Personal Mastery

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Personal Knowledge = Personal Mastery

How well does one know themselves? How will one lead? How are these questions related? In the topic of Personal Mastery the two questions are the yin and yang of leadership. Theory being a leader, who wants to be a good person, will inevitably be the good leader he wanted to be.

The recipe for Personal Mastery is, creating a personal vision of what one wants, maintaining a clear view of the challenges before oneself and the road ahead of one, allowing creative tension to bring both of these together. The end result is a beautiful recipe for both life and leadership.

In the assigned reading for this class the writer is of the opinion that Personal Mastery is never mastered. Just as human beings, societies, and organizations are ever changing so are the wants and views of the masterer. A leader without Personal Mastery does not have the tools to be a leader. Greenleaf says in his book while describing J.P. Morgan "He had power, great power… He had an idea, a concept of what an institution might become…, he knew strong people were required to build an institution… and he cared"(p.141). He was a personal master and a servant leader according to Greenleaf.

The writer having once been in a leadership role, sees how developing ones Personal Mastery, is learning the true content of ones character. Had the writer as an employer had a vision of who she wanted to be and where she wanted to end up and what road she would take, and had the writer not been afraid of the tension come with this knowledge, the writer would have been a better boss, and possibly a better person at that time. Heifetz says "But sometimes we bring ourselves down by forgetting to pay attention to ourselves. We get caught up in the cause and forget that exercising leadership is, at heart a personal activity." (p.163). Both Heifetz and Greenleaf believe that a leader should always keep his eye on the ball. A leader must always be working on their Personal...
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