Core Competencies: A Real Life Example

core competencies
I recently met with a business colleague that I had interviewed several years ago as a potential candidate. We stayed in touch and met for coffee every year or so. Periodically, we would talk about potential candidates. On one occasion, he recommended an individual that ended up being hired for one of our SIMA International searches. The relationship is mutually beneficial.

The discussion this particular day eventually worked its way around to my colleague’s current job. His assessment of that job went something like this:

“I have never been happier or more fulfilled at any job. Not only that, I’ve never been more successful, and I have never been better compensated. . . If I was independently wealthy and didn’t need to work, this is exactly what I would be doing.”

He concluded his brief evaluation by saying. “Sometimes I wonder how long I can get away with this.”

I’ve heard many glowing comments about job satisfaction mostly in the process of screening potential candidates. I understood them for what they probably were: answers candidates thought that I might want to hear.

In contrast, my colleague’s comments were unsolicited, and he was not interested in any of our current or future executive searches, so his remarks really got my attention. Whenever I meet people who seem to have the perfect job fit, I want to find out what went right.

Pressing for more details, my friend began to unpack his employment history. He had worked in several for-profit and non-profit jobs throughout his career with varying degrees of success. He framed his story in terms of core competencies:

Job A- Employed about a third of core competencies.

Job B– Required him to spend half his time using his primary and secondary skills- the other half requiring expertise in areas at which he didn’t particularly enjoy which, of course, has a lot to do with why he wasn’t very skilled in those areas.

My colleague probably did what he had to in order to be proficient but did not hotly pursue expertise in those areas. He described his current job description as engaging his primary core competencies ninety-five percent of time.

Coming Soon:

Core Competencies: The Impact

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Dr. Tommy Thomas Tommy Thomas is Lead Partner of JobFitMatters® as well as Board Member and Managing Director of parent entity SIMA® International. He specializes in cabinet-level retained executive search for nonprofit and faith-based organizations.