Key Business Competencies and Skills – Definition and Examples

List of Core Business Management and Leadership Competencies

A business is a body or an organization that marshals human and natural resources in a deliberate and calculated manner, in order to produce goods and/or to render service to a target market(s). The type and form of the business will determine whether this will result in profits or whether the body is a non-profit organization.

A business, whether for profit or not, can only achieve its mission and vision statements and stay true to its brand, employees and customers, when it exhibits and practices core competencies.

Competence is defined as a cluster of related abilities, knowledge, know-how and skills that enables an individual (or an organization) to act effectively at a venture or in a situation.

Business competencies will therefore center on those attributes or characteristics that both founder and employee must imbibe in order to ensure that the business succeeds in its primary function of meeting the needs and demands of customers, in a cost-effective and efficient manner. These essential competencies in business management are as follows:

1. Planning


As commonplace as this word might sound, it ranks amongst the top of the list of essential business competencies, a business owner must possess and display, in order to succeed in the marketplace.

The aphorism “failing to plan, is planning to fail” holds true in life and in business. Planning helps the business position the posts of the vision, mission, targets and objectives of the venture. Planning helps with making preparations for the present and forecasting for the future.

2. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity to be aware of, to control and to table one’s emotions in a rational manner, which will often entail juggling such emotions between the demands of one’s private and professional lives, judiciously and resoundingly.

Varied situations at home and the business place always place consistent demands on the emotions of the business owner; be it a sick wife or relative, a disgruntled employee or a some other issues that throw one off balance.

Decision making in these circumstances must be rational and should not in any way be unduly influenced by these circumstances. Emotional intelligence can be taught and can serve as a mark of professional maturity.

3. Effective Communication Skills

The founder of any business is a dreamer and visionary, who plan to give form and structure to enterprise. Since the entrepreneur cannot go it alone all the way, it becomes imperative that the business owner can effectively communicate the ideas and prospects to employees, partners and potential investors. This essential business competence encompasses both written and verbal communication.

4. Managing Performance

This essential business competence is important to the business owner, who must always set yardsticks of performance including rewarding high achieving employees while at the same time imposing sanctions on those who err. For the business owner, managing performance will include the following:

A. Setting clear and achievable goals for employees.
B. Monitoring and assessing business and employee goals.
C. Assigning responsibility to employees.
D. Implementing a reward for resourceful employees.
E. Being a mentor and coach to employees.

5. Delegation

Another essential business competence is the ability to delegate responsibilities along the hierarchy of business, especially when the business executes large tasks and endeavors. Delegation develops employees by the assignment of greater tasks and responsibilities, thereby serving as a veritable tool for the business owner to gauge capacity and industry.

Delegation is also a product of careful planning and foresight. When delegation achieves its aim, it permits the business owner move on to higher endeavors and levels within the business structure.

6. Team Building

The entrepreneur must be able to put together and build a strong team/network that will run with the vision and mission statements/goals of the business organization. Therefore, the business owner is required to possess leadership skills and conditioning that will prove invaluable in developing work groups, mitigate team/employee conflict as well as managing the dynamics of human interaction in the business environment.

7. Problem Solving


This essential business competence requires the management of people and processes, in order to arrive at solutions that are cost effective and easily replicated. The problems could arise from employees, business process or matters regarding to product/service quality and customer queries.

The business owner must be able to pinpoint and identify problems and challenges, display an in-depth understanding of problem analysis and problem resolution as well as create a template for the process/pathway of solving problems, which can serve as a guide for managers and employees.

Problem solving may also entail resolving employee disputes within the business organization.

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