The 5 Mentalities of Mastery


Seriously rich and robust stream of ideas, insights and implementation strategies that have taken me–oh, about 20 years to discover–in today’s Mastery Session.

Sure you’ve got a lot to do today. Got it. But just roll with me and watch this episode if you want to discover The 5 Mentalities of Mastery that the geniuses, business superstars and ultra-effective people run quietly through their minds.

In this high-content session, you’ll learn:

  • The Lunchbox Mentality (and how it will make you unbeatable in your field)
  • The phenomenon I call “The Collective De-Professionalization of Business” and how you can leverage it to your advantage today
  • Potent ways to release your past so you can produce your brilliant future
  • The peak belief of exceptional entrepreneurs (that also just happens to be the antidote to scarcity in your life)

Go ahead and watch this new Mastery Session.

And definitely share it with your team + friends so we spread the value to as many people as possible.

With love + respect for your highest ambitions + greatest talents,


We’re also happy to provide you the transcription at no cost.

The 5 Mentalities of Mastery

Welcome to this Mastery Session. This Mastery Session is called The 5 Mentalities of Mastery. I’m going to start off with Muhammad Ali, the great legendary iconic boxing champion. To paraphrase one of his famous quotes, he said, “I hated every time I went into the gym, but I said to myself, don’t quit. Suffer now, and spend the rest of your life as a champion.”

There are series of mindsets and mentalities that the great masters and champions of the sports and business and the arts and the sciences and the humanities all have, and in this Mastery Session, I want to share 5 of them with you. I’m going to dig right in.

1. The Lunchbox VS Executive Mentality

The first one is really the lunchbox versus the executive mentality. You see the thing about a master is she never thinks she’s a master.

The thing about a professional is, he always thinks like an amateur. What I mean by that is, you want to maintain this lunchbox mentality. You want to be boots on the ground, relentless learning, a humble servant of your craft because the moment you think you’re an executive or a master, you start to lose the very winning formula that made you so successful. I think of Bruce Springsteen. Bruce Springsteen, he’s been performing for decades and decades and yet, if you have ever seen a Bruce Springsteen show, he brings it on versus mails it in.

I’m going to challenge you, with great love and respect as I always want to do in these Mastery Sessions, but are you still maintaining that lunchbox mentality like the laborers carrying the lunchbox when they go to the job site? Are you still hungry? Do you still have a fire in your belly? Do you still go the extra mile for your customers? Do you still go the extra mile for your organization? Or are you just showing up?

I mean for me, I’ve been teaching leadership and personal mastery for almost 2 decades. I really believe I am a laborer. I’m a plumber of high performance. I really feel like a laborer. I roll up my sleeves. I still get dirty. I still deconstruct the way I do things in my meditations, in my journaling. I do my very best to come from a place of utter humility and service. I see myself with that lunchbox mentality. I’m not perfect but I encourage you to maintain that mindset because it is part of what will keep you at a level of mastery not only in your work but in your personal life.

2. The Rigorous VS Superficial Mentality

Number 2, the rigorous versus superficial mentality. This is a big one. When I watch people right now, there is what I call the collective un-professionalization of business. If you look at people, let’s say, at airports. You look at gate agents. They’re chatting with their friends. You go into a shoe store and rather than welcoming you into the shoe store, the person behind the counter is checking their Facebook page.

You go to a restaurant and rather than being attentive to you and your loved ones, the people are chitchatting and gossiping and looking at videos of dancing cats or bloopers, or bleepers, or weepers or whatever they’re called. My point is simply this. This is an incredibly gorgeous opportunity for you. In this world of so much unprofessionalism where people are just clocking it in versus bringing it on, where people are lost in this trance of distraction, suffering from collective attention deficit disorder.

You can operate and apply this second mentality rather than being superficial, be really rigorous. Be a professional. If you’re not over prepared for a meeting, you’re underprepared. Spend a lot of free time reading and learning about your career, about your industry, about the work that you do. Get a mentor if you are serious about being rigorous around your craft. Make the time at least once a week to pull out your journal and deconstruct your week.

Just deconstruct the way you do things. When you are working on a project, don’t just slap it together, don’t just rush right through it. There is such an attraction to doing things quickly now because everything is quick. Messaging is coming to us so quickly. We can access information so quickly. We can access entertainment so quickly. We get our food so quickly.

As a result of that, we do our work too quickly. This is the not superficial, the second mentality, the rigorous mentality. Go deep versus wide. Go deep versus wide. Go deep versus wide. If you look at any great master, they were monomaniacally focused on going deep around one thing. Khalil Gibran, wrote one of my favorite books, The Prophet. I heard he carried it around with him for 5 years to get every single word right. That’s a craftsperson.

When you look at the great athletes. I recently was in San Francisco and I watched Steph Curry play. Steph Curry was fluid, like a ballerina on the court. I have NBA superstars coming to my live events and when I watch them, they are so focused on going deep around their skill versus being all things to everyone.

3. The Leader VS Victim Mentality

The third mentality of mastery, is the leader versus victim mentality. If you’ve read The Leader Who Had No Title, you know I talk about it a lot but you have a choice when you go to work every day, when you show up in business every day, you have a choice.

You can be a victim or you can be a leader. You can’t be both. What’s the hallmark of a victim when you give away your power? You say, I’m not the boss. I don’t need to bring on my A game today, or I went through a divorce 10 years ago and I’m going to blame my ex-spouse and give away my power and be a bitter person versus an optimistic leader. That’s what victims do. They say, “I’m resigned to average. Why should I take the time to read a book, to build a friendship, to transcend fear? Why should I do that?”

That’s how victims think. They use words like “I hate”, and “I can’t”, and “that would never work”. They love to criticize because every victim was once a dreamer who got hurt and now they sit back in their armchairs and they criticize other people because they’re too frightened to get into the game. You can be a victim not only in your work but in your life, or you can be a leader.

As you know, you can lead without a title. I have seen janitors behave like leaders. I have seen taxi drivers bring on their A game. I have seen so-called ordinary people running so-called ordinary jobs with a sparkle in their eye and they work with love. They work with attention to detail. They work like their work is the most important work in the world.

I mean, I remember grade 5 - Cora Greenaway. Celebrate your mentors. I was in grade 5 and really, no one thought I would amount to very much. I was really dismissed by a lot of people. Cora Greenaway, my grade 5 history teacher saw something in me that very few people saw. She saw the early sparks of some kind of a talent and because she cared, and because she was a leader as a school teacher, she spent time with me. She stayed late with me. She encouraged me versus dismissed me.

Here it is, all these years later and deep in my heart, right at my core, I still feel not only appreciation, but love for that school teacher when I was in grade 5, with the glasses, named Cora Greenaway. Which brings me to the fourth mentality of mastery that I want to share with you in this session.

4. The Future VS Past Mentality

There are so many people on the planet and they’re really operating from the past and here’s what I mean. Something happened to them when they were little kids. They were told not to dream too big. They were told to dress like everyone else. They had a dream and the dream failed, or maybe you were a teenager and there was someone that you loved and you got rejected, or maybe you were 22 and you started a business and you failed in that business and now it’s 10 years later or 20 years later, 40 years later and you’re still living in the past.

I want you to really think about this. Most people on the planet today are not living in the present and they’re certainly not living in the future. They are stuck in the resentments, the bitterness, the pain, the frustration, the disappointments of the past and it could be a month ago. It could be 20 or 30 years ago and if you don’t work through what happened in your past, you are resigned to spend the rest of your future stuck in the past.

If you want to play at mastery in your craft, you want to play at mastery in your thinking, you want to play at mastery in your performance, you want to play at mastery in your income, you want to play at mastery in your service to humanity. You owe it to yourself and the best within you and the talent that resides within you to do the work required, to let go of the past.

I don’t know what it’s going to look like for you. It could be meditation. It could be journaling. It could be prayer. It could be working with a healer. It could be working with a mentor. It could be affirmations. It could be visualization. It could be reading the books of the A-players so that their thinking infuses and hypnotizes and recodes your neural biology, but you owe it to yourself to release the past so you can free yourself from the things that happen that disappointed you and move into a bold and brilliant and gorgeous future.

Please do not let a stained past deny your spotless future. Which brings me to the fifth of the mentalities for mastery I want to share with you in this session.

5. The Helper VS The Taker Mentality

One of the defining traits of the most successful people I have coached. The billionaires, the A-players, the celebrity CEOs, the Fortune 500 companies, the fastest teams. They have installed a belief system that the person who serves the most, wins.

One of my favorite interviews is Charlie Rose interviewing Ted Turner. As you know, Ted Turner created CNN. Ted Turner was dismissed. He was laughed at. No one ever imagined a 24-hour cable news channel would get any traction and this man - I encourage you to really read and study about Ted Turner’s life. I mean, he won America’s Cup. He started the Cartoon Network. He started the Goodwill Games.

This man is an industry titan. He studies much as you can about the way he thinks, the way he behaves. His values, his rituals, his routines, why? Because as you do and then apply them and execute them and wire them in, you’ll get the results he starts to get. What I want to share with you is in this interview with Charlie Rose, he went back to Rotary. Ted Turner was a Rotarian like just my father was a Rotarian.

He said, “he who serves the best, prospers the most.” I want to repeat that again because that’s so profound. At least to me, and I’m sure it is to you. “He who serves the best prospers the most.” At the end of the day, leadership and high performance, and being a titan is about valued distribution to as many people as possible and if you really want to rise to mastery, wake up every morning and spend 5 minutes, (that looks like 10 minutes), thinking about this fundamental quest, reflecting on it.

Let this question wash over your brain cells and your heart cells. Right to your very core. How may I serve the most people because if that becomes your obsession, you will work with love. Your work will be Van Gogh level. Your passion will be Steph Curry level or Michael Jordan level or Muhammad Ali level or Djokovic level and everything else will take care of itself. There’s been a lot in this Mastery Session. I encourage you to pull out your journal or watch it with your team and then deconstruct everything I’ve shared because with better awareness, you will make better choices.

With better choices, you’re going to see better results. That’s my 3-step success formula. With better awareness, you make better choices, better choices, you’ll see better results. Share this, talk about it with your team. Watch it with your family, deconstruct it and then most importantly go out and live it because an idea not brilliantly executed on with utter consistency is just a fallacy. Love you a lot. Talk to you soon.

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