The Top 6 Leadership
Should Know And Grow
Being a smart and effective leader isn’t easy
By Steve Yacovelli
If you turn to most organizations—including your
own—you’ll likely be able to list out the “core values”
that anyone within the workplace should embody.
Look in the break room, on the annual performance
appraisal, or maybe on some cool tchotchke given
out at an annual workplace event; you’ll see things
like “integrity,” “teamwork,” and “customer focus”
listed. This is the social contract that anyone working
for that organization should abide by.
Regardless of what your organizational values are,
it’s showing time again—especially in today’s modern
workplace—that there really are six fundamental
competencies that any leader—regardless of
organization, profession, level within the business,
or role—should focus their energy on if they want to
not just survive but thrive in today’s workplace. And
the best part: you probably already have an awesome
handle on most of them.
“But I’m Not a Leader!”
You may be thinking, “Wait a minute: you say ‘leader,’
but I’m not a leader.” Shenanigans! A “leader” really
is anyone who needs to influence and, well, lead
within the organization. That could be a department
head leading a corporate function, a project manager
leading a team to accomplish a goal, an individual
contributor with no formal leadership authority but
still needs to get their stuff done—everyone within
today’s workplace is indeed a leader one way or
In short: If you’re in a work situation where you need
to interact with co-workers, bosses, direct reports,
or customers, then guess what, friend? Congrats …
you’re a leader!
Why These Six Competencies?
There’s been a lot conversation about what are “the
right” competencies that someone serious about
their own leadership development should focus on.
But when you look at the field, the latest books on the
topic, and what experts “out there” are focusing their
energy, it’s really these six:
●● Being Authentic
●● Having Leadership Courage
●● Leveraging Empathy
●● Using Inclusive Communication
●● Building Relationships
●● Shaping Culture
What’s interesting about the six areas is that they are
much intertwined. For example: being your authentic
self as a leader requires having courage; building
relationships requires effective communication skills,
etc. So, while we’re looking at these six leadership
competencies one at a time, they really wonderfully
interconnect to make up the whole leadership you.
Leadership Excellence presented by HR.com AUGUST 2019 5 Submit Your Articles