What are the characteristics of a Master?

In order to communicate clearly, we must think clearly. If we are to think clearly, we must analyze concepts into their component parts and then synthesize the reflection into a coherent whole.


As part of our final meeting in the ICS 602 Human Communication Process and Theory course, the seminar analyzed the characteristics of a Master; as we continue on the road to mastery through the Center for Information and Communication Sciences graduate program, we state that a Master is:

    • Proficient in “visioneering” – Sophie Guetzko
    • Driven – Ryan Schoonover
    • Confident in their answers – Morgan Byasee
    • Dependable – Adam Vang
    • Thoroughly competent – Joe Porcelli
    • Adaptable, lives under pressure, and feels accomplished – Natalia Nazareth
    • One who leads by example – Jared Armstrong
    • A life-long learner – Randy Hiser
    • Analytical of context – Samaria Chicas
    • Visionary – Heather Vaughn
    • Resourceful – Jennings Banter
    • Creative – Temo Macias
    • Professional in their communication and appearance – Alison Lytle
    • A professional communicator – Chelsee Purvis
    • Curious/inquisitive about the world they live and work in – Erica Stevens
    • Patient – Nate Atkinson
    • Persistent – Quinn Sheridan
    • A great note taker – Preston Radtke
    • Disciplined – Deja Studdard
    • Someone who takes initiative to develop their field and peers – Katelyn Zehner
    • Someone who makes critical observations in any situation – Dakota Wappes
    • Someone who effectively filters and synthesizes information – Megan Roche
    • A competent individual – Emeka Egwuonwu
    • Someone who can adapt well to teamwork – Kristina Turner
    • Eager for a paradigm shift – Aaron Bender
    • A servant leader – Tom Stevenson
    • Someone who has the ambition to walk the paths that have been untouched and the wisdom to adapt to the situations from his failure – Justin Anderson
    • Inviolable – Victoria Bishop
    • Adept at solving complex problems – John Vellenga

While any one word cannot describe a Master, through the synthesis  of these characteristics we create the action (praxis) of being Masters. As Dr. Gillette says, “walk on two legs” – it’s the thinkin’ and doin’ that will get you there.

Information Renaissance – Leadership Shift

What sets an individual or organization apart when all the information we need is at our finger tips? The advantage of “trade secrets” that the world of the Industrial Revolution enjoyed is no more. With the advent of the Information Age, those who wish to survive have realized that only way to move forward is to innovate and enrich.

While we tend to speak in terms of the economy as it relates to business and organizations, we now find ourselves in a time when the paradigm shift must start with individuals and flow from there. The Information Renaissance, as Dr. Jay Gillette details in his article “Leadership for the Information Renaissance: Clarity, Challenges, Opportunity”, has move us towards a need to be skilled in many disciples to succeed. 

The School of Athens, Raphael, 1509-1511
The School of Athens, Raphael, 1509-1511

Our leaders now have to move out of that private corner office if they wish to really tap into the power of their team. As Kirby Ferguson states in his “4 Steps to Getting an Idea“, the flow of knowledge is a prerequisite for creativity. Leadership is an important aspect of this because of their ability to communicate the organization’s overarching vision as a compass.

If what we sell now is added knowledge value, individuals and leaders must support systems that enable and empower innovation. It is no longer about what you know but what you do with it – we trade knowledge and our currency is ideas. The currency is generated by a community that fosters innovation, creativity, and interdisciplinary learning and communication.

Copy + Paste – Inspiration and Transformation of Ideas

“…there is nothing new under the sun. “(Ecclesiastes 1:9, The New King James Version)


The subject of plagiarism is pertinent in the world of academia now more than ever; the internet allows us to have access to any information we seek immediately. The research that previously would have required one to travel to particular libraries is now reduced to a trip to a search engine.

Plagarism in academic work is the theft of ideas and ideas. It is critical to give credit to the sources you use in your research. But I think that some academic discretion must be given when developing a new take on old ideas. While this can sometimes be taken as “copying” existing works, this is the only way new ideas can come to fruition.

However, this form of thought process must be carefully monitored by the researcher and implemented with integrity.

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica
Source: Encyclopædia Britannica

As demonstrated most in the arts, a new take on old ideas can spark movements. Elvis Presley’s rock and roll was a take on blues music which was inspired by African tribal beats; the surrealist movement that included “originals” such as Salvador Dalí drew visual inspiration from indigenous African and American art.

Cultural appropriation is often tacked to the previously described artists as it should – the denial or commercialization of the intellectual property of other cultures has created serious issues socially. But, it is possible to obtain “inspiration” without damaging or demeaning  it’s source.

After starting a web series called Everything is a Remix in which he stated that all art is derived from existing art, Kirby Ferguson followed up with a his “4 Steps to Getting an Idea“. He breaks down the creative process into three steps:

  1. Copy
  2. Transform
  3. Combine
Source: Everything is a Remix

The “combine” is the resulting idea. Ferguson notes that “the conscious mind supplies the subconscious mind with the materials it needs”.

In a way, this borrowing allows for theme development; while “everything is a remix” (meaning that everything come from things that already exist), we can still forge ideas that move thoughts forward or in a different direction.

Blind plagiarism is the theft of intellectual property; inspired ideas crafted with integrity is creativity.