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As a superintendent, Jorge is growing increasingly concerned about his ability to successfully implement changes on a broader scale. He is managing a diverse school district that includes 5 high schools, 13 middle schools, and 28 elementary schools and many different personalities and leadership styles. From past experience he knows, however, that when faced with a daunting challenge a good place to start the growth process is within himself. He is convinced that individual growth and organizational capacity can be enhanced by focusing on developing personal mastery.

Effective organizational leaders understand that by developing personal mastery, individual stakeholders within an organization are able to develop their own vision and find ways of being connected to and contributing to the organizational mission.

What You Need to Know

Personal Mastery

Read the following in :

· Chapter 8, “Personal Mastery.” You’ll learn how personal mastery involves learning ways to develop the practice of articulating a coherent image of your vision that reflects what you most want to create, alongside a realistic appraisal of the current reality of the situation. This produces a kind of innate tension that, when cultivated, can expand your capacity to make better choices and help your organization make better choices to achieve more of the results you have collectively chosen.

Characteristics of Thinking

Continue focusing on characteristics of thinking by reading the following in your Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life text. 

· Chapter 4, “The Parts of Thinking,” pages 57–90. Consider how you can improve the quality of your own thinking by taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and ensuring that you apply intellectual standards to them.

· Chapter 5, “Standards for Thinking,” pages 91–122. You’ll consider the meaning and significance of these standards for thinking to make sure that your thinking results in conclusions that are valid. These are clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, significance, and fairness. As you read, think about to what extent your own thinking is characterized by these standards for critical thinking.

Personal Mastery

“The term ‘mastery’ descends from the Sanskrit root mah, meaning ‘greater.’ In Latin and Old English it meant domination over something else (‘I am your master’). But a variation evolved in medieval French: maître or ‘master,’ meaning someone who was exceptionally proficient and skilled—a master of  a craft. The discipline of personal mastery reflects this second meaning. It refers not just to the ability to produce results but also to ‘master’ the principles underlying the way you produce results.” (Senge et al., 2012, p. 77)

Organizations have a key role to play in this discipline by setting a context for people to have time to reflect on their own vision. In this discussion reflect on your own personal vision. Imagine achieving a result in your life that you deeply desire. For the sake of this exercise, assume that any result you want is possible even if you have no idea right now how to get there. It need not have to do with educational leadership goals. This vision could involve learning something you want to learn or obtaining something that you dearly want.


Describe in writing the vision you have imagined by responding to these questions:

· What does it look like? What does it feel like? How would you describe it?

· In your ideal future, when you are exactly the kind of person you want to be, what are your qualities?

· What is your ideal professional or vocational situation? What kind of leader are you?

· How does personal mastery enhance personal and organizational development?

· How can stakeholders in an organization be empowered to develop a personal vision?

· What forms of resistance exist within organizations, and how can leaders effectively enhance personal mastery to reduce resistance?

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