January 26, 2016

Leadership Competencies. Why Talk About Them?

How do you define the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to be an effective leader within your organization? How do you know if an individual is qualified for a leadership role? How do you know what to measure?

By establishing a defined set of competencies for each leader in the organization, you’re able to link a leader’s performance to the goals of the business, and identify the kind of behaviors an organization values and are needed to achieve its goals. Here are four reasons why it’s important to establish leadership competencies:

  1. Interviewing and Selection. The benefit of using competencies in the interviewing and selection of leaders within your organization is that you have detailed and specific criteria for the individual you are interviewing. It makes it much more likely that you’ll find the right match. Additionally, since you’re evaluating all candidates against the same criteria, it’s less subjective and more objective.
  2. Leadership Development. Leadership competencies provide the needed framework to drive leadership development across all levels of the organization. By focusing on the skills critical for success at each level of leadership, the organization can see faster results.
  3. Performance Management. Leadership competencies help determine how well the individual is in alignment with performance expectations. Imagine you’re in a new leadership role and want to develop your skills. It would be vital to know that while your ability to drive and deliver results is exceeding expectations, you aren’t doing a good job of building organizational talent. If you didn’t know this, you’d be flying blind.
  4. Succession Planning. A lack of talent in the succession pipeline doesn’t just result in lost productivity; it can also create a loss in revenue opportunities due to a lack of quality and quantity of talent. By understanding the competencies the organization needs in an effective leader, we’re able to determine and address organizational and individual competency gaps to build the talent pool we need to fill key positions within the organization.

At Faith Technologies, we’re establishing a leadership competency model that allows us to assess, maintain and monitor the knowledge, skills and abilities of leaders in our organization. The framework allows us to measure current competency levels to ensure our leaders have the expertise needed to add value to the business. It also helps leaders make informed decisions about talent selection and succession strategies. By identifying the specific behaviors and skills needed for each role, it enables us to plan for the development needs our leaders and organization needs to be successful.

Is it time your organization starts talking about leadership competencies?