Effective leaders have discovered the benefits of being different and possessing (but sometimes not fully recognizing) an additional ‘X Competency’ or two that others do not possess.  This is part of their fingerprint and can be leveraged to become a major point of differentiation.

Leadership success and career success requires a self-knowledge, an accurate assessment of competencies and skills plus the ability to utilize the ‘X Competency’ to end wars, send people to the moon or in a business setting – engineer corporate turnarounds and to make unprofitable companies – profitable.

Consider:

  • A CEO whose company’s B2B product is unknown to the general public.  In addition, the product has some societal and possible ethnic/socio-economic implications that may concern the typical corporate early adopter.  His ‘X Competency’ secret weapon is persuasive communications – the ability to describe the benefits of a product in such a way that acknowledges the issues while correcting the potential implications or misconceptions.
  • A ‘maven’ who just by being herself, establishes trends and influences the most influential people.  This extraordinary talent has made her one of the best business development executives it has been my pleasure to call – friend.
  • A former subordinate who was hired in an administrative and coordination role, clearly had a big ‘X Competency’ stamped firmly on her forehead.  She has the uncanny ability to solve complicated anagrams and obscure puzzles that are incomprehensible to most people.  This made her extremely valuable at solving problems – fast!
  • One of my corporate clients is a freight train when it comes to bringing about monumental organizational change in record time.  The descriptor, change agent, is a wimpy designation when compared to the reality of his passion, personality and leadership style.
  • I possess an intuitive visioning skill coupled with the ability to “language” career and leadership concepts.  This linked set of ‘X Competencies’ helps me in my executive coaching, leadership and career development consulting practice.

French poet Charles Baudelaire penned: “to handle a language skillfully is to practice a kind of evocative sorcery.”  I define a person’s ‘X Competency’ as a kind of “evocative sorcery” that is unique to them.

When you find yourself wondering: “How does he/she do that?” you are observing the person’s ‘X Competency’ in action.

When I consult to executives in transition, I always ask the hard questions concerning the situation that led up to the downsizing, firing or rightsizing.  It is important to debrief so that we gain the knowledge to help craft a successful reentry.  A successful reentry also requires self-knowledge, an accurate assessment of skills, talents and capabilities, a review of development needs and a comprehensive transition plan.  The leader who has an exceptional talent, knows how and when to use the ‘X Competency’ and thinks outside the box, will more often edge out other candidates for the new role.

Here’s why: employers expect that all the candidates that they interview will have the requisite competencies for the role – or they would have washed out during the pre-screening.  What the employer is looking for is a few more gifts: broader business acumen than the functional or operational role requires, strengths, talents, agility or factors that edges the candidate to the front of the line.

One of the best strategies a leader can employ is to identify his or her unusual gifts and employ them in such a way as to be different from their peers.

Questions for you to consider:

  1. What is your unique ‘X Competency’ or gift?
  2. How has it served you in your career?
  3. How can you better utilize this competency?

© All rights reserved.

Christine M. Glasco consults to company executives, business owners and non-profit leaders on strategic leadership and career management/career transformation solutions. For a complimentary copy of Five Tips to Transform Your Executive Career to help you be more effective in your career, go to www.christineglasco.com

Email: info@christineglasco.com Phone: 1.940.367.0837

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3 Responses to You Need to Have More Than Arrows in Your Quiver – or – How Does He or She Do That?

  1. […] I woke up thinking about the ‘X-Competency’. On April 12, 2011, I wrote a Blog: You Need to Have More Than Arrows in Your Quiver – or – How Does He or She Do That? In that Blog, I identified a phenomenon I call the ‘X-Competency. The ‘X-Competency is an […]

  2. […] strategize or helps them expect a new and different outcome – and somehow it happens. The X-Competency can be the greatest game-changer for the talented leader.  If you don’t know your X-Competency, […]

  3. […] brand needs to encompass your personality, core values, accomplishments, talents, unique offering (X – Competency), and brand promise.  When I put on my career coach hat, I also advise my clients to think about […]

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