Defining Leadership Competencies and Unique Attributes
This week I will be focused upon a five-part series designed to assist you in providing a comprehensive Leadership Development Process for your organization. Today, we look at the starting point of the Leadership Development Process – Defining the Competencies necessary for success.
Leadership Competencies need to be identified regarding the leadership role for the entire organization as a first step. This is the equivalent of having a code of standards for the overall leadership function of the group. What areas of individual performance need identification as a benchmark of success. The truth is few companies have taken the time to identify the traits, competencies and personal skills necessary for leadership success. This lack of identification has lead to promotions and selection of individuals that were not ready for important leadership positions. The results have been very costly to these companies when the wrong people have been placed in very important positions.
We have been helping our clients to “benchmark” leadership positions for several years. This practice has created a better understanding of the traits necessary for the “job” to be successful. This benchmarking track creates a comprehensive document containing the information needed for the position to talk. Here is a partial list of important items you need from a benchmarking process:
- Key Accountabilities – these are outcomes or results that are produced by the job on a regular basis. The benchmarking process will identify these for each leadership position reviewed. These are also used in determining the degree of importance of parts of an assessment used to create the final benchmark. The key accountabilities are prioritized by the stakeholders assembled to review the status of these leadership capabilities and traits.
- Unique Traits. Skills and Competencies – Here we have the unique and prioritized traits necessary for a position to be successful. These include a prioritized list of behavioral traits, rewards/culture list for motivation and a list of personal skills or personal competencies – again for the position to be successful. The key point here is to develop these lists with a results orientation rather than a bias toward people or personal beliefs.
- Behavioral Questions – A good benchmark will provide a list of behavioral based questions to be used in the selection process. These will uncover the depth of experience of each individual in a selection process. This also provides a list of questions to review for developing a guidelines reference sheet for managers to use in the interview process. These can be adjusted with a scoring system. This allows for multiple interviews with multiple candidates and a consistent scoring or ranking system for a selection team.
- Job Description Data – A listing of actionable items for a job to be done effectively. These actionable items uncover the exact activities for each trait identified in the benchmark. These items can be used to discuss the requirements of a position with candidates during the selection process.
- Developmental Sources – After identifying all the key traits necessary for position to be successful, do you have a listing of developmental sources for each trait identified as a priority item for position success? An excellent “Benchmark” will provide a listing of sources for developmental purposes. If a candidate is lacking a key attribute or trait, then a development plan will need to be prepared, sourced and be ready for execution. This is a key component of a structured succession or career path plan for key individuals.
There you have the basic benchmarking process with the key factors that need to be identified. The important thing to remember – have a system that identifies the unique characteristics necessary for a position to be successful. If you take the time to do this right – you will have a higher probability of placing a high quality individual in the position. Without this knowledge and information, you are gambling with the future of your organization. Do you want to take that kind of risk with limited insight?
If you are not doing this and are interesting in how this works, contact us immediately. During the month of April we will be offering an opportunity to test drive a complete job benchmarking process. But you have to act quickly. We have a limited amount of time and resources to offer for a test drive so we will limit the number of “freebies.” Contact us at 901.757.4434 between 9-5 Central Time USA or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Limited offer and you must contact us to qualify.