If you are going to consider an SES position within the next 5 years, you should begin to think about the ECQS and your experience. What’s your favorite or best ECQ?
Consider the these basic tips for thinking about your leadership qualifications and preparing to write the five ECQs.
ECQ #1 – Leading Change: This competency is about leading change, not just implementing it. It looks for creativity and strategic thinking. “Ask yourself, ‘When did I lead change? Why was change needed? What was my role in the change?’” we recommend. “This is not about what your department did, but what you did to lead change.”
ECQ #2 – Leading People: The second ECQ centers on the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization’s vision. “Your example might address conflict management, leveraging diversity, or implementing career development,” the authors say. “Ask yourself, ‘Who did I lead? What was going on with them? What were the challenges of their jobs?’”
ECQ #3 – Results Driven: “This is a Type A competency.” “The third ECQ relates to action, staying on task, following up, and being driven by the desired results. Top leaders are very results driven, like Giuliani was as New York’s mayor.”
ECQ #4 – Business Acumen: To tackle this qualification, you need three “heads” – oriented to finance, human capital and technology. “This can be the toughest ECQ,” the authors note. “Government people tend to think about programs and policies, rather than business. But think of contracts, procurements and budgets for finance, restructuring, recruitment and training for people, and security, IT security and automation for technology.”
ECQ #5 – Building Coalitions: The fifth ECQ is about partnering, political savvy, influencing and negotiating. The authors prompt with this question, “Ask yourself, ‘How well do I partner with other organizations to achieve goals? How well do I communicate with them? How well do I work with others?” Lack of partnering was behind the failure to respond quickly to the Katrina disaster, the SES consultants noted. Now emergency management has tremendous partnerships between different government levels.
Which ECQ/s are your favorite? I like Change and Results and Building Coalitions. But owning a business means that I have to be good in all of them.
Written by Kathryn Troutman, Co-Author and Publisher, The New SES Application and Program Director of Mastering the SES Application Workshop.