I am a pretty proficient texter, although I can’t hold a candle to your average teenager. I recall when I purchased my first iPhone years ago, I was typing a text to my technology partner, Harry. I was encouraging him to do what he does best. I kept is short and sweet by writing, “Just do your thing!”
Unfortunately, my phone’s auto correct feature wanted to prove it had a sense of humor. As I glanced down ready to send the text, I saw my words of encouragement appearing on my screen as “Just divulge your thong!” This was immediately followed by furious back spacing. Embarrassment avoided!
This “near miss” reminded me that it’s great to have habits we do not have to think about. For example, remember learning how to drive? You very deliberately locked yourself in, buckled up, checked your mirrors, surveyed your blind spots, accelerated slowly, proceeded with caution and arrived at your destination with a sigh of relief (at least your parents breathed that sigh).
Now, after years of practice, you can easily approach the driveway to your house after a long commute and think to yourself, “Oh my, how in the world did I get here?!”
This level of mastery is called “unconscious competence”. It is the goal for each of us in most every endeavor – to be competent without having to think about it.
However, much like my “thong” auto correct, we must consistently check and improve ourselves to maintain our mastery. If not, in a world of high-velocity change, today’s unconscious competence can quickly become tomorrow’s conscious incompetence.
So, keep on typing, texting, observing, learning and improving!
For more on how inspiring leaders meet the universal need for mastery check out this best seller. Also, look at the companion resources to help you bring this to life in your organization.