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FCW : August 30, 2013
August 30, 2013 FCW.COM 23 human resources manager can tell you what is available. Early in his career at the Food and Drug Administra- tion, Kwame Ulmer participated in the agency s leader- ship development program, which included temporary assignments in leadership roles. "That was really a posi- tive experience because it got me thinking about the larger organization...and gave me practical experience around leadership and management," he said. He is now an acting division director at FDA. Next, there are opportunities to train at other agencies or even with your private-sector peers through the Of ce of Personnel Management s Federal Executive Institute or ACT-IAC, which offers programs that combine govern- ment and private-sector participants at the same level of experience. And when you are ready to apply to the Senior Executive Service, candidate development programs sanc- tioned by OPM provide a stamp of approval. "These programs are selective," Hitch said. "You not only have to be aggressive in a positive way in terms of looking out for your own career, you also have to be a good performer. You should apply to a number of these programs." Training: An opportunity to ll the gaps Leadership training will often include a 360-degree assess- ment in which you get feedback on your performance from superiors, peers and subordinates. "It s designed to tell you graciously but still truthfully about how you re perceived," said Tim Persons, chief scientist at the Gov- ernment Accountability Of ce. One of the biggest challenges in becoming a leader is shifting your attitude from competing with colleagues to inspiring and motivating the people on your staff. "Your job is not to compete with others so you win but to empower others so that they win," he said. "You need to create the environment for success. To do that requires a lot of complex and holistic thinking." When moving into the senior executive ranks, you should evaluate where you are and where you need to be in the three dimensions critical for high-level success: your time management, relationships and talents, said David Dye, a director in Deloitte Consulting s Federal Human Capital Practice. In the process, you need to be honest with yourself about your weaknesses and strengths. Review your performance evaluations and ask mentors for an assessment of where you could most bene t from training, Liff said. You can read up on relevant topics, take online courses independently (often for free) or get valuable help by conducting infor- mational interviews with leaders you want to emulate, said Steve Ressler, founder of online networking community GovLoop, which offers two free training sessions a month. Technologists typically need more training in communi- cations, collaboration, management and executive devel- opment because their background and education are often technically focused, Hitch said. Essential executive com- You not only have to be aggressive in a positive way in terms of looking out for your own career, you also have to be a good performer. --- VAN HITCH ZAID HAMID
August 15, 2013
September 15, 2013