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SCOTT DREYER: What Is A Mastermind?

A recent buzzword in business and personal growth circles is Mastermind. However, that word is not new. In fact, in his 1937 bestseller that is still a huge hit today entitled Think and Grow Rich, author Napoleon Hill introduces the term. Writing during the Great Depression, Hill explains how his personal friendships with leaders like Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford opened his mind to new insights and horizons. No doubt, his rubbing shoulders with such titans helped give him the brilliant mindset to write a book that is still highly-acclaimed almost one hundred years later. Using his own experience as a springboard, Hill encourages other people who are serious about personal growth and development to find like-minded folks who can come together and grow in synergy. Hill defined Mastermind as: “The coordination of knowledge and effort between two or more people who work towards a definite purpose in a spirit of harmony…no two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible tangible force, which may be likened to a third mind, in this case, the Mastermind.” Simply put, Hill claims that for an individual to grow, surrounding him- or herself with other, growth-minded people is non-negotiable.

This is why, even today, a Mastermind group a popular tool for personal or professional growth. There are a variety of formats based on the wide variety of Mastermind groups. However, in general, most groups read a book together on the same schedule, answer questions based on the text and content, and then discuss their insights together.  The benefit is based on the idea of synergy: that is, the sum of the whole is greater than all the individual parts. Bringing sharp minds together to read and discuss a book will produce more growth than individuals reading it alone.

As motivational speaker Tony Robbins put it, “The central concept is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who have what you’d like to create if you haven’t.”

As I often tell my students, you cannot choose what family you were born into, but you can choose your friends and whom you surround yourself with. Choose wisely, and select a peer group that will encourage and challenge you to grow in the right directions you want to grow and go in.

Twice I have benefitted from a Mastermind group graciously hosted by the Roanoke Valley Pinnacle Banks for business owners in our community. They provided great growth and networking opportunities.

Now, for the first time, I am offering a Mastermind 1.0! We will be reading and discussing the highly acclaimed book Atomic Habits by James Clear. To show you what a “global village” we live in, when I recently told a high school senior in Taiwan’s prestigious National Experimental High School about our upcoming Mastermind topic, she was thrilled. She explained she already knew about the book. When I asked her how, she replied: “Our English teacher at school said we should all read it, plus I follow a Taiwanese influencer on Instagram who attends Northwestern University, and he also told all his followers they should read it.”

As Clear points out, roughly half of our daily behavior is habitual. That is, we do it automatically, without thinking. So, if we can intentionally improve your habits, we can also improve the quality of our work and lives.

Taught via our online academy DreyerCoaching, this Mastermind is designed primarily for students and professional people in East Asia who have excellent English skills. For East Asia, the Mastermind is scheduled to run from 9:00-9:50 on Thursday nights. However, due to time zones, that is also 9:00-9:50 Thursday mornings here on the East Coast of the US. Therefore, for folks here in Virginia or elsewhere on the East Coast, you can enjoy this growth vehicle on a Thursday morning, delivered to your home of office via the Internet, right between breakfast and mid-morning coffee break!

This opportunity starts Thursday, April 7 and runs for 16 weeks. To find out more about it and how to register, click here.

–Scott Dreyer

Scott Dreyer M.A. in his classroom. Dreyer, of Roanoke, has been a licensed teacher since 1987 and now leads a team of educators teaching English and ESL to a global audience. Their website is

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