There may be barriers or perceived barriers to executive development. The 2008 Survey of Senior Executives indicated that many executives felt their training and developmental needs were not being met by their agency. Over one third of the executives surveyed indicated they had never taken advantage of the activities commonly used for developing executives (360 degree assessments, details, mentoring, coaching, residential programs, etc.). How can you overcome these barriers? The article Three Barriers to Owning your Leadership Development presents an interesting way of thinking about these barriers and some possible solutions. Do you have ideas or suggestions?
(What tools are available for Executive Development?)
There are many tools available for Executive Development. Below are some of the activities that can be utilized for further development.
360 Degree Feedback: 360 degree feedback is a widely used method and tool to assist in identifying strengths and developmental needs. OPM offers 360 degree survey services as do other organizations.
Formal Training: OPM offers formal training at its Management Development Centers and the Federal Executive Institute. There are many other formal training opportunities outside OPM. For more information, visit the Executive Development Community web page.
Mentoring and Coaching: Mentoring and Coaching are very effective tools for personal and leadership development. OPM is currently piloting mentoring program featuring the latest techniques for transfer of knowledge and information such as Speed mentoring, and Reverse mentoring. For more detailed information, please see our Mentoring-and-Coaching wiki page. And please share your comments and practices your agency uses in mentoring.
Mobility Assignments: Current and aspiring executives have the option to participate in mobility assignments (5 U.S.C. 3131). These assignments consist of details, special/short-term assignments, transfers, projects, use of Intergovernmental Personnel Act authority, sabbaticals, formal training, and other creative ways to expose executives to challenges or otherwise expand their capacity to serve.
Sabbaticals: Another means for an SES member to gain a broader knowledge and experience is to participate in a sabbatical. Sabbaticals may be used for teaching; study (independent or structured); research; developmental work experience in the private sector, non-profit organizations, State, local, or foreign governments; and an activity or a project not covered above.
Other tools could include books, book summaries, webinars, and serving on Intra-agency work groups.
What tools have you found useful in your professional development as an executive?
(What are other organizations doing in this area?) Do your agency have any tips or ideas to share?
Check out the Harvard Business Review online. The site features great articles, discussions, webinars for Executives and Managers alike. Subscribe to stay up to date on new and cutting edge trends in growing and developing senior leadership.
Federal Executive Boards offer many training and development programs of interest to the executive and aspiring executive. The Federal Executive Boards (FEBs) are a forum for communication and collaboration among Federal agencies outside Washington, DC. The National network of 28 FEBs, located in areas of significant Federal populations, serves as the cornerstone for strategic partnering in Government.
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The Department of Energy’s NNSA has implemented the Executive Career Enrichment Initiative. This program is designed to be a comprehensive leadership program for the NNSA leadership Corps. The program helps to define NNSA’s Executive Corps (consisting of members of the SES and Excepted Service), it enriches the careers of NNSA Executives, it develops future Executives, and it enhances NNSA’s mission execution and growth. For more details on this exciting program view the attached powerpoint slides.
U.S. Department of Energy developed a Senior Executive Seminars and Courses guide. The guide contains descriptions of over 350 courses, offered by 56 colleges and universities and OPM. Each course is matched to a particular ECQ though some courses may have more than one ECQ. Please note that course descriptions and information on dates, locations, and costs are taken directly from the course catalogs of institutions of where they are offered. Please check the institution's websites prior to registering.
Department of Interior (DOI) developed a Executive Development policy and fillable EDP. DOI's policy provides guidance for continuing professional development of DOI's executives, Senior Leaders and Senior Technical staff. At the beginning of each fiscal year, all DOI executives must develop learning goals and develop their EDP. The policy also includes tips on writing an EDP.
Tell us about your agency’s efforts toward Executive Development so we can highlight them here.
Find Opportunities (What training or other opportunities are available for Executives?)
OPM Executive Leadership and Development Programs: OPM offers a variety of training and development opportunities online and as resident programs. To learn more about these opportunities visit the Leadership and Development site.
Here are some other organizations that help people in their quest to becoming better leaders:
Center for Creative Leadership
Senior Executives Association
Harvard University: The John F. Kennedy School of Government Executive Education
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan Executive Programs
Maxwell School of Syracuse University Executive Education Programs
Graduate School, USDA
Federal Executive Boards (FEBs)
Discover Helpful Tools and Resources (What other tools and resources are available to me?)
The Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) establish the basic leadership skills needed to succeed in the SES.
The Guide to Senior Executive Service Qualifications describes these leadership skills (competencies) and the behaviors associated with the ECQs.
The Fact Book: Explore statistics on Senior Executive Service awards, positions and appointments, and member profile.
If you see an error or have any suggestions for improvement, please email us at HRDLeadership@opm.gov