Competence Is Not Enough

skillsHaving the skills to deliver on time and on budget is not enough. Meeting spec is not enough. Doing it right is not enough. These are the minimum requirements. And minimum is not enough.

We spend a lot of time and energy worrying about what might go wrong, about how to stay on track, about how to meet expectations. We tend to not spend enough time contemplating the up-side. How can we be early, exceed expectations, deliver delight?

The minimums aren’t easy. Nor are they unimportant. But we need to aim higher. We need to figure out how to get more out of ourselves than we expect.

Pushing boundaries. Experimenting. Taking risks. Scary stuff, hard stuff. But the stuff that probably matters most.

You Gotta Want It

To go above and beyond, to do more that we thought we could, to do more than we thought we should, we need to have desire. We’ve got to want to push ourselves and surprise and inspire others around us.

The first step is allowing yourself to want more. That’s certainly not what everybody else is doing, so it can be a little nerve wracking. But if you go there, if you lead the way, others might follow. They’ll certainly be appreciative. We are admirers of courage and risk taking as a personal trait. And we also recognize that those are the people who help us all. They reach for the brass ring, push the limits, expand the boundaries, and make things better for everyone (and provide a valuable lesson, even if things don’t go so well).

Desire and Competence

Desire and competence are the dynamic duo of superior performance. Of the two, desire is the more powerful. If you have the desire, the competence will come. Or it can be found, hired, or inspired.

But competence alone is not enough. If that’s what you’re shooting for, you’re aiming too low.

Photo credit: skilledwork