… a core concept in Leadership Skills and Atlas 109

ResourcesfulnessConcept description

A reputation for resourcefulness, defined by Merriam-Webster as “able to deal well with new or difficult situations and to find solutions to problems,” helps one become more effective in an organization.

The statement of Michigan State Behavioral Competencies includes the following indicators of resourcefulness (under the headings of Achieves Results and Creativity/Innovation):

  • Gets the job done by doing whatever it takes, within an appropriate time frame
  • Handles and delivers multiple projects simultaneously
  • Implements plans and makes mid-course changes when necessary to achieve goals
  • Shows persistence in overcoming obstacles
  • Injects originality into daily work through research, personal knowledge, and networking relationships
  • Thinks “outside the box”

The CMHC Dictionary of Behavioural Competencies includes the following indicators of resourcefulness (under the heading of Entrepreneurial/Innovation):

  • Provides new insights into problems or situations
  • Anticipates critical issues and requirements to help set appropriate business objectives
  • Sees the connections between seemingly unrelated data and transforms this information into opportunities
  • Allocates resources to strategically aligned initiatives, making tough trade-off decisions as necessary

The OECD Core Competencies includes the following behaviours (under the headings of Achievement Focus and Flexible Thinking):

  • Identifies needed adjustments in own area of responsibility and sets priorities accordingly
  • Considers the implications of proposed courses of actions
  • Takes new initiatives aimed at improving team performance
  • Seeks best practices inside and outside the Organisation to anticipate change
  • Stays open-minded and encourages others to bring new perspectives

On his Blueprint of Leadership blog and motivational video, Tony Robbins cites Resourcefulness as the #2 Leadership Quality, and calls it the ultimate resource:

When people fail to achieve, they often say they are missing resources like time, money, people and so on. Yet, the top leaders in the world know resources are never the problem; the real problem is a lack of resourcefulness. You can always get the resources you need as a leader if you’re resourceful enough – and the truth is this: The ultimate resource is resourcefulness. 


Atlas page Michigan State Behavioral Competencies, and original source at Michigan State University, Human Resources, at, accessed 15 February 2016.

CMHC’s Dictionary of Behavioural Competencies, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, at, accessed 15 February 2016.

OECD Competency Framework, on Atlas at OECD Core Competencies, original at, accessed 7 January 2016.

Team Tony, The Blueprint of Leadership – The 4 Qualities of Exceptional Leaders, at, accessed 15 February 2016.

Atlas topic and subject

Working in Organizations (core topic) in Leadership Skills.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 16 February 2016.

Image: GFCentral Literacy, at, accessed 15 February 2016.