Understanding Top Government Leadership Competencies

Understanding Top Government Leadership Competencies

Effective leadership is crucial for the success of any organization. However, advancing technology like AI and cybersecurity, combined with a lack of necessary skills, highlights gaps in leadership’s abilities to help their organizations mature and fulfill legislative requirements. This lack of leadership skills can make it difficult for individuals to guide their teams through challenges and inspire them to meet organizational goals.

Job seekers and current employees need prepared leaders who can articulate clear strategic vision while fostering a community based on trust and a willingness to collaborate. This gap in leadership skills can also create barriers for employees with goals of advancing their careers. However, it can also open doors for candidates who have these skills.

To overcome a leadership gap, organizations must understand what it is, why it occurs, and what the key competencies are.

Leadership Gap

A leadership gap refers to the abilities and skills leaders need and are missing to be effective in their roles. The gap can occur when rapid changes are made in how individuals work. Pressure at work and changing attitudes toward creating a work-life balance can also create gaps.

Since workplace changes are occurring rapidly, sometimes it can seem almost daily, it’s difficult for organizations to keep up. Developing effective leadership is becoming more crucial for organizations.

Common Leadership Gaps

Leaders often recognize there’s a gap in their skill sets. This often includes inefficiencies in critical skills like keeping up with technology, managing change, and building effective teams. Today’s successful leaders need a range of hard and soft skills. Some examples of skills leaders often lack include the following:

  • Adaptability: This allows leadership to quickly change their approaches in response to new information affecting the workplace. An example can be a market shift or a change in cybersecurity protocols.
  • Communication Skills: This includes communicating goals and ideas without leading to confusion. Leaders must also be able to successfully mediate conflicts within the organization and deliver bad news and constructive criticism.
  • Cultural Competence: This skill enables leaders to respect and work effectively with all team members, regardless of their culture or background.
  • Digital Skills: The ability to deliver results using technology and the digital tools at their disposal. Data also plays a key role in this skill set. Leaders must be able to use the data in a way that produces desirable results.
  • Emotional Intelligence: This is the ability to manage your emotions and respect team members’ feelings. Leaders must also be able to identify and understand the various emotions they and their teams may be experiencing.
  • Innovation: This is the ability to think creatively to develop innovative solutions to existing issues. Leaders use this skill to drive positive change within their organization.

Government Competencies

Some key government competencies leaders don’t want to overlook as they work to build and strengthen their skill sets often include the following.

Business Acumen

Leaders with business acumen demonstrate sound judgment when making decisions that directly or indirectly impact the organization. Financial competence and the ability to organize and optimize the services and daily operations are also part of business acumen.

Some of the key skills are:

  • Financial management
  • Sound judgement
  • Governance
  • Business and organizational knowledge

Inspirational Leadership

Inspirational leadership isn’t an easy skill for everyone to develop. Keeping up with the continuing changes in the workplace can make it difficult for leaders to find the time or energy to inspire and motivate their teams. However, being able to energize staff, create a sense of purpose, and build excitement is critical in meeting organizational goals. Inspirational leaders can create a positive workplace environment centered around collaboration.

Some of the key skills are:

  • Actively encouraging engagement
  • Focusing on the desired outcome
  • Mission centered
  • Develops and empowers team members

Results Oriented

A leader who focuses on achieving the desired results works efficiently to meet the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives. The results are measurable and often customer-driven.

Some of the key skills are:

  • Ability to make decisive decisions
  • Measure results
  • Improve processes
  • Negotiate to achieve the best results for the organization


Stewardship refers to the ability to be accountable for managing organizational resources and using their influence for the long-term good of their customers. Leaders with this skill place the interests of others above theirs and stay focused on the organization’s long-term goals and mission.

Some of the key skills are:

  • Environmental and social awareness
  • Ability to manage resources effectively
  • Trust with the public
  • Knowledge of organizational processes

Talent Management

This skill allows leadership to recruit, develop, and maintain top team members.

Some of the key skills are:

  • Train, coach, and develop team members
  • Recognize others’ achievements
  • Planning workforce goals
  • Recruit and select team members

Vision & Strategic Thinking

Leaders with vision and the ability to think strategically work to support and promote the organization’s vision and values. They can work to create an effective unit using a strategic plan. They understand how an organization must change and adjust to new trends and influences.

Some of the key skills are:

  • A strategic mindset
  • Visionary thinking
  • Are aligned with organizational goals
  • Ability to change leadership styles


Leadership competencies are evolving as practices and processes change. However, many individuals in leadership roles are aware that they lack one or more of the key skills necessary to help support the growth and success of their organizations. At Enterprise Training Solutions, we offer training on Management-Leadership courses to help ensure your organizational leaders possess the skills necessary to help you serve the communities you govern. Visit our Management-Leadership course descriptions to learn more.