It’s a horrible feeling when you are passed by in preference of someone else. While it is not always fair, in many cases one of the issues will be around competence; the other candidate is simply better at the job than you. They have demonstrated their competence and you have not.
Moments like this, whether they are huge and heart-breaking, or small but sour, should drive you to change; not to prove yourself, but to improve yourself; not to get bitter, but to get better.
Two keys to growth in competence are feedback and humility.
I have been on the receiving end of critical feedback more times than I care to remember. But every time we receive feedback is an opportunity. I can either feel dishonoured, and discouraged, or I can take the feedback as a gift; sift what is helpful, and look to grow.
People who want to grow in competency invite feedback. It would be more comfortable to avoid it, but it is integral to growth in competency. What if you asked for feedback regularly so it didn’t come as a big surprise? What if you took all your feedback for a whole month, wrote it down, prayed, and decided to intentional grow in one area each month?
Proverbs 19:20 says “listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” Too often I want wisdom without listening to instruction.
A humble leader sees their weaknesses and does something about them.
A humble leader isn’t too proud to read a book, go on a course, or invite feedback.
Therefore, a humble leader grows in competency.
On one of our LCL weekends away recently, there were forty leaders ranging from their early 20s to early 40s, and we went through an exercise which required one person to be extremely vulnerable. Both times we went through the exercise, it was one of the more senior in the group who was willing to give it a go.
I was so impressed with their humility and I thought – these guys are exceptional, competent leaders because they are humble enough to want to grow.
We all want to be competent, but are you open to feedback? Are you humble enough to see your need to improve? When you have an attitude of humility, you will grow in competence very quickly.
We want to help leaders at LCL to grow in their competence, but also to understand that a posture of humility and an openness to feedback is the best posture for growth.
By Joel Sales, LCL Chaplain