How does one become master? Leadersmithing by Eve Poole brings in many examples of types of work and how one becomes master of one’s vocation. Most of her examples have to do with craftmanship, and how over time one becomes a master by first becoming an apprentice. (More on apprenticing later). In our time together talking about Leadership principles, we’ve talked about the role of leader, the seriousness of leading and the responsibility. I believe what Eve is bring into focus is the harnessing of craft of leadership over the course of time and incorporating the mentoring/coaching role. I appreciate the seriousness of what Poole is bringing in this book, that it takes time and practice and effort. I get fearful honestly of being Master of anything as to whom much is given much is required. “Being a Master is pressure”  . In becoming master there are potholes to avoid. Poole mentions Dorothy Sayers essay Why we Work, she quotes, “An addiction to service makes us slaves to feedback, unable to discern the inherent quality of work for work’s sake. If we constantly have on eye on our audience we do not have both eyes on the work. And if we establish a psychological contract that expects approval or at least some appreciation for our pains, we set ourselves up for disappointment if the reward does not quite match up, which also devalues the work” [].
I feel there is a brilliance we all need to hear, especially in ministry. I believe in servant leadership, but I also believe we can lose a lot when we don’t find balance. A mentor of mine told me in seminary “Vocation should be more than a job but less then a life”. Losing your self to service is opposite of Character; “Character is not about doing, its about being” [].
I have put a lot of thought and learning into apprenticeship. I have mentioned before that I participated 3 years in an anam care apprenticeship, in Bend, OR. We spent probably the first ¼ of the course talking about what it means to be an apprentice and honestly there was never any promise that we’d be anything past an apprentice, implying that Anam Cara Apprentices of early century, also known as midwives of the soul, spent over 20 years under the direct study of a Master. This master would also claim simultaneously they were still and apprentice. This sense of humility brings about trust and perhaps safety with younger and future apprentices as there was no promise that you’ll master the work. In my midwifery of the soul work we had a saying, “We are the Medicine” and the next question is how well do we know that medicine?
One of the harships of the master and apprentice role is that there is possibility of breakdown of the relationship []. In the relationship of Master and Apprentice, there is the chance that there is a “waywardness on the part of the apprentices and neglect or abuse by their masters”[] Trust, time, humility (always an apprentice attitude)and practice seem to be what the master and apprentice relationship needs. The combination of all our leadership reading and the LCP self awareness work and connecting all of these sometimes overwhelming and seemingly un-related dots all point in one direction.
We are the Medicine:
How well do we know ourselves? If you are wondering from me, how do I enter in the end of life phrase in a healthy way Jana? I’d tell you from this very apprenticing I am doing, that we must die to ourselves, or put another way by Eckhart Tolle “Die to yourself, so that when it comes time to die, you don’t die”. Meaning, apprenticing oneself into a Human Being and not a Human Doing is key! Almost every person I counsel on death’s door wrestles and struggles with them no longer able to “contribute” or “do” anything. We have gone so far down the rabbit trail in our culture of defining ourselves on our Mastery and what we do! The gift of being an apprentice Leader is that we are always seeking a Master. What a gift that we have a Master in Jesus. The work is done, he has suffered and died so that when it comes time for us to die we do not die!
 Eve Poole, Leadersmithing: Revealing the Trade Secrets of Leadership. (London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing 2017), 65.
 Ibid, 48
 Ibid, 49
 Ibid, 60
 Ibid, 65