November 5, 2008

The Power of Being Competent

Robert Anson Heinlein was one of the most influential authors in the science fiction genre. In his book novel titled Time Enough For Love, “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long” states his idea of what a competent person should be able to do.

He writes: "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, *conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

In the increasingly demanding world of business, leaders need to have a range of skills knowledge and experience. While all of these are vital foundations, what is clear is that success is no longer just about skills and expertise.

Our personal competence is all about how effective we are at managing ourselves. It includes how much self awareness we have, our ability to self regulate our behavior and our personal motivation.

In truth many people have never really spent much time building awareness of themselves and what makes them tick. Imagine the insights that you could gain if you just spent a small amount of time on this area.

Social competence considers how well we handle relationships. These days, it is hard to imagine many roles that are not highly dependent on relationships. The success of any organization is dependent on building relationships to secure business, manage challenges, overcome obstacles to name just a few. Social competence is also about being aware of the feelings and concerns of others.

Sadly many people struggle when they move into management and leadership roles, not because they lack skill or knowledge but because they lack the softer skills essential for success. So what's you next step in developing your emotional competence? Come to think of it, we can’t just focus on being competent but instead on the power of strategic competence and the need to focus on form.

*Conn: to direct or conduct the steering of a vessel; to give orders to the helmsman on steering the ship


Charm6781_Yatie said...

Effectively managing yourself and your team, will show how competent you are as a leader...

Anonymous said...

competentcy. very good word to ask ourselves if we are competent in what we do. it is more than just leading the team. real competent people have long vision and able to see thing other don't see. Able to do things other can’t do.