The Seven Core Competencies of Successful Leadership
Warren G. Bennis was an American scholar, advisor to four Presidents and professor at MIT where he chaired the Organizational Studies department. He’s widely regarded as the pioneer of the contemporary leadership studies and he had this to say about Leadership:
“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.”
Increasing your leadership abilities starts with defining what it takes to be a leader. What core competency traits are present in the greatest of leaders? Then, it’s time to determine how you stack up and what you can do to improve (don’t worry, we’ll help you along the way!).
Through our experience and research, we have gleaned the following 7 core competencies of successful leadership:
Create a clear picture of the Company’s future and what needs to be pursued/accomplished. Translate your vision into a realistic competitive advantage. Seek input on your vision to gain broad support throughout the organization
Communicate your vision, mission and direction in an exciting, compelling way. Promote open, honest communication in all directions. Identify and overcome barriers to open communication and trust.
Balance short- and long-term opportunities and threats by assessing situations, risks, costs and benefits. Think imaginatively, act intuitively and grasp new ideas quickly. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of the organizations, then develop creative solutions.
Stay bottom-line oriented and extraordinarily committed to results. Review and assess all variables to define key issues and options for solving problems. Leverage the experience, expertise and work of others.
Guide others to their point of view using logic, reason, emotion and the force of their personalities. Motivate by persuasion rather than intimidation. Hone interpersonal skills to promote teamwork.
Quickly make the right decisions sometimes without every detail in place. Make bold decisions and formulate bold strategic plans. Understand the big picture and identify trends while maintaining a sense of reality.
Set high, challenging goals and standards for yourself and others, holding all accountable. Demonstrate and uphold values and principals that create a climate of trust and integrity. Speak the truth, even in the unknown.
What do these competencies mean on the front lines of day-to-day management? And where do you stack up? Check back in our next blog for more on the leadership front.