Personal mastery is a commitment to a life of self-learning; an acceptance of the self as a constant work in progress. It is not meant in the sense that we have mastered something as if we are a particular skill with a clear finishing point; like the youngster learning to ride a bike. It is meant more in the sense of craftsmanship, like the stone mason who finds passion, meaning and joy in his work and is diligent in its execution. But in this case, we are both artist and subject.
Personal mastery starts with shutting out the white noise of life, and what we think are the expectations of others, and looking inwardly to asking the questions that really matter.
As organisations are collections of people, their success is dependent on the presence of this quality. High levels of personal mastery bring the empathy and humility absolutely necessary for learning organisations. Low levels of personal mastery in an organisation are more likely to breed organisations of selfishness and pride where big vision can be reduced to individual problems.