Personal Mastery in Organizations

Organizations learn only through individuals who learn… People with
high levels of personal mastery are more committed. They take more initiative.They have a broader and deeper sense of responsibility in their work.They learn faster. [Senge, P.M., 2000.The Fifth Discipline, pp. 129, 133]


Many of us think our assumptions and judgments about things, people, and situations are fact, and act as if they were fact. This acquires great significance if you are a leader in an organization since your biases, assumptions and fears can impact the lives of many people—and not always in a positive way.

That is why many organizations are embracing the practice of promoting personal mastery among their leaders and employees. As MIT’s management guru Dr. Peter Senge says, research shows that “people with high levels of personal mastery are more committed. They take more initiative. They have a broader and deeper sense of responsiblity in their work. They learn faster.” (Senge, 2000, The Fifth Discipline, p. 133).

So, there is great strategic value in becoming aware of your assumptions, biases, fears and limiting thoughts and their causes. As you begin to understand who you really are and what drives and limits you, you will gain access to a tremendous source of power that can add value to you not just as a professional, but also as a parent, spouse, and member of your community. As Chalmers Brothers (2004) says, “seeing new possiblities is always the first step toward producing new results” (p. iii, Language and the Pursuit of Happiness), and those possibilities can begin to emerge when you start your journey into personal mastery.