Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust: Season 4 – Episode 17 – Core III – Capabilities

We’re on core III now, and it’s one of the most important cores out there.

The first dimension of competence is capabilities — the talents, skills, knowledge, capacities, and abilities we have that enable us to perform with excellence.

Remember the tree metaphor? Capabilities are the branches that produce the fruits or results.

Think about the difference between a child who has learned to play a musical instrument or excel in sports, drama, or some area of academics, compared to one who has essentially wasted time. think about the difference in the confidence and discipline he has — not only that he can do what he has learned to do well, but also in his ability to learn and do other things in life. As he reaches his teenage years and applies for a job, think of the confidence potential employers will have in him. Even if the job doesn’t require his currently developed talents or skills, employers will recognize his desire and ability to develop skills as demonstrated in the past. As he moves on into higher education, family, career, and contribution, his capabilities –and the desire and ability to develop his capabilities — will be a huge trust builder and will have a dramatic, positive impact throughout his life.

Capable people are credible. They inspire trust. It’s that simple. You can have the other three cores — you can have integrity and good intent, and you have have even produced good results in the past. But at the end of the day — especially in this rapidly changing knowledge worker economy — if you don’t have current capabilities, if you are not relevant, you will not have credibility. You’ll be taxed. You won’t get the dividends of trust.

Now, as an example of someone who has the other three cores — but not the capabilities — would be someone who is honest and caring and produces the results necessary to be promoted to a new level of responsibility that he doesn’t have the competence to handle. This is the Peter Principle in action — of promoting people to the level of their incompetence. If he simply relies on the skills that got him to where he is — if he isn’t involved in constantly learning, growing, and developing new skills — he won’t have what’s necessary to succeed in his new situation.

Now, I don’t believe in higher education, in fact I’m an advocate for learning real skills instead of institutional skills that don’t relate to the “good” life. However, Stephen Covey made a strong point. It’s like working out one of two arms. If you do 50 bicep curls and tricep extensions everyday with one arm, which one will grow? Which one will remain the same? That’s exactly how it works with life in general.

As a teacher here in Thailand (and in language institutions), the less you know, the less classes they give you. Yes, there are color issues….regardless of how much you known, they still won’t give an important class to a colored teacher based on their pre-conceived notions.

But let’s just look at this from a realistic standpoint and not by theory. Once I learned about the test prep course IELTS, I became more resourceful. Learned TOEIC, I got projects at big universities. Continued learning and realized that the pay per hour at my old job was unacceptable, so why not teach it online through my business? BINGO!

If you don’t continue learning, what will happen?


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