Do you pursue mastery in any part of your career? Mastery creates focus and alignment. It involves fulfilling your potential and becoming all you can be. You and everyone else are capable of mastery. You just have to set out to pursue it.
How can you start? Pick an area where you want to achieve mastery. Look around and find someone who has or is achieving mastery and study what they have done. Identify steps you can take this year towards mastery in your area and get started. Mentors can help you to achieve mastery. Mentors come in the form of a book, media, a person. Set your intention to persist and have courage and one day, mastery will be yours.
When it comes to managing, whom do you listen to? Answering this question may provide insights regarding the current state of your managing skills. Who do you consider to be your “advisors” on the art of managing? What aspect of management do they focus on – teamwork, getting ahead, strategy, tools, emotional intelligence, expertise in subject matter, communication, leadership or something else? What does your answer tell you about your priorities when it comes to managing? Is your listening getting you where you want to be?
photo: Jeroen van Oostrom, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Many ancient and indigenous cultures used mythology and stories to inform their people about life and meaning. The 20th century scholar, Joseph Campbell, spent his lifetime studying these stories and myths and posited that we need to know them and to create our own. Campbell called the structure of these myths and stories The Hero’s Journey. He said that each of us is a hero and we are all meant to take this journey to self-realization. The stages of the hero’s journey include: the ordinary world, a call to adventure, refusal of the call, acceptance of the call, tests, allies and enemies, the supreme ordeal and return to the ordinary world. (Think: The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars and hero-centered video games.)
You may ask, “What does this have to do with managing?” Your strength as a manager and leader correlates directly with your self-knowledge and awareness. Your unique talents and gifts are meant to be found and shared in the world. To find them, you embark on the hero’s journey.
Since learning of Campbell’s work, I see the hero’s journey as a powerful reference point in each of our lives. It contains the elements of: the unknown, mentors, each person having a unique purpose, challenges and difficulties and the opportunity to bring our gifts to the world. Are you the hero of your life?
photo: Antonio Veraldi, Dreamstime.com