Have you ever seen personal and/or interpersonal mastery contribute to success?
People who advance to the leading edge of performance have personal and interpersonal mastery. They continuously work to expand and leverage their effectiveness when it comes to mind, body, spirit, connections, communication, and collaboration.
- Mind, Body, Spirit. People who are personally masterful manage their minds, bodies, and spirits. They take responsibility for the results they achieve. They hold a proper attitude for learning new things. They see their connection to everything around them including when things go right and when things go wrong. They remain focused and prepared for every life event. People with personal mastery inspire change, welcome change, foster change and sustain change—change in themselves. It’s a positive approach to life. Success as a leader relies on practicing personal mastery not as if it were a one-hour commitment to jog or to meditate each day but as a choice to evolve every day toward higher levels of ability.
- Assess for Success. The process of personal mastery forces us to do what most people have a very hard time doing – assessing ourselves as more than the sum of a list of faults. As our focus broadens, the accuracy of our self-assessment improves. In addition to our talents and strengths, we identify opportunities for growth. But in the context of personal mastery, some weaknesses turn out to be nothing more than strengths that have not been fully developed. The question is not how to get rid of them but how to harness their full power. The common excuse for avoiding change – I can’t do it! – is replaced by something more honest and more possible. Transformation becomes the imperative.
- Embrace Consciousness. Personal mastery is the differentiating variable in determining individual success. For success, personal mastery must become a way of life. Personal mastery is an evolutionary process beginning at our core with productive solitude full of reflection and honesty. There we become more and more conscious of ourselves as leaders – and as individuals. As we make conscious choices to evolve and to embrace change, we become freer to respond with clarity, commitment and energy to the circumstances around us – they have an impact on us, and we on them.
- Connect, Communicate, Collaborate. Interpersonally masterful people connect, communicate, and collaborate. They are more productive because of their propensity to project a positive attitude, listen well, look for solutions to problems, and seize opportunities for collaboration. They exhibit the capacity to get along with others while getting the job done. Interpersonal mastery is also a process of caring about people, and caring about people leads to a certain ease about being a colleague, a helper, a mentor – and a leader.
- Build Bonds. Interpersonal mastery requires conscious changes in habits and attitudes when dealing with others, and it includes an ability to communicate in such a way that new ideas can connect with and inspire others. Interpersonal mastery is also about building bonds. Strong bonds are great avenues to relay energy, vision, and impact. When we build bonds, we create and sustain relationships. Bonds can be created easily, but it takes work to sustain them. Relationships must be sparked, nurtured, managed, created, and recreated. Everyone can take the lead in boosting the effectiveness of their relationships.
- Leverage Relationships. People with interpersonal mastery understand the value of their relationships. Bonds help us to know each other in ways that can overcome personal differences and hard feelings. Alliances create power. Leaders seek to build unity in small and large, formal and informal relationships. Relationships working in unity are very strong – and very creative. A network of contacts is crucial personal capital. President Abraham Lincoln’s famous statement gets to the heart of the matter: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
It’s our choice to tap into ourselves to take action that will allow us to be our best, do great things, and have meaningful success as we help others to also realize their full potential. Doing so is positively empowering and potentially transformative for everyone in our sphere of influence. Even if we face daunting and unpredictable conditions, we are the force to create greater levels of possibility and performance as we move toward the future with the help of our personal and interpersonal mastery.