Leadership is inspiring and motivating a group of people to exert themselves to help achieve a common goal.


Much has been written about leadership, leadership competencies, and what it takes to be a great leader. An internet search for “leadership competencies” will produce countless lists, such as “The 5 Most Important Competencies Top 10 Leadership Competencies”, “How to Develop Google’s Top 7 Leadership Competencies”, etc., etc.

There is no standard, correct list. In each organization, the competencies of effective leaders vary with the industry, business and governmental environment, business strategy and goals, mission and culture.

Still, it might be of interest to students of leadership to see one more list of leadership competencies, one based on Workitect’s experience in building models for leaders at all multiple levels in multiple organizations. Our model example includes competencies that have been identified most frequently in models we have built for clients. This is the model, with competencies drawn from the thirty-five competencies in Workitect’s Competency Dictionary.

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Leadership competencies can be observed and developed in all levels of management and in potential managers. Having competencies and their behavioral indicators described by level of job role and level of proficiency can be particularly helpful when the models are applied to succession planning and performance management.

The Iceberg Model Graphic


A leadership competency model is a group of related competencies that together describe superior or effective performance for a leader in a particular organization.

Workitect’s competency modeling process starts with superior performers being identified, and then studied, to determine the skills, knowledge and personal characteristics that they possess that enables them to be superior performers. The methods used to collect data for the study, such as behavioral event interviews and expert panels, are designed to get beneath mere opinions about superior performance and superior performers.

Competency Models developed by Workitect include these sections:

  1. Overview of the competencies (typically 8-12) that may include competencies required to support the company’s mission, values, and strategy.
  2. Major responsibilities and performance measures
  3. Definition and behavioral indicators of each competency
  4. Optional –

– Links between responsibilities and competencies
– Technical skills and knowledge requirements
– Future Scan – potential changes affecting the job in the future
– Recommendations on ensuring that incumbents demonstrate each competency, through selection, development, and/or training

Inclusive leader competency model in HR

Leading Others Cluster


Demonstrating support for organizational changes needed to improve the organization’s effectiveness; supporting, initiating, sponsoring, and implementing organizational change; helping others to successfully manage organizational change.


Willingness to delegate responsibility and to work with others and coach them to develop their capabilities.

Communicating and Influencing Cluster


The ability to notice, interpret, and anticipate others’ concerns and feelings, and to communicate this awareness empathetically to others.


The ability to gain others’ support for ideas, proposals, projects, and solutions.

Preventing and Solving Problems Cluster


Finding effective solutions by taking a holistic, abstract or theoretical perspective.


Analyzing an organization’s competitive position and developing a clear and compelling vision of what the organization needs for success in the future.

Achieving Results Cluster


Developing, sponsoring or supporting the introduction of new and improved method, products, procedures, or technologies.


Focusing on the desired end result of one’s own or one’s units work; setting challenging goals, focusing effort on the goals, and meeting or exceeding them.



The ability to keep functioning effectively when under pressure and/or experiencing rapidly changing or uncertain conditions, and to maintain, self-control in the face of hostility or provocation.


Demonstrated concern that one be perceived as responsible, reliable, and trustworthy.



As a team member, the ability and desire to work cooperatively with others on a team; as a team leader, interest, skill, and success in getting groups to learn to work together cooperatively.


Working effectively with all races, nationalities, cultures, disabilities, ages and sexes. Promoting equal and fair treatment and opportunity for all.


Ability to perform with insight, acuteness, and intelligence in the areas of commerce and/or industry. Make decisions and act in situations in which there is not enough information to be certain of outcome or implications of the decision.

A leadership competency model developed for senior management can include the identification of two to six competencies that employees need to demonstrate in order for the organization to achieve its objectives and mission. These “core” competencies help answer the question of “what kind of company do you want our company to be?” Customer Orientation is an example for some organizations. The competencies are then included in the job competency models for all positions in the organization.

The three core Framework elements of Compentency Organization : Mission, Vision and Values

Identifying the leadership competencies for an organization serves no purpose unless the competencies are applied to processes for selecting, developing, and retaining talent.

Talent, Training and Leadership Development management applications,
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