St. Olaf Leadership Competencies

Clarifying the ideal leadership behaviors will help ensure longevity and sustainability for the college by building accountability, alignment and consistency. It can lead to a higher level of employee engagement and excellence by focusing on maximizing individual talents. This can serve as the foundation for supervisory training to ensure consistency and alignment at all levels of the college.

Advance the Distinctive Identity of the College

  • Demonstrate an appreciation for the principles and commitments upon which the college was established
  • Balance the core of who we are and who we need to be – reformed and reforming

Lead with Courage to Engage and Inspire Others

  • Communicate a clear and compelling vision along with a plan of action that is aligned with the college’s mission that encourages others to see a greater sense of possibilities
  • Lead with boldness, courage and a enthusiasm for being transparent; encourage others to lead with these same attributes
  • Create accountability and momentum by helping others see where their efforts contribute to the overall success of the college

Think and Act Strategically

  • Lead with an awareness of the broader impact of change on the larger organization
  • Anticipate issues and proactively solve problems Consider external factors, both current and future, when making decisions
  • Take the initiative to understand all relevant points of view


  • Willingly challenge the status quo in constructive ways
  • Create an environment that nurtures and supports innovation; encourage others to seek new approaches for achieving our goals
  • Look beyond traditional resources for opportunities to be creative, visionary and state-of-the-art

Engage and Develop Others

  • Create a climate of continuous learning, growth and self-development
  • Build teams by taking into account each individuals’ strengths and gifts
  • Promote a culture of collaboration and teamwork across organizational boundaries

Create and Convey Trust

  • Lead with transparency, openness, and the highest ethical standards
  • Demonstrate resilience in the face of setbacks or resistance
  • Model a deep appreciation of the contribution others make to our success

 Execute with Excellence

  • Develop a sense of urgency around achieving goals; hold self and others accountable
  • Continuously evaluate progress on overcoming multiple challenges to achieve critical goals
  • Work to remove barriers and break down silos to achieve desired outcomes

Promote Dialogue

  • Model and promote honest, open, two-way communication
  • Consistently communicate the vision and mission in a way that ensures an accurate, reliable cascading of the message to the entire community