The Competent Leader

[Special Announcement: The leadership Mandate audiobook is in production and it will be ready in the next 4-6 weeks. I’m going through acx.com and Ben Cummins is narrating my book. Stay tuned for the release and special offers.]

Competent leaders have the knowledge, skills and motivation to be productive and produce results. The rewards of being a competent leader include:

  • Your influence is maximized
  • You excel toward your potential
  • You establish your authority
  • You reap the rewards of your effort

You can read more about these rewards in my post Four Rewards to Becoming a Competent Leader. I hope seeing these rewards inspires and encourages you to be or become a competent leader. Below are some qualities all competent leaders possess:

A standard of excellence

In The Leadership Mandate I wrote a standard of excellence is “about doing and giving your best in the areas of your direct responsibilities and obligations.” This includes all areas of your life, not only in your leadership role. A standard of excellence is the choice to go above and beyond what is expected of you. A consistent work ethic will both amaze and inspire those around. This action sets the example for your team, influencing them to increase their own standard. Chose to have a high standard no matter how competent you become.

A never settle mindset

Competent leaders never settle for good or average results whether it’s in a product, service, or the effort of the team or themselves. They are driven to put in the effort to produce great results and work. This mindset strives for great work but does not allow perfectionism to cause them not to deliver results. Never settle for the average when you can produce greatness.

Attention to Detail

In every task they do, competent leaders pay attention to the details. Dale Carnegie said,

“Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.”

Leaders understand the small tasks compiled together produce large and successful results. Even in the small or routine tasks, they never cut corners or overlook the details. This leads to the success of everyone on the team and the entire organization.

Consistently perform

Competent leaders perform through every season of leadership, during the good, bad, and ugly times of leading. They know how to nourish themselves and remain self-motivated. The most important role of a leader is to produce results, primarily by influencing those around them to perform. They understand the value of being consistently performing.

Question: What are some other qualities of competent leaders?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Great list. I would say it all boils down to a strong work ethic. A leader must have the discipline to do what must be done and to do it to the best of their ability. Than like you said, that must be done consistently.

    • I totally agree Paul! Thank you for reading and taking the time to share.

  • I agree with Paul, work ethic done consistently is a huge deal for leadership. Without it, people will only see you as being good at doing something every now and then. But what about the difficult times, when things aren’t so clear? Leaders need to be able to be counted on, and consistency is the only way to do that.

    Great thoughts.

    • It really sets a good example that others will want to follow. Consistency is key. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  • First, let me emphasize a point you made in a couple of ways. Consistency is HUGE with regard to being a leader others have confidence in. Second, the one leadership quality my husband has that sets him apart from most is that he works harder than others. When he started his position as VP of sales & marketing, we talked about the importance of him working hard & how this would earn respect. It did and continues to do so because that’s who he is, not just what he does. And that’s my third point, to lead from who you are. Be authentic.

    • Hard work is so essential, it really set’s us apart from most people. Allowing us to reap the rewards. Great three points!!! Thank you for adding to the topic:)

  • DS

    Congrats on the audio version of your book!

  • Great list, Dan. One of your points alluded to perseverance, which is right up there with desire in terms of long term success. Thanks for the reminders.

    • I totally agree! Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  • I’ll look forward to the audio version. I love to listen ! I’m writing an article for the High Calling on mediocrity and this spoke to excellence. It’s a fine dance isn’t it? An unhealthy preoccupation with perfectionism and the very healthy pursuit of excellence

    • I’ll make sure you know when it comes out:) I love audio book as well. When will the post go live? Can you post a link here when it does, or message me the link? Yes, it sure is a balancing act.

  • Great list. Great idea with having an audio version of your book!

    • Thank you Zech:) I’m excited about it coming out!

  • kentsanders

    Very cool to hear that an audio version is coming out! Another trait of leadership I’m thinking of is the ability/willingness to take responsibility when those under you make mistakes. Even when something isn’t directly your fault, if it’s your employee or department, you are ultimately responsible. It’s just part of being a leader!

    • Hello Kent,

      Taking responsibility is so crucial. The great leads take responsibility for both the good and bad things that happen under their leadership. Thank you for adding that great point!

  • Congrats on the audio book! You stay so busy, I’m not sure how you do it!

    Great list, I cant’ think of anything off the top of my head at the moment to add.

    God bless.

    • Thank you TC Avey :) I’m not able to as much done as I want, but taking small steps on a regular basis allows me to get some things accomplished. Thank you for taking the time to read the post.

  • Dan I’m so excited that your book is coming out in audio format, I love listening to audio books and will really be looking forward to this one.

    • I’m also excited about it coming out. I’ll make sure to let you know when it comes out. Thank you for your support:)

      • You’ll have to let me know how the audio book process went. I’m working on a book right now and would really like to do an audio version.

        • Once I’m done with the process, we will have to chat over the phone.

  • Great reminder about the small details. The quote you used is perfect, “If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.”

    • It’s a powerful quote. Those small details really matter. Thank you for adding to the discussion.

  • hey Dan, along the lines of never settling, i see competent leaders as those trying to improve and make themselves better. Not only themselves but they are also focused on helping others around them improve, the product improve and even the business improve.

    • Great addition Vishnu!!! Thank you for adding it.

  • Congrats on the audio book. Consistent action is big for me.

    • Thank you Bernard:) That’s an important one.

  • I totally agree with the never settle mindset. When a leader settles, people’s lives are affected.

    • It’s a mindset we all need to have. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  • Key quality: What you believe in is evidenced by how you live more than by what you say.

    • I totally agree, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the topic.