5 Leadership Competencies to Prioritize in Tough Times

August 8, 2022

At The Workplace Coach, we see strong evidence that when organizations embrace a competency-based approach to business leadership, they do a better job of identifying high-potential leaders and developing their next generation of leaders. This focus on leadership development gives them a significant competitive edge.

Amid unprecedented complexity and disruptive change, leaders and their organizations need flexibility and versatility to succeed. Here are five leadership competencies to prioritize, both for your organization and your personal leadership development.

  1. Lead across boundaries. Collaborating up, down and across an organization and among different stakeholder groups fosters alignment and co-creation of innovative solutions, engages employees at a deeper level and promotes ownership of outcomes at all levels. No wonder nearly 90% of leaders consider it “extremely important” to collaborate and lead across boundaries, according to the Center for Creative Leadership.

PRO TIPS: Facilitate cross-boundary engagement by:

  • starting with the end in mind,
  • considering who needs to be engaged,
  • fostering trust and respect by clearly articulating a strategy.

  1. Cultivate resilience. Resilient leaders are curious and confident. They show a keen sense of self-leadership and use their problem-solving skills to thrive in the face of adversity. Resilient organizations typically display high levels of cooperation, creativity and employee engagement.

ACTION STEPS: Here are four ways to cultivate your leadership resilience:

  • Use self-reflection and feedback from trusted peers to identify your strengths, weaknesses and motivational drivers.
  • Embrace continuous growth and learning.
  • Be purpose driven. Re-center yourself and your team in your organization’s vision.
  • Approach challenges and setbacks with a positive, empowered outlook.

  1. Build a support network and strategic alliances. Leaders with strong networks have access to resources when they need them most. They leverage those networks and alliances to find creative ways to overcome challenges and open new doors.

PRO TIP: Networking priorities will vary depending on where someone is in their leadership career. Managers may want to focus on strategic partnerships, while senior executives need networks that keep them in touch with workplace and market realities. Whatever your position, be sure to cultivate relationships across boundaries, including with people of different generations, social groups, genders, etc.

  1. Sharpen your DEIJ focus to lead inclusively. Build a positive and innovative workplace culture by making diversity, equity, inclusion and justice a top leadership priority. Commit to your own ongoing learning about diversity issues and opportunities, while making sure to get executive buy-in and accountability.

ACTION STEPS: Sponsor an employee resource group. Participate in a DEI steering committee. Attend regular DEI employee training sessions. Ensure transparency and ongoing senior leader commitment by sharing updates at executive meetings.

  1. Develop coach-like leaders and your own coaching skills. Leaders and organizations that make coaching central to their culture and leadership style do a better job of developing an engaged, productive and resourceful workforce. That’s especially true when leading next-generation employees. Plus, a coaching culture supports cross-border relationships, agility and resilience.

PRO TIPS: Coach-like leaders celebrate accomplishments, listen more than they talk, show concern for employee well-being, and partner with employees to support their learning and development.

Business leadership development

You don’t need us to tell you that business conditions are extremely challenging right now. What we can tell you is that at The Workplace Coach, our expertise in business leadership delivers results that make a difference.

Through our leadership programs and executive coaching services in Atlanta and elsewhere, we partner with organizations to support their leadership development and their high potential leaders in honing relevant skills like executive presence, mindful leadership and leadership mindset.

We also partner with individual executive coaching and leadership coaching clients to cultivate the essential qualities, skills and behaviors that will move them up the career ladder faster.

Are you ready to boost your leadership competencies? Contact The Workplace Coach today.

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