Mastering any skill is a stepped process. It can start down from level zero to as high as mastery of it. You may be trying to master a physical skill like welding for example. Or you can be trying some soft skills like communication or time management. Either ways starts by building you knowledge about the subject then practicing it.
Tracks to mastery
Any track has signs to tell you where you are, an end point and, specific tools that you need to move through this track. If you decide to take your car off-road in the woods, you need some preparations. However, if you decide to go hiking, you need a different set of preparations. In case you want to maintain high voltage transformers, you need some tools and preparations that differ from maintaining a submersible pump. Even the maintainers themselves may differ.
If you intend to go on a hiking track, you need to know what is ahead of you. The hiking tracks are ranked from T1 to T6. Where T1 hiking track is is well developed with signposts and marks. Somewhat exposed places very well secured. You can go through it without training, special footwear or even a map. This can be the level you want to master. It is enough for your targets and bringing you the benefits you want.
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However, you might be interested in something more adventurous. So, you might look for track marked as T3. In the T3 track, a footpath is usually available. It has exposed places and mostly secure but you need ropes or chains. You will face danger of falling and, you need to cross pathless steep terrains. To go on this track you need Good steady footing, Good trekking shoes, Average navigation skills. Basic mountaineering experience. This might be what you really target. So you will start from Level zero of T3 till you master it. But be aware, you switched tracks.
Surely, other tracks brings their own needs and challenges. That’s not far from the junior technician track, the leader track, the supervisor track and the manager track.
Mastery starts from the Knowing
To embark on the mastery journey in the track you selected, you need to start by knowing. You want to know which track you are on, which track you want to be on, where this track will get you and what are the public known information about this track. So, if you select hiking track marked as T6 you need to know that it is mostly without a path and unmarked. And, Climbing sections are unavoidable. Moreover , it is marked as Tricky, rocky and. sloppy. You need excellent navigation skills., Proven mountaineering experience and familiarity with mountaineering equipment.
But, does the target behind this information is to make you frightened? then, you retract from this experience? No, It is simply giving you a chance to know. Then, you take actions to get prepared for this track. If you start on T1 track, you will have a lot of fun but less challenges and less adventures. While if you target T6 track, then you may have less fun but more challenges and adventures. It is a mater of knowing what each track needs. And then knowing which track you want to go. Then work on mastering the track you chosen.
There is nothing wrong in experiencing other tracks tp broaden your experience. You always have the choice to chose a different track. And hence adding to your experience the knowingness of this track. If you want to relate it to maintenance, then think about the greasing options for example. You can be on the track of manual greasing. Then, you seek to have a centralized auto greasing. Later, you want the experience of an ultrasonic measurement to support the proper greasing. Just you need to know your track and to select if you want the mastery of this track.
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Taking Mastery to the digital realm
We shall take an example and follow on through it. First you need to know. So, what is the tool that you are currently using? Example a spreadsheets app. What are you currently doing using the spreadsheets app and what you want to do? Currently, I am just entering data in the spreadsheet. So, you have the know that a spreadsheet is an electronic document in which data is arranged in the rows and columns. Then, you need to master entering data quickly and correctly in the right spreadsheet and in the right fields.
What if you now know more about that spreadsheet. So it not used only is an electronic document in which data is arranged in the rows and columns. But, you know also that you can use spreadsheets to manipulate data and use it in calculations. Then your target may be the mastery of writing equations that target the correct data in columns and rows and do some complicated calculations whether financial or mathematical. What if you know more that you can use spreadsheets to analyze and display data using charts and pivot tables. Then, your track will be the mastering of creating reports using these data and use it to reach Data-Driven Decision Making.
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On a different track you know for example that Google Sheets which is a free online app comes linked with other free app called Apps Scrip. The Apps Script always you to create your functions that manipulate the data. Do you remember when you were on track 1 in spreadsheets, you mastery level was to master using the built in functions. On this track the mastery level is to create your own custom functions. Then you can use them in this spreadsheets and in other spreadsheets when you add them as a library. That’s opens a total new level of adventures and opportunities.
In next chat we shall take this from mastery of usage to creativity.
Our first step to mastery is the knowing. We need to know our track and the target we would reach by following this track. But, we need to keep in mind that there are many tracks within the same skill. Each track has its own joyfulness, challenges, tools and most importantly a target. At any time we can switch to another track once we know it exist. Let’s take this dialogue a step further to creativity in the coming chat.
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