If you look at the most competent organizations, you will see that the people in them are more fully alive. They are more alert, they are more engaged, and they are enjoying more what they are accomplishing.
It is the relatively incompetent and/or aimless people who get depressed, stressed, and despondent. They are up against an adversary in life that they seem unable to name. That is because it is in them. Wherever they go, they take the problem with them. There are pills for it. But competence beats pills anytime.
Competent people get themselves rightly cast. They enjoy their work. They enjoy helping others become more competent so they can enjoy their work. People who love good work, and who are fully competent at it, are healthier both physically and mentally. They can afford to be humble. They are outgoing. They live longer.
And they live better lives because they love life as a result. They are adults, more fully human.
It is a core stratagem of leadership to nurture people, to bring them to full stature, to give them the best reason for being, to give them what they can get no other way. What great leaders give people – because they demand it of people – is competence.
That’s the real challenge of leadership. The only known path is through increased and increasing competence. If you can’t make that necessary, it won’t happen.
-Lee Thayer, Thought-Leader