Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Competent leadership capital

Business Times p.B3
Thursday, April 26, 2006

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM
Competent leadership capital

Leaders distinguish themselves through their interpersonal skills and competencies that develop human capital, asserts Lisa Aldisert in her book Valuing People (Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2002). She identifies and defines these as:

Visionary. Leaders see the future and are able to envision the big picture before others can. They are savvy about trends and what affects the environment of their company, both from a business and personal perspective. Visionary leaders know how people can make the difference in the success or failure of a firm’s strategies.

People-Oriented. People-oriented leaders are optimistic about their people and what they expect of them, holding them to high standards and rewarding them for jobs done well. They are willing to delegate and involve others in decisions that affect them. Their people like working for them.

Superb decision-making skills. The ability to assess information and circumstances and come to conclusions within a reasonable period is an essential leadership trait. When leaders waffle, they lose momentum and eventually lose the attention and respect of their people. Most important, the decisions that leaders make should have positive consequences for their people; if outcomes are negative, leaders can lose their people forever.

Communicating excellence. Leaders need to know the best way to get their message across. Whether making presentations to their boards or having a one-on-one conversation with a secretary in the hall, their ability to communicate effectively is essential. Part of this ability to communicate is stylistic. Strong leaders can be charismatic, and this contributes to effective communication. They can also be optimistic and thus engender trust. Some of them are direct and to the point, while others are friendlier and more persuasive. There is room for individuality in communication style. Its effectiveness will be measured in part by how people follow through on their messages.

Leaders need also to know how to listen. People have to know they are being heard. One of the most frequent criticisms of leaders is they don’t listen.

Idea supporting. Strong leaders facilitate idea generation. They give their people the environment and opportunity to explore ideas that lead to innovations. They are comfortable taking risks with new ideas that are consistent with, and support, the company’s values, mission and core competencies. Leaders run into problems when they stray outside these areas and try to add on or build without regard to how the innovation fits within the organization.

Focused. Leaders stay focused on their goals and objectives so they can achieve results. They don’t initiate actions without following through and ensuring that the actions have reached a conclusion. Leaders don’t rely on others to control their actions. They act independently and put whatever time is needed to get the job done.

Intuitive. Intuitive leaders have the potential to bring human capital development to new levels. They have an innate sense about the value of people and will do what they can to match the right people with the right situations. Intuitive leaders use this skill for the strategic development of the organization as a whole as well as individuals.

According to Ms. Aldisert, the other competencies of leadership capital are ability to cultivate future generations of leaders, intuitive, and possessing self-leadership skills. We will discuss these next column.

ASTD 2006. A bonus for those who will attend the American Society for Training & Development 2006 Conference & Exposition, May 7 to 10, Dallas, Texas, is the Conference Mentor Program.

ASTD is debuting something new for ASTD 2006! We’ve created a Mentor Program to help attendees connect with seasoned practitioners for onsite consultation and six-month mentoring partnerships.

To join the ASTD conference, please e-mail or call 0917-8996653.

(Moje, president of Paradigms & Paradoxes Corp, waits for your feedback at

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