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Why Mastery  
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Test Your Mastery System
If you asked 10 people in your organization the following questions, how well would they be able to answer:
  • What profession or field do you work in? Radiology, Biology, Finance, Marketing, HR, Architecture, Facilities Management, Electrical Engineering, Geology, Plumbing, etc.
  • What are the 8-10 core practices required to be at the top of your field?
  • Which ones have you mastered?
  • What positions or projects will enable you to develop a wider range of practices?
  • Who are 3-4 masters in your profession or trade with whom you can reality check your list of basic practices and competencies?
  • How many people in your organization are acknowledged masters in your profession or trade? Who are they?
  • Who are people outside your organization that are recognized as masters in your profession or trade?

In our work with hundreds of thousands of people, most cannot answer the above questions. They know their small part of the organization. Many identify more with their “jobs” than their professions. Many have been given a generic list of competencies required for the organization. Few have seen a list of the basic practices in their field. (Trades people are more likely to have seen such lists and been tested on basic practices.) Many have not had the luxury of building relationships with mentors in their field.

We caution people to beware of organizations that have general managers in leadership positions with no depth in the core professions of the organization. Masters foster innovation and learning. They push the frontiers. They are the people whose vision created the seven human achievements at the beginning of this article.

As a CLO, Director of Talent Management, VP of HR, Director, or Educator, you can influence a move in your organization from “filling jobs” to “developing masters.” Which path will you choose?

Caela Farren, Ph.D.
President, MasteryWorks, Inc.
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