Trustworthy Leadership – Capability

Editor Note: This is part three of a four part series on Trust. Read Part One or Part Two.

Imagine driving in a four wheeled vehicle with one of the tires missing. Pretty bumpy ride, huh? The same goes for trusting another if the “tire” of capability is missing. We know that integrity and agenda are the first two “tires”. Capability is the next.

What if a person is of the highest integrity…giving you all he’s got; never lying to you; always on time; courteous; creative; a team player? And what if that same person agrees completely with you on the direction you need to go on a project or task or strategy and who should be responsible for which elements of your endeavor?

Sounds like you can really trust that person, right? Well, probably, but…and it’s a “big but”, what if that same person of integrity and intent simply does not have the skills to carry his end of the load? Let’s put it in a sports metaphor to make this point perfectly clear.

Your 4 x 100 relay team is at the track and you’ve been practicing for months to get to the first meet of the season. All four members of the team are women of integrity. Oh my, how each of them give 100% effort! They show up early for practice, eat the right food at the training table, get plenty of rest, lift weights, run for miles to get their legs in shape. And their agendas? All the same…to win the race. Their intent is not only noble and honorable, it is in perfect harmony.

The first three sprinters run their legs in record times giving the anchor leg a ten meter lead going into the final turn. The baton is smoothly and flawlessly passed to the final team mate. And, as always, that runner gives everything she has flying down the track…well, not exactly flying. You see, she sprained her ankle badly in the warm-ups and simply doesn’t have the capability of performing at her normal pace. So, she is not flying. She is limping toward the finish line, costing the entire team its greatly anticipated victory.

Now, put this metaphor to work with your situation. Is there someone you are working with who is simply limping along because of a lack of knowledge, talent, skill, capacity, or ability? Then take them out of that race and put them in another. Expand on what they can do rather than keeping on asking them to perform at a level they are not equipped for.

Continuing to ask for high level performance from a person not geared for that position is defeating for both the organization and the individual. Move them over or out today!

True happiness involves the full use of one’s talents and power.” –John Gardner, Author

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