Personal Qualifications

Personal Qualifications & General Leadership Skills

A major change between the 1999, 2009 and 2020 Mission Leader Competency Model came from feedback received from CEOs and other senior leaders interviewed. They asked that there be a presumption that mission leaders already possess the necessary personal qualities and general leadership competencies. These key stakeholders asked that the new competency model focus on the unique contributions mission leaders bring to the senior leadership team and the ministry they serve. Therefore, the new model assumes a mission leader will have the necessary personal and leadership qualifications, and that like other senior leaders, those competencies will need to grow as their responsibilities increase.


  • Well formed in the Catholic theological tradition: A mission leader has or should be working toward a minimum of a certificate in theology, health care mission or ethics, and preferably, a degree in Catholic theology, health care mission, ethics or equivalent. As a mission leader progresses in responsibilities, so should their theological formation.
  • Applies theological and ethical principles in a health care setting: A mission leader needs to apply their theological training to the practical and pastoral issue they encounter each day. The ability to identify when theological and ethical principles are relevant and translate them into layman’s language is an essential contribution of the mission leader.
  • Models servant leadership: A mission leader must model what it means to serve others and put others’ needs before self.
  • Establishes mutually-beneficial relationships with diverse groups: Mission leaders are authentic, sincere and capable of building meaningful relationships at all levels of the organization across all demographics.
  • Inspires others to live the mission and values of the organization: Mission leaders not only model the mission and values through their behaviors, but also, they are able to help everyone at all levels of the organization recognize how their work advances the mission and values.
  • Exhibits ongoing personal and professional development: Mission leaders exhibit a commitment to ongoing education and formation so they stay abreast of the trends in health care and the mission and ethics implications these may hold.


  • Strategic thinking: Staying aware of changes in the landscape of health care, mission leaders are able to anticipate the mission and ethics implications and plan for the future.
  • Business acumen: Having a working knowledge of the organization’s business and financial realities, mission leaders can meaningfully engage with other executive leaders in operational decisions.
  • Adaptability and agility: Understanding change management and how systems operate, mission leaders demonstrate both personal flexibility and the skills to lead others through transformation while preserving the desired culture.
  • Communication skills: Possessing effective written and oral communication skills, mission leaders invite, listen and respond to all voices in the organization and community.
  • Managerial skills: Demonstrating the ability to lead teams, effectively manage multiple projects, and empowering and mentoring growth in direct reports, mission leaders are effective managers.
  • Succession planning: Recognizing the changing landscape of health care, mission leaders understand the necessity for a pipeline of diverse associates who can progress in the organization and keep the ministry thriving.