Credibility and competence

There are many reasons for leaders to tend to their own professional development, not the least of which is that demonstrated lack of competence is the quickest way to destroy credibility and trust.

When I am building a project team, seeking participants for strategic planning, or figuring out who to include in a communications loop, one of my first questions is “who will bring professional knowledge and a credible viewpoint?”  Like most leaders, I reflect on past interactions and seek out people who consistently add value to projects.

One of the professional organizations I belong to is ASTD (American Society for Training and Development).  Just this morning I received an announcement of the next meeting, which has to do with strategic partnership.  The speaker is going to discuss four important aspects of partnering:

  • Technical/operational expertise in a specific discipline
  • Foundational concepts and skills
  • Understanding of the partner’s business
  • Partnering attitudes and behaviors

These aspects may look different in your professional field, but the basic idea is the same.  For many colleges and universities, now is the time for year-end performance review and planning.  I encourage you to take time to think about how you can intentionally build your professional competence in one of the four critical aspects.

grad balloonAnd speaking of professional development, congratulations to my colleague Todd Thorsgaard, who recently completed a master’s degree in human resources/industrial relations from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.  Well done!

Dee Anne Bonebright


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