3 Critical Components to a Better Mastermind Group

A 95% chance of achieving your goals!?

Mastermind groups, roundtables, circles, tribes, peer coaching groups, etc. are fantastic vehicles for driving better results for your endeavors. Whether you’re hoping to lose weight, build a 7-figure business or to be a better mom, there’s a mastermind group for you.

However, as someone who runs multiple groups, and has coached many others, I’ve found there are a few essential pieces that need to be in place for running a better mastermind group.

If these pieces aren’t there, the group can morph into casual chit-chat quickly. That means you won’t be getting closer to your goals; instead, you’ll be wasting precious time.

Remember, anything you give your time and attention to is an investment that you should take seriously.

Remember, anything you give your time and attention to is an investment that you should take seriously. Most people don’t keep their investment dollars in a piggy bank or under the mattress; it’s not a smart way to grow your money. Sitting in a 60-minute call talking about your favorite sports team isn’t going to expand your intellect or help you achieve your goals.

The purpose of the mastermind group is coordinate “knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people for the attainment of a definite purpose.” That is Napoleon Hill’s guiding definition of a mastermind group.

Napoleon Hil Mastermind definintion

Looking at Hill’s famous quote, let’s expand and define how you can achieve each one and create your mastermind alliance.

1. Have a Structure (Harmony)

Having a predetermined agenda is a vital component to make the most of the time invested. It starts by setting expectations; each member understands how much time is allotted for starting the meeting, speaking during hot seat or spotlight rotation, and closing the meeting out.

Having an agenda means everyone knows when the meeting starts and when it should end. It provides structure and predictability. If members stay on track, everyone gets an equal opportunity to get support from the group.

An agenda doesn’t need to be complicated to be effective. There are several popular mastermind meeting agendas or formats you could try. Some groups have a list of discussion topics. Benjamin Franklins Junto meetings used a list of 20 questions.

A 60-minute mastermind group agenda for 5 people might look something like this:

:00 – :05 Intro

06 – :15 Hot Seat (Member 1)

:16 – :25 Hot Seat (Member 2)

:26 – :35 Hot Seat (Member 3)

:36 – :45 Hot Seat (Member 4)

:46 – :55 Hot Seat (Member 5)

:56 – :60 Wrap-up

During their “hot seat” each member “give”: Offer something useful such as a resource or even a training to the group and/or share a win or success story.

Each member should “ask”: Get insight or advice from the group on a challenge they are facing.

Each member should “commit”: Set a measurable goal with a deadline that they will report back the group about at their next meeting. Being accountable to people you respect is a powerful way of getting things done.

Depending on the size and time allotment for your group you might choose to have each member cover each item during one Hot Seat/Spotlight or you might instead go around to each member and begin with a give, and continue that process with the “ask” and “commit”.

Some groups may prefer to have more open time for discussion. Topic focused groups may have time set specifically for that every meeting.

The specific agenda matters less than just having a format altogether. While there may be pros and cons to different methods, there is no question that having some structure in place will dramatically improve your results.

Work with your group to come up with an agenda and a set of rules that you all agree to and it will be easier to run your group.

Each person should have an equal opportunity to give and get from the group (harmony), so whatever format you choose, keep this in mind. Some mastermind groups use a rotating hot seat each week to ensure that everyone gets their own time.

That is important because you need to make sure everyone gets time to work on their definite purpose.

The nucleus platform helps provide structure to your meetings with built-in agendas. It’s easy to create any agenda for your group and reuse them for future meetings. You can assign members to segments to put them in the spotlight and make their priority goal visible to everyone during the meeting.

2. Set Goals (Definite Purpose)

Goal setting is the raison d’etre for a mastermind group. That might sound silly, but it’s true! We all know that goal setting is one of the most critical actions you need to take if you want to achieve success in your life! (Reference); this is where the power of a mastermind group comes to life.

Setting the right goals is as important as setting goals altogether.

Through problem-solving with the members of your group, you can apply objective, unique perspectives to your own goals. Imagine it! You get the aggregate experience of everyone in the group working to help you define the next most valuable step towards achieving your dreams.

One useful goal setting method is to ask “the focusing question” (from TheONEThing). It directs the power of the group by asking, “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Chinese Proverb

Incorporating goal setting is a crucial element of any successful mastermind group. It’s the best place to work on setting the right goals. But it gets better: you’re also accountable to others for accomplishing those goals!

Declaring your goals and intentions in front of people that you respect is an incredible motivator. Research has proven this:
“studies by the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) have shown that accountability can increase your chances of reaching a goal by 85 percent.

Failure and accountability are interlocked. Failure shows us where we need to grow and accountability makes sure we’re growing. Without accountability, it’s easy to let things slide and blame our current situation on outside forces. Taking ownership of your outcomes is the only way to learn and grow so that you keep improving. Owning up to your shortcomings and mistakes isn’t easy, but it is an essential part of success.”

“When we decide, set deadlines, make plans and commitments our chances of success increase.

  • Hear an idea: 10%
  • Consciously decide to adopt it: 25%
  • Decide when you will do it: 40%
  • Plan how you will do it: 50%
Commit to someone else you will do it: 65%
  • Have a specific accountability appointment with the person committed to: 95%”


Read that last line again: Have a specific accountability appointment with the person committed to: 95%.

How would you like to have a 95% chance of achieving your goals!?

Regularly scheduled mastermind meetings check all boxes! How would you like to have a 95% chance of achieving your goals!?

Now that you’re getting clear on your goals you can take another step that will significantly increase your chances of achieving them. Writing them down and tracking your progress.

The nucleus platform helps you track your goals and milestones to remind you to do the work that matters.

3. Keep Track (Coordinate Knowledge)

Am I making this sound too easy? Mastermind groups are a powerful tool if applied correctly, but I’ve seen groups fizzle out even if they were initially effective.

For the success of a group to achieve longevity, it’s imperative there is a way for members to look back and track how they’ve performed over time.

Not only does this apply increased pressure from an accountability perspective, but it also lets members look back at their success with the group and renew the excitement about what can be accomplished when the members are working well together.

By analyzing your goals, you can also determine what needs to change or what brings success. Imagine looking back at how you set goals a year ago to identify trends. You might find goals written in a specific format get completed more often than others. Maybe you tended to set overwhelming goals when you weren’t able to achieve them. Keeping track and looking back lets you improve moving forward!

There are a lot that happens in the course of a mastermind session from sharing resources and discussing challenges to coming up with radical business ideas. Without a way to keep track, this brilliance often gets lost.

The nucleus platform becomes a central repository for useful information shared in your mastermind group. Agendas, notes, chats and meeting recordings all in one place.

Over time, the resource library will grow into a valuable asset for the entire group.


Use tools to make your mastermind better. 
Spreadsheets, cloud storage, and group chats can be used to create and share your meeting agenda, record your goals, and keep track of everything shared during the meeting. Apply these principles, and you will see better results.

Shameless plug: nucleusapp.io will do all of this for you so you can focus on getting results. Sign Up Now

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