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Why Mastery  
conditions for | mastery is enduring | importance | the barriers | what is your role | test
Two Types of Mastery
Much of today’s current literature distinguishes between professional and personal mastery. Our Web of Work model shows the interconnection between personal and professional mastery.

Personal Mastery
As you can see in the diagram, twelve basic needs drive the formation of civilization. Personal mastery involves learning how to care for each of these needs in our adult lives. They include:
  • Family
  • Home and Shelter
  • Social Relationships
  • Work/Career
  • Learning
  • Economic Security
  • Leisure
  • Transportation and Mobility
  • Environment & Safety
  • Community
  • Spirituality
  • Health and Well Being
Professional Mastery
Organized ways of addressing these basic needs have also evolved. We’ve organized work and service into four areas:
  • Professions/Trades – the most enduring part of the web of work because they are directly linked with taking care of those needs; with specific practices and standards of excellence; certifications; leaders in the area and an agreed upon set of knowledge and experiential practice required for mastery – architect, soccer player, educator, electrician, chef, broker, etc.
  • Industries/Guilds of Old – collections of individuals working on similar basic human needs – health care, financial services, automotive, pharmaceutical, facilities management, education, etc.
  • Organizations – temporary collectives of professionals working on the same mission; the stronger the mission and leadership in the core technologies, the more robust the organizations – Nike, Habitat for Humanity, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Buddhist monasteries, Mt. Sinai Hospital, etc.
  • Positions/Jobs/Projects – an arbitrary packaging of tasks to achieve a short-term result; use of a limited set of practices and competencies from the trade or profession – financial analyst, customer service representative, loan officer, etc. These are the least stable areas of the Web of Work. They come and go at an ever-more rapid clip. When leaders reorganize they are usually rearranging the jobs not changing the fundamental professions or trades that support the mission.

Both professional and personal mastery are important for each individual to address. This article discusses professional mastery. Learning in either area supports the other.
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   12 Basic Needs Model
(Click on model to enlarge)

Conditions for Mastery
In her book, Mastery: Interviews with 30 Remarkable People, Joan Evelyn Ames claims that there were certain common conditions between all the acknowledged masters she interviewed. They cut across a variety of professions – chef, architect, journalist, astronomer, monk, graphic designer, juggler, musician, physicist, etc. She had one remarkable conclusion that came from each of her interviews. “The major pitfall on the road to mastery is success and all the temptations that come with fame and recognition.” How to become great and stay humble about all you still need to learn – that is the quest of the true master. more...
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