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August 2008 - Leadership Competency

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John Kline, PhD, inspirational and motivational keynote and after-dinner speaker and corporate trainer.August 2008

Leadership Competency

Leaders must be competent. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) created one of the simplest and best lists of competencies necessary for supervisors, managers and executives. The competencies are: Leading Change, Leading People; Building Coalitions/Communicating; Results Driven and Business Acumen. See: http://www.dtc.dla.mil/wfd/ldrshpdv/1.htm

Leading Change. Supervisors must be able to lead change if they expect to succeed. In the winter 2007 issue of Armed Forces Comptroller I discussed seven steps to implement positive change. They are: assess and address human concerns; demonstrate strong leadership; build trust; articulate the process; create an enabling environment; celebrate success and institutionalize the change.

Leading People. Some people believe leaders lead people and managers manage things. This wrong thinking leads some supervisors to resent the time they must spend dealing with people. My February and March 2008 columns addressed the importance of leaders and managers knowing their people.

Building Coalitions/Communicating. CEO’s of major corporations and managers of the nation’s largest companies rate the ability to communicate effectively as the most valued attribute of people who get promoted—and for good reason. Leaders must communicate and build coalitions; that is, they must be able to get a diverse group of individuals and organizations to work together to reach common goals.

Results Driven. Many years ago I worked for a boss who would ask me, “What business are we in?” I quickly learned the answer he wanted. “Sir, we are in the results business,” I replied. This answer is true whether one is engaged in business, finance, education or religion; certainly every leader is in the results business. Good intentions are nice, but results count.

Business Acumen. Since results count, leaders and managers must be able to assess the landscape with a keen awareness of how the organization can succeed—at turning a profit, educating students, recruiting people or reaching the goals of the organization. No single skill is more important than business acumen for leaders and managers.

Next month we will consider Leadership Character.
John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

December 2006 - Motivating Others: Communicate Clearly
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