Home » Leadership Mastermind: What Mastermind Groups Are & How to Find Them

Leadership Mastermind: What Mastermind Groups Are & How to Find Them

If you’ve ever wondered how top leaders excel and stay ahead of the game, the concept of a leadership mastermind might intrigue you.

Imagine being part of a select group of influential people where innovative ideas flow freely, and strategies for success are shared openly.

The synergy, collaboration, and learning opportunities that can be found within a leadership mastermind group can lead to remarkable transformations in your own leadership approach.

In this article, you’ll explore everything you need to know about leadership groups, including what they are, how to find one, and the benefits of joining one.

Let’s get started!

What is a mastermind group? 

A mastermind group is a mentoring concept used by like-minded professionals to help each other grow, solve challenges, and reach their goals. Essentially, it’s a group of people who meet regularly to exchange ideas, offer advice, share connections, and keep each other accountable.

The term “mastermind” was coined by Napoleon Hill in his famous book “Think and Grow Rich.” The idea is that when you get smart, driven people together, the collective intelligence and experience of the group far exceeds what any one individual could achieve alone.

Mastermind groups typically consist of multiple people (ideally more than 5) from diverse backgrounds with similar goals or challenges. They tend to meet regularly, often monthly or quarterly, to discuss their businesses, and any roadblocks they’re facing. They also use the meeting sessions to brainstorm solutions as a group. Members commit to supporting each other, giving honest feedback, and maintaining confidentiality within the group.

The beauty of a mastermind lies in the cross-mix of ideas, the accountability it encourages, and the expansive network you gain. It’s a way to surround yourself with positive, success-minded individuals who can offer fresh perspectives, resourcefulness, and encouragement.

Qualities of an effective leadership mastermind group

While the core purpose of any mastermind is to encourage growth through shared knowledge, not all leadership masterminds are created equal. While community and connection can be beneficial in itself, there are certain qualities that many high-performing, effective leadership mastermind groups share.

Here are some key qualities of an effective mastermind group:

  • Diversity: An effective mastermind includes individuals from varied professional backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints. If everyone in your mastermind group does the same kind of work, comes from similar backgrounds, or shares the same beliefs, then it’s likely not as effective as you think it is. True growth and creative problem-solving come from being able to think differently from how you usually do, and that’s where having perspectives from people who are different from you comes in. This diversity ensures well-rounded insights are shared and prevents groupthink. Look for a group with members from complementary yet distinct fields.
  • Open Communication and Active Listening: Encouraging transparent dialogue and attentive listening cultivates a culture of collaboration and mutual understanding. It’s also important that the group shares a collective respect and understanding towards one another for the best communication
  • Consistent Participation: For a mastermind to thrive, active and consistent participation from all members is really important. Look for groups with strong attendance requirements and a format that provides equity of voice. Members should be fully present and engaged.
  • Success-Minded Attitude: All members should approach the mastermind with a growth mindset – one of curiosity, openness to feedback, and a genuine desire to uplift others. Negativity or a closed-off attitude undermines the group’s potential, and can cause bigger issues down the road.
  • Structured Meetings: Effective masterminds have an agreed-upon structure for meetings with adequate time allowed per person. An experienced facilitator helps ensure meetings start/end on time and discussions remain constructive.

Surrounding yourself with other motivated leaders committed to excellence is a key driver of success. An effective leadership mastermind checks all these boxes.

group of leaders sitting around table with book and keys

How to find a leadership mastermind program

With the rising popularity of masterminds, finding one that’s a good fit for your goals and leadership style can seem like an elusive goal. In the age of the internet and supposed connection, sometimes it can be difficult to find like-minded people.

So where do you start to locate a leadership program that aligns with your growth goals and aspirations?

Here are some tips to help you find the right mastermind group for you:

Leverage Your Network 

Start by tapping into your existing professional network – colleagues, clients, investors, industry organizations etc. Chances are someone is already part of a group they can recommend or has insider knowledge of reputable programs and can point you in the right direction.

Explore Online Communities

Many great masterminds exist within online communities on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack and others. Join entrepreneurship or leadership groups in your niche and inquire about members’ experiences with different programs.

Attend Local Events

Leadership masterminds often recruit by networking at conferences, meetups, and other live events. Check out this article for the best female conferences. Attending these can get you aware of groups you didn’t know existed, and can connect you with facilitators and existing members to learn first-hand about their experience.

Research Listing Sites

There are now directories and listing sites like Meetup.com and Mastermind.com that curate and review various mastermind programs. These can be helpful starting points to discover different offerings.

Consider Your Budget

Before you pick a mastermind group, it’s important to think critically about how much you’re willing and able to spend towards a mastermind group. You can opt for free or no-cost mastermind groups, but be aware that many exclusive leadership and masterminds require a fee. Sometimes this can be a hefty amount! Of course, how much you want to invest is a personal decision that’s dependent on many factors. So assess your budget before you get influenced to join a mastermind.

Read Reviews and Ask for References

Before joining any mastermind, vet it thoroughly. Read independent reviews, get references from current members, and ensure the program’s structure, facilitator quality, and group dynamics align with your needs.

The right leadership mastermind can be a transformative experience – but only if it’s a good fit. Taking the time to thoroughly assess your options from trusted sources is key to finding your ideal mastermind match.

Explore different types of leadership mastermind groups 

Some leadership groups focus on specific industries or sectors, tailoring discussions and activities to the unique challenges and opportunities within those fields. Others may be more general, bringing together leaders from different backgrounds to encourage cross-pollination of ideas and perspectives.

There are also leadership groups that emphasize a particular leadership style, such as servant leadership or transformational leadership. These groups provide a deep dive into a specific approach, allowing members to explore its principles and practices in greater depth.

Furthermore, some leadership groups are geared towards specific career stages, catering to emerging leaders, mid-career professionals, or seasoned executives. This segmentation ensures that members are at similar points in their leadership journeys, facilitating more targeted and relevant discussions and learning opportunities.

Here are other types of leadership mastermind groups:

  • Industry/Niche-Specific Masterminds: These groups are usually made up of entrepreneurs or leaders operating in the same specific industry or niche. For example, there may be masterminds exclusively for SaaS founders, e-commerce entrepreneurs, creative agency owners, etc. The shared context allows for laser-focused discussions and advice.
  • General Business/Leadership Masterminds: On the other end are cross-disciplinary masterminds that bring together business owners and leaders from diverse backgrounds. The variety of experiences facilitates creative idea cross-pollination between industries.
  • Local/Regional Masterminds: Some masterminds are based on certain locations, comprising members from the same city, state or region. This allows for in-person meetings and localized connection-building.
  • Virtual Masterminds: With remote work and virtual meetings now the norm, there are many thriving online-only mastermind groups. These leverage video conferencing and messaging to facilitate connection despite physical distance between members.
  • Time-Boxed Masterminds: While many masterminds are ongoing, others take a time-boxed format running for a fixed shorter period like 3-6 months. These can be great for focused goal achievement before winding down.
  • Paid vs. Free Masterminds: There are both paid membership masterminds as well as free peer-run groups. Paid options tend to have professional facilitators, structured curriculums, and additional resources.

Benefits of joining a leadership mastermind

Leadership masterminds have the potential to offer several benefits. By joining a mastermind group, you can access a wealth of knowledge and expertise from your peers.

It can also empower you to maximize your potential, improve your effectiveness as a leader, and achieve tangible results in your personal and professional endeavors.

Here are some key benefits of joining a leadership mastermind:

  • Expanded Perspectives: Masterminds expose you to diverse viewpoints and expertise that can shed new light on challenges you’re facing. The mixture of ideas sparks creativity and solutions you may have missed on your own.
  • Accountability and Motivation: Having to report back to your mastermind peers on your goals and commitments is a powerful motivating force. The group provides an accountability system to stay on track and pushes you further than you might on your own.
  • Objective Feedback Loop: It’s easy to get trapped in your own subjective viewpoint on challenges. A mastermind gives you a trusted circle of people to gain objective, honest feedback to course-correct when needed.
  • Collaborative Brainstorming: Whether you’re stuck on a pressing issue or exploring new opportunities, running ideas past a group of insightful minds can be extremely valuable.
  • Expanded Network: A mastermind connects you with other high-caliber entrepreneurs and professionals you may not encounter otherwise. This can open doors to new partnerships, clients, talent, and resources.
  • Learning From Others’ Journeys: Hearing fellow members’ firsthand experiences – their successes, failures, and lessons learned – is hugely instructive. You get to vicariously learn from their experience.
  • Support System: Leading an organization can be lonely. Your mastermind becomes a close-knit peer support system where you can openly discuss leadership challenges without judgment.

Examples of popular leadership organizations and resources

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, there are a few well-known leadership mastermind groups and resources that you can research. 

  • Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO): EO is a global network of over 14,000 leading entrepreneurs across 61 countries. Their forum/mastermind model involves committing to a group that meets monthly to confidentially discuss business and personal issues. Membership is by approval.
  • REF, formally Renaissance Executive Forums: These private advisory board/mastermind groups are facilitated by former executives. Groups consist of 12-15 CEOs/business leaders across industries who meet monthly. Forums are location-based.
  • Strategic Coach: This entrepreneurial coaching program by Dan Sullivan includes membership in a “self-managing mastermind” group for quarterly in-person workshops and monthly group coaching calls.
  • Chief: Chief is a private network focused on connecting and supporting women executive leaders through peer mentorship groups called Core Circles.
  • Vistage Worldwide: Vistage runs over 23,000 private advisory groups for CEOs and senior executives across 20 countries. Groups meet monthly and are facilitated by an executive coach.
  • Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO): For presidents under 50 leading companies that meet certain membership requirements, YPO offers forum-based peer leadership advisory groups across the world.

While some of these have membership criteria to meet, other options could include finding local mastermind groups through networking groups like Meetup.com, your alumni association, local chambers of commerce, entrepreneurship centers, and coworking spaces.


Congratulations on taking the first step towards enhancing your leadership skills through a mastermind group.

By joining a leadership mastermind, you can open up to a world of growth, learning, and networking opportunities.

Keep pushing yourself, collaborating with like-minded individuals, and striving for excellence. 

Remember, the journey to becoming a dynamic and effective leader is ongoing, and with the support of a mastermind group, you’re well on your way to success.

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Angelica is a multi-passionate creative who loves dabbling in a little bit of this and that. She's always chasing her curiosities, whether that means jetting off to explore somewhere new or diving into a new technology she's eager to learn.

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