Perspective: The Quiet, Competent Ones

May 22, 2019

I grew up in a family in crisis, feeling barely noticed and preferring it that way. I probably seemed shy, but mostly I was just convinced that there wasn’t much point in speaking up because I figured nobody would listen anyway. 


But eventually I became the loudmouth bombast I am today because I discovered that it is possible to put yourself out there and succeed without sacrificing your ethics, though unfortunately, unethical, immoral and incompetent people still seem to get far in this world (anybody in particular come to mind?). 

As a loudmouth I’d like to shine a reverential light on the quiet competent types. The people I most respect are the ones who are rarely noticed. They don’t draw attention to themselves – they just do their job, do it well, with dedication, clarity of mission and competence. Every field has these people, thankfully, but by not speaking up or speaking out they seldom get the kudos or the big raises. They just show up. Every day. 


With the president and his echo chamber vilifying civil servants and other dedicated professionals as the Deep State and even worse, we see competence and dedication being not just undervalued, but undermined. When you undermine competence and dedication, what you get is institutional decline. 

So stand tall, all you good people. Keep showing up -- no matter what they throw at you -- because when we stop to listen, the quietest voices can speak the loudest. 


I’m Reed Scherer -- that’s my perspective.