Money Cannot Always Buy Competence

Competence is the capacity to consistently deliver, without being micro-managed. But sometimes, it is assumed competence is about skills or attitude alone. No. It’s also about ideology and personal drive.

The ideology behind competence is multifaceted. There’s fairness – the belief that one ought to do what one has been contracted to do. There’s righteousness – wanting to do the right thing. There’s integrity and responsibility – keeping your word and keeping to time. There’s a strong desire for quality – a heart that’s imbued with the spirit of excellence.

A spirit of excellence is why you make sure that internal memos don’t have typographical errors. It’s why your home is as beautiful as your office. It’s probably why Steve Jobs insisted that the inside of the iPod must be as beautiful as the outside, and why the operating system is elegant.

Personal drive makes you stubborn about doing your best, instead of settling for good enough. It’s why even after writing your first draft, you’re constantly seeing ways your article can be better. For you, just because something works doesn’t mean it cannot be improved upon.

Yes, skills matter. Without them, you can’t do your job in the first place. Attitude matters. Without a good attitude, you will be more concerned about completing your individual tasks, than ensuring an entire project succeeds.

One of my saddest realisations is that in Nigeria, even when you have money, you cannot always find competence to buy.

One of my saddest realisations is that in Nigeria, even when you have money, you cannot always buy competence. Click To Tweet


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