116: Mastermind Group Leadership Challenges [Podcast]

Mastermind groups have become wildly popular with business leaders and entrepreneurs. Yet, many mastermind groups are facing leadership challenges and as a result these groups are less functional – if not a complete waste of time. For the past 5-6 years I have been coaching mastermind teams and have seen many of these challenges played out in front of me. Some have been fixable – others not. So today I want to share some key ways to overcome leadership challenges in mastermind groups.


Common Leadership Challenges in Mastermind Groups

Mastermind groups operating as coaching groups

Mastermind groups are not the same as a group coaching sessions – nor should they be. They are equal partners sharing.

Common signs you have a coaching group pretending to be a mastermind group:

  • The leader is always talking and has an answer for everything.
  • You feel like the leader is offering the same advice to everyone – you all are in the same box and there are no new ideas shared.
  • All voices are not heard.

Leadership vacuums

Even among equals we have to have leadership that works, otherwise it all falls apart. Signs of a leadership vacuum in your mastermind group:

  • No agenda or plans for the meetings
  • Personal conflicts that are not dealt with quickly
  • Lack of a designated co-leader


Not only from members, but from the leaders. Common signs of mastermind group burnout are:

  • Members often fail to show up
  • The leader cancelling meetings
  • Suggestions such as “let’s take a week or two off and then reschedule sometimes later” when later is not defined
  • Members saying things like “I feel the group is not serving me”

Lack of Real and Helpful Content

As a group, you should be helping each other and speaking into each other’s businesses. Signs this is not happening are:

  • The meetings become a rehash of ideas in popular books instead of members speaking from experience.
  • Lack of member’s transparency.
  • Members showing up bragging and never have real questions or doubts.
  • Membership treating the group as a way of growing customers.
  • No accountability or challenges to the other members

15 Minute Fixes to Mastermind Challenges

If you are not in a mastermind group

  1. Schedule about 15 minutes per day to get into one
  2. Define what you would like and who you would like to see in your group. Be reasonable.
  3. Reach out to the main person and set a time to talk about it.
  4. Set ground rules and put in writing.
  5. Define the leader and co-leader
  6. Re-evaluate progress quarterly or semi-annually and adjust (on calendar)

If you are in a mastermind group but not the leader

  1. Rethink your needs. Put in writing what you want from the group.
  2. Is this the right group?
  3. Discuss with leader(s) and ask where the group is going. Be open with your challenges and needs
  4. Commit or Quit

If you the a leader

  1. Send out a group message asking for individual and honest feedback about the group
  2. Based on that feedback- take it to the group for a group discussion about where they would like to go
  3. Establish or revisit ground rules
  4. Establish or evaluate co-leader
  5. Set periodic review of the group – quarterly or semi-annually

Join and listen to how to overcome leadership challenges in your mastermind group. 


Links mentioned in this episode:

How to Create and Run a Mastermind Group

Building Your Own Business

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