Leading with Vision and Competence


People look for four essential characteristics in leaders. In previous posts, we discussed the importance of integrity and judgment. The third and fourth essential characteristics of good leaders are competence and vision.

Good leaders are perceived as knowing what they are talking about, as being competent in the team’s business. The term “empty suit” refers to people who are in charge but don’t know what they are doing. In hunter-gatherer tribes, leaders are distinguished by their moral qualities, their judgment, and their superior hunting ability. These characteristics garner respect and loyalty from their subordinates.

Also, good leaders explain to their team the significance of their mission and how it fits into the larger scheme of things. This vision clarifies roles, goals, and the way forward, thereby facilitating team performance.

By adopting a vision, people can transcend their selfish interests and develop impersonal ends for their actions.

To learn more about the essential characteristics of good leaders, check out our free e-book, Leadership: You’re Doing It Wrong.