Top Ten Competencies of a Successful Leader - Chuck Garcia

Top Ten Competencies of a Successful Leader


I’ve previously addressed the difference between a leader and a boss – take a peek at that article and then asked yourself, which one am I? Most of us want to be leaders who others admire, trust and want to follow; we ourselves want to work for leaders that we trust, admire and want to follow.

What is it exactly that makes someone a leader that invokes these feelings?  Aside from a healthy amount of self-confidence and persuasiveness the following are the top ten competencies of effective leaders:

  1. Communication: Displays good oral, written, and listening skills for individuals and groups. I’ve written an entire book on communication; mastering it is critical to success.  And beyond verbal and written communication, non-verbal communication is extremely important as well.
  2. Decision Making: Employs sound judgement, logical reasoning, and uses resources wisely. Making decisions takes confidence, which will build over time.  Effective leaders don’t get paralyzed with indecision, they decide and embrace the consequences whether positive or negative.
  3. Motivation: Inspires, motivates, and guides others toward goals and objectives. The ability to motivate will come back to one’s ability to communicate effectively, along with channeling an inner passion for why they are doing what they are doing.  When a leader knows why they are committed, that will often motivate those around them.
  4. Planning: Develops detailed, executable plans that are feasible, acceptable, and actionable. Creativity and resourcefulness are qualities that can be fueled by in-the-moment situations, but good leaders appreciate and practice preparedness.
  5. Execution: Shows proficiency, meets standards, and provides sufficient resources consistent with goals and objectives.  It’s the “walk the talk” and “practice what is preached” standard of following through with what you intend to accomplish.  It’s the ability to not only plan the tasks needed to accomplish something, but the skill to do it through individual work and effective delegation.
  6. Assessment: Uses evaluation tools to promote consistent employee improvement. Leaders who are committed to their employees’ development and improvement will understand the need for assessments.  When a leader understands that successful assessment and evaluation is more than just an HR requirement (for some companies), they can leverage this exercise to take their teams to greater heights.
  7. Development: Invests adequate time and effort to develop individuals to be leaders themselves. Continued education for yourself and your team is an important aspect of personal growth.  Being a champion of these opportunities is the sign of a great leader.
  8. Builder: Fosters an ethical climate by spending time and resources improving teams, groups, and units. Instead of being threatened by, or indifferent to those they lead, effective managers recognize each member team member as a vital part being successful.
  9. Learning: Seeks self-improvement as well as continual personal and professional development. Like stated in “development” above, understanding the need for continuing education and not becoming complacent is a necessity.
  10. Adaptability: Adjusts leadership methods to changing conditions, climate and opportunities.  Just like parents with their children, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to managing people or getting desired results from situation to situation.  Being flexible, mindful and open to new approaches, needs, and expectations are required for continued success.

Learn more about how to become the kind of leader that embodies each of these competencies by visiting,

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