Senior Executives Association

The December 13th 2018 Senior Executives Association Presidential Rank Awards Leadership Summit was a day full celebration, thought leadership, networking and professional development education.   More than 500 senior leaders from government, the private sector and academia were on hand to recognize the 131 Presidential Rank Awards and have peer-to-peer discussions.   In addition, distinguished keynote speakers – Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette; Margaret Weichert, Acting Director of OPM and Deputy Director for Management at OMB; and Joseph Heck, Chairman of the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service – discussed their leadership philosophies and recognized the enormous accomplishments of the PRA honorees.

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Results are In: SEA Member Survey

We asked and you answered.

SEA’s recent mini-survey provided intriguing insights into the current thinking of SEA members.

The following are the results, with a typical comment for each of the answers:


Q: What is your biggest challenge as a leader in government?

A: In rank order:

  1. Unclear political leadership.
  2. Budget uncertainty.
  3. Lack of resources.
  4. Quality of human capital.
  5. Too much time spent of fire drills.
  6. Public perception of, trust in government.

Typical Comment: “All of these are equally challenging!  It’s the confluence of these challenges that keeps me up at night and prevents effective leadership.”


Q: Do you currently feel empowered?  (Empowered defined:  As a leader to run your program/organization effectively and efficiently.)

A: 44% said yes.

Typical Comment: “Yes, but eroding quickly with hiring freeze, budget uncertainty and IT mandates.”

     56% said no.

Typical Comment: “I can make program decisions to the extent that I have funding…but I have no control over my payroll and no control over HR practices that ultimately limit what I can do.”


Q: What are areas of government reform that could help you do your job better?

A: In rank order:

  1. Improved business processes.
  2. Civil service reform.
  3. Budget reform.
  4. Improving cyber capabilities.
  5. Flattening organizational hierarchies.
  6. Other:  HR reform, primarily improved labor/management relations.

Typical Comment: “Every item listed has been touted for years as the latest savior for government effectiveness and efficiency, but all result in morale draining and distracting fire-drills that do nothing to improve government effectiveness.  Stability, and allowing leaders to focus on the organization’s mission would do more than anything.”


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Tags: Message from Your SEA President, government reform, survey

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