Leadership is the ability to engage others to move in a certain direction. You know someone is leading if other people are following. As such, leadership is not positional, but relational – you are not a leader because of the chair you sit in, but because your relationship with others allows you to influence them.
To be effective at leadership requires a broad portfolio of skills, ranging from analytical abilities, to listening, communicating, empathizing, visioning, and deciding. All these skills are building blocks contributing to a few core capabilities that are necessary for any form of leadership.
The 4C Leadership Capabilities Model suggests that there are four core capabilities that are always needed to be an effective leader – connecting, confidence, cognizance and compelling – each with a range of supporting skills. Each of the four core capabilities also results in a tangible leadership characteristic; leaders have a circle of connections, have a brand image among these connections, put issues on their agenda to resolve and use various styles to sway their connections. Leadership development is about working on leaders’ current circle, brand, agenda, and styles, as well as on strengthening their four core capabilities.
The four core leadership capabilities are the following: