To be effective requires competence. But, what is competence? Lee Thayer said, “The best measure of performance is performance.” It sounds like a circular reference (illegal on an Excel spreadsheet), but his intent was focused. When measuring performance, do not be mislead by surrounding statistics, the best measure of performance is performance.
But, what of competence. Here, the circular reference breaks down. One of the gifts that Elliott gave us was the Four Absolutes Required for Success (in any role, no matter the discipline).
- Skill, broken into technical knowledge and practiced performance.
- Interest, passion (value for the work).
- Required behaviors
Competence is a combination of Capability and Skill. If I do not have the capability for the work, no amount of developmental training will be helpful. And, I don’t have the skill, you will never see my capability. Competence is a combination of both.
Interest, or passion for the work will influence the amount of time for practice. The more interested I am, the more time I will spend in practice. And if I don’t practice a skill, the skill goes away, competence diminishes.
There is also a set of required behaviors. Practice arrives with many qualities, frequency of practice, duration of practice, depth of practice, accuracy of practice. Accuracy of practice relates to required behaviors. Practice doesn’t make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect.
While the best measure of performance is performance, we can understand competence with a bit more detail.