Defining the Top 5 Global Leadership Competencies

Defining the Top 5 Global Leadership Competencies

A client asked me to help assess the effectiveness of their leadership development framework and the competency pillars of their talent programs. The company had invested in a competency model several years ago and the leader was questioning the effectiveness of those competencies in driving the knowledge, skill and aptitude of potential leaders in her organization.

Our assessment of the current strategic objectives of the organization with particulate focus on key business objectives, recommended closer alignment of well-defined competencies with the business priorities. It was clear to our client that when major changes in the strategic direction of the company took place, the competencies should have been updated. For example, fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion is a key tenet in support of their strategic plan. This competency was not well-developed in existing model.

Our experience is that well-defined competencies are the vehicle to communicate the expectations and requirements relevant to each position level in alignment with business priorities. When integrated into talent management framework, competencies provide the common language and standard when applied via:

  • Talent Acquisition: Managers and Leaders use the competencies to craft behavior interview questions and help high performing companies find the best knowledge, skill and cultural fit
  • Development: individual development plans guided by competency assessment via Performance Management
  • Performance Management: provides the common language to calibrate the “how” work has been achieved
  • Succession Management: competencies provide targets areas of development within succession pool candidates and give senior leaders the common language to calibrate
  • Learning Framework: high performing organizations are using competencies to provide future-focused career planning templates that are aligned with learning management systems

What we offer is our practice model of the top five competencies of global leadership and the advanced competencies of high performing organizations.


Competency Key Descriptor
1.     Drive Client Success and Value ·        Profit

·        Quality

·        Retention

·        Relationship Management

2.     Operational Excellence ·        Performance Management

·        Staffing

·        Structure, Systems, Process

·        Execution

·        Strategy to Direction

·        Quality Management

3.     Collaborate Globally


·        Build relationships

·        Communicate effectively cross-culturally

·        Leverage networks

·        Build trust and display integrity

4.     Influence Through Credibility ·        Expertise

·        Value-added Solutions

·        Relationship Management

·        Lead by Example

·        Negotiating Persuasively

·        Strategic Agility

·        Build trust and display Integrity

5.     Effectively Be a Talent Champion ·        Selection

·        Coach and Develop

·        Effective Succession Management

·        Capability Builder

·        Retention of Key Talent


Advanced Competency Key Descriptor
1.     Self-Knowledge ·        Self-Awareness

·        Self-Management

2.     Culture Steward ·        Diversity and Inclusion

·        Learning Culture

·        Talent Master

3.     Foster Continual Transformation ·        Industry and Organizational Knowledge

·        Organization Development

·        Growth Mindset

The value of competencies is well-established. An example from the Aberdeen Group reported 89% of best-in class organizations had core competencies defined for all roles. [i] What we have learned is that competencies are like other key human capitals programs, the effectiveness comes from the alignment to the strategy, the clear communication of that alignment and the work to define by level.

The Woodshire Group is a consultancy practice to help clients create and invest in the best culture for high performing teams.

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[i] Lombardi, M and Saba, J (2010) Talent Assessment Strategies A Decision Guide for Organizational Performance, Aberdeen Group

Making the Most of High-Potential Talent | Global Leadership Forecast 2018 | DDI

Companies spend more money developing high potentials than any other group of leaders. High-potential leaders also spend more hours per year in formal leadership training than any other leadership group. How can companies ensure that they’re reaping the benefits of these would-be high performers?

— Read on

What’s the Mindset That Defines the Most Successful People? It’s What Most of Us Are Missing |

Without it, it’s impossible to innovate and grow, says billionaire Richard Branson.
— Read on

The 5 Phases of Career Development

The 5 Phases of Career Development

Organizations need great leaders who not only deliver effective results and develop their teams. As we head into performance management season, it is important to balance that conversation between the review of goals and what it will take to achieve performance in the future. We know the conversation is different when the employee is self-directed, knows where they want to take their career and when the employee looks to you for that guidance. This is where leaders need tools to meet the challenge of aligning the self-directed employee and the employee who is looking to be directed so the result is a more engaged talent who is doing the work you need, and she can see supports her development.

I worked with a client who was thinking hard about aligning strategic business objectives within corporate functions like HR, Legal & Finance.  As we broke down the steps in developing a strategic plan, it occurred to me (eureka!), we can guide our talent through similar steps for career development:

As with strategic planning, you start with the landscape analysis:

  • Where am I now in my career?
  • Where do I want to get to? What is my vision for the future?
  • How am I going to get there?
  • What is my organization’s vision for the future? How will that impact my role/team?
  • How are we going to get there?
  • What is the alignment between what my organization needs and what I want?

The 5 Phases of Strategic Development Planning:

  1. Define the overall career goal (often a role like VP Sales and Marketing) and establish the strategic mission of the career/role (to lead organizational effectiveness through high performing sales and marketing teams)
  2. Set career development goals and performance targets (strategic projects to lead; be a mentor and a mentee; earn top performance rating; advanced management course on effective teams)
  3. Formulate a strategy to achieve the development goals and performance targets (how the career development and performance goals will be achieved)
  4. Implement and execute the strategy developed in step 3
  5. Evaluate performance on a quarterly review, reformulate as step 2 as changes, challenges and opportunities are presented

As always, I do recommend that leaders seek out their HR Business Partner and Learning Consultant to talk through specific development opportunities for your team. Having a highly self-directed talent is often as challenging as someone who still figuring it out. What I know for sure is the leaders who figure out how to facilitate learning, development and collaboration on their teams is who we want to work with. Consider the tools you have to help guide the career development conversations within your team.

Dyan Connolly, SPHR, CCP

Director Talent Management, The Woodshire Group



Zap the Tolerations!

Zap the Tolerations!

As we head into that reflection space between the years, one of the most beneficial exercises is to banish the tolerations in your personal and professional life!

Tolerations are those things that you put up with every day that distract you from other things.  Sometimes the underlying source of continued tolerations is to avoid taking full responsibility for particular circumstances in your life, but eventually you will recognize that this is in large part what may be holding you back from achieving your goals. In handling the things you are tolerating, you free up time and energy to devote to a higher quality of life.

Examples of tolerations:

  • Living in an apartment I don’t like, in a neighborhood or city I don’t like
  • Peeling wallpaper, a guest bedroom that has become a storage unit, excessive clutter, house walls that need painting
  • Negative attitudes of people whom I work
  • My lack of creative output
  • Spending 8 hours a day in a room with no windows
  • Throwing away money on things I don’t really need
  • Too much television, not enough time for anything else
  • The no-leadership style from my boss
  • Walking by the broken jewelry box knowing it is mine to fix
  • Seeing the scuffed stairs every day and knowing it is something I can fix
  • Knowing you have outgrown the job, the company, the town, the relationship

Humans tolerate a lot. Often, we’re taught not to complain, to accept that life is difficult, not to rock the boat, to go along with others, to be grateful for what we have, to be understanding. Not bad advice, but we can still stop tolerating what we know should change.

When people have stopped tolerating:

  • They are happier
  • They have extra energy and know the high of accomplishment
  • They have the edge: they step over nothing

When they continue tolerate?

  • The work becomes mediocre; they are tired
  • Natural creativity is squashed
  • They become less effective

How to Zap Tolerations:

  • Understand that putting up with the things is good for no one
  • Make a list of 5 things you are tolerating at home (write them out, track your progress)
  • Make the requests or take the actions to eliminate these items
  • Make a list of 5 things you are tolerating at work/school (write them out, track your progress)
  • Take the actions of eliminate these things
  • Notice the increase of positive energy and the decrease of negative energy
  • Notice that you stop complaining, you make strong requests or take the action

Look for Pivotal Tolerations: something you are putting with that, when handled, will resolve other tolerations.

Start today – be the person of action. Set up your project plan and know how you will move forward with starting, stopping, or changing those things you have been tolerating.

I am heading home to fix my stairs, I can going to clean them and determine if paint is required. I will give myself a Friday deadline to complete the project. I will know that self satisfaction every time I take those stairs I took the action that was mine to take. It will be the right investment.

If you are considering major change in your life, specifically your career, I encourage you to find a Coach. This is someone can help you create your plan and encourage the execution as you move to that person you want to be.

Dyan Connolly, Career Coach







The Hard Truth – Performance Management

The Hard Truth – Performance Management

We at The Woodshire Group can think of no HR program/process/system that is more universally hated by managers and staff than the traditional annual performance review. Employees fear the judgement and the unexpected while Managers loathe looking backwards, addressing behavior issues and disappointing good performers who can’t be labeled “stars”.

Human Resources gets pulled by the employees to referee fairness and by senior leaders to ensure supervisors comply. The performance management process is hard/complex and if you have a lot of direct reports, it is daunting (quality vs. quantity).

Why should you keep your performance review system under the weight of  this dissatisfaction? Here are the hard truths about performance management and the value a good program design offers:

  1. Instills the Strategic Objectives/Roles Goals throughout the organization
  2. Instills the Values throughout the organization
  3. Discusses/Documents/Commits to Strategic Objectives/Goals (What is critical to be achieved)
  4. Discusses/Documents/Commits to Exhibiting Values (How the strategic objectives/goals are to be achieved)
  5. Discusses/Documents/Commits to Development (Skills, Knowledge, Aptitude)
  6. Identifies Top Talent, Emerging Leaders, Critical Roles (Common definition that is applied evenly among groups)
  7. Determines how you will cascade up what was achieved (strategic objectives), how it was achieved (values) , your key talent (top talent, emerging leaders and critical roles) and who and how will you will continually develop competencies (skills, knowledge and aptitude)
  8. Determine how rewards, merit, bonus and development opportunities will be awarded based on performance results and critical role needs

How you document and measure goals, values and development is the current conversation. New schools of thought include a  quarterly review vs. annual; a simplified template (one page), an equal discussion of past achievements and behaviors, future goals and robust development planning. It is also believed that fewer strategic objectives/goals will have more impact, two strategic objectives/goals and two development goals (2 x 2). This method makes development as important as the goal and when reviewed on a quarterly basis keeps the goals relevant.

The return on investment that performance management continues to offer:

  1. A way to align each employee with the strategic direction of the company through smart goals key to organization success and effectiveness
  2. A constant discussion about the company values that are key to organization success and effectiveness
  3. A constant discussion about development in alignment with the strategic direction and effectiveness of your team and the aspirations of your staff
  4. A way to identify your key talent and strategically plan for them through rewards (cash and unique development opportunities, promotions)
  5. The way you highlight what has been achieved, how it was accomplished, who performed and who are the ones to watch

The Woodshire Group can assist you in achieving a high return on your talent investment. Contact us today to learn how our models of performance reviews can work towards your organization’s effectiveness.

Here are links to resources we like:

Workday Performance Management System:

Maus Performance Review System:

Talent Strategy Group: The Hard Work of Performance Management:

Management Center: 2x 2 template×2-feedback-form/

Harvard Business Review: Reinventing Performance Management:


Dyan Connolly, SPHR, CCP