Key Leadership Skill – Competency

No human being will work hard at anything unless they believe that they are working for competence. – William Glasser

After my induction in my first job, first work assignment I got was to help my corporate trainer in a training program. Trainer sent me a participants question paper & asked me to print 30 copies of it.

The problem was – I didn’t have enough skill to take print out – I don’t know how to connect my machine to printer, how to print a document and even I don’t know where the printer is situated. I was so shy tell him I don’t know this job or ask him right questions to do the activity. I stayed late in the evening & do something about it, but my mind filled with fear & I was not ready to face the trainer next day without completing the job.

I took time-off next day & returned the job the day after. I was hiding here and there to escape from the trainer. During lunch, he met me and asked me “why did you do like this?” I stood in front of him quietly. He told me “If you don’t know the job, tell you don’t know it & ask for help. People will help if it is possible or if it is so urgent, they will get help from others in right time. You wasted my time” & went off.

Though printing is a simple activity, it requires certain basic & sufficient knowledge and skill to produce the printouts. I can read books to get basic knowledge but that is not enough. I need to get the skill to perform the activity by doing it or by trying to do it. Like printing, every activity requires the sufficiency in skills to produce the right outcome.

Sufficient Knowledge & Skill to perform an activity is called Competency. One of the important factor that divide an experienced from an inexperienced is Competency. In a job, Expected Level of Competency varies based on role & tenure in the job (experience). In Project Management, HR Management closely deals with competency. Competency is one of the required Leadership Skills for leaders which I listed in Leadership Champions – Leadership Rubik Cube.

Let me close this post with apt quote from Roosevelt.

“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

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