We are midway through George Dom’s illumination of the Blue Angels’ leadership model gleaned from his experience as C.O. and flight leader in the 1980s. The world’s best aerobatic team operates on a platform of trust built on five core competencies. These are the determinants for all effective leadership. Could asking questions that reveal these strengths (or lack thereof) help us choose better leaders?

“Can you and will you get the job done?” queries competence and commitment (covered last month). These two are coupled as the most basic and direct of the five qualifications. The question of competence must be affirmed demonstrably. Unlike capacity or capability which are “coulds”, competence is a reliable doer. It leaves tracks.

“Are you good enough to lead us?” Prove it. Smart is a start, but wisdom it is not. Show me you’ve done your homework, that you’re knowledgeable, trained, and prepared. Show me relevant successes and failures you learned from. Show me a tool box with more than a hammer, evidence of the skill, and will to wield various implements effectively. Show me how you get the best from all players. Show me you improve. Show me objectives met with well executed plans. Show me where openness expanded possibilities. Show me how humility and appreciation drew greater contributions. To earn my trust, you have to show me.

“Strategy is a commodity; execution is an art.”

– Peter F. Drucker