How Mastership Is Not Sufficient

Imagine the last time you visited your most-cherished restaurant. Was the condition of the cuisine the sole reason you enjoyed it so much? Or were there other influences? Interior-Design? Service? General environment? Other immaterials?

If you could, recollect an occasion you desired high-tech help and were fully satisfied with the service. Was your contentment merely based on high-tech ability? Or was there other things that made your experience so good?

Or contemplate a presentation you saw with a strong acclamation at a seminar. Was it the speech-maker’s know-how on the subject that astounded you? Or was there other factors that impressed you?

By all means there could be circumstances where high-tech mastership is all you await. When you see Tiger Woods makes a long-distance putt, it is his mastership that you enjoy, not how exceptional he moved whilst doing it. If you are in misery due to a crippling condition, you presumably do not care if the scientists are finding solutions with mastership; you simply want a solution.

Yet in just about every circumstance, mastership is not enough.

As most of you are aware, I have a fascination for magic. And in recent times I have observed many magicians in operation. Intriguingly, those who have the most mastership are not automatically those who put on the best act.

An exemplification of a favored act of mine, is this video of Shawn Farquhar doing his showdown achieving card trick executed to a Sting song entitled “Shape of my Heart.”

From an illusionists point of view, it is nowhere near excellent. But the act itself is artistry. I watch it on a regular basis when I want inspiration.

I have witnessed other illusionists handle more complicated tricks during their performances. But they get performed with such sleight-of hand that it is difficult to factually see what is happening. There is no artistry in that. It is simply a person boasting their mastership. It is distant from charming.

High-tech excellence is essential, but it is not enough.

Is Apple’s iPhone the finest smartphone from a mechanical point of view? Most likely not. But the experience as a whole shines-through. There is charm and clarity in its composition.

If your most-cherished restaurant merely had a wonderful cuisine, yet all other aspects were weak, you would most likely not go back there. Your gratification is a mixture of mastership in addition to artistry.

Take a good look at each facet of your work and your endeavours in becoming cutting-edge. Likewise, take a strong look at your social life. Do you just have mastership? Or are you centered on the full execution?


Written by: Stephen Shapiro (Innovation Evangelist, Keynote Speaker, Advisor and Best-Selling Author)

Editor: Derin Cag (Founder &

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