Discusses how competency models are used with the intent to improve managers’ leadership skills. Determines that competency models will not result in any substantive changes in behaviors because they fail to address managers’ fundamental beliefs about the practice of business. A new construct is presented for conventional management practice that shows how leader’s beliefs lead to behaviors, which, in turn, lead to competencies that most managers would find undesirable. The beliefs, behaviors, and competencies of leaders skilled in the lean management system are presented in contrast and shown to be remarkably different from that possessed by managers skilled in conventional management practices. The results illustrate important limitations of leadership competency models. The development of new leadership competencies is re‐framed as a change‐over problem. Coupled with kaizen, competencies that better serve the interests of a business and its key stakeholders can be more effectively realized.
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