Are you at the crossroads of the 3 seas that will elevate your game to the next level?
“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.”
How are you increasing your competence?
What character are you building in your life?
Will your actions pass the credibility test of time?
As I evolve in my career in a big company, I often ask myself:
Did I reach my level of Peter principle?
I am not able to have a clear answer to that question. As a learner, I believe that there is a big room for improvement.
“The Peter principle is a concept in management developed by Laurence J. Peter, which observes that people in a hierarchy tend to rise to “a level of respective incompetence”: employees are promoted based on their success in previous jobs until they reach a level at which they are no longer competent, as skills in one job do not necessarily translate to another.”
1. THE CURSE OF COMPETENCE.
I often feel like I miss more opportunities than I lack talent. The reason is that I feel like we are not exposed to the same opportunities because of many things.
Maybe there is a group bias among people providing opportunities, always giving opportunities to their likes.
Maybe there is a conscious unconscious bias that we are comfortable with because we don’t want to face the truth about our shortcomings.
Long story short: people are often promoted because someone thinks that they are the most competent to hold the position.
Maybe we often hide the irrationality of our choices as decision-makers behind the reflector of competence.
Being competent is rooted in our capabilities to deliver tangible results that can be measured.
When we offer opportunities based on “competencies” solely, we are just using a shortcut because we either don’t have the time to dig deeper or are too afraid to sneak a peek through the mirror of our soul.
Competence is the most accessible indicator that can be measured when we think about a so-called leader in an organization.
Yet it is also the easiest one to fake. Because in reality, most of what happens to us is either sheer luck or a helping hand from other human beings.
Those human beings are maybe the employees that the organization mandates to support us.
As we are ticking boxes from one position to another, we feel like we are a rising star in our company.
We feel like our competencies, and hard work brought us where we are. We feel entitled to our position as solely one of our own doing.
Yet competence is only one of the 3 ingredients that make a great leader.
2. THE (HIDDEN) CASE OF CHARACTER.
We often see leaders that show their competencies, and we admire the tip part of the iceberg.
We often forget that being a leader, or simply a human, is also about having a great character that positively impacts the people around us, including ourselves.
Character is to be written with 2 eyes: “I” as Integrity and “I” as Intent.
Integrity is all about aligning our actions with our values.
Integrity is not about trying to suffocate who we are at the core for short-term gain.
The game of fame, the game of money, the game of deception, all those are finite games. We might think that we have won a short-term battle. Yet we will lose the game of life.
Indeed the game of life is an infinite one. And Karma is always the door to our death. Nobody will win the game of life. Nobody will win the gale of death.
Intent is essential and a conscious decision. Good intent is about basing our agenda on genuine caring for other human beings and mutual benefit.
If we skyrocket through the organization without integrity and the sole intent to serve ourselves first, we can go as far as Karma will let us.
We might get the fame, the shine of the position, the money. Yet we will only be a shadow of the character of a true leader: a genuine human being.
Competence is the light we shine on people’s faces. Character is the energy we leave behind once the meeting is over, once we retire.
3. THE COMPETITIVENESS OF CREDIBILITY.
Credibility is the third leg that completes the table of a grounded leader.
We can be propelled by our competence only. We can fly as high as our luck can lift us.
We can have the greatest of character. We can be an inspiration to other people. Yet we can feel like we are missing some opportunities and tangible impact in our lives.
Credibility is the blending of competence (ice) and character (fire) to create the best melody every great leader is singing.
When our credibility precedes us in life, we do not need to talk, convince, or sell our soul. We let our credibility do the pitch as we are sitting quietly in the dark with a smile on our face.
We create a quiet space around us so that we can give the space for others to have their voices heard.
That is the power of credibility: aligning our competencies, building a strong character, and unleashing those forces to the world with excellent health for the ultimate wealth of humankind.
Often in big organizations, we can be lucky enough to stumble upon those credible leaders in big organizations. And being around them is an incredible journey.
Yes, I love to see competent leaders. I am genuinely impressed by leaders with true character. I strive to be a leader with genuine credibility.
Coming back to the previous question, I now know the answer.
I have not reached my level of Peter Principle. I am building my character and my credibility at the same time.
I happen to be in a company that is keener to being driven by people’s competencies than their character or credibility.
That is the feeling that I have. Maybe technology companies are just that: blindly driven by the willingness to create more bleeding edge products.
We are too afraid to have the character and the credibility to reflect that we might be bleeding out our planet Earth, humankind, all along the way in this technological journey.
That is the danger of only focusing on one pebble, competence: that is only one facet of the cornerstone of a true leader who also has a great character and vibrant credibility.
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#BIOS #BringInyourOwnSoul #LeadHeartship #Leadership
You can read my previous article on RPC, welcome to the new SCC: enter the new era for collective impact. (Friendly link)