Personal Mastery

So the place to start this journey of understanding is with our own personal commitment to right being, or self-leadership, or mastering oneself. If there are seven areas of mastering leadership from the inside-out, first among them is Personal Mastery1 (aka, right being).

Kevin Cashman’s Eight Points for Personal Mastery

  1. Take total responsibility.
    1. The foundation of genuine leadership is built with self-leadership, self-responsibility, and self-trust
  2. Bring beliefs to conscious awareness
    1. Remind yourself of the Personal Mastery mantra: “As you believe, so shall you lead.”
  3. Develop awareness of character and coping
    1. Instead of overinvesting in Coping (reacting to circumstances to elicit an immediate result), commit your energies to leading with Character (the essence of who you are).
  4. Practice Personal Mastery with others
    1. Practicing Personal Mastery requires risk and vulnerability. It means placing ourselves in situations where we may not be accepted or validated by others for who we are or what we think or believe. If we do not take this risk, we too often will be led by the expectations of others. As a result, we might unknowingly compromise our integrity.
  5. Listen to feedback
    1. Rather than spending our energy defending a rigid state of self-awareness, we can think of Personal Mastery as a continuous, lifelong, learning process
    2. Personal Mastery involves the delicate paradox of being open to learning from others without allowing ourselves to be unduly created by them.
  6. Consider finding a coach
    1. …studies have shown that companies now use coaching 75 percent of the time to optimize performance vs. “fixing” problems. Having a coach as your partner during your growth process might be the most “right” thing you ever do
  7. Avoid confusing self-delusion with self-awareness
    1. Self-assessment can be the least accurate leadership assessment. To remedy this, use grounded, validated assessments with a solid research history to ensure that your growing self-awareness is real.
  8. Be agile
    1. Understand and appreciate your strengths, but also be flexible and adaptable.

1 See Kevin Cashman, Leadership From the Inside Out (2008), Berrett-Koehler Publishers: San Francisco,  pp. 55-58.


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