But, how do we gain competence? How do we get to that place where we know what we're doing, understand good ways to accomplish those endeavors, are respected in our management of those pursuits?
Competence springs from a web of entangled variables:
- Learning we achieve through reading, listening, and engaging with knowledgeable others.
- Practice, practice, practice at using the talents and attributes with which we have been blessed.
- Skills developed purposefully through disciplined growth.
- Wisdom gained through reflection on experiences (the experiences are rather worthless unless we learn something from them).
- Insight acquired through stretching our own limits, with the associated successes and failures (no pain, no gain, no competence).
Competence is NOT derived from titles or money or privilege. It cannot be bought. It cannot be faked. Competence cannot be conferred on one. It has to be earned, and no one else can earn it for us.
Finally, competence is not an end in itself. No matter how "good" we get at doing stuff, knowing stuff, applying processes, the competence only has real value when we're using it in service to others. Otherwise, we are only competent narcissists.