group of people who truly understand your role and can ask very specific, informed questions helps you uncover solutions to your challenges that you never could have seen if you were talking to another group of well-intentioned people who just don’t really get what you do.
They give you energy rather than deplete your energy
So much of our life is spent giving — at work, most of us spend our time giving our time, our intelligence, our mental energy, and many times our hearts. We produce. We optimize. We sell. We strategize. And then we return home where we're often asked to continue giving. It leaves many people feeling regularly depleted and searching for just one damn place where they are held, where they are seen, and where they are supported. I’ve found that often this space is a Mastermind Group. It’s one of the only spaces I go each month to seek regular support and open myself up to receiving. I walk away from every single session feeling energized and with multiple insights that I hadn’t previously had.
So, with all of that hopefully this helped to answer the common question of “What is a Mastermind Group and why should I join one?” We’re here to help if you have any further questions.
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