Conscious Competence Guide in Leadership Management: The Definitive Guide

We all would like conscious competence leaders in our organization and government. That means the person who is guiding you on a day to day should know what they are doing and are aware of what is needed to grow. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many organizations because many leaders did not get to be leaders because of their competence but due to their connection

A former colleague (I didn’t know how cool she was until she left) posted the below and it rang so true to my situation currently. It feels like she was sent to bring it to me. I have also been reading on manifesting and the law of attraction stuff lately; but I digress, that is for another blog. Looking at the Conscious Competence Ladder model, I can place the names of the people who belong in those boxes. I wish the people who I think it tells a story about can also get to see it and understand what they need to change.

This is a great lesson on leadership and corporate governance.

  • Do you know that a company or country culture is a mix of existing leadership and legacy leadership?
  • Do you know that 70% of culture change is dependent on leadership?
  • Do you know that bad leadership is not out of educated but ignorant leaders who are prisoners of positions?

According to the below-learning model they are unconsciously incompetent or that is “hawajui hawajui” ‘they do not know, that they do not know.

Leadership shapes culture and productivity. It’s not about being the best it’s about making everyone else better to do this you will need skills like persuasion and influence; hence the role of coaching in leadership. Many organizations that have bad culture also has

  • Leaders who lack emotional intelligence and largely self-awareness;
  • They are unaware of their incompetence or weakness in certain leadership skills;
  • They do not think they need certain skills (ego issues).

When an organization discovers that its culture is not working for them. There is high atrophy of company resources. The people just are not accountable; They don’t care about clients’ needs; there is more of pointing fingers and blaming shifting and less problem solving; They are involved in fraud and mismanagement of company resources. That is when companies look to change their culture. But all this is useless if the leadership is not willing to learn new skills to keep the organization innovative.

The Conscious Competence Ladder can guide you in categorizing your leaders.

Conscious Competence
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Noel Burch, an employee with Gordon Training International, developed the Conscious Competence Ladder in the 1970s. The model highlights two factors that affect our thinking: we learn a new skill: consciousness (awareness) and skill level (competence).

Below is my view on the model.

  1. Confident leaders are consciously competent– They know that they are competent in their area of expertise and they are aware of the need for the skill. This is where we aim for all our leaders to be.
  2. Secure leaders unconsciously competence – These leaders are competent, but they don’t focus on it because it’s so easy. For them, they think it’s a requirement to have the skill not an advantage over others.
  3. Insecure leaders are consciously incompetent – They know that they are incompetent. the quality of the leaders here will be determined by his next action. will he try to learn the skills or will he pretend to be competent and put the company into problems. Unfortunately, we have many leaders in the category partly because of the culture of canvassing for jobs “do you know someone” culture is rampant in most organizations.
  4. Comfort leaders are unconsciously incompetent – They don’t know that they don’t have the skill, and they don’t think they need to learn it. We find these kinds of leaders are of an older generation. They have the mentality of if it worked before it will continue working. they resist change. This kind of leader will make the organization stagnate. They should not be in operational positions they are best suited into mentor-ship positions.

In Conclusion

Even if the people in leadership position in our organizations got there through their connections, the recruitment arm of the company should ensure that the person is aware of the skills they are lacking and are willing to learn.

The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have.”
– Padmasree Warrior