12 Key Leadership Competencies in 2024

HR’s main priority this year is to build a broad leadership bench that is always stocked with the proper (mid-level) leaders. In this article, HR professionals should be familiar with these essential leadership skills and implement them in their workforce.

According to this concept, there isn’t a single set of leadership skills that you can use across all business sectors. A single company may have a wide range of leadership roles that demand different skills and expertise than another business.

As a result, many businesses use a framework for developing and promoting leaders’ leadership competencies, which consists of skills that the company has recognized as essential to its success. For efficient succession planning, it is necessary to acquire specific skills.

Important Leadership Competencies 2024

A great leader should be dynamic, a decision-maker, and visionary. Here are the most important leadership competencies for you look upon:

1. Intelligence in Relationships

If you want to become a great leader, you need to have a high social intelligence level. Social intelligence refers to our ability to comprehend the dynamics of many social settings. It also includes our capacity to perform well in a wide range of social contexts.

2. Conflict Resolution

It is a creative leadership skill that falls under the headings of the ‘competencies for leading others’ and the ‘leadership competencies.’ Facilitating the prevention and resolution of interpersonal disputes is an essential part of your job as a leader.

Organizational researchers connect conflict management to what he terms reconciliation competence. The researchers describes it, reconciliation is “the art of integrating.”. If you can’t decide between two opposing viewpoints, then you find a method to integrate them.

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3. Decision Making

One of the most critical Leadership competency skills is decision-making since it is at the heart of a leader’s work. An intelligent leader understands when to make choices on their own, discuss their teammates or peers, and when to step aside and allow others to make the decision.

4. Encouraging Others To See Things In A New Light

Having a clear vision of where you want your firm to go in the future is a significant factor in why people want to work for you and stay with you. You need leaders who can articulate business objectives in a manner that inspires team members to build professional relationships. It should be supported by both current and potential employees and recruits.

5. Re-educating Managers

Organizations undergo a great deal of evolution. A few of these transitions are minor, while others take occur over a lengthy period. An excellent illustration of this is the automation or digitalization procedures that many companies are now doing.

Organizational changes need the preparation, support, and guidance of an effective leader. You must have:

  • The ability to guide and inspire people
  • Acquisition of communication skills that allow leaders to share ideas with others

People skills, or soft skills, are sometimes known as interpersonal skills or interpersonal competence. A few examples include active listening, provide and receive criticism, non-verbal effective communication, problems solving, and working well with others.

6. Ability to Manage One’s Emotions

Emotional intelligence (EI )is a top leadership competency. It enables leaders to recognize and respond to the emotions and circumstances of others. Emotional intelligence is about our ability to identify and regulate our feelings. Various elements make up one’s emotional intelligence. You must have knowledge of your skills and shortcomings to succeed.

7. Being a Competent Teacher and a Dependable Mentor

When you are in a leadership position, you can do various things for a variety of individuals. It includes being a great coach, not just for their teammates but also for their colleagues which helps to model future leaders.

The ability to recognize when to push someone out of their comfort zone, give them helpful criticism, and help them discover their vision are all examples of this.

For the sake of this discussion, let’s talk about trustworthiness, not just because it’s essential to a successful mentoring relationship. Leaders must establish and sustain effective working relationships with the individuals under their control.

Global Executive Leadership Competencies

Frances Frei, a Harvard Business School professor, describes how trust is built in a video below:

  • Being genuine – Said, this means always being true to who you are.
  • Making sure your rationale is sound and conveying it is an essential part of guaranteeing its quality.
  • They can empathize with others by listening intently and engaging themselves in their thoughts and feelings.

They know how to build an atmosphere where everyone is accepted. The goal is to ensure that every worker is treated fairly, has equal access to resources, and is given every opportunity to succeed. Being inclusive is one of the qualities of a successful leader.

Harvard Business Review conducted a study that found that inclusive leaders have the following six characteristics:

  • Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is a personal priority, and I make it a public commitment.
  • Leaders must become humble, accept errors, and provide room for others to participate.

To guarantee that there is no prejudice in the hiring process, they demonstrate a keen awareness of their own biases and the system’s, and they strive to correct these errors. They show a profound interest in others by listening without judgment and seeking to understand people around them with compassion.

People with cultural intelligence are aware of and responsive to the cultures of others. They empower people, pay attention to a variety of thought and mental safety, and concentrate on team cohesiveness;

8. Human Resource Management

Excellent human resource management is essential while leading others. Depending on the leadership degree, it includes monitoring staff training, growth, motivation, and daily administration.

Clarity, context, fluidity, bravery, and commitment are important when leading the organization. They are the five c’s of people management that great leaders instill in their employees through leadership development programs.

9. Self-Awareness And Self-Management Skills

We learned a valuable lesson from the year 2020 and 2021: the dire need of flexibility in the face of ever-shifting conditions. It applies to everyone in the workplace, but to leaders, who must assist and guide their employees and the business through these sometimes difficult times. Those that lead with agility don’t fear change; instead, they welcome it.

Learning agility is a characteristic of influential leaders that includes learning, unlearn, and relearning continuously. They are aware of the need always to remember, evolve, and adapt to the ever-more-complex challenges they confront in their workplaces.

10. Expertise in the Industry

As a general rule, individuals are changing careers more often now than they were ten years ago. And sure, advancements in some fields occur at such a quick pace that executives may find it challenging to keep up with the pace unless they engage in continuous learning.

On the other hand, influential leaders understand the need to gain experience in the industry and firm in which they hold the position of leadership.

11. Self-Control

It applies to various aspects of your life, such as your workload, emotions, and daily routine. To become capable of leading others, you must first control yourself on a vast scale. Everybody has a unique manner of doing this task, but a well-structured approach is essential.

12. Courageousness

Making choices is a common task for a leader to do. There are no simple decisions in life, and sometimes making a choice implies taking a (significant) risk. That’s a brave thing to do.

Courage is also about sticking up for what you believe in and defending it in the face of criticism.

An employee’s conduct as an “organizational citizen.”

Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) is a phrase that describes employee acts that aren’t related to their official job description. Volunteerism is anything that employees undertake for the greater good of the company and their coworkers.

The following are the six most prevalent OCBs:

  • An example of altruism is when a worker lends a helping hand to another without expecting something in return.
  • Courtesy – It is the act of being courteous and respectful to others. Greeting a coworker with a “good morning” or “how are you?” or “how are your kids?” are just a few examples of workplace civility.
  • When things go as planned, it’s important to show good sportsmanship and not lousy conduct.
  • In a professional situation, this implies that workers don’t come up on time to meet targets but also plan before going on vacation so that their peers aren’t drowning in a large amount of work.
  • Civic virtue refers to an employee’s actions when they aren’t in an official role and how they assist their employer. Employees may display civic virtue by participating in company activities like fundraisers or running a marathon with a group of coworkers for a charity.
  • To inspire others, leaders must lead by example. Showing people the OCB you want to see in them is one method to go about this.


The above mentioned 12 global leadership competencies when combined together build a solid leadership competency framework. Don’t forget that effective communication, one of the top leadership competencies, is the key to a successful leadership. And above all, an understanding and intelligent mind, and empathy for others makes the situation even more ideal.


If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into a HR role, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft a great HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy.

Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.