The Leader’s Core

Back to Blog

The word ‘core’ evokes images of what is of central focus.  A leader’s core set of competencies include – conflict resolution, accountability and giving feedback. Certainly, a leader must be able to cast vision and develop strategy.  Yet, when employees were surveyed, they clearly indicated the 10 attributes that are most desirable in a leader – (Source: The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working)

  1. Encouraging
  2. Positive
  3. Visionary
  4. Inspiring
  5. Calm
  6. Supportive
  7. Fair
  8. Kind
  9. Smart
  10. Decisive

If you connect the above attributes with the core competencies of – conflict resolution, accountability and giving feedback, there is a strong correspondence.

C0nflict Resolution –  Supportive, Calm, Fair & Decisive

A manager averages about 1 out of every 5 days resolving conflict.  This is a core competency for leaders.  Leaders ought to be able to understand the difference between a task conflict and a relational conflict.  A task conflict is typically about roles and responsibilities and poor process, whereas relational conflict is between individuals.

Accountability – Supportive, Inspiring, Encouraging

Accountability is about upholding performance standards.   Its actions are supportive of the employee’s commitment to excellent performance.  Some say it can come across as micro-management, yet if done well it inspires employees to follow through.

Feedback – Visionary, Inspiring and Calm

Feedback can be both constructive and can be encouraging.  Studies show that employees need about 4 sets of positive feedback to every 1 set of constructive.   We default to self-criticism, which proves the importance of experiencing positive remarks from our boss and peers.

There can be a trap with positive feedback.  If you must have positive feedback to feel valuable, you need to work on your self-regard.  Consider positive feedback a bonus with the foundation of you being secure enough in yourself to not need it.

How is your core?  Your core is developed through an investment in these three critical competencies.  Implementing all three will have you feeling uncomfortable.  This feeling of unease or anxiety tells you that you are on the right track.  Do not incorrectly evaluate your anxiety as a signal that you are doing something wrong.  In fact it is quite the opposite.  Employees need your skills at resolving conflict, accelerating accountability and providing feedback.