Through the process of developing and employing a leadership competency model, an organization defines its unique gold standard of performance. Too often organizations benchmark what others are implementing or what trade publications are advocating as the best approach to building the best leader. But the playing field of leadership development literature is overloaded with best practices, golden eggs and miracle cures. So what makes a good leader? What behaviors, attributes or skills can be sought out in the hiring process or developed in existing leaders? Is there a model that results in high leadership output that can be implemented across organizations? The purpose of this paper is to describe a process rather than a model. The process of creating a customized leadership competency model and the critical success factors innate in this process will be outlined. The paper advocates the leadership model must be very specific and unique to each organization, based on its culture and strategic direction.