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Leadership Competencies – What Are They and Why They are Important

Leadership competencies are leadership skills, knowledge and behaviors that contribute to effective leadership performance. By using a competency-based approach to leadership, organizations will have a framework to better identify and develop the appropriate leadership skills needed by their managers.

While some leadership competencies are essential to all firms, an organization should first define what particular leadership attributes are distinctive to their organization and those that create a competitive advantage for them. Also, by using a competency approach, organizations can determine what positions require specific competencies.

There are quite a number of specific competencies, but they generally fall into three categories: competencies for leading the organization, leading the self and leading others in the organization. So what are these specific competencies?

Competencies for Leading the Organization
• Social Intelligence
• Conflict Management
• Decision-Making
• Sharing a Compelling Vision
• Change Management

Competencies for Leading Oneself
• Agility (Ability to Learn and Adapt)
• Industry Expertise
• Self Management
• Courage
• Organizational Citizenship

Competencies for Leading Others
• Interpersonal Skills
• Emotional Intelligence
• Coaching Ability and Trustworthiness
• Inclusiveness
• People Management

So how can focusing on leadership competencies help companies?

Identifying, developing and mastering functional job related skills is generally straightforward and measurable. However, leadership and managerial skill mastery is more illusive. So honing in on identifying and developing specific sets of leadership skills give organizations a guide for selecting, training and promoting managerial employees. These competencies cut across industries and particular job roles, so are usable by almost any company.

One note however. Leadership competency models are effective in capturing the main qualities required in effective leadership. However, rapid changes in technology and the globalization of industry will require additional competencies to be mastered. The great benefit of the leadership competency model is that you have the framework for managerial development and evaluation, but this framework allows for companies to add or change particular competencies to best meet the company’s particular needs.

By Ann Condon, Marketing Manager

Ann Condon has been with Dion for 17 years, working in Dion’s Marketing and Business Development Department. Although this was her first position with a jewelry manufacturer, she has learned a lot over the years. Ann enjoys getting involved in “All Things Dion” from volunteering at the Dion Golf Tournament to being a part of the Dion Diamonds Relay for Life Team. She has quite a number of Dion event t-shirts to show for it!


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