What It Means To Be A Leader — EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS

Leadership and TeamworkA basic requirement for entry into senior roles within the Federal Government you must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level management capability. The information below was taken from the USAJobs.gov website. Every leader, whether or not they are looking for a job in government should be able to answer these questions. It should also be used to rate a CIOs performance.

ECQ #1 – LEADING CHANGE:  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.

Leadership Competencies:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Flexibility.  Is open to change and new information; rapidly adapts to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles.

4. Resilience.  Deals effectively with pressure; remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks.

5. 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.

6. 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.

ECQ #2 – LEADING PEOPLE: 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.

Leadership Competencies:

1. 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.

2. Leveraging Diversity.  Fosters an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organization.

3. 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.

4. Team Building.  Inspires and fosters team commitment, spirit, pride, and trust. Facilitates cooperation and motivates team members to accomplish group goals.

ECQ #3 – RESULTS DRIVEN: 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.

Leadership Competencies:

1. 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.

2. Customer Service.  Anticipates and meets the needs of both internal and external customers. Delivers high-quality products and services; is committed to continuous improvement.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Problem Solving.  Identifies and analyzes problems; weighs relevance and accuracy of information; generates and evaluates alternative solutions; makes recommendations.

6. Technical Credibility.  Understands/appropriately applies principles, procedures, requirements, regulations and policies related to specialized expertise.

ECQ #4 – BUSINESS ACUMEN: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

Leadership Competencies:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

ECQ #5 – BUILDING COALITIONS: 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.

Leadership Competencies:

1. Partnering.  Develops networks and builds alliances; collaborates across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals.

2. Political Savvy.  Identifies the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization. Perceives organizational and political reality and acts accordingly.

3. Influencing/Negotiating.  Persuades others; builds consensus through give and take; gains cooperation from others to obtain inform

Chief Imperfect Officer

Are you perfect? Do you never make mistakes? If so, stop reading! This post is not for you.

As executives we are prone to making mistakes. After all we are only human. If you want people to willingly follow your leadership, you have to be honest about who you are and admit that you make mistakes. Take ownership of the mistakes you make and try to understand them and move on. Imperfections make for far more interesting executives who inspire their staff. As an executive, if you can admit your mistakes, correct them, and move on, the people you lead will be empowered to take risks, make mistakes, admit them, change, and grow.

7 Steps To Succeeding I Learned From Golf

Playing golf has helped me develop a higher standard for myself (or at least brought them to the fore front).

Here are 7 steps that I apply not only to my golf game but also to my life and career.

  1. Analyze yourself. Where in your game (career/life) are you not succeeding? Think about the areas in your game (career/life) that you are not satisfied with and figure out how to make a change.
  2. Set realistic goals. I don’t want to be Tiger Woods. So why set that as a goal? My goal this season was to break 90 in my golf score. Where do you want to be in your game (career/life)? What will it take to get to that level – training, practice, etc? What are the steps that will lead you there?
  3. Create a game plan. Develop a game (career/life) plan with detailed steps of how you will get there. Set incremental milestones for yourself. My plan is to play more and practice when I could.
  4. Change your thinking. To be successful, you must believe in yourself. Beliefs are what control our behavior. Think through the beliefs that limit your game (career/life) and replace them with positive thinking.
  5. Reward yourself. Focus on small accomplishments and reward yourself for them. For example, I shot my first 90 this season, so I rewarded myself by buying a new set of irons. Once you start making progress in your game (career/life), you will continue to build momentum.
  6. Take action every day. Your effort will accumulate if you try to take appropriate actions toward your goals every day. If I cannot hit the driving range or course, I try to watch a video or read an article on how to improve my golf game at least once a day. The same philosophy can be applied to your career and life.
  7. Surround yourself with people who have higher standards than yours. Find who has already succeeded at the game and play with them. I find playing with better golfers elevates my game also. Playing with A players elevates your game (career/life) to an A level.

Wanted: CIO

JOB OVERVIEW:

The CIO for an organization oversees and sets direction for the organization’s information systems function. Establishes overall strategy and vision for information systems design and development, systems planning, programming, operations, networks, data warehousing, architecture, data processing, data security, data recovery, systems support, and analysis. Coordinates, facilitates and consults with various departments on information systems, communications, security and other initiatives. Ensures that the network is current with systems standards and that the company is providing appropriate services. Ensures organization’s technical compliance. Responsible for innovation and leadership in developing and implementing initiatives that support organizational goals and objectives.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:

  • Serves as Chief Information Officer with overall responsibility for the organization’s strategy and vision for information systems design and development.
  • Develops initiatives and formulates operational plans aligned with organizational goals and objectives to ensure the long-term profitability of the organization.
  • Oversees the management, implementation, and usability of information and computer technologies and how they can benefit the organization’s business operations.
  • Develops policies and standards aimed at minimizing costs related to acquisition, implementation, and operation of IT systems.
  • Recommends software and hardware solutions to ensure the continual development of strategy and functionality.
  • Works closely with internal business groups on information systems initiatives.
  • Engages with internal IT customers to understand and support current and long-term IT needs.
  • Remains aware of evolving trends in IT and recommends changes in equipment, systems, and processes as necessary.
  • Ensures plans and policies are understood and administered by management.
  • Ensures the safety and integrity of organizational data.

REQUIREMENTS:

  • An IT specialist with in-depth business management skills that can align technology with business
  • An ever-present awareness of the past and future impact of technology on business success
  • A certain amount of impatience to achieve change and affect progress as soon and as urgently as possible
  • A strategic thinker that can understand how technology can impact the business processes of the organization
  • A leader with vision and business acumen
  • An innovator and creative thinker
  • Ability to build relationships across the company with an emphasis on mutual success
  • A diplomat and politician
  • A mentor and team builder
  • Is passionate and loves what he/she does

Blogs for October 2009

A CIO's VoiceHere are some blog postings that I found interesting this month:

Managing Tough Times in 2009 – Grinding it out by Lui Sieh

Risk in IT by Mark Brewer

Conventional wisdom that fails for IT by Peter Kretzman

Good Service vs. Bad Service–A Lesson for IT by Don Lewis

Poisonous Snakes, Sharp Knives, And Angry Natives – How Much Risk Can You Handle? by Jim Anderson

Time To Move On

How do you know when it is time to move on from your job?

We have all asked ourselves this question at some point in our career. It is difficult to answer and the challenges can be overwhelming.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • You feel like you are not growing and learning.
  • You feel like your work is not challenging.
  • You job is not satisfying at any level.
  • You have no room for advancement.
  • You dread going to work.
  • You are unhappy.

Learning From Failure

From success to failure is one step; from failure to success is a long road. -Yiddish Proverb

One of the most difficult things that I’ve had to learn over the years was how to embrace failure. Failure is the thing most of us spend the most amount of energy trying to avoid. It is hard to accept, and we don’t look forward failing. However, when you remove the emotional aspect from failure, failure is only feedback. As executives we can and should learn from our failures, by understanding what does not work, and by continuing to adjust our strategies until we find out what does work.

Most of us think that failing is bad. But is it really? As children, we were very familiar with “failure” when we were learning how to walk. We made countless attempts trying to find out what to do so we could walk without constantly falling down. Failure’s role in our lives and careers is to teach us. It is a method of learning; learning to change and adapt. With every failure we have, we learn one more way that does not work and we can focus in the correct ways.

Any new task we strive to accomplish there is always the risk of failure. In fact, we might fail many times before succeeding. It is only by risking failure will we ever be able to grow. If you are failing, at least you are trying something new. Woody Allen once said, “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”

When you fail, ask yourself this question, “What could be positive in this situation?” This allows you to obtain feedback from the experience and to learn from it. Remember, we often achieve our greatest successes right after we have experienced our worst failures.