One thing I enjoy doing is looking back and seeing whether concepts or ideas can be successfully reimagined. One idea born of the guild system is Mastery. Other than labourer, you had apprentices, journeymen, and craftsmen. I think most people understand apprentices, but a journeyman may require some explanation. A journeyman had a least proven some competence in his field, and gotten his “ticket” Most people stopped there. They had a job, could feed their families, and perhaps, even get to the pub on Friday night. What more could want? Mastery, being so good your work is a craft.

Malcolm Gladwell in is book Outliers, speaks of the 10,000 hours it takes to master a craft.

So why do it?

More job satisfaction. If you are striving for mastery I am pretty sure you don’t find your job boring and meaningless.

More stability in uneven times. It is a fact workers get laid off, craftsmen less so.

Charge more money. People with Mastery are known, can often charge more, and can often set terms. Put your consumer hat on, if you could have either a Mercedes or a Kia which would you pick?

Leave a legacy. In this throw-away society there is still a desire to leave something beyond you. On the Sistine chapel the other contractors wanted to use a roller. (They said it would be cheaper)


If this resonates with you at all, drop me an e-mail, I would Love to hear what you thought.