Thursday, June 17th, 2010 10:33:02

The Quest for Competence

This past Saturday, while watching the World Cup match between the United States and England, a friend and I chatted about the state of U.S. politics. “Is it getting worse,” Brad posited, “or are we more aware of what is going on?”

We decided it was a combination of factors: Currently in our late 30s and early 40s, we pay more taxes and are more aware of the impact of politics on our lives than we used to be. Additionally, as professionals with 20 years of work experience, we gravitate toward competence in business and wonder about the seeming lack of competence in politics.

In a study cited in their new book, “The Leadership Challenge” (Pfeiffer, 2010), authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner note that honesty is the top desired leadership trait. If leaders are not honest, you don’t know whether they will do what they say, as they might be lying to you.