Using Mastery, Building to Grow Your Business

Mastery and Building

March 26


Amy wants to grow her wholesale food business. She relies on having people who are masters and people who are builders. But that is not quite enough to make growth happen.

Steve is a master at these products. You can ask him almost anything and he knows the answer from actual application. He is an expert.

Jess is a builder for Amy’s products. If the company needs a new feature or a more stable version, Amy turns to Jess. Building new things is Jess’ expertise.

Like many of us, Amy relies on having mastery and building at key positions. Her customers don’t need to know that this is happening, but Amy knows that her business growth depends on Jess and Steve. But they are not enough.


Why the Boss is the Boss

Amy got started because she was a great cook who knew how to make large quantities of food. She became a master at making the food freezable. But she needed more to make a business.

Next she studied the process of increasing distribution. She learned to build sales volumes in a way that allowed her to both cook and deliver. Amy is good at both mastery and building.

What is uncommon is that Amy applies both these traits every day. It is a third skill. She does not have to be the best at designing and cooking food any more. Nor does she need to be the best at selling her products. Her company grows best when she combines both in her work day. It’s why she is the boss.

When does this get difficult? Anytime that there is stress. Just like the rest of us, Amy tends to return to previous patterns when stress increases. She finds herself wanting to go back into the kitchen.

It seems that stress increases all the time. But as the boss she still gets to be the master and the builder.


Quality and Quantity

Mastery can focus on quality. Building can focus on quantity. Growing a business requires both. Steve and Jess do not need to manage both simultaneously, but Amy does.

Helping the people on whom she relies is all about quality. She wants, even needs, all of them to work at a high level. She supplies or builds tools to make that work, and coaches people carefully to get and stay there. She is clear on setting a level of quality and keeping it.

At the same time Amy is focusing on building, on increasing the quantity of outlets for her product. More outlets means both more revenue and more stability. It’s also more difficult to manage. However she knows that the business will grow in a more sustainable manner if she does. Again, it is why she is the boss.


Taking Advantage

Steve and Jess are certainly capable of both managing mastery and building. In their home lives and hobbies they do this with fluidity. However when they come to the office and kitchen, each is most familiar and comfortable with one aspect. Amy is wise enough to take advantage of that. She gives both Steve and Jess the assignments and the support to leverage their strength. Amy is also wise enough to intentionally take advantage of her own ability to do both.

If you are looking to grow your business you have the opportunity to manage all three aspects of this. You can set up people who are masters and take full advantage of that. As tempting as it might be to make them builders as well you should have them focus on their core strength.

The same is true for builders. Every time you ask someone who is building product or sales to stop and act as a master you risk reducing your opportunity to grow. You might reduce some operational costs, but your opportunity costs might be higher

Where do these come together? In you. Just as with Amy, you are here because you can manage both in yourself. This is a skill to hone. The good news is that you inherently have both of these traits in your core make up. It’s why you are the boss.

How do you get the best advantage? Reinforce the strengths of the people who are masters and builders. Then reinforce how you manage both in your day.


Published in Medium in April 2019. Copr. The Meyer Group. All rights reserved.