Failure occurs for 2 reasons:
1. Lack of commitment and/or
2. Lack of competency
You can’t have success without knowing how these two traits compliment one another on the road to success.
The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
– Synonyms: dedication, devotion, allegiance, loyalty, faithfulness, responsibility, obligation
The ability to do something successfully or efficiently.
– Synonyms: ability, capability, proficient, accomplishments, mastery, expertise, savvy
After working with thousands of candidates and clients, I have studied the characteristics and traits of the people I helped advance professionally. My belief is that commitment and competency are the key ingredients to success, and are usually the ONLY 2 reasons people fail.
I’m sure most are thinking that failure has many different components. I don’t disagree with you; however, if you keep peeling the onion back on failure, you will notice that at its core, commitment and competency are the most important traits, and the keys to success.
Let’s explore these traits further:
This is a decision; one you must clearly make to yourself. If you really want to spice it up, share your commitment with others, so that you have accountability. Be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve the goal(s) you set for yourself. Winners find a way to win, regardless of circumstance; they stay solution focused while keeping the end in mind!
Have you ever worked with someone who was smart as heck, had all the brain power, yet they continued to fail slowly over time? Maybe you bought their excuses? Chances are yes, and it’s not that they didn’t have the intellect (competency) to succeed, it’s that they weren’t committed to the goal. They found more excuses than solutions.
You must be, or work towards becoming competent in your area of focus.
In the professional realm, competency is the ability to take complicated information, or a complex product/service, and simplify it for your end audience.
The best in the world can do this; they know their product/service better than most, and can explain its value in ways the “Average Joe” can understand – this is the key!
Early in my career, I was a stock broker for one of the oldest firms on Wall Street. They hired tons of people because their cost was low. It was a numbers game – throw as many people on a desk and see what sticks. The success rate was less than 3% for every 100 people they hired; only 3 brokers would still be there after 2 years.
One co-worker always comes to mind when I look back at those days. When we were in the office, he worked harder than anyone I knew – first one in the office, first one on the phone, and usually the last to leave. Just before his 2-year anniversary, he was let go. Why? He showed up every day completely committed; however, he was not competent in selling financial services, because: 1) he was unable to simplify the product and solution for his prospects, 2) he couldn’t capitalize on his opportunities over the phone because his skill was average at best, and 3) his prospects were left for others to close.
He was committed, but he was not the most competent, because his work began and ended in the office. He never took the extra steps or time needed to hone his craft outside of office hours, e.g. practicing his value proposition, reading books on selling intangibles, or any other resource available to him.
He eventually moved on to another career in which he was competent and passionate, chartering yachts. For the last 15 years he’s been loving life, and traveling the world on one of the top private luxury superyachts.
HOW THEY GO HAND IN HAND
One must be committed to becoming successful, before working to become competent (a proficient expert, master, leader, innovator) in their desired profession/craft.
Lacking either of these two traits makes it difficult to avoid failing. To be clear though, failure is part of the process; however, it should be failing forward, and learning new and better ways to do it next time. Becoming more and more competent happens naturally when failing forward, and seeking to learn from those failures. So, make sure you get committed to the journey and embrace the road ahead!
When it gets tough, reflect and ask yourself, “Am I struggling because of my commitmentor is it due to my current level of competency?” Once you identify this, the solution will begin to present itself with each passing day; you’ll also be amazed at who you become in the process when you chase your goals!
I have found that goal attainment itself isn’t as satisfying as seeing who you become through the process. Developing these two traits will give you feelings of joy, confidence, enthusiasm, passion, resilience, persistence, determination, and credibility to lead, influence and shape others around you!
Go from good to great by combining commitment and competency, and begin seeing the transformation in your life and profession!4