As a business coach, I work with leaders and executives at all decision-making levels of organizations and if I had to boil down to the top 3 keys required for success in leadership, I’d have to say: Competence, Confidence and Capacity.
This is true for my peers and colleagues leading coaching businesses as well as coaching leaders and executives around their strengths as leaders.
These three are all critical. Lacking any one of the three won’t get you very far, just as a three-legged stool requires all three legs to be balanced.
Let’s explore for a moment:
This is bigger than it sounds at first blush. Competence is not just your skills as a leader, it is your skills in your profession, in your industry, at your job, at communicating, at motivating, at inspiring, at engaging others, your competence in teaching and coaching others, in growing and developing successors, and in presenting and behaving consistently with your intended brand or company image. That’s a tall order!
Surprisingly, this is the thing most executives report as the greatest outcome of our coaching work together. Folks that I’d consider top of their game report an increase in confidence. Does this mean that egos aside, most of us are just as scared an unsure of things as the next guy? Think about it, though. If you are competent, yet lack confidence, will you show up as a leader? Will you demonstrate your competence effectively? Confidence is the fuel for leadership results.
You are competent and confident, yet if you lack capacity to fulfill or execute or otherwise manifest results, all your skills, knowledge, and attitude won’t be enough. This is where life balance fits in. This is where boundaries are crucial. This is where you learn how to fill buckets with Big Rocks first. This is what Loehr and Schwartz are talking about when they write about rituals of recovery in The Power of Full Engagement. Most executives and leaders today are overwhelmed, stretched beyond human capacity, let alone leadership capacity! Yet we have done it ourselves. What can you do to restore and reclaim your capacity? How can you increase your availability to those things that are fully aligned with your leadership cause/vision/ movement?
Determine your strengths. Are you hitting all cylinders in all three domains? If not, what do you need to do to improve your C-quotient in any of the key areas?