How to Avoid Self-Deception and Pride When Leading Your Mastermind Group


Leading a mastermind group is a deeply empowering, enriching, and noble pursuit. Thousands of mastermind facilitators around the world are becoming successful entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and coaches. However, whenever you find yourself in a position of power and authority, it’s important not to succumb to pride and self-deception and instead be selfless and humble.


As we know from history, power can have a corrupting influence on even well-intentioned leaders, and running a mastermind will make you a respected authority from the perspective of your members. It’s easy to see why Jesus cited pride and greed as some of the most common pitfalls to be avoided. What’s easy to overlook, however, is that pride and greed are not undertaken consciously, but rather through self-deception. 


You might gradually convince yourself that you are more deserving or worthy than others, without realizing that greed is driving your pursuit of material wealth over spiritual values. Even as this excess detracts from your quality of life and that of others, the continual hunger for “more” and “better” might blind you to the simple joys of everyday life experienced without stress and hurry.


Being Honest with Yourself


This is why it’s so important to be honest with yourself, and true to your spiritual values of humility and service, even while leading a mastermind group. Part of that process includes resisting the trappings of material excess and evaluating the true cost of any item before purchasing it. If that concept sounds familiar, that’s because it was explored deeply in John Mark Comer’s book The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry


Comer gives an example of evaluating the true cost of an item by looking at the idea of buying a motorcycle. Although the sticker price of a motorcycle might seem affordable, you must look at all of the intangible costs of buying one. There is the cost of potential repairs, the time it takes to maintain it, and even the potential medical costs if you get into an accident. 


Moreover, there is an opportunity cost that comes from everything you might miss out on because of the time commitment to this motorcycle or other goods you’ve bought. Finally, there might be a spiritual cost. If caring for your motorcycle takes up a great deal of your time, it might increase the amount of hurry in your life.


This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a motorcycle, but simply that you should be aware of the true cost of whatever you choose to buy.


This practice is easier said than done. Beware of the temptation to deceive yourself into thinking that you absolutely need a specific material item to be happy. This might be a sign that the material possession gives you a sense of pride and grows your ego.


Challenging your ego and being humble is absolutely key to running a successful mastermind group. Check out The Mastermind Playbook for more tips on maintaining a sense of humility and service.


The Trappings of Materialism


This way of thinking is remarkably easy to fall into. Our entire culture places such a strong emphasis on material wealth and status. In a sense, these values have become their own kind of religion, in which people worship money and possessions. Question these cultural narratives by asking questions like, “What if the formula ‘more stuff=more happiness’ is bad math?” 


Instead, what if more stuff=more stress? What if more stuff actually means less of the things that matter more, such as time, financial freedom, mental space for creativity, relationships, and spirituality?


Jesus had some strong words on this point as well. He put it like this: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”


Jesus is perhaps the best role model for leadership. Check out The Mastermind Playbook for more information on how to lead a group virtuously.


Minimalism and Simplicity


In modern, secular terms, many writers talk about the concept of minimalism as a way of integrating this ancient wisdom into our modern times. Minimalism can be defined as the intentional promotion of things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from them. 


Another similar concept is simplicity. Richard Foster and Mark Scandrette defined it in the following way: “Simplicity is an inward reality that can be seen in an outward lifestyle of choosing to leverage time, money, talents, and possessions towards what matters most.”


They go on to add that you should not complicate your life with hurry and waste but instead simplify your lifestyle so you can focus on what’s truly important. As a mastermind leader, your material trappings might distract you from your important and sacred duty to help your members, and grow your mastermind group.


The goal should be not to just declutter your closet, but to declutter your life. Be honest with yourself about what things you need, and what you don’t. This includes material possessions but also includes commitments, relationships, and habits.


Remember, self-deception is always knocking at the door. Thankfully, you have a mastermind group full of people who can help you point out when you’re lying to yourself. Here’s to a life of simplicity, humility, and impact.


Decluttering your life will make you happier, and it will make you a better mastermind leader. Check out The Mastermind Playbook for more transformative tips on becoming a better mastermind facilitator.


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