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What is Next after Competence and Efficiency as a Leader?

Updated: Jun 26, 2022

We like to believe that if we are efficient and competent, we are great at what we do. That may be true, depending on the context. But, have you ever wondered if you are efficient and competent at what is valuable and important? 💭

With companies and markets shifting in unprecedented ways, what is valuable and important is constantly changing. Focusing on day-to-day excellence without understanding how the context and final goal evolves is a significant trap. This does not mean that day-to-day excellence is not essential - it’s just not enough.

What produced past results may not be the success ingredients of the future. Our roles (and teams!) can quickly become outdated and irrelevant.

One of the critical roles of leadership is to bridge insights, and then create and embody the change towards a transformed future.

A few guidelines for exploring your vision and change leadership:

☑ Keep track of how do you spend your time. Do you spend your time executing the present or creating the future?

☑ Make a list of all work to be delegated. You may be great at that work, but stepping up requires space to look at less familiar areas. Make sure you don’t solve problems that your team should be solving.

☑ Expose yourself to new environments, even if highly uncomfortable at first. Connect to more senior people and communities, inside and outside the organisation. Then listen to their insights and strategies and how they see the future.

☑ Connect the new insights and evaluate yourself honestly based on your findings, not only your day to day job. Observe where your gaps are and potential options to bridge those gaps.

☑ Ask yourself, “What should I be doing instead?” and find new, actionable experiments to put new behaviours into practice. Explore new possibilities for you and the team.

☑ Engage your stakeholders and outside allies in your change process.

As Herminia Ibarra, Professor of organisational behaviour, wonderfully says, “Leadership is aimed at creating change in what we do and how we do it, which is why leadership requires working outside established goals, procedures, and structures and explaining to others why it’s important to change —even when the reasons may be blatantly obvious to us.”

You are the instrument of change.


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