Mastermind Groups in Medical Education
Welcome to the Medutopia Mastermind Group Project! We have been planning to roll out the group project for a while now, but we needed everything to be ready. Before we get started, however, we need to explain in detail what a mastermind group is and why you should consider joining one. Whether you are considering launching your very own mastermind group or simply joining one as a member in order to enrich your life, there are a few nuts and bolts that you need to know. The following is a review for both groups. If used properly, mastermind groups can work to accelerate your personal and career growth.
What is a Mastermind Group?
The concept of the mastermind group was discussed in 1937 in the book, Think and Grow Rich, by Napolean Hill. In this book (admittedly the title is pretty cheesy), Hill talks about the mastermind alliance, a term that predates the term mastermind group. A mastermind group is formed when two or more people join together around a common interest. According to Hill, a mastermind group “consists of two or more people that work in perfect harmony for the attainment of a definite purpose.”
Here is what Wikipedia says about mastermind groups:
Originally developed and talked about the most in the business world, mastermind groups have become an incredibly popular way of growing and developing your career and other personal interests. Conceptually, a mastermind group is a collection of people with similar interests who meet regularly to grow and benefit from the collective knowledge of the team members of the mastermind group. Just talk to anyone who has participated in a mastermind group. They will tell you about the tremendous benefits.
Mastermind groups have been around for a while, and so they really aren’t new. Interestingly, several mastermind groups have been highlighted in history. King Arthur, Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Carnegie, Theodore Roosevelt, Ben Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford all belonged to some form of mastermind group.
This is a picture of Benjamin Franklin’s mastermind group, called the Junto, or the “Leather Apron Club,” that was formed in 1727. If you look back on any of the great minds of our time, you will likely find that they belonged to something like a mastermind group.
Examples of Mastermind Groups in Medical Education
Mastermind groups are great in business and other interests, but how could they be used in medical education? I am glad you asked.
Consider the following examples and scenarios of mastermind groups:
- Presentation design and delivery-This mastermind group is composed of educators who have a desire to become expert speakers. The group is composed of 10 educators from around the world, and they meet once a month via Google Hangouts to discuss how to grow as speakers. All members of the group contribute to the discussions and each member gets advice from the “collective wisdom” of the group. Each member takes a turn being in the “hot seat” to highlight the challenges and difficulties they face as a speaker.
- Medical education research-This group is made up of educators involved in medical education research and meets every two weeks to help each other in their struggles of trying to get medical education research off the ground.
- Digital media in medical education-This is a group of medical educators who meet once a week to discuss how to make and disseminate digital media. They meet via Zoom. In addition, they have a private Slack group where they can discuss digital media creation.
These are just a few examples of how a mastermind group could tie a group of people together with a common interest. The really cool thing about these groups is that everyone contributes to helping ALL members of the mastermind group. It is simply awesome!
My Entrepreneurism Mastermind Group in Lexington, Kentucky
Mastermind groups can be used to grow your personal life in addition to your career as a medical educator. I just started a mastermind group for a group of friends and neighbors in the city I live in. It’s composed of people with various backgrounds in business, medicine, architecture, and landscaping. We meet monthly to discuss ways to use entrepreneurism to enrich our lives and our families.
Why Consider Joining a Mastermind Group
Why are we even talking about the concept of the mastermind group? Can’t we continue doing the same thing with our mentor(s) just like we always have? Sure, mentors are fine. In fact, we have awesome mentors, don’t we? They are essential to our growth and development, and we have all learned lessons from them that have had a direct impact on our success. Traditionally, most of us have had either one main mentor or maybe a few mentors. To take your life and career to the next level and to truly develop and grow as an individual, you need to STRONGLY consider joining a mastermind group. They are an invaluable faculty development tool for medical educators, and they take mentoring to a level we never dreamed of.
The bottom line is this: In a mastermind group you benefit from the entire, “collective mind,” or “mastermind,” of the group. If you are having issues, struggles, or you are facing certain obstacles, the group members are there to literally help you solve these problems. It’s like having a panel of experts at your disposal all the time. In addition to the help you receive, you will be in a position to help others as they work to overcome their own obstacles. The synergy created is a thing of beauty.
Mastermind group meetings can be in person or can be held via conference call or video call with Google Hangouts, Zoom, or Voxer. In addition, there are programs that have been developed recently that are specifically designed for running mastermind groups, like Mastermind Manager. Mastermind group members can also develop a Slack group, or some other program, for staying connected offline.
Here is a screenshot of a meeting held in Zoom.
Frequency of Meetings, Group Size, and Composition
There are a few logistic considerations when planning a mastermind group or when joining one: the frequency of meetings, how many people are in the group, and the “composition” of the group (the skillset the group has).
Meetings can be held with whatever frequency your group needs and can include weekly, biweekly, or monthly. The key to success is meeting regularly. Regular meetings are crucial for maintaining the momentum gained during the group development process.
Group size will depend on the needs of the group. A lot of groups are in the 10 person range which is very reasonable. Anything above this becomes tougher.
The composition of your mastermind group is important, as you want to belong to a group of people who have similar interests. Joining the wrong mastermind group can lead to an experience that may not optimize your success. if you are in the process of developing and building mastermind groups, you will need to consider the talents, skills, and background of the members in order to put together a group of individuals who will all benefit from one another.
The Topic of the Mastermind Group and Setting an Agenda
This topic is the essential ingredient of the group. What is it that a group of people will meet for to discuss? Is it a specific topic? Is it about a business? Mastermind groups can be centered around pretty much any topic, but this needs to be defined at the very beginning (before recruitment of members). In addition to the topic or central focus of the group, clearly defined goals and objectives will need to be created. And it doesn’t hurt to have a good mission statement.
Regarding the agenda, there are many ways to set this up. Just Google search “mastermind group agenda” and you will see multiple examples of ways to set up your meeting.
A fairly constant in agendas is to have a section of the meeting called something like “the hot seat.” This occurs when each member of the group becomes the center of the discussion. An example would be a mastermind group that is centered around the struggles that people face in their small business. When your turn comes up, you explain what you are struggling with and each member of the group takes a turn giving advice to help you solve your problems. The beauty is in the design of the group. It’s incredible to listen to the wealth of helpful information that people offer inside a mastermind group.
The Mastermind Manager
A mastermind group will need a manager/coordinator to run all aspects of the group. When you distill it down, running a mastermind group requires a lot of work, and someone will need to be around to administer the group and be responsible for keeping track of accomplishing the goal(s) of the group.
The purpose of the mastermind organizer is:
- Introduce each meeting and keep everyone on track
- Record notes and ideas from each meeting
- Plan and implement the mastermind group
- Organize mastermind group members (select the group)
- Develop, organize, and distribute learning materials (podcasts, books)
- Keep track of goals and objectives of the group
- Coordinate team communication via email, Slack group, texts, etc.
Are Mastermind Groups Free?
There are some mastermind groups that are free of charge. Many, however, charge in the range of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month. High-end business mastermind groups can charge as much as several thousand dollars a month!
Why Pay to Join a Mastermind Group?
An obvious question you might have is, “Why do I have to spend money to join a mastermind group?” Better yet, you might wonder why you can’t just keep doing what you are already doing. The answer is…you can. But if you want to take what you are already doing to a level you never dreamed of you would benefit from the magic of a well-formed mastermind group. I belong to one and pay monthly for it, and it’s one of the best things I have ever done for my personal growth. Trust me.
What Kinds of Groups Will Medutopia Offer?
Medutopia will offer 4 different mastermind groups, one of them free and the other three paid versions.
1. Creativity and Innovation in Medical Education (Disrupt)
2. Podcasting in Medical Education (PodLife)
3. The Medupreneur Mastermind (Spark I)-for beginners
4. The Medupreneur Mastermind (Spark II)-intermediate
The Disrupt Mastermind Group will be free for any interested medical educator (anywhere in the world). The purpose of this mastermind group is to discuss innovation and creativity in medical education and to learn how to truly make a difference in the lives of learners. This group will meet once a month. There will be more information about signing up for this innovative mastermind group on an upcoming blog post. We will also explain the logistics of the the group, including the goals and objectives, mission statement, and how video calls will be accomplished.
The PodLife Mastermind Group (Podcasting in Medical Education) is open to 10 podcasters/or “wanna be podcasters” who are interested in learning how to use podcasting as a teaching tool in either education or medical education. Some of the details have not been sorted out quite yet, but this group will likely meet biweekly to monthly. There will more details released and signup information on an upcoming blog post.
The Spark Mastermind Group is for ANYONE in medicine (physician, nurse, paramedic, pharmacist, etc.) who wants to learn how to take their career to the next level by becoming a medupreneur (a medical education entrepreneur). Ever thought about infusing some entrepreneurism into your career? Ever considered taking your blog or podcast to the next level by using them to develop a potential revenue stream? Ever wanted to be your own boss? If you answered yes to any of these questions you might want to consider joining the Spark Mastermind Group. There will be 2 Spark groups: one for folks just starting out in the world of creating blogs, podcasts, etc. and one for more advanced medupreneurs (may already have a blog, podcast, or website). If you want to learn how to change the world…this is your chance. We will release more details of this awesome new mastermind group very soon!
Mastermind groups are an invaluable faculty development tool that if used in the right way can lead to exponential growth in both your personal life and career. The key is in finding a group that has the same goals and objectives that you do. Having mentors is fine, and I certainly have many mentors in my personal and professional life. What finally convinced me to get involved in mastermind groups was hearing from friends and colleagues who have greatly benefited from them. I think you will be pleasantly surprised what they can do for your life.
If you are interested in joining one of our mastermind groups please contact us through the website or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we have a list of people who are interested we will develop a schedule of calls. We have some upcoming posts explaining some of the nuances of mastermind groups.
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