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Society of Women Engineers

Learn Leadership Skills Using SWE’s Leadership Competency Model

Use SWE’s Leadership Competency Model to improve your leadership skills.

Published On: February 2016

Are you interested in obtaining a leadership position someday or perhaps improving your existing leadership skills?

Create your own personal leadership infrastructure using SWE’s leadership competency model.

women in a meetingAre you aware of SWE’s Leadership Competency Model (LCM)? If not, this is a great leadership tool which allows you to take a proactive role in your own leadership development by using various tools and resources to reflect and assess your proficiency level in each of the leadership themes. It also provides the opportunity for you to identify where to hone your leadership skills using various free professional development (PD) opportunities available in SWE’s Advance Learning Center. Merely knowing what level you are, using our assessment, can help guide you towards your leadership goals so you can more effectively position yourself for advancement within your organization.

What Is the Leadership Competency Model and How Can I Use It?

Let’s review some key terms so you can recognize what a competency model is and how it can help you during your leadership development. According to Michelle R. Ennis, U.S. Department of Labor (2008), a competency is the ability to use various knowledge, skills, abilities (KSA) to successfully perform work functions or job roles such as leadership. A competency model, is “a tool that identifies the competencies needed to operate in a specific role” (Ennis, p. 5).

SWE’s leadership competency model was created through member interviews along with a survey of SWE leaders and those involved in training and professional curriculum development. The model was developed with the intention of guiding our professional development of future and current leaders. As we continue to grow our professional development program, the competency model will serve as the basis for developing leadership skill-sets. The identified leadership competencies within the Leadership Competency Model (LCM), as it currently stands, are provided below. Also refer to the Overview of the Leadership Competency Model for additional knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) identified for each of the categories.

  • Communication
  • Self-Management and Development
  • Business Knowledge Acumen
  • Coaching, Mentoring, and Sponsorship
  • Leadership Abilities

After we identified the key KSA for SWE leaders, we wanted an assessment tool that our members could use to measure their individual proficiency levels for each of the five leadership categories. As a result, SWE members now have the opportunity to self-evaluate using the leadership competency assessment to receive a score and corresponding proficiency level for each section.

Use the assessment to identify your score and proficiency level for your communication, self-management and development, business knowledge acumen, coaching, mentoring, and sponsorship, and leadership abilities.

While having a competency model and assessment is important to leadership development, having access to appropriate leadership PD opportunities to improve your proficiencies is equally important. Refer to SWE’s Advance Learning Center for a variety of PD including various Webinars, eLearning, professional coaching services, or listening to SWE’s podcast Diverse, now also available in iTunes and Sound cloud.

If you would like to participate in additional pilot testing, please contact Valerie Bland, SWE’s Manager of Instructional Design.

Sponsored by:
Wisconsin – It’s time to take the lead – #2
SWE – SWE Research and Stats