Core Leadership Competencies: Which Do You Possess?

Which competencies are needed for successful leadership? Here is one model.

Posted Mar 25, 2013

There are a number of competency models that are used to guide leadership development efforts in businesses, in nonprofit organizations, and in colleges and universities. Most of these models focus on 3 categories of leader competencies: Leading self, or personal leadership, interpersonal leadership, and leading teams and organizations. Different competencies are required for the different forms/levels of leadership, but all are necessary for effective leadership. See how you measure up, and which areas might you want to target for development?

Self/Personal Leadership

These competencies include:

Developing a Personal Mission or Sense of Purpose. This helps in providing motivation to lead and personal direction.

• Strong and Positive Character. Ethical and responsible leadership at the personal level is character-driven.

• Self-Awareness. A prerequisite for developing as a leader is to be self-aware – to have a deep understanding of oneself, and your strengths and shortcomings.

Interpersonal Leadership

• Effective Communication Skills. This is the foundation for all leadership – above all, leaders are good communicators, both verbally and emotionally.

• Relationship Building and Maintenance Skills. These include empowering and developing others (i.e., developing followers into leaders), conflict management, and fostering cooperation.

• Influence and Motivational Skills. Ability to be motivating, persuasive, and to focus on both outcomes and a positive process.

Leading Teams and Organizations.

• Understanding and Facilitation of Group/Team Processes. Including articulating a compelling vision and stimulating groups to be creative.

• Understanding Organizations and Organizational Processes. Includes political and social skills/intelligence.

• Global Mindset. Demonstrating awareness and openness to people from diverse backgrounds.

Although there are all sorts of models to guide leader development, many competency-based models contain most or all of these.

Related topics: Does Leadership Development Work?  Leaders: Born or Made?

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