The Power of High-Value Masterminds – Karen Kissane
The definition of the word “mastermind” has shifted dramatically over the last decade – over the last five years, even – and the root of the word impacts our understanding and expectations of what it should involve.
What actually is a mastermind?
The term “mastermind” originally referred not to a group but to an individual – the word itself means “a person with an outstanding intellect.”
However, a mastermind group has historically referred to a group of high-intellect individuals who meet to create synergy in the form of the “third mind.” Author Napoleon Hill, the first to introduce the concept of a mastermind group, described it like this:
“No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.”
For decades, masterminds were thought of as exclusive, high-powered groups that served as a sort of personal advisory board for each other in life and in business. But eventually, they started to become less exclusive and more accessible, regardless of perceived intellect or reputation.
These days, masterminds run the spectrum from super-exclusive to quite casual. Groups from every point on that spectrum have the same spirit of collaboration and community that Hill originally intended, if not more. But what sets them apart from those early masterminds is the presence of a clear leader, usually more experienced and knowledgeable than the others in the group.
Why modern mastermind is better
Modern masterminds may be less exclusive but they serve more people as a result. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely and isolated endeavor, especially in a time when so much happens from behind a screen.
Groups of individuals, at the same or different stages of their business journey, are able to grow faster together, tapping into that “third mind”, so that they can exceed their goals with the support of their peers. They can be there for one another, motivate each other, and celebrate wins together. They expose blind spots and stretch perspectives.
But what really sets modern masterminds apart are the coaches who lead them.
Peer-led masterminds are great, but when you have a coach who has been on the business journey and can help facilitate that discussion, that’s where the real magic happens.
It takes a deep understanding of the topic of interests, of coaching foundations, and a breadth of practical experience to know how to add value without compromising the synergy of the group. It also takes a certain kind of coach to be able to balance the business and the person so that both areas are equally supported.
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