The key to a successful mastermind group is a great initiator. Notice I didn’t say leader. In a great mastermind group, everyone is a leader. Followers are limited and self-select out. As the initiator, you catalyze the group and get the momentum going. Once the group gets going, you almost become a member like everyone else. That is the goal.
Your role as the initiator is 3-fold:
1. Create the space
Creating the space means turning the original intention into action, sometimes setting the purpose, vision, and mission to attract the right members, establish the space and time for the first few meetings, and actively recruiting members to create a well-rounded team. This frontend work requires a lot of legwork and thought energy, but it will be worth it.
2. Hold the space (until it can hold itself)
Holding the space means taking care of the seen and unseen before, during, and after group meetings so that members don’t have to think about anything else except each other. The things that are visible and obvious include the venue, food, printing, supplies, staying on time, reminder emails. The things that go unseen are the thought put into the activities and agenda ahead of time, the intention you set for the day, your deep listening during conversations, the tone you set with your presence, body, and voice, and you masterfully making sure everyone received and contributed. Ultimately, we want everyone listening, making sure everyone is involved, and setting a high intention for the day, but initially, that will be for you to bear until members get of out the mindset of getting and shift to the mindset of giving freely.
3. Lead the space (not the group)
The way I define a leader is someone who creates more leaders. You initiated the group, but that doesn’t automatically make you the leader. We want everyone to be player-coaches.
Leading the space means feeling what is right for group in the moment, moving the conversation forward or pausing, asking the right question, scrapping the agenda or activity because you feel led in another direction, reallocating time, shifting the energy, calling on a quiet member you know can add value and perspective to a situation, transitioning from one agenda item to the next, managing energy, and knowing when to break.
You know your group is great when you can’t make a meeting for whatever reason and they have an amazing meeting anyway. It sounds counter-intuitive because from the outside looking in it appears that they no longer need you, but they recognize and value you for the creation, holding, and leading of the space.