Leader Competencies

Leader Competencies


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Leader Competencies

Leader competencies refer to the core characteristics that make leaders more effective in what they do. Certain leader characteristics are essential in improving a leader’s effectiveness in modern organizations. Possessing the essential leadership competencies enables a leader to motivate and influence employees into fulfilling the set organizational goals. While possessing all the core competencies is essential, some competencies may be distinctive in certain organizations. In such situations, it would be necessary to define the kind of leader competencies that are desirable for leaders who can best fit in such organizations. HR professionals may opt to train organizational leaders in the core competencies they are lacking. Training can enable employees develop the core competencies required in the organization. This paper is an evaluation of core leader competencies.

One of the key leader competencies is problem-solving skills. Problem-solving skills are essential in the proper running of the organization. These skills enable leaders to define and solve complex problems that arise in organizations (Rowe & Guerrero, 2010). In solving complex problems, leaders must first analyze and understand the issue at hand. This involves gathering the relevant information about a problem. The leader must then devise new ways of dealing with the issue at hand. The leader should then compare the different alternatives and pick the most promising in solving the issue (Bohm & Mosavi, 2010). The best alternative or solution is the one that guarantees the best outcome. Leaders should be aware of their own potentials or capabilities in dealing with a problem. When they have less knowledge about the issue at hand, they may consider delegating to a person who has more knowledge or experience about the issue at hand. In developing solutions to problems, leaders must take into account of the fact that there is often a short window of time necessary to identify and implement the solutions. Taking too long to solve a problem could lead to serious losses.

The other core leader competency is social judgment skills. Social judgement skills allow leaders to understand people and their behaviors (Rowe & Guerrero, 2010). Possession of these skills enables leaders to develop a conducive work environment by improving the social relations at the workplace. There are three important elements in social judgment skills. One of this is empathy. This entails being able to understand other people’s perspective. In being empathetic, a leader is able to put himself in the shoes of others and thus understand their situation in a better way. Another element is behavioral flexibility. This entails the ability to adapt behavior depending on other people’s attitude or dispositions. The other element is social performance. This involves having competencies in several skills such as good communication ability, mentorship abilities, coaching abilities, and mediation capabilities (Rowe & Guerrero, 2010). Communication ability is importance since it enables a leader to convey his/her thoughts and feelings to others. Mentorship and coaching enables a leader to support employees in their career advancement goals. It can also enable employees to become better or more effective at what they do. Mediation among employees involves resolving conflicts or misunderstandings among employees.

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Another important leader competency is knowledge. This refers to the ability to gather and organize information in a meaningful manner (Rowe & Guerrero, 2010). It involves the development of skills or a deeper understanding of a particular subject. Individuals are able to organize information through the formation of mental schema, which refers to mental depiction of ideas. Leaders must be able to organize data properly in their minds in order to draw meaning from such data. Knowledge is closely linked to a person’s problem-solving abilities. The more knowledgeable a leader is, the more he/she is able to solve even complex problems. When faced with serious challenges, such leaders are able to develop alternative solutions and lead the organization towards change. Leaders with deep knowledge are able to prop the organization for future challenges (Rowe & Guerrero, 2010). They are capable of identifying opportunities in the operating environment and seize these opportunities to create a strong competitive advantage. Knowledge is important in ensuring effective management practices. A leader must fulfill several important management practices. These include organizing, planning, controlling, ability to enhance cooperation, delegation, motivating workers, and among others.

To conclude, leader competencies are the important characteristics that a leader should possess in executing his/her mandate at an organization. Leader competencies can be classified into three broad groups: social judgment skills, knowledge, and problem-solving capabilities. Social judgement skills involve developing proper social relations with people as well as a good understanding of people behavior. It helps leaders in establishing sound social relations with employees and among employees themselves. Knowledge involves the ability to gather and organize information in a meaningful manner. Knowledge is important in problem solving. Problem solving skills enable leaders to solve complex challenges that arise in the course of routine operations in the organization.


Bohm, A., & Mosavi, M. (2010). The core leadership competencies. GRIN Verlag.

Rowe, W. G., & Guerrero, L. (2010). Cases in leadership. London [etc.: Sage.