Core competencies of leadership during the global financial crisis

During this present global financial crisis (which is very much a crisis brought about by a lack of leadership) there is an even greater urgency in selecting and training leaders who not only can manage the complexity of corporate and organisational life - which will grow more complex during the next decade because of aging populations, increased regulation, an increasingly diversified work force, and fewer financial resources - but can also focus the attention of the members of their organisations on a validating vision that will unite individual efforts in the realisation of communal mission.

The most striking deficit among pseudo-leaders is their inability to formulate a strategy to accomplish a purpose or mission.

Successful and authentic leaders focus on the future of the organisation, both its viability and the appropriate use of its resources toward specified ends. An organisation’s mission, stratagem, and structure may of itself affect the sort of leadership needed and the kinds and degrees of competency required of leaders.

Mission orientation is a core competency. It is essential for all leaders of an organisation not only to be heedful of its mission, but also to be proficient in communicating it to internal and external stakeholders. Mission focus is foundational to the leadership role; it is a core competency that all leaders should demonstrate. The authentic leader acts as a concenter: bring into focus or alignment organisations objectives; causing the ideas or emotions of the group to converge.

We don’t talk and focus enough on values. Values, visioning, and planning should be considered in that order. It’s important to remember that planning is the organizational process of creating and maintaining a plan; it is also the psychological process of thinking about the activities required to create a desired goal on some scale.

Pseudo-leaders launch into planning through pseudo-consultation without considering the organisation’s values. “Let’s have this meeting so we can do some planning!” It’s like me trying to shoot clay pigeons. I might hit one (extremely unlikely!) but you never know. Unfortunately, by the time we realise what an unmitigated disaster these pseudo-leaders are, they’ve hopped on a plane with a huge bucket load of our cash and waved “Adios!”

Authentic leaders differentiate themselves from pseudo-leaders in several ways. Authentic leaders focus and continually talk about values and the things that are not negotiable. Authentic leaders are success orientated and proactive, and they focus forward after laying the foundation of the superstructure with the concrete of values-based leadership.

Leaders empathise. Empathy plays a role at several levels. Empathy facilitates the leader appreciate what needs to be attended to in the organisation; it assists leaders construct commitment among the members of an organisation, as they feel attended to and understood; empathy enables the leader to plan for shared action productively because they understand the values of their members.
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