The Inner Core is the Source of Leadership Qualities; the Outer Core Is Its Manifestation

In one of my past blog posts, I have stated that leaders lead by virtue of who they are. While leadership is indeed an inside-out proposition stemming from one’s inner-core competencies, it exerts its effects through the outer-core leadership skills.

The inner and outer cores are in close interdependency, and thus any attempt to improve the perceivable leadership skills needs to start at the innermost layers of the John Mattone Wheel of Intelligent Leadership.

Your outer core is the link between your inner core and the people you lead. 

My Intelligent Leadership Online Academy effects positive change on the outer-core level through the inner-core competencies.

The goal of all leadership development programs is to improve the outer core. Some fail to understand the interdependency between the inner and outer cores, however, and thus adopt a shallow, ineffective approach.

Leaders need to improve their outer-core competencies to improve the way they lead. They need these skills to inspire their followers and to get them to do what they want them to do of their free will.

Some outer-core leadership competencies are:

  • Communication skills
  • Talent leadership
  • Team leadership
  • Chance leadership
  • Drive for results

Communication Skills

A leader needs good communication skills to lead. As the head of an organization, a leader communicates constantly with employees on every organizational level, peers, competitors, clients, etc.

The goal of communication is to develop genuine and lasting relationships through which leaders can influence others.

Thus, a leader with good communication skills needs to:

  • Be approachable, open, and warm, conveying genuine integrity
  • Communicate accurately and in a timely way
  • Truly listen to others and process the obtained information without distortion from bias
  • Influence others in a positive, non-manipulative way
  • Respond to conflict with a problem-solving mindset, aiming to defuse and conciliate

Talent Leadership

The ability to recruit, onboard, and retain talent is one that is gaining increasing importance in today’s economy/business environment. Superior talent management has become the responsibility of the leader. It increasingly falls to the leader to devise ways to attract top talent, motivate it, engage it, and retain it.

To rise to the talent leadership challenge, leaders need to:

  • Get involved in the selection and onboarding of talent
  • Monitor the engagement levels of teams and individual employees. Create an environment that fosters engagement and alignment
  • Build meaningful relationships with talent, coaching as required
  • Give relevant feedback and duly reward individual and team performance

Team Leadership

For a leader, mastering team leadership is of utmost importance, since teams constitute the building blocks of organizations.

Effective team leadership is a fundamental skill

Creating a team culture conducive to enhanced productivity starts with defining a direction for the team and creating a vision. Other essential team leadership skills are attracting and developing talent and designing an efficient team structure.

Change Leadership

This outer-core leadership competency is not about handling change adequately. It is about mastering change and taking charge of it.

Mastering change starts with understanding the current situation and the need for change it entails. Creating a vision for change is the next step, followed by the effective management of the transition. The intelligent leader develops a change plan and acts to reduce resistance throughout the process.

The Drive for Results

Intelligent leaders understand that for optimal results, they have to provide continuous stewardship throughout the work process.

Effective stewardship starts with setting a direction, aligning it with the organizational goals, and drawing up workable plans.

Assigning tasks effectively, measuring results, providing feedback, and rewarding high-performance are all responsibilities of team leaders.

In my leadership development books, I discuss every one of these leadership competencies in great detail. If you want to learn how the John Mattone Wheel of Intelligent Leadership works, I invite you to check out my books as well as my speaking and coaching services.


Back to blog