The competence level of a leader determines how successful they will be in their leadership position. Competence means, “Having the necessary abilities, knowledge, and skill to do something successfully.” One who is highly competent can produce tremendous results. Competence allows a leader to effectively execute their roles and to function effectively in their core areas of responsibilities. For you to remain a competent leader requires you to be always learning, stretching yourself through new experiences, and surrounding yourself with strong team members.
Always be learning
Competent leaders are intentional about learning new things. When it comes to what you should learn, concentrate your learning time on leadership skills, your areas of strengths, and industry specific topics. These are all relevant categories that will help you stay ahead of the learning curve and remain a competent leader in your field. There is a danger in not learning. In The Little Book of Personal Growth I wrote, “Failing to remain beside the learning curve in your field or industry will cause you to become irrelevant.” Make sure to invest an adequate amount of time learning new things.
Stretch yourself through new experiences
There is safety in your comfort zone and normal routine but it can cause you to become ineffective and complacent. This is why you should stretch yourself by deliberately doing things that cause you to leave your comfort zone. There are several ways you can begin to go through new experiences while at work.
You can volunteer to take on a new role, task, or project. Make sure it’s something that will challenge you and that is outside of your normal areas of responsibility. Or, you could act or do something outside of your normal personality or abilities. Consider spontaneously behaving in ways you would not normally act or do something you normally would not do. Remember to remain professional as you try this.
For example, it might be speaking up in a meeting to voice your opinion, asking a colleague to meet up to spend time together after work, or being on the front-lines more. Consider applying the above suggestions into your work life and you will be gaining new experiences that allow you to remain a competent leader.
Surround yourself with strong team members
Competent leaders know the value of being strength-based while at the same time making sure they are not spending a lot of time in areas of weakness. They know spending a lot of time in areas of weakness only frustrates them and causes them to be ineffective in their position primarily because they are working outside of their areas of competence.
You should take time to hire the right people and place them in the appropriate positions. When it comes to your team the key is that it should be well-rounded where each individual is able to work in their areas of strengths most of the time. This is especially important in the areas you are weakest so you can concentrate on and in your own areas of strengths and core responsibilities. Having a competent team of well-rounded people allows you to remain competent.
Questions: How do you remain a competent leader? Can you add to the list?
Subscribe to Dan Black on Leadership to receive fresh leadership content delivered to you inbox. PLUS two free quote books. All you need to do is to enter your email in the box below then push “Subscribe”: