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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Confronting the culture of fear in government

It is a common view among observers of the operations of the federal government that agencies are often hobbled by a culture of fear. 

Civil servants are terrified that if they ever make a mistake, the boom will be lowered on them (the words “get fired” are often used), while success doesn’t garner corresponding rewards. In such an environment, even prudent risk-taking is shunned, since taking a risk will sometimes produce failure. The government, and citizens, suffer from the inability to reap the benefits of innovation.

I have sometimes thought that this widespread view to some extent involves government folks being afraid of their own shadows. Government is not exactly known for draconian accountability – people are hardly fired all the time, to put it mildly – and it is legitimate to ask whether there are any significant penalties for failure in government organizations. Having thought about it, though, I have drawn the conclusion that what drives fear is not tangible punishments but rather the dread of being publicly humiliated for being dumb, lazy or venal.

Read the Full Article >


Article from FCW


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Tags: human resources, civil service reform

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

Our Office Location

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