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Four Metacompetencies of Leadership

Oleh 28 Mei 2024 Whitepapers

Effective leaders exhibit four metacompetencies of leadership. These are (1) being emotionally intelligent, (2) being achievement focused, (3) being strategic, and (4) being inspiring. In this article, we explore the research behind these metacompetencies and how they influence leadership effectiveness.

The four metacompetencies were developed using a combination of Hogan personality assessment data and 360 assessment data. Peter Berry, managing director of Peter Berry Consultancy (PBC), an authorized distributor of Hogan’s assessments in Australia and New Zealand, presented the competencies research on The Science of Personality. Peter has previously spoken about 360 leadership assessments on the podcast.

Measuring and Improving Leadership

Leadership may well be the most important resource for any enterprise. Think about leadership this way: What is the impact of a good leader building performance, engagement, retention, and business results? Conversely, what is the impact of a bad leader destroying those things?

“The light-bulb moment was realizing that leadership can be improved,” Peter said. “It starts with self-awareness, then it goes to self-management, and eventually to self-mastery.”

To thoroughly evaluate and improve leadership, Hogan personality data and Hogan 360 data are combined. Personality has to do with reputation, and 360 relates to behavior. “Joining the two tools enriches the whole leadership and coaching program,” Peter said. “One without the other is only half the jigsaw.”

The Four Metacompetencies of Leadership

The PBC database houses more than 30,000 data points from 360s across the globe. Of those 360s, 1,300 are from CEOs. PBC analyzed the characteristics of leaders who scored at the 75th percentile and above—the best of the world’s senior leadership. What distinguished that group from other leaders? Emotional intelligence, achievement focus, strategic skills, and motivational skills.

“We also found that there was another competency, which was like the price of admission, the foundation or building block,” Peter said. “It’s conscientiousness.”

Leaders need a certain degree of conscientiousness, dependability, and reliability at all organizational levels. Even a CEO must report to the board accurately.

Correlated data from 360s and personality assessments consistently led to the same four metacompetencies for effective leadership.

Emotional Intelligence, or EQ

Emotional intelligence (EQ) helps to define career success. “Our research using the 360 data showed that high EQ leaders are calm and even-tempered. They are self-aware around their improvement opportunities. They manage their emotions maturely. They have excellent people skills. They know how to make people feel valued. They are friendly, warm, and thoughtful,” Peter said.

In terms of the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), emotional intelligence relates to the scales of Adjustment, Interpersonal Sensitivity, and Prudence. Adjustment describes resilience and how a person responds to stress. It’s intrapersonal. Interpersonal Sensitivity relates to building relationships and social skill. And Prudence connects to integrity—building trust through reliability and consistency.

Altogether, these three scales contribute to both the emotional and social competencies necessary for high EQ. “High EQ people drive employee experience, engagement, and high-performing teams,” Peter said.

Achievement Focus

Delivering results and accomplishing goals are another key metacompetency for effective leaders. Being achievement focused means having a clear business plan with measurable goals that are clearly and frequently communicated to the team.

“We’re all here to produce outcomes that benefit customers or communities or society,” Peter said. He described the achievement-focused leader’s cadence of strategic planning and operational tasks. Vision sharing and team building should occur approximately quarterly. The rest of the leader’s time should be devoted to tactical excellence in team performance. “Having a clear line of sight with that relentless focus on results and outcomes is just crucial for a high-performing team,” Peter said.

Strategic Skills

As leaders rise through managerial levels, their time tends to become less operational and more strategic. They work less in the business and more on the business. “Managerial competencies are your baseline, but you’ve learned to add some really sophisticated leadership skills on top,” Peter said.

Being strategic means thinking about long-term opportunities, being visionary, setting stretch goals, and driving innovation. A strategic leader is constantly looking for improvement opportunities while remaining able to pivot. Peter described strategic leaders as able to bring their view of the next three to five years into the one-year business plan. They recognize what it will take to become a competitive industry leader. They combine big-picture thinking with a deep understanding of the organization’s purpose and values.

Motivational Skills

The ability to motivate and inspire the workforce is the hallmark of an effective leader. “They’re consciously focused on morale and employee engagement, being positive role models, building strong collaborative relationships, and demonstrating strong leadership skills,” Peter said.

Being inspiring has many positive outcomes. One is that the employee experience is high, typically measuring in the top quartile compared to competitors. Another is that employee retention remains high. Finally, engagement is also high, meaning that productivity is high.

The ability to inspire is related to the HPI scale Ambition, as well as to HPI Interpersonal Sensitivity. Data from 360s show that high Interpersonal Sensitivity is essential in making others feel valued, motivated, and engaged and in building a positive work environment. “That combination [of scales] is just awesome in driving the culture of winning,” Peter observed.

360s and Leadership Development

The most prevalent global coaching trends focus on executive presence, emotional intelligence, strategy and vision, and influencing skills. Those are the same capabilities that leaders need to advance through the four metacompetencies of effective leadership.

Leadership development helps to build team effectiveness to deliver strategic outcomes and a culture of employee engagement. Individual development comes from having a targeted development plan rooted in the motivation to improve. The Hogan assessments and the Hogan 360 together can reveal nuanced insights about leadership strengths and challenges.

“The best leaders are the best learners,” Peter said. “We encourage people to have a curious mindset. Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”


A version of this article appeared on hoganassessments.com, posted on May 7, 2024

EXPERD, Human Resources Consultant, Jakarta – Indonesia

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