An Introduction To Leadership Competencies

An Introduction To Leadership Competencies

If I asked you, “are your organizational leaders competent?” you might be drawn to say either yes or no based on their overall level of effectiveness. However, you might continue to think about it and realize that while they’re able to do certain things very well, perhaps they drop the ball on others. This might not drastically affect your confidence in their overall abilities, but looking closer at your leaders’ competencies can help identify where they’re excelling, and where they need to improve. So how can that be done?

McQuaig looks at leadership development through eight competencies, each with its own effect on how the leader operates and how the team is impacted overall. If you’re using the McQuaig 360 Leadership Review, you can select the competencies that matter most to each leader, to tailor the assessment towards their areas of development:

Making Decisions: If a leader can’t make decisions, nothing would ever move forward. This competency looks at a leader’s ability to initiate choice and direct people towards it.

Supporting: A big portion of a leader’s role is making sure that they provide enough support for others to do their job well. They also need to support the organization by following rules and regulations, and embracing diversity.

Engaging: Guiding an organization in any particular direction will involve dealing with people: making appropriate connections and influencing them to work with the organization. This competency considers how a leader navigates those social requirements, like being active in group settings, promoting and selling a message, and keeping control of negotiations.

Interpreting: To obtain the credibility required to be in charge of decision-making, leaders need to have a certain expertise. The Interpreting competency looks at a leader’s ability to wield their experience and knowledge to analyze issues and infer meaning in an accurate way.

Pro Tip: Thinking about boosting your company’s leadership development strategy, but not sure how a 360 can fit in? We wrote an article to help.

Conceptualizing: To lead is to guide. To guide is to show people the way. To show people the way, you have to be able to see the way yourself. This competency analyzes the leader’s ability to innovate and strategize in a way that paints a picture for future business success.

Execution: It’s one thing to see the future state, it’s another to bring it to life. The Execution competency considers the ability to deliver result. This includes ensuring the proper resources are in place, communication is effective throughout projects, and other go-time considerations.

Change Orientation: Change happens all the time. Some people thrive in it; others do not. The Change Orientation competency looks at how a leader deals with change. How do they approach change? How do they manage unexpected change? How do they inspire change and innovation?

Performing: This competency looks at results. Does the leader achieve goals that they set for themselves and their team? When goals are achieved, what’s next? Do they set stretch goals or continue on to something new?

Although these competencies were identified and developed for the McQuaig 360 Leadership Review, their impact can be assessed at any organization, whether you use a 360 or not. If your company doesn’t have a formal leadership development program, consider using these competencies as a starting point for more in-depth leadership analysis. After all – the only way to start developing leaders is by looking for things to develop.

Now we want to hear from you: after reviewing these leadership competencies, which ones do you think are important to your organization?

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