Your career depends in no small measure upon the general competence of those around you. They could be on your team as a peer or staff member or they could be a peer in another department. No matter what the relationship, their competence will determine your success.
Long ago we made the shift from superstition and propitiation to thinking, to valuing knowledge and applying that with competent skill. We began to dominate our environment. In most of our pursuits and activities, we respect skill and ability. This is why heros and athletes are worshiped so much. However, the test of true competence is the end result.
The degree of your competence will determine your success. Conversely, the degree that you are incompetent will determine how long you are able to stay on a team. Encourage the attainment of competence in everything you pursue. Compliment it and reward it whenever you find it. Demand high performance standards of yourself and those around you.
The ingredients of competence include: Observation, Study and Practice.
See what you see, not what someone tells you that you see. Look at things directly, not though any cloud of prejudice, curtain of fear or the interpretation of another.
Don’t argue with others. Instead, get them to look. Lies can be punctured and false agendas can be exposed simply by insisting that others look.
Inspect the data, separate the important from the unimportant to arrive at conclusions that you can apply. Commit things to memory but make sure that you understand the context of when to apply them. Simply having a lot of information in your memory won’t help you know what situations you would apply it to.
The process of learning is not just adding more data to your memory. It is obtaining new understandings and better ways to do things.
Learning brings great reward when applied. Wisdom comes from seeing the results of applying what was learned.
No matter what skill, activity or profession you are in, no matter how hard or long you studied, you will be tested when it comes time for you to DO it. And doing requires practice. Just like an actor will fail if he doesn’t practice his lines, so will a professional who doesn’t practice their skill.
Knowledge blossoms only when applied with practice. The gap between good enough and professional skill can be bridged with practice.
Proceed and be competent. Encourage observation, learning and practice. Just when you get it right, practice, practice, and practice until it is done like a pro. This is how you build competence within and around you.