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Leadership Character, Communication & Competence

March 9, 2015

SDS presentation-creationThis article discusses leadership character, communication and competence and provides the reader with an introduction to the Drinon Leadership Express (DLE) series.  The DLE series promotes a practical four-point concept derived from extensive research in the areas of leadership and communication.  This concept builds on four key competencies and provides a framework from which one can more effectively lead others towards desired results.   These four key leadership competencies include:

  • Building Relationships
  • Achieving Results
  • Navigating Change
  • Making Decisions

Examining Character

Despite your ability to achieve results you WILL be judged on character.  The good news is…you can to stay on track by avoiding things that would derail your leadership career.  Here are some traps that have led to more than one recent leadership train wreck.

  • Lying, Cheating or Stealing
  • Substance Abuse or Addiction
  • Disqualification for Rule Infraction
  • Sexual Exploits
  • Weapons Violations
  • Murder or Harming Another
  • Abusive or Deviant Behavior
  • Being Misleading or Breaking Promises
  • Breaking the Law and Being Arrested

Questions of character usually revolve around ideals such:

  • Ethical Behavior
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Credibility
  • Trust

The daily news is filled with examples of questionable character from among the ranks of those in business, politics, finance, society, sports, entertainment and other fields.  This series offers a module on the subject of credibility and discusses ways you can practice ethical behavior, maintain your integrity and build greater trust with others.

Improving Communication

History and evolution suggest that verbal ability is the leader’s most important asset.  Leadership depends on your ability to influence others to follow and collaborate in pursuit of a worthwhile objective. Communication, the great ally of leadership, can be broken down into three key levels identified as strategy, approach and technique.


It helps to know what strategy you plan to follow for any give type of interaction, be it customer service, negotiation, sales, lobbying or leadership.  Basic choices of strategy include:

  • Win/Win
  • Win/Lose
  • Lose/Win
  • Compromise
  • Lose/Lose


Approach involves communicating with people according to their personality or behavioral style.  Once you learn to read another person’s style, you can better relate to that person and form the foundation for building a stronger relationship.   The four behavioral styles examined in this series are:

  • Dominant
  • Inspiring or Interactive
  • Supportive
  • Cautious

More information about these styles will be provided in the article and module on Recognizing & Relating to Four Behavioral Styles.


Great communicators often have a number of techniques they employ to enhance their relationships and results with others.  Techniques can be used to accomplish many things, including:

  • Building Rapport
  • Remembering Names
  • Creating Agreement
  • Avoiding Arguments
  • Getting Feedback
  • Gaining Attention
  • Presenting Ideas
  • Persuading Others

This series will describe many techniques to enhance your leadership communication ability.

Developing Competence

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, the DLE series focuses on the four key competencies of building relationships, achieving results, navigating change and making decisions.

Building Relationships

Building relationships can be examined as a three step process – connecting, communicating and collaborating with others.  As you’ve probably figured out, it’s essential to truly connect with people in order to effectively communicate and successfully collaborate with them.  Rapport can lead to new and improved relationships and to better results though cooperation.

Achieving Results

Achieving results through others is a primary leadership objective. One is usually promoted or hired into a leadership position with the expectation he or she will accomplish favorable results for the organization. Coaching skills can help you maximize the talents of your team members by setting expectations, delegating assignments and giving performance feedback including both praise and correction.

Navigating Change

Change management involves predicting, planning and promoting.  A simple but useful strategy for monitoring change includes awareness, alertness and action. This includes awareness of change globally, nationally, regionally, locally and personally. As you track the movement of change, from global to personal, you become more alert to emerging threats or opportunities and can prepare your organization to take evasive action or advantage of the change.

Making Decisions

Being decisive is essential for leaders. But leaders come in all shapes, sizes and styles. Some, who are quick to act, seem to have a knack for seeing what needs to be done and making the call. Others, who prefer to be more thorough, want to research, analyze and make calculated decisions.  During their tenure as leaders, the quick starts usually learn lessons from acting rashly, while those who take longer to process decisions experience the drawbacks of analysis paralysis. Understanding and utilizing subjective, objective and intuitive means of solving problems and making decisions can support you in making faster and more thorough choices.

Summary: The Four Key Competencies

You can manage more effectively in this day and age by embracing this four point concept of building relationships, achieving results, navigating change and making decisions.  This is an effective model for being a leader, as well as for managing your life in this global, complex, technological era of change.

Go to this link to purchase and view Drinon Leadership Express:

Drinon Leadership Express

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