The success or failure of any endeavor depends on leadership. Now, more than ever before, we need leaders in our organizations and in our world. Great leaders create and communicate a vision and move people into action to achieve it. They ignite our passion and inspire us to do our best.
Government leaders in the 21st century are experiencing change at a more rapid pace than previous generations. Rapid advances in technology have expanded the quantity of work we are capable of accomplishing, and also where it’s accomplished. We have a more highly educated workforce, yet face diminishing resources with an increased demand for productivity, and the essential services we provide to the American public. To be successful at navigating these challenges leaders must develop the essential skills to motivate their employees, effectively communicate with others, fine-tune critical thinking skills, and build and leverage partnerships. Future leaders must also be visionary; i.e., possess the ability to identify trends and the courage to be innovative. Being technically adept in your field will no longer be enough. In response to these demands on senior executives, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) identified five Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) that all aspiring government leaders and executives must possess. These ECQs and Fundamental Competencies were developed by OPM after extensive research on the attributes of successful executives in both the private and public sector. The ECQs represent the best thinking of organizational psychologists, human resources professionals, and members of the federal Senior Executive Service (SES).