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Competency – A Trait of Great Leadership

In order for any team of individuals whether they are employees, colleagues, or any other group of people who gather together for a common cause to be successful they need a competent leader. A leader should be viewed by the team members as an expert in the subject matter of concern to the team or an expert in leadership. Note the difference between the two. Unless a leader is an expert in the chosen field he or she needs to be competent in directing individuals to acquire the necessary expertise to accomplish the team goals or to acquire it personally. Sometimes a team leader might be referred to as the team manager as this individual will manage the progress of the team and offer guidance while the team strives to meet the objectives on the road to success.

A team will look toward their leader for guidance in leading the team to the successful achievement of the objectives therefore the leader needs to be an individual who is competent and capable of leading the team to success. Competency and capability go hand in hand as they are synonyms of each other with a slight variation. The dictionary defines competent as having suitable or sufficient skill, knowledge or experience while capable is defined as having the ability or capacity for gaining the skill, knowledge or experience. In other words if the team leader does not already have the skills or is not an expert he or she has to have the means to acquire the necessary skills or guide others to gain the required expertise.

Initially, not all leaders immediately possess all the characteristics of a great leader but can gain the skills along the road through the willingness to work hard.  An individual who leads a team successfully can gain greater competency as he or she gains more on-the-job experience. In many instances, leaders as well as the team members grow together as they strive for success in their chosen endeavors. In this scenario, the leader has the capability from the start but possibly not the competency but will acquire it as the team advances towards achieving its goals. If a team leader does not immediately possess the competency necessary to guide the team to success a great leader definitely has the capability and will gain the competency during the journey.

About Kathy Shrader

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