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Achieving the Art of Self-Mastery

You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than that over yourself...the height of a man's success is gauged by his self-mastery, the depth of his failure by his self-abandonment. And this law is the expression of eternal justice. He who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others. ― Leonardo da Vinci

This famous quote from Leonardo da Vinci had me thinking about how great leaders control and influence others effectively and seamlessly.

Leadership is the ability to be aware of your own emotions, motivations, and actions. It is essential for healthy relationships and hard decisions that could affect others. In order to achieve leadership in any field you must develop self-awareness and effective leadership skills.

Most people think of leadership as something that a person does, but maybe it's more about who you are. Self-mastery is your ability to manage yourself effectively and make good choices in the face of uncertainty, difficulties, frustration, and pain. The important thing is that it's a choice; an intentional decision to do things differently than we have in the past so that our lives can change for the better. It is the ability to control our emotions and act in ways that are consistent with our values.

By knowing how to monitor your emotions and actions, it gives you the ability to assess yourself and know your strengths, weaknesses, triggers, and more. It also allows you to react quickly and much better to situations, understand why you feel a certain way, and how sensible you are as a person or a leader. Understanding how important self-mastery in leadership will lead to better understanding of your emotions and knowing how to handle it. Processing and working through your emotions will avoid unnecessary conflicts and will make you a good example for your team.

Vulnerability will never be a problem especially when you know how to control everything in you. If your team saw how well you deal with your emotions and reactions, they might feel more comfortable approaching their concerns as well as opening themselves to you.

Aside from knowing how to do self-mastery, it is also essential for you to assess yourself to know what other important self-mastery skills you need for the purpose of leading effectively. According to Business News Daily, these skills are the following:

  1. Empathy: When you master self-awareness as well as your emotional intelligence, it will be easy for you to be empathic.

  2. Adaptability: During or even avoiding tough situations, you’ll learn how to react such as taking a walk or just engaging in a few deep breaths.

  3. Confidence: Making yourself vulnerable by accepting and even embracing your flaws, needs and strengths, will allow you to build stronger relationships with your employees and colleagues.

  4. Mindfulness: When you’re self-aware, you become more mindful of the present moment, you also allow yourself to evaluate and accept situations as they happen rather than dwelling on the past or projecting into the future.

  5. Patience: It will help you practice your patience, even in the face of conflict.

  6. Kindness: Achieving kindness means putting aside your own feelings and prioritizing others’. This also means you understand your workers and their struggles; you’re more sympathetic than before.

Self-mastery is an important part of leadership. The path of mastery is long and hard to traverse, but the journey itself is very rewarding. It's the process of becoming a better version of yourself and being able to stay calm, think clearly and positively during a crisis.

Leaders may appear arrogant without it. Let us think about how crucial this is in a business setting or in an organization; you are a leader, and you’ll face a lot of different and challenging situations, that is why it is expected that you grasp and effectively execute every single self-mastery skill you can.

The ability to lead and change the lives of others requires more than a broad business acumen and technical expertise. Real leadership is about understanding yourself and knowing how to motivate, engage and inspire others to achieve remarkable results.

Here at Customized Training Solutions, we help leaders sustain and develop their own leadership skills through coaching, training and consulting. Book a free 30 minute call now to find out how we can help you!


Peek, S. (2014). 7 Tips For Leaders to Improve Self-Awareness. Business News Daily.

Self Mastery - Best ways to learn personal leadership self mastery. (2021, April 6). Lapaas.


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