The competency based leadership Model

                  There are four level of capability and the basic premise is that people should be expected to perform and the level of their capability. Improving future performance requires that first, capability should be developed. Each level requires a different leadership inputs and the model is best used to differentiate these inputs and expectations on the task by task basis.

A great indicator for which leadership style to apply and which leadership action are required to begin by considering what your people are capable of. 

For example, if you have an expert computer programmer who is capable of creating the fully functioning database in a day, it is reasonable to expect them to do so. However, if you have a less experienced programmer who can produce a database to the same specification but because they have to refer manuals and check their actions along the way, it takes them three days, then it is not reasonable to expect them to produce the database in day. 

If you push them to deliver within the same time frame as the expert programmer, you are likely to get sub standard outcome along with a demotivated staff member. Against this, if you always give this piece of work to expert programmer, how will other one gain the experience required to become an expert ?

Just from this example it becomes clear that people's capability drives both performance expectations in the short term and their development needs in the longer term. As we shall see in later chapter, it also drives recruitment, delegation and team working.

Level 1 - No Competence - Instruction- Hands off Leadership style
Level 2 - Partially Competent - Supervised Practice - Key Decision point
Level 3 - Broadly Competent - Supported Practice - Hands on Leadership style
Level 4 - Fully Competent - Empowerment - Hands on Leadership style

Model Review :
There are four level of ability or competence.

Level 1 : Is when there is no competence in area of task, because of it is new to individual. At this point individual need Clear instructions. That is, they need to be told what to do, how to do and also, to understand why they are doing it.

Level 2: After getting basic instruction, the individual will progress to the second level and become partially competent. At this stage, they know that they are meant to be doing but will have to think carefully, and critically about what they are doing, there will often be a lack of consistency in their output. Their need at this stage is for supervised practice. That is, they need to have their work checked at regular intervals and receive feedback on what they are doing well and what can be improved.

Hands on approach :
When the staff member's capability is at these first two levels, the leader needs to provide hands on support and guidance. This can take the form of micro management, monitoring of work and/or coaching. This starts towards the autocratic end of the leadership styles continuum at level 1 and moves towards a shared leadership style during level 2.

Hands off approach :
Assuming the individual has a natural talent or aptitude for the task or skills they will progress to level 3. As the capability moves to level 3 and level 4 there is gradual shift along the leaderhship style continuum with increasing level of freedom being provided by the leader.

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Level 3 : At the third level the individual is regarded as broadly competent, meaning that they can consistently perform the task to the required standard, although they may not be as quick at completing the task compared to the fourth level and they might also struggle with unusual or complex versions of task. What they need at this stage is supported practice. That is, they required the opportunity to practice but knowing that support is available when they need it, along with occasional reviews and feedback discussion.

Level 4 : The main difference between 3 & 4 levels is practice and experience. Being completely competent at this fourth level means that the individual is able to perform the taks to the required standard, within the optimum time frame. They are also able to deal with complex and unusual work of task. To all intents and purposes they can be regarded as an expert in the task and allowed to work independently, that is empowered to get the job done. The leader does not withdraw support entirely but is primarily concerned with monitoring the performance output produced by the staff members.

Leadership action from Model :

Level 1 - Instruction - Autocratic leadership Style.
Level 2 - Supervised Practice - Autocratic to Shared leadership Style.
Level 3 - Support practice - Shared leadership Style.
Level 4 - Empowerment - Shared to Laissez Faire Leadership Style