Generic ineffective behaviours - for all levels (2005 key leadership competencies)

In 2015, a new Key Leadership Competency profile was introduced for executives and other senior leaders. The 2005 key leadership competencies continue to be used only for assessment of positions in the Law Management (LC) Group in accordance with the Law Management (LC) Group Qualification Standard.

Values and ethics

Serving through integrity and respect

  • Attempts to cover up mistakes
  • Avoids speaking truth to power
  • Lays blame on individuals or previous regimes
  • Shows little respect for diverse opinions or beliefs
  • Mistreats others
  • Abuses power
  • Tolerates abusive behaviour by others
  • Demotivates or offends others through cynicism or aggression
  • Shows favouritism or bias
  • Places personal or organizational goals ahead of Government of Canada objectives
  • Allows emotions to sway ethical judgment

Strategic thinking

Innovating through Analysis and Ideas


  • Depends on a narrow range of expertise and opinion
  • Excludes other levels or partners in framing strategy
  • Ignores new information or changing circumstances
  • Demonstrates insensitivity to national, regional, or PS context
  • Does not analyze own strengths and weaknesses or listen to feedback


  • Abdicates responsibility for guiding or contributing to the departmental vision
  • Designs response to short-term pressure without consideration of long-term implications
  • Designs long-term plans without consideration of short-term implications
  • Provides a vision, strategy, or advice that is not in line with the mandate
  • Ignores the impact of strategies on stakeholders, partners
  • Develops or promotes strategies or plans that are too detail-oriented or too abstract


Mobilizing people, organizations, partners

  • Acts as sole decision maker or stakeholder
  • Hoards information
  • Abdicates communication responsibilities to other levels
  • Fails to work horizontally with key partners
  • Fails to build behind-the-scenes support
  • Alienates others through anger, aggression, over-confidence, or lack of self-awareness
  • Refuses to consider and incorporate the views of others
  • Avoids dealing with contentious issues

Management excellence

Delivering through Action Management, People Management, Financial Management

Action management - design and execution

  • Develops an ineffective plan to achieve goals
  • Retains ineffective structures, systems, or programs
  • Hesitates to make decisions or take required action
  • Provides insufficient, abstract, or sporadic direction
  • Refuses to acknowledge poor results
  • Deals ineffectively with own stress
  • Focusses on one file or activity to the detriment of others
  • Backs down in the face of obstacles or challenge
  • Focusses solely on crisis management and the short term
  • Acts impulsively
  • Focusses on turf building rather than organizational stewardship
  • Conducts superfluous consultation or analysis to avoid taking action or responsibility
  • Micromanages

People management - individuals and workforce

  • Fails to provide staff with the tools they need to work and/or develop
  • Fails to acknowledge contributions and successes
  • Dwells on mistakes and failures
  • Fails to deal with conflict
  • Builds insufficient workforce capacity
  • Abdicates responsibility for HR Planning
  • Does not deliver the hard messages when giving feedback
  • Fails to deal with ineffective staff
  • Fails to ensure complementary strengths in teams, workforce
  • Designs workforce exclusively for short-term needs

Financial management - budgets and assets

  • Continues to invest resources in an unsuccessful course of action
  • Fails to integrate financial and management information
  • Ignores audit or evaluation results
  • Fails to ensure integrity of information, analysis, and reporting
  • Fails to practice rigorous financial management
  • Fails to ensure sufficient capacity for sound financial practices

See also

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