I spent 11 years managing the training development and leadership development functions for organizations. In my final role, I managed leadership development for a global organization with employees numbering in the tens of thousands with 16 different international centers on every continent.
As is common, the time came for my team and I to create an updated leadership competencies model, framework, and leadership development assessments and tools. The immediate decision we were presented was whether to “build” or “buy” the competencies content we needed. We knew we didn’t have time to build it all from scratch. At the same time, we hit dead ends trying to identify a leadership competencies solution to purchase.
Every vendor we studied had a suite of selected competencies, but no one had everything we thought we needed. We also couldn’t identify a solution we could inherently customize to meet our needs, or one we could purchase within our budget constraints. We ended up partnering with a vendor that didn’t completely meet our needs, paid extra to customize their content, and spent more money than we wanted to. The partnership lasted only a few years, and it just felt like there had to be a better way.
The experience was frustrating, but it planted the seed of a question. What if there was a single leadership competencies solution that instead of telling you what your leaders should be, presented the universe of what they could be, and then let you choose which leadership competencies matter most? Then, what if you could build that leadership competencies solution from the very beginning with the intent to allow others to customize and brand it based on their unique needs? Finally, what if the business model allowed the solution to be implemented at a cost that every individual and every small, medium, and large organization could afford? We did it. Welcome to our library.
With those questions in mind, when the time was right, we set out to create the world's most comprehensive and definitive leadership competencies resource. After two years of research and writing, The Leadership Competencies Library, formerly The Definitive Leadership Competencies Guid, contains seven different tools for defining, assessing and developing what our qualitative research showed are the most common 120 leadership competencies in use today.
The Leadership Competencies Library presents the most comprehensive view of today’s top leadership competencies, allowing organizations to choose what matters most to them. It was designed from the very beginning to present a strong content foundation and then be customized and changed by organizations to empower them to meet their unique leadership needs. In addition, it is available at a cost point that makes it possible for every organization to benefit from taking an 80% solution to the finish line, instead of having to start from scratch.
They say the best ideas are forged from the frustration of people’s real experience, and that the best innovations are those created to help people solve their own problems and meet their own needs. This guide represents the solution we wish we had. We believe our needs of yesteryear will prove to be the solution that will best meet your leadership competencies and leadership development needs today.
HOW WAS THE LIBRARY WRITTEN?
STEP 1 The Leadership Competencies Library was written over a period of two years. The first step was to determine which leadership competencies would be included. We performed a literature review of the approximately 30 top leadership competencies models and referenced many research studies by leading journals and professional groups. Through our literature review, we identified what we felt were the leadership competencies most universally referenced and selected them for final inclusion in the guide.
STEP 2 After determining which leadership competencies would be included, we needed to identify which content and tools to build for each one. The seven tools that are provided were selected because of our belief in their key role in the best leadership development processes of competency modeling, assessment, and development.
STEP 3 To build each of the leadership competencies tools, another literature review was conducted. The combination of what we learned seasoned with our own insights and experience created the foundation for all of the content in The Leadership Competencies Library. Our goal was to give the leadership competencies content face validity and to make it accurate, accessible, and actionable.
STEP 4 The writing of the guide progressed through four complete revisions. After the first draft was completed for each of the leadership competencies a second draft immediately followed where each tool was parsed, clarified, and simplified. Through the editing process, a third and fourth draft were created, each providing needed simplification and clarification.
WHO SHOULD USE THE LIBRARY?
INDIVIDUALS Individuals who want to become a stronger leader can use The Leadership Competencies Library to help build a strong individual leadership development plan. Using the seven tools, they can study the gamut of what makes a great leader, choose the leadership competencies they feel they need to develop, assess their current capabilities, and chart a development plan. Whether it is for individual interest, or in response to an organizational effort, The Leadership Competencies Library was built to help individuals improve.
LEADERSHIP COACHES Coaches and managers can use The Leadership Competencies Library to help those they work with identify needed areas for leadership improvement. After selecting where to improve, the seven different tools provided can be used in in one-on-one conversations to guide leadership development discussions and development planning. Whether it is for professional leadership development coaches, or people leaders in organizations, The Leadership Competencies Library was built to help them succeed in helping others become the leader they need to be.
ORGANIZATIONS Organizations can use The Leadership Competencies Library to build a unique leadership competencies model instead of starting with a blank slate. With 120 leadership competencies, organizations will find an 80% complete solution that only needs to be customized as desired to be complete. The Leadership Competencies Library will allow training, leadership development, and HR professionals to move forward their leadership competencies and development initiatives faster than ever before. Whether large or small, The Leadership Competencies Library was built to help organizations thrive in their leadership efforts.