Senior Executives Association

Welcome to the Senior Executives Association

Senior Executives Association (SEA) is the professional association for career members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and equivalent positions. SEA is not only the voice of the SES through a strong advocacy program, it empowers senior leaders across government by providing the tools, resources and connections they need to succeed in the 21st century.

SEA's membership spans across government agencies, missions and functions, giving SEA a unique whole of government perspective and the ability to connect to the skills, tools and people (both public and private sectors) that senior leaders need. SEA members receive access to research and news, strategic networks, and connections to the good practices across government that they may not receive on the job.

Above all else, SEA is guided by dedication to public service and to helping career federal leaders better serve the American people.


SEA - Empowering Career Leaders For Success

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Survey of Federal Government Executives

As Federal agencies are being asked to restructure and operate more like the private sector, federal government executives report a concerning lack of empowerment and ability to drive change, according to a new survey by the Senior Executives Association (SEA) and Deloitte of more than 750 Senior Executive Service (SES) members and those in equivalent positions. 

The survey reveals a number of concerns leaders have related to their leadership pipeline, executive readiness, and ability to transform government agencies. The good news is that federal executives care deeply about the organizations they lead, clearly understand what they are accountable for, and are anxious to see key changes to help improve leadership selection, development, and empowerment.

 

Leadership pipeline

Government is not attracting and retaining top talent, and agencies struggle to identify and promote high-potential leaders over employees with strong technical expertise. Of those surveyed, only 22 percent felt their agency is well prepared to retain top talent. Survey respondents felt an increased focus on soft skills will be required to lead federal agencies moving forward. Roughly 76 percent of respondents said there are exciting opportunities for workers of all ages, but less than half believe current government leadership understands how to manage a multi-generational workforce.

 

 

executive leadership

Executive readiness

Federal executives express concern over leadership development opportunities, and the root cause appears to stem from a need for better infrastructure. Preparing existing leaders for the changing needs of their agencies and roles is not being addressed equally across agencies, according to respondents. Government leadership development and training programs should include a stronger focus on making agency leaders life-long learners to keep them at the forefront of innovation.

 

 

transformational leadership

Transformational leadership

Agencies are not prepared for the future of work, and even the most senior executive leaders believe significant innovation and collaboration are discouraged by institutional or cultural barriers. Furthermore, only 28 percent of respondents felt their agencies had systems in place to enable knowledge-sharing across government leadership. Although 96 percent believe they are accountable for promoting collaboration within their teams to achieve their mission, only 28 percent believe systems are in place to enable knowledge-sharing across career senior leaders in government.

 

 

action step checklist

Action step checklist

Deloitte and SEA outlined a number of steps government executives can take to start addressing these challenges, including:

* Use evidence-based assessments to identify high-potential individuals with leadership skills, not just technical expertise

* Design leadership development and training programs that build leadership capabilities through challenging experiences and frequent exposure to diverse leaders inside and outside the organization

* Focus on re-evaluating the work and the workforce of tomorrow in order to make hiring decisions, as opposed to just filling open needs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: SES Issues, Deloitte, SES, professional development, survey

Our Corporate Advisory Council

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Special thanks to SEA's Corporate Advisory Council, helping to support a federal career executive corps of excellence.
Looking for SEA's partners? Check out the organizations we partner with.

Business Hours

The Senior Executives Association is
available eight hours a day during normal business hours.

Monday-Friday: 9am to 5pm 
Weekend: Closed

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