Top 10 leadership competencies (HBR)

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 12.23.43The Harvard Business Review just published the results of this global research into what makes an effective leader.

It turns out the top ten competencies can be grouped into just five themes (emphasis added):

  1. Demonstrates strong ethics and provides a sense of safety
  2. Empowers others to self-organise
  3. Fosters a sense of connection and belonging
  4. Shows openness to new ideas and fosters organisational learning
  5. Nurtures [personal] growth and development

All ten competencies are to do with inner leadership: creating inspiration in ourselves and others. Nowhere in this top ten list does it say, “gets results” or “thinks strategically” — though these are clearly important.

As the author says, “While some [of the items on the list] may not surprise you, they’re all difficult to master, in part because improving them requires acting against our nature.”

You can read more details here.


Inner Leadership would say that an effective leader is someone who:

  1. Knows how to remain centred and grounded at all times and can find the opportunities in any situation
  2. Has a clearly-defined set of purpose and values
  3. Chooses goals in line with that purpose and values, and expresses them as inspiring visions
  4. Knows that a true leader is someone who creates more leaders

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