There is no doubt that Christopher Nolan is one of the best movie producers, Stan Lee was one of the best comic creators, Gordon Ramsey is one of the best chefs, Johnny Ive is one of the best designers, Columbus was one of the best sailors, and Napoleon, one of the best general.
All those people have one thing in common. Competence. That’s the one thing that makes them who they are. If they lose competence, they will lose their top ranking. Imagine Gordon Ramsey making a horrible dish. A couple of these dishes will ruin everything he had earned in his life. Napoleon lost in waterloo because he lacked competence in that area. It ruined his life and everything he had earned.
Not all of them are leaders who are successful and great in every way. Some of them had major flaws. Edison mismanaged his company. Gordon Ramsey screams at his staff. But all of them are best at what they did. Some were hated by many. But they kept doing their work in a way no one else could. They kept improving and raising standards higher than it was before, making it even more difficult for others to reach their level.
They reached those positions not through influence or money. Instead, they reached through competence. Money or influence will not keep them there. CEO of Lehman Brothers got the position through influencing, but he lacked competence. As a result it ruined the company. Napoleon conquered almost all the lands in Europe, but he failed at sea. Nixon became the US president but resigned before finishing his term. Reason? Lack of competence. All of them tried to reach high positions through influence but they didn’t last at the top for long.
Hager P, Gonczi A. What is competence?. Medical teacher. 1996
Roberts A. Napoleon: A life. Penguin; 2014
Margret J. The Collapse of Lehman Brothers: A Case Study. Investopiedia; 2021
Nixon, Richard M. “Resignation Letter of President Richard M. Nixon.” (1974).