Leadership Competencies by Role/Level
Many organizations utilize competency models that include functional / technical and industry competencies, as well as some interpersonal skills. Congruent Paths uses this competency model to help organizations diagnose gaps in performance and tailor leadership development and personal development plans for their leaders through assessment and discussion on what leaders should be doing across the organization. We also use this to identify and develop emerging leaders.
The model is broken down by leadership domains and competencies by level:
Domain: Personal Effectiveness
Ability to communicate and influence. As we move up the organization the ability to influence across groups and with internal and external stakeholders becomes more important.
- Senior Leader Competency – Leading with Courage. A senior leader must balance the needs of employees, stakeholders, investors, customers. Leaders must be builders and protectors and be willing to not only leverage their strengths but confront and be realistic about their fears and challenge areas.
- Mid-Level Leader-Leading with Purpose and Executive Communication. The ability to communicate with intent and purpose to influence groups.
- Front-Line Leader-Influencing Others and Crucial Conversations. Front-line leaders have the toughest job – they must give authentic feedback to direct reports and influence them to perform. In addition they must communicate up the chain crucial field information; they are the eyes and ears of the business, often customer-facing.
- Emerging Leaders-Adaptive Communication. Emerging leaders are able to adapt beyond their natural style of communication to that of their audience to gain endorsement, agreement.
- Core Workforce-Interpersonal Skills and Effective Communication. Every employee must be able to get along with co-workers and effectively communicate in email, on the phone, in meetings, etc.
Domain: Performance Leadership
Leaders use domain 1 personal skills to attain results through people.
- Senior Leader-Succession Planning. This is about business sustainability – taking the long view of preparing the next generation of leaders.
- Mid-Level Leader-Optimizing Human Capitaland Mentoring & Coaching. Ensuring the right people are in the right roles at the right time and providing wisdom, experience, advocacy and sponsorship to those who will build and sustain the organization.
- Front-Line Leader-Giving & Receiving Feedback, Delegation, Coaching for Performance. Crucial Conversations is a pre-requisite for all of these – once the leader can have authentic, meaningful conversations he/she can use these 3 skills to strategically develop employees to get work done, engage, and develop employees.
- Emerging Leaders-Collaborative Working and Self-Directed Learning. Being able to work with others moves the core employee into the realm of emerging leader. The emerging leader will craft a development plan and not wait to be taught.
- Core Workforce-Results Focusand Learning on the Fly. With business changing constantly the core workforce must move beyond onboarding to learn continuously while being aware of and working toward KPI expectations and goals.
Domain: Team Leadership
Once we have individual performance on-track leaders use the above 2 abilities to lead cohesive, engaged teams to work together to achieve results.
- Senior Leader-Building Strategic Relationships. The team at this level includes the executive team, board, and the external team of people invested in the company’s success. The effective senior leader works to leverage, network and fully utilize all of these assets to work together for the greater good.
- Mid-Level Leader-Leading High Performance Teams and Cross-Functional Leadership. Leading leaders can be challenging; the mid-level leader must have the ability to get diverse business units, teams, to work together with aligned goals.
- Front-Line Leader-Building High Performance Teams and Collaborative Decision Making. A team is more than a work group; a good front-line leader leverages team strengths in the right places and creates a cohesive focus on results. Effective front-line leaders lead dynamic, collaborative meetings where all ideas are heard, assessed, and a solutions is agreed upon.
- Emerging Leaders-Leading Meetingsand Team Advocate. The star employee begins their leadership journey by being able to lead projects and move from a “me” to “we” mindset.
- Core Workforce-Team Player. The ability to handle conflict, support team members, remain focused on team outcomes while meeting personal KPI’s is a valuable competency in every employee.
Domain: Change Leadership
Change is constant and leaders must have the ability to deal with ambiguity and lead others through change to transformation.
- Senior Leader – Driving Innovationand Leading Organizational Change. A stagnant organization is ripe for disruption; the senior leader must recognize market changes and leverage human capital to drive innovation. Change is only successful when the senior leadership in the organization moves beyond the vision to lead the charge to true organizational transformation.
- Mid-Level Leader-Leading Through Change. Change is hard on people; a sustained and focus effort that deals with the feelings as well as the facts around change is key in the success of change.
- Front-Line Leader-Facilitating Change. The front-line leader takes the brunt of resistance from employees during change and must be able to deal with the feelings and facts of change. They must navigate the mandates of senior leaders while motivating resistant employees to buy-in.
- Emerging Leaders-Leading by Example. Emerging leaders are change advocates and help those around them handle the uncertainty. A true emerging leader is able to help others see the big picture, work through their fears and work through change.
- Core Workforce-Adaptability/ Dealing with Ambiguity. Change is inevitable; the core workforce must be prepared to deal with uncertainty and be willing to adapt to organizational changes in process, roles, while remaining focused on results.
Domain: Visionary Leadership
The vision is the roadmap that aligns individuals and teams; leaders must have the ability to envision a future, and create a plan to reach it, and motivate othersto work together to achieve it.
- Senior Leader – Visionary Leadership and Strategic Leadership. The “Steve Jobs competencies”. Senior leaders envision a future and can communicate it to others while crafting strategies to meet that vision.
- Mid-Level Leader-Selling the Vision and Implementing the Vision. Mid-level leaders are often left after the vision roadshow to keep enthusiasm sustained in the workforce. They’re responsible for the actual execution of the vision – this is an ongoing process; the ability to sell it, outline the process, monitor and report progress, and keep momentum.
- Front-Line Leader-Drive for Results and Fostering Career Development. New skills are continually needed to capture new markets, increase retention and revenue, etc. The Front-line leader recognizes and leverages strengths and develops key skills in employees to keep the employees and their teams moving toward achieving the vision.
- Emerging Leaders-Results Orientation. The emerging leader sees the greater vision behind the KPIs and works to achieve results not only for their own success but for that of the organization’s strategic vision.
- Core Workforce-Delivering Value / Working with Purpose. Meeting expectations through the lens of the bigger picture – ideally all employees engage in their daily work with an understanding of the greater goals of the org.
Domain: Cultural Leadership
Truly great organizations tap into diversity and leverage strengths of their people and create a culture that is aligned with their vision.
- Senior Leader-Cultural Leadership & Transformation. As Drucker said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Great senior leaders create very specific, intentional cultures designed to meet the org’s goals. Understanding types of cultures, recognizing when culture change is needed, is crucial to become a great organization.
- Mid-Level Leader-Building an Inclusive Workforce. It takes people, not programs, to truly leverage diversity of thought. Inclusion is where everyone feels a part of something special – that each has a unique role and place and makes a difference. Leading this is a 21st century sought-after skill.
- Front-Line Leader-Leveraging Team Diversity. Transformation to a true leader involves the ability to recognize strengths in many places. This is finding pearls of strength in others, including those who are “not like me” and have viewpoints that may seem at first disruptive. Inclusion is being fearless about moving away from “business as usual” to leverage all resources.
- Emerging Leaders-Culture Champion. Embodying what the org stands for, nurturing a sense of “we”.
- Core Workforce-Valuing Diversity. In today’s diverse workforce all employees should strive to understand, get to know their fellow workers. After all, we spend more time at work than anywhere else.