I believe in Leadership Development and I have dedicated my career to learning about leadership and helping others become great leaders. I developed a leadership competency model many moons ago and have found and kept a library of competencies accordingly. In March 2018, I decided to start sharing my library online. The same narrative is shared on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and sometimes, I decide to do a video about them too! (Click on the underlined competencies to watch the corresponding videos.)
Each month, a blog post just like this one will be created housing all the random social media posts from that month. I hope you find it insightful and valuable as you work towards effective and successful leadership.
August 13: Presentation Skills
Leaders who have fully developed this competency are effective in a variety of groups, whether it be one on one, with peers, bosses or subordinates. They are comfortable with sensitive topics and keep their cool, regardless of the tensions in the room. Effective presenters are able to switch gears, switch styles, or switch their focus depending upon the audience’s needs.
Leaders who overuse this skill tend to believe that style and confidence trumps content and organization. They are mistaken! They may be able to entertain but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are effective at educating, informing, etc. While they think they are cool and adaptable, they often struggle when push comes to shove.
Someone who hasn’t yet developed a strong presentation skills competency may appear shy or bashful, less than confident or less than organized. He/she may struggle with overcoming habits or idiosyncrasies while speaking and this distracts from their message.
I, personally, think this competency is an art – at the very least, it’s a tricky combination of a full host of skills! If you think you need some work in this regard, may I suggest you record yourself and solicit feedback from anyone in the audience who can speak truth to power. In my opinion, this is how we know what really needs improvement.
August 21: Managing and Measuring Work
A skilled leader clearly assigns responsibility for tasks and decisions, sets clear objectives, and monitors progress and results. Moreover, he/she puts into place effective feedback processes!
Someone on the extreme of this spectrum often appears controlling. He/she may dictate or direct too much, and fail to empower people to perform the work in their own way.
Someone on the opposite extreme of this spectrum isn’t orderly. He/she probably fails to have his/her own objectives in place and certainly struggles with helping direct reports identify and manage them. He/she doesn’t perform necessary follow up, and probably fails to offer consistent feedback as well.
I have worked very hard to discipline myself in this regard – I have found it not only models good behavior for my team, but it also boosts my own confidence in my ability to get things done.
August 23: Building Effective Teams
Leaders who have mastered this competency blend the strengths and weaknesses of their teams or otherwise capitalizes and mitigates them accordingly. He/she fosters open dialogue about successes and failures so everyone can learn and improve. He/she holds people accountable and supports their growth and development.
Leaders who take this to the extreme appear to care more about being friends/cohorts than being a leader. They often slow down processes because they want everyone to debate, everyone to find consensus, without really realizing that it is not needed on all occasions. They may placate or enable behavior, and fail to develop individual, accountable leaders on the team.
Leaders who haven’t developed this competency fail to recognize when they should use one employee over the other, or when they should encourage collaboration to blend two sets of skills together. They fail to create synergies on the team, and find it difficult to get all tasks/actions aligned toward a shared vision.
This is a tough competency, for sure, because Lord knows everyone is so different! But a good leader takes the time to know people, and is purposeful in matching those skills and personalities together so all parties win.
August 28: Written Communication
Leaders who have terrific written communication are able to write clearly in a variety of mediums – they are adaptive! They are able to narrate and organize their message in the manner best suited for their audience and voila, the correct information is received!
Leaders who overdue this competency are probably wasting resources…they spend too much time writing and rewriting, or they strive for perfection and in the meantime, no communication occurs!
Leaders who don’t demonstrate this competency often confuse the reader. The message is disjointed or disorganized, or there are so many errors or misstatements that the credibility of the leader is lost. Moreover, someone who hasn’t developed this competency has a tendency to be a one-hit wonder – he/she can’t adapt the writing to the audience or the medium.
Written communication is huge for the credibility of a leader, and can’t be under appreciated. Perhaps we all should take the time to hand over our written products for some good old fashioned analysis and feedback! Then, of course, we should commit to improving!