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On character and competence

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Becoming a boss for the first time has serious consequences for both the individual and the organization. Some harsh truths new leaders discover:

1. In some folks’ eyes, you didn’t earn your success.

2. Compliance does not equal commitment.

3. You’ll need to create a culture that will enable everybody to fulfill their potential.

4. You’re responsible for creating opportunities that will enhance the group’s performance.

To start with, you have to demonstrate character, your intention to do the right thing. This is not automatic. You need to earn employees’ trust.

Secondly, you’ve got to show competence, or knowing how to do the right thing. Managerial competence is different from subject area expertise, so don’t be afraid to reach out for training.

— Adapted from Becoming the Boss, Linda Hill, Harvard Business Review.

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