Episode 216 – Character & Competence – To Build Trust You Need Character, But That’s Not All

Many Character-Focused People Want the Rewards for Just Being People of Character

Many people talk about character. They talk about how trustworthy they are. They mention their spotless background. They tell the story of where they’re from and the trials they have overcome.

I have seen this on the ministry field and quite often on the humanitarian field quite a bit.

They list off the hidden signals of their upstanding reputation, the people they’ve served, the sacrifices they’ve made, the adventures they’ve lived; all in the service of their fellow man.

Competence Completes Trust-Building

I remember when I once hired someone at a Fortune 500 coffee shop I managed for a time. I hired them for their character background.

But when it came time for hustle at making drinks, for helpful human interaction at the right time, for managing the numbers and leading employees; they failed miserable.

They were not Competent in any useful skills.

This broke my trust with them.

I realized that I was judging people on Character alone.

Could I trust them to baby sit my nephews? Sure
Could I trust them to manage my company? No way.

Competence Along Could Corrupt

A competent person without character could easily end up an authoritarian leader, a charlatan of the tribe or masses. Skill and technique alone is hollow.

Impressive? Yes. But you will always wonder if they are just “selling you”.

Character vs. Competence Isn’t New

Stephen Covey called out the need for a return to Character in his monumental work with ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People.’ As early as the 70’s and 80’s he called out the fact that many personal development trainers were actually only teaching techniques and that teaching character was fading.

Though his work has affected millions, with the vapid rise of Instagram Influencers as pseudo-personal development teachers Competence (taught as life-hacking) has far surpassed Character training.

Trust-Building Requires Both Character and Competence

When we build trust, we need both Character AND Competence.

We need to be able to leave that person in charge of baby-sitting our nephews AND they need to be skilled enough baby-sit our companies.

This is what will happen as we transition from the Knowledge Age to the Wisdom Age; groups will rise that train, teach, and reward both Character and Competence. Only those organizations that follow this method and pay equal attention to both will succeed.

#sparkedlife #ignitesuccess #stateofthespark #buildtrust