How to Create a Leadership Competency Model

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A leadership competency model identifies the key skills, behaviors and attitudes that your managers must possess in order to be successful in your organization. Your systems, programs and developmental processes can then be aligned around this model, providing synergy and direction for your company. Creating this competency model is a critical first step in understanding which particular attributes make your leaders successful. Carefully and systematically identifying these core skills and talents leads to better focus and commitment, and less wasted energy. Involving as many of your leaders as possible also helps to ensure its continued success.

Research other competency models and your company's business strategies. Identify possible roadblocks to your model and plan how to overcome them. Assemble a team of upper managers to serve as a development team. Establish your vision for the plan and develop a project plan for creating the model. Create a schedule for your plan creation meetings and send out invitations for the first meeting.

Meet with your selected team members and review other competency models. Discuss attributes, skills and attitudes you would like to see in your model. Select a representative sample of employees to review your model and provide feedback. Schedule a meeting with these individuals.

Conduct a feedback and review session of your proposed model with your employee group. Obtain their support for your model by creating it with the input of these employees and your original management team. Decide on an implementation process and schedule the meetings necessary to carry out the process. Communicate your meetings to everyone using all methods available to you.

Refine and finalize your competency model and implement it. Invite all employees and discuss the model with them. Emphasize how it was created and and your goals for its use. Answer all questions and obtain support for the model from every associate.

Evaluate your model. Obtain management and employee feedback and make any adjustments to your model. Communicate these changes and continue to set expectations for using the model. Actively listen to your people and constantly monitor the value of your model. Continually improve it and constantly evaluate its effectiveness.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you have created a competency model for your organization, the next step is to think about systems you can put in place to ensure organizational leaders are supporting the organization's mission, vision, and strategy through effective use of these competencies. Four levers to use are selection, assessment, rewards and recognition, and leadership development.

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