Motivational Canadian Business Speaker, George Torok

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Mastermind Group Mistakes

mastermind group

I was recently invited to become part of a mastermind group. It is a flattering invitation. It was not my first time but this was the quickest disaster. One meeting and it burst into pieces. There are several lessons in that disaster that you can learn from when forming your own mastermind group. We should learn from our own pain and especially from the pain of others. No need for you to repeat my pain.

Think and Grow Rich
I believe that a mastermind group can be very productive. I know that from others who have been members of long time productive mastermind groups. And I have taken part in groups that are variations of mastermind groups. The concept of mastermind groups was discussed by Napoleon Hill in his classic book, Think and Grow Rich.

My definition of a mastermind group is “a group of like minded people being brutally honest and supportive of each other to help each other grow”.

There is a lot in that statement. The most important part is the purpose – to help each other grow.

And that’s the first mistake we made. If you are not focused on how you will help the others you are a parasite. And the others will notice you sucking instead of offering. A vampire will quickly kill a mastermind group. And vampires are masters of disguise. They are good at seducing you and hiding their fangs until the blood bite.

That’s the first test. Is the group dedicated to helping each other or preying on each other? Watch out for the preying mantis that gently pressures you to do a deal with him.

Be Brutally Honest
Can you be both “Brutally honest and supportive”? Yes. Brutal means being direct in your questioning and answers to the group. Brutal means making the most effective use of time. Brutal does not mean being unkind. It would be unkind to lie. It would be unkind to waste time. It would be unkind to say what the group wants to hear instead of telling them what they need to hear. You are not part of a mastermind group to be a sycophant. That’s the role of your staff.

Brutally honest means pointing out the moose on the table that others are side stepping. Brutally honest means questioning suspicious sounding claims. (Who declared you the worlds greatest?) Brutally honest means the openness to express questions, doubts and concerns to the group with the full participation of the group.

Brutally honest means separating issues from individuals. If I question what you said – that doesn’t mean I don’t respect you. I can respect you without liking you. Liking might take longer. If I was upset by what you said – that means that your words upset me. That doesn’t mean that I think less of you as an individual. I can be impressed by what you have done and disappointed by what you have just said. Can you deal with that?

What does “like minded people” mean? This is another important question in forming your Master Mind Group. You don’t need to be identical but you need to have enough in common to function as an effective group. And you need to have enough significant differences to add value to each other.

Important Questions
Perhaps this is a good way to start. Ask these questions of each other and note the commonalities and differences. Use a flip chart if it makes it easier.

What are your values?
What are your strengths?
What is your style?
What are your fears?
What are your goals?
What obstacles are you facing?
What are you proud of?
What can you offer the group?
What do you want from the group?

Then list the things you have in common and the unique things that each adds to the master mind group.

Deal or no deal
Then decide as a group if you have the synergy to continue or remove redundancies. Be brutal. Be honest and be productive. That should be the method and purpose of your mastermind group.



George Torok brings practical insights to business. He is co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing, the first guide to personal marketing for the non-marketer. As host of Business in Motion he has interviewed over 400 business leaders. He is available to deliver keynote speeches and business seminars. Contact him at 905-335-1997 or visit

You can read an excerpt from the book at Get your free Marketing Tune-up at Marketing expert, George Torok is available for speaking engagements and media interviews at


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Business speaker for your convention, conference and business meeting - George Torok, bestselling author, radio show host & business speaker.

Call 905-335-1997 

Business Speaker, George Torok

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