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Senior Executive Service Executive Core Qualifications

 

Overview

OPM has identified five executive core qualifications (ECQs). The executive core qualifications define the competencies needed to build a federal corporate culture that drives for results, serves customers, and builds successful teams and coalitions within and outside the organization. The Executive Core Qualifications are required for entry to the Senior Executive Service and are used by many departments and agencies in selection, performance management, and leadership development for management and executive positions. The ECQs were designed to assess executive experience and potential-not technical expertise.

Successful performance in the SES requires competence in each ECQ. The ECQs are interdependent; successful executives bring all five to bear when providing service to the Nation. Announcements of individual SES vacancies and SES Candidate Development Programs (CDPs) generally include the ECQs. Go to USAJOBS for information on SES and CDP opportunities. OPM's Guide to the Senior Executive Service Qualifications provides detailed information on the Executive Core Qualifications.


ECQ 1: Leading Change

Definition: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

Creativity and Innovation
Develops new insights into situations; questions conventional approaches; encourages new ideas and innovations; designs and implements new or cutting edge programs/processes.
External Awareness
Understands and keeps up-to-date on local, national, and international policies and trends that affect the organization and shape stakeholders' views; is aware of the organization's impact on the external environment.
Flexibility
Is open to change and new information; rapidly adapts to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles.
Resilience
Deals effectively with pressure; remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks.
Strategic Thinking
Formulates objectives and priorities, and implements plans consistent with the long-term interests of the organization in a global environment. Capitalizes on opportunities and manages risks.
Vision
Takes a long-term view and builds a shared vision with others; acts as a catalyst for organizational change. Influences others to translate vision into action.

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ECQ 2: Leading People

Definition: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

Conflict Management
Encourages creative tension and differences of opinions. Anticipates and takes steps to prevent counter-productive confrontations. Manages and resolves conflicts and disagreements in a constructive manner.
Leveraging Diversity
Fosters an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organization.
Developing Others
Develops the ability of others to perform and contribute to the organization by providing ongoing feedback and by providing opportunities to learn through formal and informal methods.
Team Building
Inspires and fosters team commitment, spirit, pride, and trust. Facilitates cooperation and motivates team members to accomplish group goals.

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ECQ 3: Results Driven

Definition: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

Accountability
Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results. Determines objectives, sets priorities, and delegates work. Accepts responsibility for mistakes. Complies with established control systems and rules.
Customer Service
Anticipates and meets the needs of both internal and external customers. Delivers high-quality products and services; is committed to continuous improvement.
Decisiveness
Makes well-informed, effective, and timely decisions, even when data are limited or solutions produce unpleasant consequences; perceives the impact and implications of decisions.
Entrepreneurship
Positions the organization for future success by identifying new opportunities; builds the organization by developing or improving products or services. Takes calculated risks to accomplish organizational objectives.
Problem Solving
Identifies and analyzes problems; weighs relevance and accuracy of information; generates and evaluates alternative solutions; makes recommendations.
Technical Credibility
Understands and appropriately applies principles, procedures, requirements, regulations, and policies related to specialized expertise.

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ECQ 4: Business Acumen

Definition: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

Financial Management
Understands the organization's financial processes. Prepares, justifies, and administers the program budget. Oversees procurement and contracting to achieve desired results. Monitors expenditures and uses cost-benefit thinking to set priorities.
Human Capital Management
Builds and manages workforce based on organizational goals, budget considerations, and staffing needs. Ensures that employees are appropriately recruited, selected, appraised, and rewarded; takes action to address performance problems. Manages a multi-sector workforce and a variety of work situations.
Technology Management
Keeps up-to-date on technological developments. Makes effective use of technology to achieve results. Ensures access to and security of technology systems.

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ECQ 5: Building Coalitions

Definition: This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

Partnering
Develops networks and builds alliances; collaborates across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals.
Political Savvy
Identifies the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization. Perceives organizational and political reality and acts accordingly.
Influencing/Negotiating
Persuades others; builds consensus through give and take; gains cooperation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals.

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Overall Chart

Executive Core Qualifications

Leading Change

Leading People

Results Driven

Business Acumen

Building Coalitions

Definitions

This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals.  Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals.  Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations.  Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

Competencies

Creativity and Innovation
External Awareness
Flexibility
Resilience
Strategic Thinking
Vision

Conflict Management
Leveraging Diversity
Developing Others
Team Building

Accountability
Customer Service
Decisiveness
Entrepreneurship
Problem Solving
Technical Credibility

Financial Management
Human Capital Management
Technology Management

Partnering
Political Savvy
Influencing/Negotiating

Fundamental Competencies

Competencies are the personal and professional attributes that are critical to successful performance in the SES. The fundamental competencies are the attributes that serve as the foundation for each of the Executive Core Qualifications. Experience and training that strengthen and demonstrate the competencies will enhance a candidate's overall qualifications for the SES.

Interpersonal Skills
Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations.
Oral Communication
Makes clear and convincing oral presentations. Listens effectively; clarifies information as needed.
Integrity/Honesty
Behaves in an honest, fair, and ethical manner. Shows consistency in words and actions. Models high standards of ethics.
Written Communication
Writes in a clear, concise, organized, and convincing manner for the intended audience.
Continual Learning
Assesses and recognizes own strengths and weaknesses; pursues self-development.
Public Service Motivation
Shows a commitment to serve the public. Ensures that actions meet public needs; aligns organizational objectives and practices with public interests.
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