The Pit of Incompetence
January 24, 2012
The concept makes sense… the longer you do a job and are in a role, the more that is expected of you and unless you continue to take on new challenges and up your game, your value decreases. In order to expand skills and consistently perform at the top of your game, there are stretch periods needed to flex new muscles and question/explore ways of accomplishing important goals.
When this concept was articulated to me last month our my leadership training session, it also hit me right between the eyes that I have two choices. One – stay in role and actively explore new and challenging opportunities that go beyond the “expected”.. or two — take on a completely new role that pushes me into unfamiliar territory — even areas I don’t know — and work through the incompetence toward a significant period of growth. That incompetence — known as the “pit of incompetence” is a very uncomfortable place to be — but is essential to continued growth.
Wow. What does that look like? As the new year brings new opportunities to “reset” I have no choice but to embrace the creation of big goals. That may look like new work opportunities. It may look like articulating current role goals I’ve been afraid to share with others before. As Bahram Akradi – the Founder of LifeTime Fitness notes in one of his Life Wisdom articles, “success in most endeavors comes from clear, precise and thoughtful setting of goals, combined with a real commitment to making them happen – even if it takes a while.”
Bahram notes too that 1) setting clear goals and having accountability around them, as well as 2) both in personal and professional life establishing a habit of finding and stretching ones comfort zone and inviting others around us into the process are both essential to the “culture of growth, a culture of celebrating successes.”
I couldn’t have said it better than Akradi: “Expect Resistance, and greet it with excitement when it comes! That’s your opportunity for growth, right there.”