Leadership competences (as noted by recent trainees)

Here is the post-it note list my recent trainees made about leadership competences over my 4 day course with Kluwer. Split into knowledge, skills and attitude…


Knowledge – a good leader should know..

  • His own style of communication
  • ..and those of the team
  • How people on the team feel
  • The team’s strengths and weaknesses
  • What gets her own people in FLOW
  • What is reasonable and what is not
  • The mission
  • About different personalities (eg: red monkey lovers)
  • Boundaries
  • Which tools and resources are available, where and how to get them
  • Different working methods
  • The working environment, business, key players etc..
  • Where we are in relationship to the mission
  • The big picture


Skills – a good leader should be able to..

  • Be clear in communications
  • Communicate assertively
  • Give regular constructive feedback, including good examples
  • Adapt feedback frequency to the needs of the people (like with situational leadership)
  • Make good decisions
  • Moderate conflict
  • Create strategic action
  • Set expectations well
  • Influence and convince people
  • Build trust
  • Use active empathy
  • Avoid (or at least be aware of)  assumptions
  • Be objective
  • Adapt leadership style to the needs of the people
  • Evaluate performance with a blend of objectivity and subjectivity
  • Build a good network
  • Set priorities
  • Create a good environment in which he can gather input from the team
  • Stimulate problem solving
  • Coach people (when it is right to)
  • Mentor people (when it is right to)
  • Delegate
  • Direct people and hold hands when neceesary
  • Deal with own stress and the stress of others
  • Inspire the team
  • Solve problems
  • Adapt to different situations
  • State objectives in a clear and motivating way
  • Keep distance when required
  • Think outside of the box
  • Negotiate
  • Play purple (see Gavin Kennedy’s book on “Negotiation”)
  • Admit when things go wrong
  • Proactive
  • Create effective teamwork
  • Assign the right people to the right tasks
  • Empower people
  • Deal with change
  • Use google 🙂


Attitude – a good leader should be ..

  • Open-minded
  • Adult-minded (ego state)
  • Good-tempered
  • Trust-worthy
  • Trusting
  • Think win:win
  • Positive
  • Consistent
  • Structured
  • ..but flexible
  • Confident
  • Inspired
  • Focusses on results
  • …but not forget people, emotions and feelings
  • Calm under pressure
  • Analytic
  • “Can-do” minded



Published by Dan Steer

Wandering corporate trainer, learning and development consultant, conference speaker and professional El-Magico. I help people get better at stuff by creating and facilitating Infinite Learning © opportunities. The world would be a better place if everyone was doing what he loved and doing it well. I am working to bring out the "El Magico" in everybody. Training in presentation and communication skills, leadership, social media for learning and marketing, learning and development management + personal effectiveness.

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