Webster defines competence as: a sufficiency of means for the necessities and conveniences of life; the quality or state of being competent. So then, let me ask these two important questions:

1) Are you competent in life?

 2) What are you doing to develop your competency for sustainable success in life?

These two questions are important to ask because as a professional and a leader, competency matters in life in the same way that character matters in life. For example, a commuter pilot of small engine planes may have the greatest character and be an awesome friend; however, if that friend does not know how to fly a commercial jet airliner, there is no way I would board such a plane with that friend as the pilot because competency matters.

Competency Development Builds Extraordinary Influence

In his book, 21 Indispensible Qualities Of A Leader, John Maxwell states, “Competence goes beyond words. It’s the leader’s ability to say it, plan it, and do it in such a way that others know that you know how—and know that they want to follow you.” Simply put, competent people can be counted on when being counted on counts. As a result, competent people have extraordinary influence with others.

On the other hand, incompetent people have little influence with others because they cannot be counted on to do what they must do when it matters. In fact, Proverbs 26:10 states, “An employer who hires a fool or a bystander [an incompetent person] is like an archer who shoots at random.” If you and I are going to build extraordinary influence with others, we must develop competency that others can depend upon when it matters. Doing so will differentiate extraordinary influence in our life from ordinary influence in our life.

Developing Competency Makes An Ordinary Life An Extraordinary Life

Again, in his book, 21 Indispensible Qualities Of A Leader, John Maxwell shares that when it comes to considering the competency of people, there are three types of people:

Type 1: Those who can see what needs to happen.

Type 2: Those who can make it happen.

Type 3: Those who can make things happen when it really counts.

To me, this shows a clear pattern of competency development where the Type 1 person is only competent enough to see what needs to happen, but cannot make it happen. This competency level leads to a common and ordinary life. The Type 2 person not only can see what needs to happen, but can also make it happen. This competency level leads to an uncommon and extraordinary life. The Type 3 person not only sees what needs to happen and can make it happen, they can also be counted on to make it happen when it really counts. This competency level leads to an uncommon and extraordinary life with uncommon and extraordinary influence in life.

By the many examples in life of ordinary people becoming extraordinary people with extraordinary influence through their competency development, it is clear that the more competent a person becomes in life, the more extraordinary they become in life. But, it doesn’t happen without an intentional plan for developing competency; therefore, I recommend writing a Professional Development Plan that includes the following:

  1.  A personal commitment to growing in areas of real life application of the values of the organization in which you share a mutual vision of the future.
  2. Clearly defined personal leadership commitments to achieving the purpose of the organization in the areas of operations, finances, people, and service.
  3. Coaching leadership to help you learn, grow, and develop your competency as well as hold you accountable to developing your competency.
  4. Volitional submission to ongoing review and feedback regarding your competency development.

Thank you and have a blessed “Make It Happen” day!

Competency Development – Rx For Extraordinary Copyright 2012, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint Competency Development – Rx For Extraordinary, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.