LeadU presents Capability



Self-Knowledge >> Self-Awareness


A capability is the ability to perform or achieve certain actions or outcomes through a set of controllable and measurable faculties, features, functions, processes, or services. – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Capability seems like an easy word to define, but in all actuality, it’s multifaceted and complex. Especially when we talk about capability in the context of leader development.

Over a period of time, I built a leadership model called GENERATI which contained five meta-competencies, which means these competencies guide and scaffold other competencies within leadership. Those five meta-competencies are: Attention, Intention, Capability, Alignment, and Coaching.

As I’ve attempted to define capability over time, I have used a lot of different ways to examine it.  As a result, not only have I  included it in LeaderWARE, but  spent the greatest part of ten years fleshing out what I think leaders have to understand about capability.

When people talk about capability in leadership, there are as many definitions as there are models and people making them. So I began to filter everything into buckets and later as the buckets got easier to define, I kept looking for ways to assess these buckets.

In my opinion, reinventing the wheel is not only NOT AN OPTION, it’s foolhardy.  So I thought how could I build upon what other people had already done and proven valid. Yet, as I measured more and more, I realized that each model’s metrics did not measure the same things – close but no cigar, as they say.

Gradually, the buckets seemed to be integrated enough that I either collapsed them because they measured too much of the same thing, or differentiated as they were clearly measuring something that I felt in practice was important.

What I finally decided upon was eight different models or aspects of leader development that kept coming up over and over in the work with leaders globally. In other words, these things don’t just concern us here in the west, they concern leader development anywhere, and all lead down a path of allowing the emergence of self-awareness to inform the leader’s decision-making, as well as the leader’s ability to work collaboratively.

Again: Self-Awareness and Collaboration >> Self and Other
This theme is consistent across all leader development. In the next email, I’ll talk about each of the individual components of CAPABILITY. Here they are, as a primer:


Just a parting note, and then on to the next part of the discussion.

Some people will say that I have made it all too complex. And they have a point.  However, it is no more complex than it has to be, and thus not all of the parts can be integrated or differentiated by everyone. My real sense is that people will take the pieces they like –> understanding that they are pieces because of the many parts and realize they have a piece, thus preserving the idea that the work can be used by many in some way.

Capability Wheel

EACH of us will have our own favorite components, ideas, and solutions that work for us, and hopefully through us for others, to help people have lives! (A Phillip Crosby saying I really like.) Smiley

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    You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

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