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Lessons From Golf's Masters Tournament: Career Mastery

Categories: Professional Development

The 2014 Masters Tournament is underway as I write this post -- always an exciting event for everyone who loves the sport of golf.

This year's field of golfers consists of 91 professionals and six amateurs, representing a total of 21 countries -- all vying for the winner's coveted green jacket.

The idea of being a “master” has a certain amount of mystique, doesn’t it? What are the factors that afford mastery?

I find the whole concept of mastery intriguing. Although we might not get the press, the adulation, or the same high-visibility perks as some of golf's greats now playing in the Masters, we can still strive for mastery in different areas of our lives, not just in sports.

Consider the impact on your life and career, if you had mastery of communications? What if you were the master of negotiations? Mastery in presentation skills or selling? The sky would be the limit.

What about being a master in your particular job or role?

The perks of this type of mastery will be somewhat different than those about to rain on one talented and driven golf pro. Instead, workplace-related mastery can result in:

  • More career opportunities, including promotions and coveted project assignments
  • More possibilities for greater personal and financial fulfillment
  • The competitive advantage in business relationships
  • An enhanced reputation in your company and industry
  • The ability to really contribute and make a difference -- and, of course, reach your full potential
  • Greater respect among your colleagues (and within yourself)
  • Being seen as a leader, and having the opportunity to impact others as a leader

Just as in the game of golf, where small adjustments to one’s body position, swing, grip on the club, or even attitude, can be literal game changers -- it’s also the small things that can help give you mastery of your specific area of endeavor, your niche in your company or in the business world.

The factors involved in career and business mastery might not be that different from those involved in golf mastery:

  • Small tweaks to your style of communication
  • A better understanding of negotiation skills
  • A positive shift in attitude and perspective
  • Forging beneficial alliances and relationships
  • Training with experts
  • Adding new skills and perfecting old ones
  • And ongoing practice

So, go for career mastery! What are your "green jacket" aspirations?

Do you need new skills to keep you on the cutting edge of your industry? Don’t wait around for your employer to provide them! Be proactive; get out there and read the right resources and take the courses you need. Are you unsure of where you need to grow? Again, be proactive. Ask for feedback or coaching. And, most importantly, be open to what comes back to you.

Do you need to learn more persuasive sales skills, more dynamic presentation skills, or improve your leadership presence to take your career skyward?

What area would you like to have a greater mastery in, and how will you go about achieving it?

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