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Training and Development Policy Wiki

Page History: Pre-Supervisory Leadership Development

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Page Revision: 8/31/2011 3:57:41 PM

Pre-Supervisory Leadership Development

The path to becoming a top-notch leader is one that requires constant attention and fine-tuning, whether we are preparing to lead small groups, large teams, or simply preparing for the next steps in a leadership role.   Useful tools and tips are available in a plethora of subjects important to employees interested in becoming a supervisor. By sharing our knowledge, ideas,  and best practices agencies can collaborate to not only reach but exceed their training goals by developing top notch talent for the aspiring supervisor.

Leadership development should begin well before an individual transitions into a supervisory or managerial position. To ensure these individuals are well prepared to fill supervisory and managerial positions, agencies may provide training for those who are interested in becoming supervisors or managers.  Critical to the supervisory development process is the Individual Development Plan (IDP) crafted by the employee and his or her supervisor.  Through the IDP, the employee should be able to clarify professional aspirations, and the supervisor can provide insights on career tracks essential to both employee and the organization.

The head of each agency is responsible for establishing a succession management program which includes training to develop employees to become managers (5 U.S.C. 4121 and 5 CFR 412.201).  Employee development programs are a fundamental tool for a robust leadership succession management plan. As a result of effective succession planning, an agency’s employee development program can ensure an adequate number of educated/qualified individuals to fill supervisory and managerial positions for critical functions within the organization.

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Agencies should consider the competencies listed in the OPM Supervisory Guide when developing their pre-supervisory developmental programs.  In addition, pre-supervisory developmental programs should be based on the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs).  Agencies may identify specific competencies from the ECQs and OPM Supervisory Guide and apply them to all leadership development programs starting with pre-supervisory training extending through executive development. Agencies should develop their pre-supervisory training programs to meet the needs of the organization and the aspirations of individual employees.

Many agencies have already established pre-supervisory training programs.  A catalogue of Federal leadership development programs can be found on OPM’s website under “FedLDP.”  It is a searchable catalogue of leadership development programs throughout the Federal Government. Programs are listed in this catalogue by agency.  To learn more about agency programs, click on the FedLDP catalogue.

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Discover Helpful Tips and Resources:

OPM Webcast
OPM hosted a webcast on Pre-Supervisory training in spring of 2010.  Two agencies were featured in the webcast: EPA & Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). To view the webcast, click on this link -  
OPM Pre-Supervisory Webcast on YouTube.

To view the slides from the webcast, click on EPA and ATF below:
EPA Pre-Supervisory Development Program
ATF Leadership Institute - Aspiring Leaders Program

Other resources:
Individual Development Plan
Sharing Resources & Collaborating Across Agencies


PFPA offers a self-paced pre-supervisory leadership program that you can tailor to fit your agency. Take a look at the Pentagon Force Protection Agency - Stepping Up to Leadership A Self-Paced Program page to find out more.

NIH is currently in the process of creating a supervisory resource center geared towards new and experienced supervisors.  Take a look at the NIH-wide Mandatory Supervisory Training page to see what NIH has done so far.  The recommended training for new supervisors found on the NIH Supervisory Essentials Training page is also a great launching pad for those who want to be in the leadership pipeline.

The USPTO sponsors the Leadership Development Program, which is a  wonderful resource that has been shared for all to use. The program features three main components, the LDP website, a 180-degree assessment and an online supervisory resource center. Resources from USPTO's leadership and development group include articles, graphs and other useful tools to assist in developing a program for aspiring leaders as well as those in current leadership roles.  Jennifer Tokar can be contacted for additional information at

FCAT-M (Federal Competency Assessment Tool - Management) administers Pre-Supervisory training for employees.  For information about how to apply FCAT-M to your agency, take a look at the
Guide to Implementing the FCAT-M. Please direct all inquires to:

Hot Topics in Training:

Mentoring and Coaching

Mentoring can be a truly effective means of not only assisting in guiding a co-worker or colleague, but can also serve to teach the mentor a variety of skills.  It gives the mentor the opportunity to lead by example, by providing guidance, and by holding the mentee accountable in helping them to stay committed to their goals.  A mentee benefits by being able to address concerns regarding their professional development one-on-one in a collaborative setting.  All of these can be powerful self-teaching, developmental to tools em to benefit employees in performing on-the-job, as well as in developing one's career. Check out U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) mentoring toolkit.

Find Opportunities

(What training or other opportunities are available in this area?)

The Center for Leadership Capacity Services at the Management Development Center-West has a course, Leadership Skills for Non-Supervisors: Lead and Influence Effectively without a Title of Authority, for pre-supervisors. Leadership Skills for Non-Supervisors

Course Overview: If you have the responsibility of leadership but are not in a position of formal authority, how can you influence others when the need arises? This intensive seminar is designed for individuals who are not currently in supervisory or managerial positions but currently hold key leadership roles in their organization or are interested in assuming such a role in the future. This seminar can assist in developing informal leadership skills to influence positive organizational success without positional authority. Through hands-on, experiential exercises, assessments and frameworks/models, participants create an integrated development plan that matches your organizations needs with individual achievement and success.

View the class schedule at: or email the Director, Joseph Schumacher at

 ** Please feel free to add your agency's ideas, courses, or relevant links to this page for all to share.

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