Senior Executives Association

On December 13th, 2018 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., the Senior Executives Association and Senior Executives Association Professional Development League will host the 2018 Presidential Rank Awards Leadership Summit, a full-day event offering exceptional educational, mentoring, and networking opportunities for current and aspiring government leaders.

The event will include:

  • Lunch Awards Reception Recognizing Meritorious Rank Award Winners & Evening Awards Reception Recognizing Distinguished Rank Award Winners
  • Expert Policy Panels and Educational Training Seminars Across Multiple Content Tracks on Advancing Public Leadership
  • Small-Group Speed Mentoring and Dedicated Networking Opportunities with Career Federal Leaders

The Summit will feature educational tracks that address the three most pressing areas of concern for Federal career senior leaders, including: Future of Work, Future of Workforce, Future of Workplace.

The conference will also recognize the extraordinary public service of senior career professionals by honoring the 2018 Distinguished and Meritorious recipients of the Presidential Rank Awards. The Presidential Rank Award represents the top award a civilian federal employee can receive, awarded by the President of the United States to the top 1% (Distinguished) and 5% (Meritorious) of federal employees, as nominated by their respective agencies. In 2017, more than 300 Senior Executives were among the event's 500 attendees.

Spots are limited, reserve your seat today. Learn More >>

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

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Special thanks to SEA's Corporate Advisory Council, helping to support a federal career executive corps of excellence.
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