Qual é a Tua Obra? - Mario Sergio Cortella

Qual é a Tua Obra? - Mario Sergio Cortella

Find out what is your masterpiece and learn powerful lessons about management, leadership, and ethics with Mario Sergio Cortella.

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After all, what is your masterpiece? This is the question that Mario Sergio Cortella will make you think about in his book.

So, what was your reaction to this question? You may have had two thoughts, probably. You may have felt relaxed and satisfied with what you have accomplished so far, or you may have been uneasy and uncomfortable with the situation, looking for an answer.

If you are part of the first group, be concerned because the search for improvement and ambition of results has to be continuous. But if you are in the second group, cheer up, as you can solve this doubt after reading this PocketBook!

Regardless of what your answer was, believe that you can be motivated to understand that your work is much bigger than you think.

It's time to decide what you want in your life, especially in the professional environment, so let's go!

About the book "Qual é a tua Obra?"

The book "Qual é a tua obra?", "What's Your Masterpiece?" in free translation, was written by Mario Sergio Cortella and published in 2007.

The book is divided into 3 parts: management, leadership, and ethics. Throughout its 141 pages, the author makes you reflect and identify what you want to achieve in your life, with the aid of examples, quotes, tips, and questions.

About the author Mario Sergio Cortella

Mario Sergio Cortella is a writer, philosopher, lecturer, and university professor. He has a master's and doctorate in Education. Also, he has experience in the political field, always involved in the educational area and, finally, he is a commentator for CBN radio.

Cortella wrote more than 30 books, including:

To whom is this book indicated?

The book "What's Your Masterpiece?" is ideal for people who seek knowledge in the areas of management, leadership, and ethics, and want to obtain it lightly and clearly.

So, if you want to evolve in your career and become a better leader or if you are starting a new business and looking for a differential that will guarantee you success, this is the book for you!

It not only provides the means for professional growth but also a reflection on the work of your life.

Main ideas of the book "Qual é a tua Obra?"

  • Always have the desire to learn;
  • To have "freedom", your needs must be satisfied;
  • Take a balanced action to face change;
  • Always seek constant renewal;
  • Think of the collective and not just yourself;
  • Stay away from arrogant people;
  • Make decisions that do not negatively affect others.

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[Book Summary] Qual é a tua Obra? - Mario Sergio Cortella

Overview: Management


Mario Sergio Cortella defends that the idea of work as punishment needs to be replaced by the concept of performing something more.

Since ancient generations, work has been seen as a form of punishment, and it is worth mentioning that we came from a society that inherited a slave system. Its origin comes from Latin, which means "instrument of torture".

Working is tiring, but it cannot be a reason for stress, after all, we need to have quality of life and be recognized. With that, the author reinforces in the book "What's Your Masterpiece?" that you need to see meaning in what you do.

The good side of not knowing

According to the author Mario Sergio Cortella, it is only possible to move towards excellence knowing that we don't know anything.

Some people don't have the humility to assume that they don't know all things and their arrogance blinds them, obstructing the planning of effective action, and hindering change and growth.

On the other hand, those who recognize their doubts, take risks, and are capable of making mistakes, are the ones responsible for changes. To fail and persist, with perseverance, is the most intelligent way to achieve evolution.

The Rocky Balboa Syndrome

In the book "What's Your Masterpiece?", Cortella says that you can only go for free choices when your needs are satisfied.

The Rocky Balboa syndrome is you imagine that you are prepared to defeat an adversary, and it doesn't go well.

To enjoy freedom, it is necessary to give up certain things and go through a period of training and trials, but remember that with them you will achieve something beneficial.

So, be positive and happy, eliminate all complaints and regrets. After all, it is an investment that you are making.

Tension of changing

We all are afraid of change and only accept it when we realize it will be good.

The author Mario Sergio Cortella explains that we can only eliminate the fear of change through action, which can be flexible or rigid.

Thus, to pursue excellence, a balanced action with courage to face the uncertainties of change is needed. Remember that courage is not the lack of fear, but the ability to face it.

Overview: Leadership

Reaching the essential is fundamental

Currently, we find ourselves asking many questions. One of those questions presented in the book "What's Your Masterpiece?" it is about what is fundamental and what is essential in our lives.

Essential is everything we can't help but have, like happiness, friends, and loyalty. The fundamental is what helps us to reach the essentials, such as work.

According to Mario Sergio Cortella, there is a very large gap between these two fronts.

You need to see yourself in what you do to feel fulfilled and happy, and that is done through recognition, with crucial help from leadership. Spiritualized leaders are able to recognize their own work and build it up, constantly seeking the meaning of things.


Taking a leadership position is not a gift, but a choice that is developed over time. For this, leaders have to be humble, recognizing that they don't know everything, and willing to renew and clear their doubts, because it's through them that growth is obtained.

To be a better leader, pay attention to these 4 points cited by Cortella in the book "What's Your Masterpiece?":

  • Escape from what's repetitive, try to propose new solutions, and always seek continuous improvement;
  • Never assume that you are invulnerable, be cautious in your words and actions;
  • Always have challenges on your horizon. Never be satisfied with the result achieved, be ambitious;
  • And always try to achieve the best, do not settle for the possible.


What does it mean to be a leader? For Mario Sergio Cortella, it means inspiring and motivating people, projects, and situations.

Also, it makes people feel good about what they do and integrated with their work.

Thus, the author states that wages and material conditions are significant, but not decisive.

The meaning of feeling good about life is not that you don't get tired, but that you don't get stressed. Stress appears when you are unable to observe the results of your work.

5 competencies in the art of leading

In the book "What's Your Masterpiece?", Cortella presents the 5 essential competencies for leadership:

  • Open your mind: always be willing to learn and change;
  • Elevate the team: be a leader who wants the growth of the whole team, not just your own;
  • Recreate the spirit: transmit good energy and spread joy wherever you are;
  • Innovate at work: look for new methods and solutions, and be able to reinvent things;
  • Undertake the future: grow collectively, thinking about the conditions and possibilities of being ready for the future.

Overview: Ethics

Our house

For the author Mario Sergio Cortella, when we talk about ethics, we talk about a set of values and concepts used to answer 3 questions: Do I want to? Should I? Can I?

If these 3 questions are not in tune, conflicts may happen. So keep everything aligned, making sure that all you want is what you owe and can.

The clearer your principles are, the easier it will be to solve problems. Even more if you are based on your integrity and honesty.

The others of ourselves

Ethics requires a sense of collective equality, and we need to move away from any arrogant form of looking at life, as Mario Sergio Cortella emphasizes.

Arrogance causes our existence and our soul to be degraded. Moreover, it causes us to lose our ability to see the other as similar, to be greedy and craving only what is convenient for us.

We need to teach, discuss, and learn, because everything we do comes back to us in some way, as it is affirmed in the book "What's Your Masterpiece?".

The choice is yours, but the consequences...

Cortella states that your decisions can have consequences that affect many other people. Therefore, take action based on your principles and preserve your integrity.

Practical examples of everyday life are misunderstandings, illegal and poorly thought out decisions, among others. This will certainly affect other people!

What do other authors say about it?

For John C. Maxwell, author of "Leadership Gold", the best leaders are those who know how to listen. They learn better than others because they absorb information from various places. Also, good listeners can see other people's strengths and weaknesses better.

In the book "Awaken the Giant Within", Tony Robbins explains that keeping committed to your decisions can be challenging, but the more you try, the easier it gets. So, when you fail, to try to evoke a change in your life, don't be discouraged. Instead, think about what you can learn from it.

Finally, in the book "The Leadership Pipeline", the authors Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, and James Noel point out that functional leaders need to manage certain areas that are outside their specialty. Therefore, they need to not only try to understand this different work but also learn to value it.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

At the end of "What's Your Masterpiece?", Cortella gives the hint that your masterpiece is much more than any activity you perform. Here are some final lessons from the book:

  • Companies that have a strategic vision of the future demonstrate strong connections between ethics and business;
  • Do I want to? Should I? Can I? Three essential questions to take care of the collective life and to discover our masterpiece;
  • One of the leader's tasks is to clarify the collective work;
  • When the way of living leads to stress, it is essential to question whether it is worth pursuing this path;
  • The idea of work as punishment needs to be replaced by the concept of performing a masterpiece;
  • Recognizing that you don't know about certain things is a sign of intelligence and a decisive step towards change.

Did you like this summary of the book "Qual é a tua Obra?"?

What did you think of Mario Sergio Cortella's work? Let us know your opinion in the comments, your feedback is very important!

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Book 'Qual é a tua Obra?'