Top competencies needed to be President of the USA

November 14, 2016 Lorraine McKay

The President of the USA is arguably one of the most complex jobs on the planet, and certainly carries huge impact worldwide. Everyone can agree that the President needs a combination of strategic skills to be effective. But what are these skills? And can we track how well these skills are demonstrated?

Our team at HRSG has spent decades researching and defining the leadership competencies needed of C-Suite Executives in both public and private sector. From this research, we have put together a list of the top 6 competencies that are needed for the President of the USA. In no particular order, these are:
  • Leading Change
  • Inspiring Others
  • Decision Making
  • Ensuring Accountability
  • Exemplifying Integrity
  • Partnering

> Pick the top three competencies you think would make the President an effective Leader of the Free World!

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We’ve identified the competencies needed, but how can we use them to track performance? Using detailed definitions of each competency, we can observe the President’s behaviors on the job.

Take for example the key behaviors that define the competency Inspiring Others:

  • Articulates a vision of where the country is going in the future.
  • Inspires and mobilizes others to achieve the vision.
  • Builds partnerships to achieve the vision.

We can observe the President’s behaviors over time and arrive at a score card that determines whether he is above or below the expected profile of competencies needed. We can observe them every year or every quarter, or at key milestones. What do we then do with this information?

We use the score card to identify improvements needed and suggest ways to develop.  For example, Communication experts might be drawn on to coach the President to communicate in an inspiring way.

Does this sound like performance review?  Of course it does. Many companies use competencies to review the performance of employees. Competencies are used to describe the behaviors needed to be successful, to measure behaviors that lead to performance, to guide the conversation about expected behavior and results, to identify improvements and to build a development plan.

We are all invested in having a President with the right competencies. Join our community discussion by voting on the competencies you think are needed by the President of the USA.

Want to learn more about using competencies to assess and develop leaders? Download our guide on transformational leadership, or check out the resource below on developing talent throughout your organization.

About the Author

Lorraine McKay

Lorraine has over 30 years of experience as an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist and HR Professional. She is well known for her experience developing competency-based programs and tools and has been instrumental in building HRSG’s competency management methodology, certification program, and tools.

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