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Do You Want to Become More Effective In Your Job? Stay Current and Competent.

Updated: Mar 27

Today, I am launching my second social media series called “Current and Competent.” 

If you want to improve your job effectiveness, focus on staying current and competent
Current and Competent Social Media Series Announcement

The inspiration behind this series comes from the book Liar’s Poker. The book is about Salomon Brothers, the preeminent Wall Street investment bank of its time. I read this book many years ago.  

While the book is more known for a different phrase, the phrase that stood out to me came from John Gutfrend, CEO of Salomon. Gutfreund said trainees needed to be "current and competent."  

The book gives an example of a Salomon executive asking trainees about the LIBOR interest rate.  

Most trainees didn’t even know what the LIBOR was, which illustrated a lack of basic job competency. To do the job, you must know what the LIBOR rate is.  

A second example was when a Solomon executive asked a trainee what the TED spread was currently trading. The TED spread is the difference between the LIBOR rate and the 3-month US Treasury. It changes on a near-constant basis. In this case, the trainee not only didn’t know what LIBOR was, they also didn't know the current spread. They were neither current nor competent.  

Gutfreund's concept has had a profound impact on me ever since.  

It is a simple yet powerful concept to embrace to be effective in whatever initiative you are pursuing. So ask yourself, "Do you want to become more effective at your job?" If you do, one simple strategy is to focus on becoming and remaining "Current and Competent."

How does this apply to leaders or executives? Ask yourself what items you need to be current and competent about. Are you purposeful in your efforts to maintain both? How do the requirements change by job function? Are you working with your employees to identify these aspects of the job?  

In this series, I will post content that helps build on both concepts. 

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