Eight reasons competent leaders are sometimes viewed as incompetent. [Part Two]
How sad that someone possessing a sufficient degree of talent, experience, intelligence, or skill would be viewed by those who serve alongside or others as incompetent. It can happen. You may have the credentials and yet be viewed as incompetent if any of the eight issues we are discussing are true for you. Take heed and make sure these are not part of your leadership makeup. Here are the first four that were discussed in last week’s post.
- When you are perceived as lazy.
- When you are not purposefully punctual.
- When you cannot get organized.
- When you are unwilling to adopt new technologies.
Now on to the other four:
- When you are often low on energy. Those following politics can observe this principle with one or more talented candidates who are vying for a presidential nomination at this time. They have great ideas but are not connecting with potential voters. Failure to exhibit passion for what you do, the gifts you possess, the people you serve, or the organization you lead is interpreted by followers as incompetence. Perhaps you are introverted, introspective, or very task driven. Keep in mind that perception is reality to the person that has the perception. You must exude some degree of enthusiasm or all of your credentials will go to waste.
- When you exercise poor judgement. While everyone makes mistakes, not all mistakes are created equal. Being a few minutes late a couple of times is not the equivalent of making an inappropriate comment in mixed company. Losing a receipt is not the equivalent of double billing for expenses. While everyone is subject to making errors, the blatant choice to do something that is unethical, immoral, illegal, or to take some action that compromises the safety or reputation of those you serve or serve alongside is not only egregious but also an indication of actual incompetence.
- When you do not produce for your organization. What is the purpose of the organization that you work for? That is a critical question for you to know and understand. Once you know the purpose, your activity should always be directed toward helping achieve that purpose. Anyone can fill a position, occupy a desk, or fill in the hours required. But when you are not viewed as one who is making a difference in the organization fulfilling its purpose, you are viewed as incompetent.
- When you fail to communicate. Communication takes several forms in an organization ranging from giving as much advance notice as possible if you will be absent, representing your organization well to the public, actively participating in staff meetings, to building relationships with co-workers just to name a few. Be proactive in all forms of communication. Be timely, friendly, gracious, diligent, and sufficiently detailed. Failure to communicate well is viewed as incompetence and therefore, should not be underestimated.