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The 8 core competencies of Leadership - Part 1

Determining a clear company vision and inspiring employees towards it has long been considered essential for outstanding business leadership. In the context of today’s marketplace, a leader can achieve this by cultivating an agile team that can rise above the competition in a knowledge-based economy.

Guiding staff to meet organizational objectives demands a leader who possesses a diverse skill set, including planning, strategy, communication, prioritization, and motivation. While there are a multitude of approaches to leadership, we have created a model that breaks down leadership into eight core competencies.

Here we will review the first three foundational skills. These decision-related skills form the theoretical framework for optimal effectiveness while driving a company.

1. Define Your Purpose

The very first step in the leadership journey is knowing where you are headed. Defining your purpose is not setting a constellation of goals, but an arching set of values.

Defining your purpose is not a solitary act performed by a leader; it involves building a shared vision and value system with your work group. When a clear purpose has been established, your company can excel at decision making and overcoming obstacles as they appear.

Pro Tip: Defining or redefining purpose could signal to staff that change is coming. A smart leader will employ change resistance mitigation tools to quickly moderate any feelings of uneasiness and get the team onboard with shifts in strategy and operations.

2. Establish Your Goals

The next step is finalizing your vision in the form of specific, measurable goals. These goals will give tangible meaning to your staff’s daily toil.

The targets that you set for the organization will inform team and individual goals since their work should align with larger operational objectives. This certainty in what they are working towards on an organizational, team and individual level imbues their work with a purpose which, in turn, increases team stability and promotes higher employee engagement.

3. Focus Your Resources

Every team and organization are confined by limited resources, and the finite asset of time. Funding, materials, and personnel are other resources typically in short supply. A competent leader has resource limitations at the front of their mind. Key resources should be strategically focused on goal-promoting activities but have enough flexibility in the allocation system to redirect and accommodate fluctuating needs.

An effective leader won’t bear the full weight of resource allocation alone. Instilling a sense of ownership in workers for their resource allocation and work product is inherent to successful leadership. A team that appreciates problem-solving, decision-making and takes personal responsibility for their role in team projects inherently understands the critical nature of resource allocation as well as time management. Through this, the team will become highly collaborative and result-oriented.

Pro Tip: Empower your team to make sound decisions by making relevant data available to them and encouraging them to use this resource.

Next Steps

The next five competencies form the doing and delivering aspects of leadership. These abilities build on the crucial decisions made in the first three steps and inspire ownership, responsibility, and accountability in a team.

To learn more, follow up with the companion piece “The Core Competencies of Leadership – Part 2”.


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