What do you think makes a great leader? Does it vary from sector to sector?

For most of my career, I have worked to advance leaders in higher education and have deep knowledge of what it takes to be a successful/great leader in higher education.  But I really didn’t have first-hand knowledge of whether the skills, knowledge, abilities, and personal characteristics that make leaders succeed transfer from one sector to another until last year.

Last May, I had the privilege of working with pastors and missionaries to create a 6-month leadership development program for senior leaders in Christian ministry. What I learned was that while there were some distinctions between professional expertise and knowledge needed in higher education and Christian ministry, most of the leadership competencies that I’ve used as a blueprint to build leadership development curriculum in higher education transferred well from sector to sector. In short, the leadership competencies were both universal and transferrable. Competencies like the ability to communicate effectively and build trust are needed by ALL leaders, regardless of discipline.

During the rest of this year, I’ll be focusing my blog posts on topics drawn from these leadership competencies in an effort to support ALL leaders who follow my blog. I’ll share some resources, tools, and ideas with you. 

Just to give you a sneak peek of what’s in store, in April, I’ll be focusing on Personal Leadership. In my experience, great leaders understand themselves, their style, and how they impact others. Self-awareness helps them build healthy and productive relationships in the workplace.

I invite you subscribe to my blog and join the discussion as we explore the following competencies:

Personal Leadership

  • Demonstrates Self Awareness
  • Acts with Integrity
  • Exhibits Professional Expertise
  • Practices Self Development
  • Integrates Work/Life Balance

Relational Leadership

  • Builds Trust
  • Values Diversity
  • Communicates Effectively
  • Collaborates and Fosters Teamwork

Managerial Leadership

  • Builds Organizational Talent
  • Demonstrates Good Stewardship
  • Demonstrates Effective Decision-Making

Inspirational/Innovative Leadership

  • Influences and Inspires Others
  • Articulates Vision and Mission
  • Builds Organizational Capacity to Meet Future Challenges

Before we get started exploring these competencies, tell me, what do you think makes a great leader?

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