What have they mastered?

Randy Nelson of Pixar argues that mastery in anything is a really good predictor of an ability to master something else.


So look for someone who’s mastered something. Is the candidate a great chef? Or mountain biker? Or something else? That’s a sign they can be a master on your project too. That sense of “I’m going to get to the top of that mountain” separates them from all of the other candidates almost instantly. There’s very little chance that someone’s going to achieve mastery on the job if they didn’t get there before coming to your workplace.


This is one reason I’m so big on organized, scored shooting. Plenty of people (usually low-skilled shooters) will ignore twenty good things about competitive shooting to point out one flaw. The claimed flaw might even be valid.


So what? The real benefit is that a shooter got off his ass and put in the effort to excel at a marksmanship task that objectively measured skill. Theory turned in to accountable, measurable, recordable skill. Such a person can readily master another aspect of shooting as well, and likely much faster. He not only has a solid base of skill to start from but has real will, as proven by previous success.