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How to Master Your Master Mind

The term  “Master Mind” has been part of our modern day lexicon since  Napoleon Hill wrote about its power in Think And Grow Rich, which was originally published in 1937.

And for good reason.

There are few things more powerful than being a part of a group of people mutually committed to each others’ success.

My friend, Chad Coe, a lifelong student of Hill’s work, runs a series of executive Master Mind groups in Chicago. He is, in short, a Master Mind master. (That’s why I’ve asked him to be our official Master Mind facilitator at The Extreme Leadership Summit).

Says Chad, “What if you could organize a group of diverse, like-minded people and engage and organize them for the purpose of helping each other to achieve their goals?  What would you accomplish that you couldn’t do by going it alone?”

“However,” says Chad, “Dr. Hill warns his readers about the danger to the Master Mind group of any single member who thinks negatively. Today’s professional facilitators know the importance of reining in naysayers. They understand that the effectiveness of brainstorming depends on a creative process where each idea generated allows for new ideas to branch off in new directions.”

To help you start and lead a Master Mind group of your own, (something which you should seriously consider doing soon), Chad recommends the following tips:

  • Establish start and end times for your meetings and adhere to them
  • Limit the group size to 8-12 people
  • Limit membership to like-minded, successful individuals
  • Recruit “givers”.  Avoid and dismiss “takers”.
  • Be aware of the group’s introverts and extroverts.  Encourage the introverts to contribute.  Assure that the extroverts do not dominate the discussion.
  • Stress Confidentiality and Create a Safe Harbor: There must be an understanding that confidential information that is shared with the group is not to be shared with outsiders.
  • Familiarity builds trust.  Trust is a prerequisite for candor.
  • Remember: Your role is the facilitator of Master Minds. Not the lead consultant.  The agenda must focus on engaging the members to focus on the member’s challenge at hand.
  • Avoid negativity.  There are no bad ideas (only some we choose not to immediately implement).

Please feel free to comment on this post to share your own Master Mind experiences, too. There’s a lot we can learn from each other.

And isn’t that the point, after all?

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  1. Masterminds are incredible and can do wonders for your business as well as for you, personally. Growing in a group is not only more effective, it’s quite a bit more fun!

  2. I have been facilitating groups for over 4 years. A naysayer or a person who’s glass is constantly half full or the person always has an excuse why it wont work, over time change the dynamic and the energy of the group. Now if you have a Mastermind group of just naysayers then “game on” more about mastermind groups can be found at

  3. Ralf Bergmann says:

    I would love to get a deeper understanding of the term “naysayer”, because I consider this to be crucial for me being able to comprehend the idea.
    I feel that some leaders excuse their own failure by saying they do not have the right people in their organization, so they replace them. Sometimes even constructive feedback is being related to naysaying. For me this seems like taking the easy out instead of seizing the full potential of an organization. I agree to the idea to avoid people who are against the vision from the beginning and are not willing to contribute at all; still I think there is soemthing in between which is worth a look at.
    So what is the “naysayer” about ?


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    How to Master Your Master Mind