top of page

Enabling Others To Act By Developing Competence

We sometimes talk about athletes being “in the zone” or “in the flow” when they are competing at their best. Take a moment and reflect on an experience in which you felt you were in the flow – personally or professionally.

When we talk about Enabling Others to Act by Developing Competence, we are talking about helping people get to this “flow” state, which occurs when people are working at their highest potential. This concept of flow is based on the work of social scientist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, who studied peak human performance. He found that we are at our best when we find the right balance between factors of challenge in our tasks and our skill to perform those tasks.

As you look at the model for Developing Competence, the vertical axis represents the level of challenge involved in the work you do, and the horizontal axis represents the level of competence or skill that you have to deal with challenge. The goal is to be in the zone, as close as possible to the “flow” line. It’s not about finding the balance between challenge and skills, and then staying there; that’s not growth. The best place to be is at the upper end of the flow zone, where people are continually stretching themselves to try new things.

Exemplary leaders use their influence in service of others because they know that capable and confident teams and team members perform better.

To learn more about this and other exemplary leadership practices, register for an upcoming Academy Foundation Program found on our website,

bottom of page