Leaders Need Competence

By Ren Siebenga  |  February 11th

Leaders need competencies for their roles. These are acquired through education, training, and experience.

Most often, the first half of life is filled with acquiring the education needed (skills and tools), and the next half is spent in continuing education, and more importantly, in training, experience and developing one’s story.

In general, the specialized knowledge or skills that you need are related to the more technical decisions that you will have to make in your job whereas the discerning skills, insight and story development are mostly acquired on the job, and are most critical.

Keep in mind that as the leader you do not have to be skilled at everything. If you are not good at some aspect of your tasks, then find help. There is always someone out there who would love to do what you can’t do! There are many resources available to help you identify and improve the specific skills that you may need for your job.

As leader, there are certain skills you must have and use that you cannot delegate. They have to do with tasks that only the leader can do, like hiring and firing for example. Leadership is not based on skills however, but on insight because the real center of leadership lies in knowing your story and being filled with the compulsion to live it and to share it.

If your story is alive and well, then you will find the energy for skill development. Or as we say in education land: “What are the ‘need to knows’?” If your story is not alive and well, all of your skills will not give you the courage to lead well.