The Big Two

There are two crucial traits that must be built into every leader in every organization in order to achieve lasting success. These two traits should be in the cross-hairs of leaders worldwide.

One is Capacity. The other is Capability.

An organization that is weak in these two areas is as deficient as a person with low iron and calcium. Without Capacity and Capability, leaders are consistently susceptible to every leadership sickness imaginable.

The Big Two


Capacity is the ability to not only multi-task tactics and roles, but also to HANDLE sufficiently the demands of reality with that role and leadership. Capacity is what allows a person to handle high levels of stress and perform when things are not how they should be.

Raising the levels of leadership falls squarely on the shoulders of the capacity of a person. If you raise the capacity, you can more easily raise the level of a particular leader. Conversely, if you look at leaders who have not made it, you can tie that directly to their capacity levels.


Capability is the flip side. To raise a person’s capabilities gives the leader stability to handle capacity. It is often times that the increased capabilities lead to increased capacity.

Let’s begin to address the “how to’s” of increasing these two characteristics. To do so it begins with you. It’s always that way, isn’t it? It should be anyway.

1. How would you describe your capacity right now?

If your capacity is equal to 100%, what level are you? You can be at 120% or you can be at 60%. (By the way, 60% can be good. That doesn’t mean you are lazy. It may mean you know how to maximize yourself without killing yourself.)

If you are serious with finding out your capacity you can take the following self-awareness test – write down the 2-4 roles you have and put a percentage of capacity with each, then average the totals.

To go a step further I would recommend asking your boss or an advisor, then your colleagues, and finally those you lead. Ask them to rank your capacity and see if your view matches their view.

If this process is worthy then let me encourage you to take every leader you lead and do the same process with them. Make capacity the goal for a year to raise the levels within yourself and your team.

2. What capabilities do you need to add in order to become a more significant leader?

Is it financial acumen or marketing prowess, or, perhaps, it is time to sharpen your strategic thinking skills. The old analogy of sharpening an ax is appropriate when you think about capabilities. The longer you spend sharpening is directly related to your precision and speed of cutting. Therefore, where do you need to improve or increase velocity? Make a list of the areas where your capabilities need to improve.

Now, show that list to two others and get their feedback.

This same process can take place within your team and company. Sharpen the ax. Raise your leaders. Increase capabilities.

Capacity and Capability go together. Capacity will restrict leaders from long term success or catapult them to significance. Capabilities are the skills that make leaders valuable long term. They are like valuable assets to an organization.

Great companies move their people around to increase the capabilities of their leaders and to constantly add to their portfolio of progress. Great leaders consistently push their leaders to higher heights. Like a mountain guide, great leaders take people on a journey to help them acclimate to the next level without killing them.

People must trust the process of capacity growth. If they do, the heights they will climb are almost limitless. Do it right, increase your capacity and raise your capabilities.

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