In Over Your Head

In over your head

Leadership’s pivotal moment arrives the moment you admit you’re in over your head. Until then, you’re predictable and mundane. The weight of leadership hasn’t buckled your knees. Competence holds you up.

Bain of competence:

Competence is overrated. Clinging to competence is clinging to attainability.  You feel you’re able.

Attainability is the mother of average.

What happens after you confess incompetence determines your destiny.

Will you close your eyes and pretend or will you face the beast that blocks your greatness.

The pivotal moment in leadership is incompetence.

Weak leaders wear masks, but, greatness requires bravery.

When you’re in over your head:

The opposite of weakness isn’t strength it’s courage.

  1. Take off your mask. Don’t pretend you feel competent when you don’t.  Avoid sending a company email that says, “I’m in over my head.” Take responsibility for finding or developing trusted advisors, friends, coaches, and mentors. Remember to look both inside and outside your organization.
  2. Open up. Don’t close down. Fear invites you to pull back. Reach out, instead. Leadership expands the moment you realize you need others. You can’t do it alone.
  3. Avoid excuses. Excuse making is a way of saying your competent when you’re not. Excuses prevent excellence.

Beauty of incompetence:

When you courageously confess your incompetence to yourself, you:

  1. Shut-up and listen. Nothing closes mouths and opens ears like feeling your knees buckle.
  2. Surround yourself with those who are better, smarter, and more competent than you.
  3. Trust others.

Everyone who feels competent is facing attainable challenges.

Incompetence is the first step toward extraordinary, until then, you’re a lone ranger.

Those who admit they’re in over their head have more potential than those who pretend they aren’t.

Bonus: Scott Eblin talks about being in over his head.

What does dealing poorly with feelings of incompetence look like?

What are the best ways to deal with feeling in over your head?

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