What makes a successful leader?

leadership successSeveral years ago, we asked over 150 leaders throughout the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities the question: “What makes a successful leader?” From a series of interviews with board members, cabinet members, presidents, chief academic officers, and focus groups with many other leaders, we gathered much wisdom, along with diverse thoughts and opinions. What was clear in those discussions was that agreement grew about the knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal characteristics (also known as competencies) that predict success for leaders in our colleges and universities. Endorsed by our leadership council in 2008, the MnSCU leadership competencies have become the foundation for our talent development efforts systemwide.

After eight years, these leadership competencies still make sense and resonate with our leaders. In 2013 we focused our blog on those leadership competencies. Three years later, Todd, DeeAnne and I agreed it makes sense to revisit the competencies in more depth and write about each of them. They include:

  1. Understands Self and Others
  2. Acts with Integrity
  3. Values Diversity
  4. Communicates Effectively
  5. Builds Trust
  6. Builds Customer Service Orientation
  7. Builds Organizational Talent
  8. Demonstrates Good Stewardship
  9. Articulates Vision and Mission
  10. Builds Organizational Capacity to Meet Future Challenges
  11. Demonstrates Effective Decision Making

This month, we’ll write about “Understands Self and Others.” Please join us as we explore resources, thoughts, and ideas for gaining greater understanding of yourself as a leader and of those you lead.

Until our next blog post, here is a quote for you to ponder:

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  – John Quincy Adams

Anita Rios

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