Basic Leadership Skills, Building Technical Competency

Basic Leadership Skills

  1. Decisiveness

Effective leaders are those who can make decisions quickly with the information they have. Effective decision-making comes with time and experience. As you become more familiar with your specific industry, you’ll be able to make decisions faster, even when you don’t have all of the necessary information. Decisiveness is seen as a valuable leadership skill because it can help move projects along faster and improve efficiency.

  1. Integrity

Integrity is often seen as just truthfulness or honesty but in many cases, it also means having and standing by a set of strong values. Integrity in the workplace often means being able to make ethical choices and helping the company maintain a positive image. All businesses seek to hire workers who have a strong sense of integrity.

  1. Relationship building (or team building)

Leadership requires the ability to build and maintain a strong and collaborative team of individuals working towards the same goal. Team building requires other leadership strengths like effective communication skills and conflict resolution.

  1. Problem-solving

Good leaders are skilled at solving issues that arise on the job. Effective problem-solving often requires staying calm and identifying a step-by-step solution. Problem-solving skills can help leaders make quick decisions, resolve obstacles with their team and external teams alike and ensure projects are completed on time according to specifications.

  1. Dependability

Being a dependable leader means that people can trust and rely on you. A dependable person follows through on plans and keeps promises. The strong relationships built by a dependable leader create a resilient team that is able to work through difficulties that may arise.

  1. Ability to teach and mentor

One of the skills that differentiates leadership from many other competencies is the ability to teach and mentor. Effectively teaching colleagues or subordinates how to grow in their careers helps organisations scale. Often, this skill requires that leaders think less about themselves and more about how to make their team, as a whole, successful.

Building Technical Competency

Almost every industry is built on a small but essential foundation of technical knowledge and skills. Without such technical knowledge and skills, not only would individual companies not exist but entire industries would not exist. Technological evolution has been the foundation of industry and economic growth at least since the mechanisation of the cotton industry at the beginning of the industrial revolution, and continuing on through steam engines, railroads, electrical power, cars, planes, computers, telecommunications and biotechnology. Nearly all companies must excel at many activities, however, at their core are a small but essential number of technical competencies that they must have to survive and prosper.

To robustly target and develop technical competencies, four steps are necessary. The first step is to identify the two to three most critical technical competencies that your firm must have if it is to participate in your selected industry. Three questions help to identify your company’s required technical competencies:

  • If you were to start a new company in your industry, what is the foundation knowledge and skills that are required?
  • What technical competencies are most likely to serve as the fundamental sources of competitive advantage?
  • Which technical competencies would you be most likely to never outsource?
  • Two keys to building technical competencies
  • Line executives tend to like going through these steps as a group exercise quite a lot. It gives them clarity concerning which competences are most important for business success. It also gives them a clear agenda for building the most important competencies.
  • Even while the war for technical talent continues, it is useful to be mindful that most leading competitors in a given industry will tend to have roughly the same raw technical talent over time. Therefore, the critical issue for most firms is not the talent they have but rather what they do with their talent once they have it. And that tends to be an Organisational or culture issue and not simply a raw talent issue.

Exercises

a) There is a deep-rooted linkage to the functional competencies to the processes and way of doing things in the organization: A good consultant should be able to align and understand this. There should be a good balance between what is the organization and what could be the delta that would help the organization to progress.

b) Define the proficiency levels and what it means with clarity. This would help the organization to speak a common language.

c) The terms marketing, manufacturing, and sales means different for different organizations. Standard models do not work. An intelligent competency model is a blend of the local and the global.

d) It is very easy to blend behavioral elements into the functional / technical competencies. Especially in the gray areas like innovation. So, ability to differentiate both or even taking a call that we are going to have a blended model is the call that the consultant will have to take with the organization.

e) The fun of the competency model is in its implementation. Start with communication. Your SMEs should own the competency model. They should share their experiences. Link it up to the performance management feedback. Provide resources – through training, mentoring, and also on the job learning. Unlike behavioral competencies, improvement in functional/technical competencies are more tangible and right there visible on the work outputs.

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