The qualities of leadership – leading change!

Great Egret and turtles

Image by s3728 via Flickr

On the website of the US Office of Personnel Management I found a description of Executive Core Qualifications/Competencies.

This defines the competencies they believe are needed to build a federal corporate culture that drives for results, serves customers, and builds successful teams and coalitions within and outside the organization.

As you would expect I was particularly drawn to their description of what they consider to be the core competencies required to lead change.

They describe this as the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals.  This includes the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

Here are the competencies;

  1. Creativity and Innovation
    1. Develops new insights into situations;
    2. Questions conventional approaches;
    3. Encourages new ideas and innovations;
    4. Designs and implements new or cutting edge programs/processes.
  2. External Awareness
    1. Understands and keeps up-to-date on local, national, and international policies and trends that affect the organization and shape stakeholders’ views;
    2. Is aware of the organization’s impact on the external environment.
  3. Flexibility
    1. Is open to change and new information;
    2. Rapidly adapts to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles.
  4. Resilience
    1. Deals effectively with pressure;
    2. Remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity.
    3. Recovers quickly from setbacks  
  5. Strategic Thinking
    1. Formulates objectives and priorities, and implements plans consistent with the long-term interests of the organization in a global environment.
    2. Capitalizes on opportunities and manages risks
  6. Vision
    1. Takes a long-term view and builds a shared vision with others;
    2. Acts as a catalyst for organizational change.
    3. Influences others to translate vision into action.

This is great stuff. But then I realised something was missing in this description of “executive” competencies. Somewhere along the way   we seem to have lost sight of some of the essentials.  How about adding interpersonal skills, communication, integrity and a willingness to go on learning even at this stage in your corporate life?  Lose  them, oh mighty leader, and you lose yourself, your team and probably any chance at all of meaningful success!