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MasteryOne of my favorite authors is Malcolm Gladwell.  In his book Outliers he talks about what it takes to achieve mastery.   Gladwell says that it takes 10,000 hours of discrete practice to achieve mastery in any subject.  I would agree with this.

When one achieves mastery in a chosen area of work the following things happen:


Working in your field looks effortless - When you really know what you’re talking about, coming up with suggestions looks easy.  The clients you’re working with will never know that you’ve spent thousands of hours learning your craft.  To them, it looks like you are a natural.  In my experience, there is no such thing as a natural, just people who have worked very hard to master a craft. 

You can look at the big picture - When you don’t have to think about how things work, you can look at the big picture.  This allows you to work on conceptual issues that might have a solution that moves across several different disciplines.  An example would be when we combine value-building practices with a move towards changing a client’s relationship with their business.  These are two discrete areas, but they work very nicely and are complimentary in how they work together.


Work gets done in an efficient manner - When someone is a master at what they’re doing, it takes them very little time to accomplish a task.  Each client we work with is unique.  The tasks that we do are not unique.  When one has done the same task hundreds of times, a solution becomes easy to implement.

The client gets a better deal - Sometimes masters charge more for their work.  At the same time the client will often get a better result that provides more value than when working with someone with less skill.  I always advise the people I work with to use the best we can find in particular areas we are working on.  Although it might cost a little more upfront, in the end the cost is often less.

A master has moved from being un-consciously incompetent where they don’t know what they don’t know to un-consciously competent where they know, but don’t have to think about it.  Mastery takes time.  And, a master doesn’t stop once they’ve achieved expertise.  There is always more to learn and new ways to look at things.

What are you doing to make sure that you work with masters and are doing what you can to become a master at your job?  I’m interested in hearing your stories.  Please contact me at Jpatrick@stage2planning.com to tell me your story.

Josh Patrick

I’ve written a special report on using key metrics in your business.  I encourage you to download this report by clicking on the button below.  I believe you’ll find this report fits in nicely with the entry above.

Key Metrics


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