In todays management world, leaders are faced with substantial demands, high expectations, and changing environment. Therefore, leadership connects successful business outcomes with managers level of personal mastery (PM). Personal mastery is a discipline, which continually clarifies and deepens our vision in focusing our energies, evolving patience, and seeing reality objectively (Senge, 2006). It helps managers to build the sustainable leadership capacity required for efficient management of the work team and the entire organization. The discipline is guided by several fundamental principles like vision, personal purpose, creative tension, values among others. Those who value evaluating their leadership progress using the PM model realize great opportunities to improve their growth. It is helpful to boost self-esteem and expressing gifts and talents to the fullest for the benefit of the whole organization (Ulrich et.al, 2005). However, these principles have the influence of mental models that involves recognizing and scrutinizing assumptions about how the world works since it affects the actions one takes.
Importance of personal mastery
It is the responsibility of a leader to be a great role model. Personal mastery helps individuals develop important characteristics not only for their gain but also for the institution. One it helps in understanding the direction of leaders life and therefore the path their group or organization should follow. Second, it assists in recognizing reality and remaining grounded on it. After all, institutions need to have creative and critical thinking leader with capability in understanding the work one need to accomplish and the importance of change especially in management. Moreover, leaders with outstanding PM view themselves as part of the whole system and feel connected to others (Ulrich et.al, 2005). Another importance is that it helps understand the building block required to achieve the group goals and define actions as well as short, medium and long-term goals to address leadership development areas. Lastly, they understand their role in influencing others to achieve the companies goals without direct control over the workforce (Henning, 2016).
Values are what we believe in and guide us how to live and work. They are the roots that keep us grounded and growing towards our potential. They also help in prioritizing what we should do when faced with stiff challenges. Identifying our values and living along their demands gives us the power to resist conformity to society push to meaningless positions and symbols. Upright moral and characters are essential for every human being especially leaders who by their vision, value and determination should portray their commitment to their institutions. Charismatic leaders are characterized by a rational phenomenon whose existence depends primarily on the followers experience of dependence on their leader as the influencing agent. Therefore, reputation is a value that gives a positive image on leadership and displays qualities juniors can emulate.
Second religious values are essential for example; faith and unwavering trust abide the parties involved to their leaders. Religious leaders and social reformers have continually experimented new forms of values and ideas to improve the environment around them. They indicate honesty, equality and transparency among others as key values every leader should hold for them to interact with other workers. Integrity is also significant value since leaders can formulate solutions to challenging situations. Democracy is important to any organization as it gives every employee equal chances promoting equality and friendship which are paramount for institutional developments.
Personal purpose mostly precedes vision. It is more abstract than vision, but a vision without a purpose is futile (Senge, 2006). It outlines the fundamental drive behind what you do, and it gives fulfillment and meaning in life. People have a tendency to crave meaning in their lives. An urge develops with a feeling of what matters, and how much can make a difference with his or her exceptional gifts and talents. Purpose fuels passion and energizes our efforts to accomplish our goals. When you lead a group, you need to create the conditions that allow your team to find fulfillment and meet all the stakeholders needs. With this, my purpose is to accomplish the targeted goals of the business with the help of motivated employees through my leadership. Life with purpose is like sailing through the sea with the assurance and ability to set your compass, recite your map and push full throttles until you reach the chosen island. A life without drive and meaning is like navigating through the sea with no direction and hoping to find an island worthy for settlement. Finding your purpose is the epitome of achieving personal mastery.
A vision statement is a framework for creating a stable life. Unlike goals, it rarely changes and defines our existence. Personal mastery requires every leader to hold a personal vision apart from the shared one. It generates energy to overcome obstacles and come up with new ideas. Setting my vision as success in life, this will carry on in everything I do and my dedication in management. Leaders with high personal mastery dedicate much effort and care to ensure a shared vision for the organization, which incorporates beliefs, values, and aspiration of the employees. Such broad idea promotes better understanding and workers appreciates each other and their dedication towards the business success. It also discourages self-centeredness and stimulates individual commitment to a vision beyond their self-interest.
Visions are not mere constructions they take time and are within the framework of beliefs and values of the person in the organization. One of the practice to emulate by all managers is encouraging the development of personal vision among the employees since shared vision is a consolidated goal. Building the shared vision is not the end since a leader has to spread it and benchmark the implementation process. Eventually, the effectiveness of the idea needs some evaluation (Henning, 2016). It is only possible by assessing the feedback of the third party mainly the customers and noting their recommendations.
Many organizations today are reaping the rewards for not focusing on the employees areas of weakness. Instead, they embraced a learning of PM to bring their capability to the peak. Some organizations have discovered that individuals who practice personal mastery are holistic thinkers, approaching every situation difficult proactively and solves it creatively (Henning, 2016). People with a high notch of personal mastery are extremely aware of their ignorance, incompetence and growth areas. Weekly team dialogue would do best for my leadership to gauge the achievement in every particular period. PM requires a commitment to improving in everything you do in areas of your life. Leaders who practice the disciplines of personal mastery use it as a personal structure to make denotation for themselves and others out of what occurs.
Other principles in personal mastery include objective assessment where leaders cultivate a culture of openness that permit a meaningful dialogue and sharing of information in the organization. At the same time, it enables employees to assess their work situations objectively, recognize the interdependencies that exist promoting better understanding and relationship within the organization. Objective assessment is a broad commitment to a constant search for truth in the sense of desire to recognize certainty as it currently exists. Transformation is the creative capacity to re-shape, renew or reinvent ourselves to a more harmonious environment in line with other principles (Ulrich et.al, 2005). It eases the task of bridging unavoidable gaps between the vision and the present reality.
Personal alignment is also essential as it describes the degree at which personal vision, purpose, values, and behaviors are congruent with each other. When these principles are aligned correctly the massive amount of positive, power and energy can be unleashed. Lastly, personal perception, which is being aware of the particular ways, you tend to perceive things, the frame of references you use to see other people, events, and situations. It also entails self-identity and self-concept necessary to build self-esteem (Henning, 2016).
In conclusion, as we develop self-awareness on how we think and feel and behave, the world approaches us more closely. Personal mastery is then connected to mindfulness, which is the ability to see how our thoughts and feelings create the reality we experience and our contribution to the situations arising around us. The first step in managing a calamity is improving the situation analysis approach. With these principles, we can exercise self-control and make better choices. We dwell in a world where anything is possible, and one can make or break any organization within a very short period. However, with the proper analysis of personal mastery and appropriate implication in our daily activities progress is guaranteed.
Carter, L., Ulrich, D., & Goldsmith, M. (2005). Best practices in leadership development and organization change: How the best companies ensure meaningful change and sustainable leadership. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.
Henning, J. (2016). What Is Personal Mastery? By John Henning. Evancarmichael.com.Retrieved 17 May 2016, from http://www.evancarmichael.com/library/john-Henning/What-Is-Personal-Mastery.html
Senge, P. M. (2006). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Broadway Books.
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