Leadership Core Competencies That Make A Difference

Leadership core competencies can be defined on paper very easily; however, living them out becomes a challenge that determines greatness from merely average. Although not completely impossible, it is very difficult to live up to the high standards that many will place upon us as leaders.

One of the very first core competencies that many will consider number one on the list is integrity. Integrity is one of those terms that we throw around like we know what we are talking about, but in truth it is very hard to actually define it because everyone seems to have a different opinion these days of what exactly is right and what is wrong. For me it becomes very simple since I live my life by a set of standards written by God. Now that doesn’t mean I am perfect at following them, it just means my definition of what is right and what is wrong is defined by Him.

So based on scripture and applying it to leadership how would one define integrity? Of course our model would be Jesus Himself. Knowing that we will never quite be Him we can certainly make an attempt to model Him as closely as we can. Therefore, integrity to me means that we are guided by a set of principles and we do not let circumstances change them. In other words it is easy to be honest and do the right thing when it doesn’t cost us anything; however, when it does cost us how do we respond? That defines integrity.

The next leadership core competency that I would like to address falls in line with the idea that we are guided by a set of principles and therefore, should apply them to our interpersonal skills when dealing with our staff. For instants if we are guided by the principle that all people are created equally then we should treat them equally based on their actions and not our personal beliefs. People are all raised a little bit differently and experience different things that influence how we think about people. As leaders we must put this behind us and judge individuals on their own merits; regardless of the color of their skin, religious beliefs, nationality, sexual preference, etc. This can be extremely hard and I refer back to my original statement of it is easy to talk about leaderships core competencies, but harder to live up to.

The next competency I would like to address is having a vision. Great leaders have a vision of what things can be and what makes them different than a dreamer is that they also see a way to get there. It isn’t just the power of positive thinking! No it’s much more than that! It’s having a vision and finding a way to achieve it. One may say having a “Never say Die” attitude. Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken heard the word “No” over nine hundred times before finally hearing “Yes.” We all know how that turned out.

We have also heard the story of how the McDonald’s Corporation got started. The McDonald's restaurant concept was introduced in California by Dick and Mac McDonald. Their business partner, Ray Kroc who had a vision, later bought out the business interests of Dick and Mac and we know how that turned out also. These individuals had a vision beyond what the ordinary business person did. They thought outside the box and may have even been considered foolish to many. But they stuck with their beliefs and turned them into a very successful business. That’s what leaders do!

One of our final leadership core competencies that we will talk about in this writing is the ability to communicate effectively. You may have the best vision the world has ever known. Have unquestionable integrity. Be driven like no one else. However, if you are not able to communicate that to those you need to follow you it won’t matter. Many of us have played the game where you start a story at one end of a long line of people and see how much it changes by the time it gets to the other end. The more people in the line the more the story changes. Another game some of us might have played is for someone to be blind folded and another one has to give direction to them in order to accomplish something. We get a good laugh as one believes whole heartedly that they are giving perfect directions while the other ends up not being able to accomplish it. Being able to give clear instructions is the foundation of a great leader. When we speak of leadership core competencies this is a strong one.

Thank you and May GOD Bless You!

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