Leadership Competencies

Leadership Competencies

An organization needs a well defined set of leadership competencies, which it can share with their employees at all levels in terms of expectations. All roles need to demonstrate leadership, but not all leadership competencies are required by all roles. The level and intensity of leadership will change depending upon if you are demonstrating the same at individual level vs. managerial level vs. strategic level.


Topics in Leadership Competencies : -

Setting Strategic Intent and Alignment

Takes longer term perspective and takes a broader view in terms of organization goals, industry/market environment and competition. Aligns ones own objective and that of one's team with the overall strategy and direction.

Customer Focus

Establishes and nurtures strong, sustainable and collaborative relationships with customers. Demonstrates the understanding of the customer's perspective and needs of customer's customer. Customer here is both internal and internal customer.

Fostering Innovation

In today's world if you don't innovate fast enough, you will not survive. Building an environment, which not only encourages, but also drives innovation as a non-negotiable business objective, is one of the ways to keep the business going.

Business and Financial Acumen

Uses and balances information about business drivers and trends such as revenue, costs, customer needs, and short and long-term needs to guide activities.

Communicates and Listens Openly and Directly

Communicates and shares the thoughts, ideas, issues, conflicts, agreements, dis-agreements openly and directly. Does not project any hidden agenda. Listens and understands the messages from others. Demonstrates openness and clarity in all forms of communications.

Lead diverse and collaborative teams

This leadership competency points to an ability to work in diverse cultures, contexts, organization structures and skill-levels. It points to an ability to work with internal and external teams working across different locations, time zones and HR policies. This ability makes a leader adaptive to changes in the working environment.

Develop Self and Others

There is a quote which says that 'leader does not do great things by himself, but he makes other people do great things'. Learning and development are a continuous process. A leader maintains this continuity for him and for his team. He leverages all possible channels to promote a holistic development. He knows that development is not only training, but also on-the-job learning as well as self-learning. He knows that the development can be through informal as well as formal channels.

Lead Change

Well clued onto the environment- both internal and external. Identify the change opportunities and works on them. Anticipates the waves of change, and stay prepared. Build competencies of change management and adaptability within the teams. Maintains the perseverance and tenacity to drive and sustain the change.

Act with Decisiveness

Demonstration of leadership competencies of leading change, business acumen and setting strategic intent are based on sound decision making and judgment. This is perhaps the softest part of leadership competency frame-work. Decision-making is science as well as an art. It is a combination of hard-core number crunching, quantified analysis, managing ambiguities and thinking from the gut. It talks about taking best possible decision, with inadequate information, having inadequate capabilities, in less than predictable future and overall, within an imperfect world.

Manage for Performance

A leader sets clear goals, timelines, plans, and measures of success. He tracks the progress and keeps on working to achieve the planned targets. He works on all aspects of performance- Cost, timelines and Quality. He works on consistency, accuracy and reliability of performance.

Deliver Results

This is an extension of Manage for Performance. This competency is related to the 'end-results' part of the performance. The reason we have not included this competency as part of the 'manage for performance' is because we wanted to place a separate emphasis on results part, which is relevant to the day to day accomplishments and running of business.