My Leadership Checklist

Dear Coach,

When working with an organization leader, are there any particular skills or competencies that you value?



Dear William,

Although each coaching engagement is unique, there are certain skills or competencies that in my view distinguish great organization leaders from the rest. They are:

  • Sense of purpose – possessing and conveying a sense that the organization means more than just money or ego fulfillment.
  • Leading by listening – the ability to align, guide, inspire, direct, and manage others by asking great questions and confirming action steps.
  • Delegation – the ability to know what, when and how to delegate to scale the leader’s impact and to help others enjoy a sense of development, growth, and accomplishment.
  • Credit and appreciation – realizing that your most important contribution as leader is coach, not player. Generously share credit and appreciation for others’ contributions. It’s about them, not you.
  • Accountability – the readiness to take the prompt, proactive and even painful steps necessary to preserve organization health, including having the conversations and making the decisions almost no one enjoys.

William, when I work with a leader, I periodically reflect on these things and may check in confidentially with Stakeholders and others regarding how well the leader is doing and where he or she could best improve.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,


Jathan Janove is a Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching Master Coach and Practice Leader. You can learn more about him here. If you have a question you’d like him to address, please email us at



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