Leadership competencies for Queensland

We are all leaders in the Queensland public sector, regardless of role, classification level, or whether we have formal responsibilities to manage or lead people. Leadership is about successfully delivering results in collaboration with others—it starts with you.

By empowering leadership at all levels, we enable a high-performing, innovative and future-focused sector, capable of making a positive difference to all Queenslanders.

Leadership competencies for Queensland describes what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like in the sector. In simple, action-oriented language, it provides a common understanding of the foundations for success across all roles into the future.

It enables you to:

  • guide performance and development conversations
  • plan and action fit-for-purpose development activities
  • identify transferable behaviours to inform career progression
  • strengthen approaches to recruitment and selection
  • celebrate success.

You can assess your capability against the Leadership competencies for Queensland and plan your development through LEAD4QLD or you can complete a guided self-reflection using the Competency compass.

Download the Leadership competencies for Queensland booklet (PDF, 254 KB) or at-a-glance fold-out (PDF, 143 KB).

What are the foundations for success?

Leadership competencies for Queensland translates the Queensland public sector's expectations about what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like, into clear behavioural terms. It supports our employees, at all levels, to lead and work in new ways.

To meet the challenges we're facing as a sector, Leadership competencies for Queensland has a strong focus on:

  • participatory leadership
  • collaboration and customer engagement
  • stewardship
  • distributed authority
  • efficiency and being data-driven.

It defines 11 future-focused competencies across 5 leadership streams through the dimensions of vision, results and accountability.

Many occupational groups (e.g. information technology professionals) have their own technical or professional competency frameworks, which can complement Leadership competencies for Queensland, and may assist individuals when considering development options or help selection panels to determine if applicants have relevant skills and experience for a role. The diagram below explains how they align.

What principles underpin Leadership competencies for Queensland?

Developed in partnership with Hudson Talent Management, Leadership competencies for Queensland is based on Hudson's thought leadership, best practice approaches to capability building from current Queensland public sector agencies and other jurisdictions, as well as global research in the field.

It is also underpinned by 4 principles:

  • The value proposition of roles is considered, rather than traditional hierarchical or classification levels.
  • High performance in roles is built on an individual's capacity to demonstrate relevant specialist knowledge, knowledge of management disciplines, and leadership behaviours.
  • Moving from primarily technical roles to those with a strong focus on management and leadership, involves a change in accountability and complexity.
  • Individuals tend to have a number of different careers during their working life, with leadership and management expertise being increasingly transferable as a career progresses.

It also underpins LEAD4QLD (PDF, 1.42 MB)—the sector's leadership capability assessment and development initiative—to give employees personalised insights into their leadership strengths and development areas.

What is a leadership competency?

A competency is a cluster of related knowledge, skills and attitudes that:

  • affects a major part of a person's job (a role or responsibility)
  • correlates with performance on the job
  • can be measured against well-accepted standards
  • can be improved through development.

The 11 leadership competencies are grouped into the following three areas:


  • Leads strategically: Thinks critically and acts on the broader purpose of the system.
  • Stimulates ideas and innovation: Gathers insights and embraces new ideas and innovation to inform future practice.
  • Leads change in complex environments: Embraces change and leads with focus and optimism in an environment of complexity and ambiguity.
  • Makes insightful decisions: Makes considered, ethical and courageous decisions based on insight into the broader context.


  • Develops and mobilises talent: Strengthens and mobilises the unique talents and capabilities of the workforce.
  • Builds enduring relationships: Builds and sustains relationships to enable the collaborative delivery of customer-focused outcomes.
  • Inspires others: Inspires others by driving clarity, engagement and a sense of purpose.
  • Drives accountability and outcomes: Demonstrates accountability for the execution and quality of results through professionalism, persistence and transparency.


  • Fosters healthy and inclusive workplaces: Fosters an inclusive workplace where health, safety and wellbeing is promoted and prioritised.
  • Pursues continuous growth: Pursues opportunities for growth through agile learning, and development of self-awareness.
  • Demonstrates sound governance: Maintains a high standard of practice through governance and risk management.

What is a leadership behaviour?

Each of the 11 competencies has a set of behaviours* that describes what success looks like when a person demonstrates these behaviours effectively. The behaviours are designed to be observable and practical to assess.

Progressive behaviours have been identified to recognise the range of complexity across the 5 leadership streams.

*Definition of behaviour: a behaviour is the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others.

What are the 5 leadership streams?

Leadership streams are not connected to a level or classification, but rather reflect the balance between leadership and technical skills required of an individual. Individuals can consider the 'value proposition' of roles rather than the traditional lens of hierarchical structures or classification levels.

The 5 leadership streams are:

  • Individual contributor
    • Responsible for delivering outcomes through self-management, sometimes with guidance from team leaders.
    • Does not supervise others.
    • Valued for the knowledge and skills in their specialist area and strong self-management.
  • Team leader
    • Responsible for leading individual contributors to deliver team outcomes, typically under direction by a program leader.
    • Valued for experience in their specialist area and the ability to manage team members.
  • Program leader
    • Responsible for leading team leaders and/or multiple projects or areas of work, typically under broad direction by an executive or more senior program leader.
    • Valued for the ability to lead program strategy and/or guide team leaders to deliver outcomes.
  • Executive
    • Responsible for leading a service delivery, policy, regulatory or strategic advisory function(s) or a geographical area.
    • Valued for the ability to lead program leaders or other executives and influence within the organisation and with external parties to ensure outcomes
  • Chief executive
    • Responsible for leading and administrating a government agency to effectively deliver on government priorities.
    • Valued for the ability to lead executives and the organisation and influence through sector and system leadership.

What leadership stream applies to my role?

To determine where your role sits you'll need to consider the description of each leadership stream. Think about the actual demands of your role (position description) and exclude any consideration of your classification level, performance, capabilities or aspirations.

Your decision should be based on the minimum requirements that are essential for performance of the role.

Remember strong performance in a role will demonstrate some of the competencies required at the next leadership stream.

Once you've identified your leadership stream, you'll be able to see what is expected of you and use this understanding where you see fit. Contact your HR team to discuss further.

Will it help inform my professional development and career?

You can use Leadership competencies for Queensland to help inform your professional development and career aspirations. You'll need to:

  • decide on the leadership stream you aspire to—individual contributor, team leader, program manager, executive or chief executive
  • understand the competencies and leadership behaviours for that stream
  • reflect on how well you're demonstrating these competencies and behaviours
  • consider development opportunities (talk to your supervisor or HR team about the technical skills needed for a specific role and suggestions for development)
  • plan your leadership development, discuss with your supervisor and put into action.

How can agencies and individuals use it?

Leadership competencies for Queensland can be used across the entire employee lifecycle, including, but not limited to:


Agencies can incorporate Leadership competencies for Queensland where they see fit to:

  • reflect their specific roles and environment
  • consider simpler organisational design
  • strengthen accountability and empowerment by:
    • establishing a clear understanding of roles, responsibilities and performance expectations
    • devolving decision making
    • minimising layers of leadership and management
  • drive talent management strategies to attract, retain and develop their workforce.

Public Service Commission

The Public Service Commission will use Leadership competencies for Queensland to align sector-wide capability and talent development initiatives.


Individuals can use Leadership competencies for Queensland to:

  • reflect on each leadership stream's unique value proposition and understand how they can develop and progress between roles
  • support performance and development conversations
  • guide job applications
  • plan their leadership journey.

Do I need to use and mention in a role description?

The role description provides information that helps a job seeker decide if they're interested in applying, such as the current context of the role and how applicants will be assessed.

Leadership competencies for Queensland can help inform the competencies and attributes applicants will be assessed against. It's important to keep the list to a reasonable amount (no more than five) and avoid describing each attribute as having a multitude of diverse components.

While not essential, mentioning Leadership competencies for Queensland in the role description can provide helpful information for applicants, hiring managers and the selection panel.

Why aren't technical capabilities included?

Leadership competencies for Queensland is about leadership capability. Agencies and professions are likely to have specific technical competencies relevant to their work context—and for this reason it's not appropriate to include in Leadership competencies for Queensland.

Does it align to the Job Evaluation Management System (JEMS)?

Yes. Leadership competencies for Queensland provides useful input into role analysis where you would consider the context of the role, the responsibilities and the full suite of capabilities required to succeed in the role (see example (PDF, 179 KB)). The role analysis can be used for job evaluation (JEMS) and long-term workforce planning.

How does it align with the Workforce Capability Success Profile?

To ensure a contemporary and future focus, Leadership competencies for Queensland is the revised Workforce Capability Success Profile. It continues to view competencies and behaviours through the lens of vision, results and accountability; and ensures continuity of practice and mapping of leadership data gathered through previous leadership assessments, such as the Executive Capability Assessment and Development and Leaders Capability Assessment and Development initiatives.

Can agencies add additional behaviours to Leadership competencies for Queensland?

Leadership competencies for Queensland provides flexibility to ensure it is relevant to agencies. Although agencies can implement it across the employee lifecycle where and how they see fit (for example by using it in role descriptions), the Public Service Commission strongly advises against editing or adding to the behaviours to avoid compromising its integrity.

Who do I contact for more information?

Contact the Public Service Commission on (07) 3003 2800 or email for assistance in adopting Leadership competencies for Queensland within your agency or individual development.