Observations of successful leaders suggest that there are a number of common characteristics.
There are many definitions and competing descriptions.
The following set includes most approaches * and ensures the addition of one critical requirement – operating in times of crisis or major uncertainty.
The seven core leadership competencies
Give yourself a mark out of 10 for each of the following competencies:
1 Setting a clear direction by having a vision of the future, a strategy for bringing that vision into reality and a set of values of what is important in terms of how you run the business.
2 Managing to 'fire up' your team so that everybody is committed to the business in terms of making it successful.
3 Setting an example in terms of how you personally operate on a daily basis in respect of time management, focus on priorities, cope with pressure and deal effectively with customers.
4 Creating a plan for each person in the business in terms of developing the knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies they need to possess in order to work effectively both now and in the future.
5 Communicating effectively with both staff and customers. For example, how often do you brief everybody in your team about what is happening?
6 Actively pursuing a continuous performance improvement programme to identify better ways of doing things, and then following through with the changes.
7 Coping with a crisis. For example, do you try to solve everything yourself, or do you try to delegate the problem where possible?
TOTAL SCORE out of 70
*This is based on the seven leadership competencies published in The Business of Leadership (Hooper and Potter, Ashgate, 1997)