Competence Is the Heart of Leadership
August 5, 2013
Build your leadership on the basis of competence and results, not just style and likeability.
A common misunderstanding about leadership is that it absolutely requires charisma and personal style. These elements wont harm leadership, but they dont create it. There is also a popular misconception that good leaders are necessarily liked and popular.
The essence of leadership is competence, the ability to get things done efficiently and effectively, which in turn leads to the respect of superiors, followers, and peers. Likeability and popularity are merely side benefits, and not necessarily that important. There is a substantive technique to leadership. It involves such mundane matters as the ability to plan, decide, direct, and control. This can include everything from basic time management to the development of detailed resource requirements and task assignments. It also requires communication, steadfastness in the face of difficulty, a willingness to consult and combine the forces of people with different skills and personalities. Style and charisma are the decoration and friezes on the structure, but the bricks and mortar are teachable skills and techniques.
Food for Thought
People will follow those who have a claim to leadership, but only if they obtain consistent results. Nobody wants to follow a loser, or someone who meanders aimlessly without purpose or ability.
Richard Martin is a consultant, speaker, and executive coach. He brings his military and business leadership and management experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.
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