By Mark Shead continued from Leadership Traits: The Five Most Important Leadership Traits
People want to follow someone who is competent. This doesn’t mean a leader needs to be the foremost expert on every area of the entire organization, but they need to be able to demonstrate competency.
For a leader to demonstrate that they are competent, it isn’t enough to just avoid displaying incompetency. Some people will assume you are competent because of your leadership position, but most will have to see demonstrations before deciding that you are competent.
When people under your leadership look at some action you have taken and think, “that just goes to show why he is the one in charge”, you are demonstrating competency. If these moments are infrequent, it is likely that some demonstrations of competency will help boost your leadership influence.
Like the other traits, it isn’t enough for a leader to be competent. They must demonstrate competency in a way that people notice. This can be a delicate balance. There is a danger of drawing too much attention to yourself in a way that makes the leader seem arrogant. Another potential danger is that of minimizing others contributions and appearing to take credit for the work of others.
As a leader, one of the safest ways to “toot you own horn without blowing it”, is to celebrate and bring attention to team achievements. In this way you indirectly point out your competency as a leader. For example: “Last year I set a goal of reaching $12 million in sales and, thanks to everyone’s hard word, as of today, we have reached $13.5 million.”