leadership, competence, influence

By January 22, 2010Leadership

As a young leader, your influence will be determined in large measure by your ability to do the task at hand.  In other words, are you competent?  Can you perform at the level you are leading?

As we grow and seek to expand our influence, competence alone is not enough.  If we rely solely on our own competence, we become the bottleneck.  Our influence expands only as far as we able to perform.  To produce bigger and better results, the solo leader finds herself spinning more plates at faster revolutions.  It’s why many competent leaders burnout.

The key to expanding your influence is to surround yourself with other competent leaders and let them lead.  As we are handed greater responsibilities, our success will depend in greater measure on the teams we build.  Having a skill set to accomplish a specific task is not satisfactory any more.  That might be sufficient when the responsibilities are small; but it’s not a sustainable model for growth on a large scale.

For leaders with large influence, the measure of competence is not skills alone.  It’s also relational.  Without the ability to forge alliances and foster teams, no leader can exponentially expand their influence.  But when we surround ourselves with competent co-leaders, our influence is multiplied through their efforts.

And that is the goal.