Top 10 Competencies That Differentiate Leaders From Followers

What differentiates leaders from followers? It is those specific competencies that leaders possess which sets them apart from their followers. When we talk about leadership competencies, the following ten are the most important competencies that employers seek for in the leaders of their organization.

1. Connections or identifying patterns

Across many roles, the ability to identify different patterns, understanding data and coming to conclusions is important for businesses. Candidates working as business analysts, marketing, and even managers, need to demonstrate the ability to find out connections and identify patterns.

2. Structured thinking and Mind mapping

Bringing out thoughts and ideas in a logical pattern in using mind maps are essential in certain types of roles. This competency is based on ability of an employee to clearly outline and present their thoughts and ideas. In having this competency, an individual, for example, can use mind maps for displaying information that is complex, communicate technical information in a concise and clear manner.

3. Future planning

Planning effectively is one attribute all managers and leaders need to demonstrate time and again. This competency also helps managers demonstrate the ability to plan out various business activities and implement them in a correct way. Identifying industry developments and trends, developing contingency plans after anticipating stumbling blocks, etc are some of the characteristics people have in this competency. Therefore, leaders need to have a vision in mind and plan accordingly.

4. Change management

This refers to the ability of an employee to handle a period of organizational change. It could be related to improving performances, cutting budgets, streamlining services, etc. Some of the qualities that can be associated with this competency include accepting changes and suggesting effective ways to work, guiding others to cope better with their emotions whenever there is a change.

5. Problem solving

Ability to solve problems is what every employee needs to possess. It could be anything related to handling technical stuff or addressing staff shortage and others. This competency helps individuals to analyze available information to come out with reasonable solutions, analyze the reasons for problems in a workplace and their effects, etc.

6. Research-orientation

This competency highlights the ability of an individual to reviewing information, data collation, and taking informed decisions based on them. This competency also involves looking at data from various angles, understanding the bigger picture, and exploring possibilities.

7. Trustworthiness

Managers and ordinary employees need to exhibit traits that reveal them as honest workers regularly. They also need to prove their ability to take trustworthy decisions every now and then. You are considered trustworthy when you take personal responsibility for the content of your work and its quality and also when you’re able to communicate honestly and openly with customers and colleagues.

8. Ethical standards and Moral Principles

Understanding the difference between right and wrong and moral principles is what ethics is all about. This competency also refers to the standards and behaviors like how to carry out procedures under certain situations, etc.

9. Creative thinking

It refers to the ability to think creatively and develop solutions that are innovative for different sectors. You’re considered a creative thinker when you can work closely with others for brainstorming beneficial solutions or when you use the knowledge that already exists to find new ways of working.

10. Coaching and mentoring

This refers to your ability to demonstrate ability to coach and mentor junior staff to help hone their skills and knowledge. Examples could include listening to questions and responding to them effectively, sharing your knowledge with others, etc.

Having these 10 competencies in varying degrees makes a leader stand out in a crowd.