Nowadays, workshops, seminars and masterclasses in Logistics, Supply Chain Management, etc. are very often about Leadership. I think that is a very good evolution, as in the past focus was highly and mainly on knowledge, i.e. filling the toolbox. The problem is that now knowledge seems to be under lighted in favour of the skills (leadership….). Specifically, it is too much focused now on the leadership and related skills rather than on the knowledge. As usual, the truth is and should be in the middle.
Let’s look into this interesting trio: Ability, Skills and Knowledge. According the “very important” (at least for many students…) source Wikipedia, this means:
The attributes required to perform a job and are generally demonstrated through qualifying service, education, or training.
- Knowledge – Is a body of information applied directly to the performance of a function.
- Skills – Are observable competences to perform a learned psychomotor act.
- Ability – Is competence to perform an observable behavior or a behavior that results in an observable product.
I think this threesome is important and shows the profile needed in practice to adequately perform on the job. It is also the tasks of universities and colleges to gear up our students to this profile. I however think that it starts with knowledge (my bias probably, but still…). People without knowledge do not have much to gain with excellent leadership skills. The other way around might be less clear. Of course, good skills (leaderships, presentation styles, etc.) will help you convey your message based on the knowledge. But still the minimum basis is knowledge.
So rather than saying that leadership is not important or that knowledge is not important, we should probably say that both knowledge and skills are important, but depending upon the situation in a different mixture. What do you think?