I am at #entreleadership #entresummit and the thematics of it so far is attributed to this adage. Concept is obviously simple: our leadership is the catalyst for the growth of those who follow us. As we raise our lid, we raise everyone’s lid.
Something that was said yesterday was that your education, capability, ability and vision are limiting your organization (home/family, board, etc..). Now here is the thing…we could all get into a room and expand this list for days. I want to zero in on two words—capability and ability.
This to me is a starting point and the essence of action. Vision is the key component, but vision without action is a movie. It’s entertaining and can inspire, but without movement it is truly a waste of time. Selfish even. But let me step off that soap box and traverse back to capability and ability.
Capable: having attributes (such as physical or mental power) required for performance or accomplishment
Able: having the freedom or opportunity to do something
We have to measure these two factors if vision is to move forward—if we will grow and empower the leaders around us.
I am a gluten for “comfort food movies”. You know—terrible movies that are super predicatable, but have the same power to bring us happiness the way an apple pie or macaroni and cheese will do. Anyways. One of those for me is the National Treasure series. There is a scene there that sticks in my head. The character Ben Gates starts to recite from the Declaration of Independence and his companion Riley says something to the effect of sounds great…what does it mean. Gates replies “those who have the ability have the responsibility.”
I LOVE this phrase. It is etched in my brain and trails us back to capable and able. Have you every stopped to measure what your ability is. Do you have the freedom or opportunity to do something. Because as the quote says: those who have ability also have responsibility. What is the measure of your freedom? This is a reasonable question, and one that we may be overlooking. Are you free and to what measure are you free? For example—I am absolutely free within our business, but my freedom is within the boundaries of the mission, vision and value (especially the vision) set forth by our amazing owners. My dear friend is single and has done well and has lots of investments and his mode of freedom is almost limitless. Someone who is an hourly employee may have less freedom, yet we all have some form of freedom AND the ability to create space for more freedom. Okay, secondly in ability is opportunity. What is your opportunity? What is your opportunity? Where/when the opportunity is present, as a leader, pull the trigger. The biggest thing with knowing when opportunity presents itself is to keep your head up. We cannot be buried in tasks and still see the opportunities.
Now onto capable. Your capabilities are the wheels. Ability is the car, capability is the wheels. Movement does not happen without capability. Can we discuss some things about capability?
- Capable is not necessarily tied to skill. It’s more like a discovery tool. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE THE OWNER OF THE SKILL TO BE CAPABLE. Yet, you do have to be capable of leverage where skills are lacking. This is how people become experts in their fields FYI.
- Capable has a bottom line—what is the least common denominator required for action. You are the floor.
- Oddly enough you are also the ceiling. Capability will eventually run out if you are not rising. WE MUST BE DRIVING OUR CAPABILITY UP AND UP AND UP. Do not be stunted by “I CANT” because what you really mean is “I WONT” Capability is about choosing growth always. Choose will. I WILL.