When was the last time you measured your competencies?
If sales professionals do not sell enough, they may get careless and lose some degree of their confidence. If adventure-training instructors do not regularly practise and rig up climbing lines, they may make some risky decisions. If chefs do not cook regularly, they may lose their tastes and touch. If teachers do not teach or tutor enough, they may lose sight of their purpose. If you have a driving licence and not drive for a while, you may cause others to be nervous when you take the wheel.
Many endurance athletes I spoke to confided in me that they tend to lose that competitive edge if they do not train enough, or race enough. Training is not exactly racing, unless you include some time trials, aim for your personal best timings, or simulate racing with your training mates.
If you do not practise your second language, you may struggle when you next have to communicate with it. For instance, there is a difference between speaking, reading and writing Mandarin – which has now surpassed all others as being the most widely spoken language in the world.
Writers need to constantly write and read. You can only get better by putting pen to paper; keyboard to screen. Bruce Lee said, ‘If you want to learn to swim, jump into the water. On dry land, no frame of mind is ever going to help you.’
Likewise, for leaders – lead! You need to express yourself through leadership opportunities. You create them if these are not prevalent. There is always a chance to lead; just take the lead when you are not following. You can start a conversation with someone onboard a plane even if you are introverted. You can start a discussion thread on an online forum. You can encourage participation of an online vote for charity. Lead your department in a weekly jogging session.
Go on – measure up! Lead with your competencies.