Leadership Qualities: Competence Part 3.

A Gift in Action-Daniel 4:8

When a leader operates in the area of his or her gift, people will watch and listen. Competence is a key attribute for every leader. Without even knowing it, followers ask four questions of every leader:

  1. Knowledge: Does this leader know where he is going?
  2. Desire: Do I want to go where the leader is going?
  3. Ability: Can the leader get me there?
  4. Trust: Do I trust this leader?

Because Daniel could answer “yes” to each of these questions, he entered each challenge primed to succeed. He enjoyed peace, not panic; faith, not fear; and commitment, not compromise.

Every leader must ask, “What is my gift? What do I offer that people need? What unique contribution do I make that makes people want to follow me?”

Necessary Step to Excellence-Luke 14:28-32 (negative)

Labeling someone competent or incompetent may seem judgmental and narrow, yet all leaders must possess a level of competence that enables them to get the job done. The kingdom of God cannot do without competence.

Everyone knows that leaders must demonstrate a level of competence in order to gain the trust and respect of followers. No one chooses to follow an incompetent leader over a competent one, regardless of personality. Friendship is not synonymous with leadership; people can like you as a friend but not follow you as a leader. To the degree they feel you are incompetent to lead, they will distance themselves from you leadership.

Competence goes beyond words. It’s the leader’s ability to say it, plan it, and do it in such a way that others know you know your business-and know that they want to follow you. Competence must be sought at every organizational level. Incompetence can be tolerated nowhere.

Jesus highlights the issue of competence in the two stories recounted in Luke 14. In both stories, what is missing is competence. The builder and the king in these stories lacked what it took to get the job done. Therefore the tower never got built and the war never was won. According to Jesus, competence requires three ingredients:

  1. Commitment: Jesus said our commitment to Him must look like disdain for everyone else. We must pick up our cross and follow Him.
  2. Resources: Jesus spoke about a builder calculating whether he had enough to finish a tower. Determine whether your resources, gifts, talents, and abilities are available to do the job.
  3. Intelligence: Jesus spoke about a king seeking counsel to know whether he should go to battle. Part of competence is the insight to know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.

The combination of these three components spells not only competence, but excellence. It’s what makes people follow a leader. So-in what area are you most competent? Where do you excel? What makes others follow you?

Join me next time for Leadership Issues: Brokenness.