We all know that we live in a time that is fast paced and things seem to be constantly changing. Today’s economy requires adaptability and the willingness to continuously learn and change course. Most young people entering the work-force do not expect to stay in one job with one company or even in one career track very long. The norm is to be looking for ways to make changes every 2-3 years as the way to advance. Given that, one might ask if the idea of mastery is relevant or realistic.

Certainly, mastery is desirable and a necessary state to strive for if you are a professional of any sort. I want my surgeon to attain mastery before operating on me, and I want the pilot of every plane I step into to be a master pilot. No one starts out at mastery so this is not completely realistic, but it is nonetheless desirable.

But what about those who choose a general path in business or within a not for profit sector? If you are making frequent changes trying to find your path or advance yourself, how do you strive for mastery? Mastery in this case is more about ongoing personal growth; building the skills and character traits you take with you wherever you go. For example, you may strive to achieve mastery as a consultant, a technical expert, a great people manager, or a business turn-around expert. Perhaps you want to make your impact by mastering the art of persuasion or public speaking. Perhaps you have the intention of being a leader and are defining what that means for you.

Wherever you are and whatever you do, you can still focus on developing mastery in something in order be your best-self. This means dedicating yourself to knowing who you are and what you stand for and setting goals to advance in the direction that makes sense to you. You may discover that you are not in a situation that is a good fit because you are not using your strengths and talents or you are not supported in your development. Knowing what you do not want can help you decide what you do want if you are paying attention. For example, if you are a person with the ability and passion to lead people through creative thinking and energizing others to act, but you are in a role that is focused on implementing a day to day process, that is not likely a good fit and it will leave you feeling drained. Understanding this can help you focus on developing yourself as a leader and finding an organization and a role that challenges you to grow and nurture your potential. The next article will focus on defining the process of attaining mastery.

Author's Bio: 

I certainly don’t have all the answers but I believe life is about loving, learning, and experiencing new things. Let me share a few thoughts about my own path.

First of all, I have been around for a while working on getting better at helping others get better. I love to learn, to explore, to grow, and to stretch myself, and I seek to inspire others to do the same. I view my work with clients as a partnership in discovery, starting with wherever they are now and focusing on where they want to get to. I also learn from each client as I share in their journey and that keeps my work exciting and rewarding.


Advanced degrees in psychology, social work, and human resource development
Certified leadership coach
Member of NASW and MCDA
In addition to my clinical practice I have worked as an internal consultant for three major corporations. I also co-founded and ran a leadership development company and worked with leaders from for-profit and non-profit industries for eight years. My focus is individual leadership development and building effective leadership teams.

Warm regards,
Tom King