Leadership Competencies: Are we all saying the same thing?
Jeffrey D. Horey Caliber Associates 49 Yawl Dr. Cocoa Beach, FL 32931 firstname.lastname@example.org Jon J. Fallesen, Ph.D. Army Research Institute Ft. Leavenworth, KS email@example.com
In the course of developing an Army leadership competency framework focused on the Future Force (up to year 2025), the authors examined several existing U.S. military and civilian leadership competency frameworks. We attempt to link the core constructs across the frameworks and identify similarities and differences in terms of their content and structures. We conclude that leadership competency modeling is an inexact science and that many frameworks present competencies that mix functions and
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Therefore the end goal of all frameworks or models should be to provide measurable actions and behaviors associated with leadership functions. Functions are a step removed from this goal, while KSAOs, traits, and attributes are yet another step removed. Leadership competency modeling has been in vogue for several decades but the methods for developing these models and the content are as varied as the organizations for which they have been developed. Briscoe and Hall (1999) identify four principal methods for developing competencies and Newsome, Catano, and Day (2003) present summaries of competency definitions and the factors affecting their outcomes. COMPONENTS OF COMPETENCIES The components of competency frameworks are seemingly as varied as the competencies themselves. Competencies are generally no more than labels that require additional detail to communicate how they relate to leadership and behavior. This detail may come in the form of definitions, elements or subcomponents of the competencies, and behaviors, actions or other indicators of manifesting the competency or elements. More detailed frameworks may include hierarchies of competencies or elements based on levels of leadership or other distinctions. In some cases, it’s unclear what the higher order labels (e.g., Leading Change, Performance) should be called. We must also preface our discussion by admitting it is not completely fair to judge any frameworks by a high level, surface