Do You Know What Mastery Looks Like?

Posted by:

So I had a birthday last week…

YOU: “How old are you?”

motivational speaker Bill StaintonDoesn’t matter. Anyway, I happened to be in San Diego for the annual convention of my industry organization, the National Speakers Association, and a group of friends (and soon-to-be-friends) took me out to a nice little restaurant for dinner. We got a private room in the back, about ten of us in all. Among the group was a person I’d met before, but didn’t know very well. His name is Giovanni Livera. Giovanni is not only a world-class speaker, he’s also a world-class magician. And I don’t mean this in the sense of, “For a speaker, he’s a pretty good magician.” I mean he is a world-class magician! I mentioned in a recent article that I used to practice magic, and I’m still a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians…

YOU: “You didn’t date much in high school, did you?”

Shut up. Anyway, after dinner, Giovanni gave a little, impromptu magic performance. To say that he blew us away would be an understatement. And remember, I’m a magician. I’m supposed to know how this stuff is done! And he blew me away!

Afterwards, one word kept going through my mind.


What Giovanni demonstrated for us in that back room was not just magic, it was mastery.

Now, here’s the interesting thing. Giovanni Livera is a master of magic—but he hasn’t mastered magic. He never will. Because not only is Giovanni a master of magic, he’s also a student of magic. He keeps learning, he keeps practicing, he keeps getting better and better. There will never be a point in Giovanni’s magic journey where he says, “Okay, that’s it. I’m done. I can’t get any better.” He will always be improving.

And that’s the point. A master is always improving. To put it another way:

A master is always a student.

Which brings me to you and your business. Do you demonstrate mastery in your work? Do you demonstrate mastery as a leader? Not “Have you mastered your work?” or “Have you mastered leadership?” But do you demonstrate mastery? Are you a continual student? Are you always improving?

Because that’s what a master does.

I’m not a master of magic. I’m okay with that. As an amateur magician, I’m perfectly happy being “good enough.” But in my work—first as a television executive producer and now as a motivational speaker and leadership speaker—”good enough” isn’t good enough. In my work I want to demonstrate mastery.

Last week, Giovanni Livera showed me what that looks like, and he inspired me to raise my game even higher.

I’d like to encourage you to look for models of mastery around you. Make it a part of your radar. Because when you see mastery around you, it can raise your game as well.

And then others will be looking at you and saying to themselves, “Wow—there’s a master! I want to be like that someday!”


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
  Related Posts
WordPress PopUp Plugin