What behaviors reflect leadership? An example of competence in Leadership and decision-making?

We have always wondered why some people differ in the initiative to take on more responsibility for leading a group of people to a particular goal. How many accompanying activities are there in order to achieve it? That is why it is crucial to how the goal is reached.


Leadership and decision-making are very often mentioned in different forms. There are beliefs that it is easy to evaluate or recognize a person who, in layman’s terms, “knows how to deal with people” and achieves all operational tasks. Sometimes it’s not so obvious. Why?

In general, leadership implies a wide range of abilities and skills regardless of technical or specific knowledge in a particular field. In essence, even different business environments may require different high-functioning behaviors and competencies that lead to successful business outcomes.

Good knowledge of leadership theories, the requirements of the business environment and at least one standardized model of competencies facilitates the job of defining a leader that is needed in a particular business environment, rather than one that would fit into any. Therefore, our focus here is on specific behaviors that can support the requirements of a leadership function.

When approaching from the point of view of standardized models, it is less likely to make a mistake in defining measurable behaviors. For example, the SHL methodology is the subject of a decade of research that led to the Universal Model of Competencies, which with greater certainty provides insight into the behaviors that directly affect the competence of a person in a leadership position. In this way, it is possible to say more clearly to what extent a person can perform the job in a competent manner – that is, that he knows what he is doing and why which later speaks about why someone wants to emulate that particular person.

Leadership is often given an insufficiently clear and convincing definition

There is no term that has been mentioned and used more than once to explain how effective someone is at managing people, delegating activities, and presenting a vision to employees.

We will illustrate with an example. First of all, if the person’s task is to lead a project that needs to be set up from the beginning, from the creation of an idea to the implementation of a solution. This includes the allocation of activities, timelines, project participants, and Project Leads. Then, an example of competencies that lead the project to success at the behavioral level can be, first of all, Leadership and Decision-making. It consists of two specific key competencies: 1. Making decisions & Initiating action; 2. Leadership and Supervision.

What behaviors support this competence and how does it manifest itself?

In this case, a person who has high potential and, at the same time, developed leadership and decision-making skills will be equally successful in delegating activities and managing others, but also in managing his own activities.

The reason for this is the natural tendency to take responsibility, respect other people’s opinions, and to consult with them; then not delay decision-making, which is important during rapid changes and factors that may hinder the desired direction of the project.

How to assess competencies and identify a leader objectively?

It is often the case that a person’s high potential does not manifest immediately. The reason is in the context and work environment should provide opportunities and resources to develop potential and turn it into skill.

That’s why talent assessment is used as an assessment method that allows one to recognize the hidden potential of employees that is not known to exist.

Competence assessment is performed using different techniques and tools. Starting with the new structure of holding interviews based on competencies, assessing potential through personality questionnaires or through real tasks or business simulations where it is visible to what extent the behaviors of a certain competency have been developed. The outcome of the assessment depends on the objective, which may have long-term effects.

An experienced consultant and business psychologist can help you with just that. It starts with a good base – an objective assessment through various techniques and tools in combination with consulting knowledge, all in order to make the best decisions during the acquisition of talents or their further development.

Strahinja Krstić – Marketing Communications Specialist at PsyConsulting an SHL Reseller Partner.