The 5 Most Important Competencies for Function Leaders  

15 May 2018:

We work closely with many leaders who are running functions or divisions in large organizations. They carry titles such as vice president or senior director and have responsibilities for one or more functions — such as sales, marketing, finance, operations, engineering, technology, legal, and human resources. They run business units and geographic regions. Functional leaders typically manage groups of more than 500 people, have budgets in excess of $500M, and are often on a shortlist to be COO or CEO.

What leadership competencies are most important for success in a functional leadership role? And how well do leaders perform in these critically important areas?

We surveyed nearly 1,000 leaders to find out. From a list of 13 competencies for leading the function, here are the Top 5 that emerged:

  1. Executive communication. Expresses ideas clearly and uses language to build common understanding.
  2. Execution and results. Aligns resources to accomplish key objectives and assigns clear accountability for important objectives. Achieves meaningful accomplishments.
  3. Influence. Inspires and motivates others to take action.
  4. Strategic perspective. Gains perspective and balances the tension between daily tasks and strategic actions that impact the long-term viability of the organization.
  5. Working across boundaries. Works across the organization to build collaborative relationships.

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Source: CCL

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