Leadership News

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Leadership Competency Development Model

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a long and proud tradition of achieving our mission through scientific excellence and leadership. The Service has maintained its preeminent role in these areas by “growing leadership” through employee development. As a continuation of this heritage, the Service’s Leadership Competency Development Model has been developed to assist with the continuous learning efforts of our employees, and to guide employees at all levels and in all functions toward excellence in addressing the Service’s mission.

The Service’s Leadership Competency Development Model is provided in response to employee interest in knowing what skills or experiences are needed in order to succeed in leadership positions, and also in response to the Service Directorate’s commitment to ensure that our agency continues to have a cadre of employees who are prepared for advancement to senior conservation leadership positions. The Model was developed based on input from over 600 leaders and includes Wage Grade leaders to Senior Executive leaders. The Model identifies attributes that an employee should obtain, at whatever his or her level or job in the Service, to enhance readiness for positions of greater responsibility. This Model also enhances and compliments the scientific and natural resources management knowledge and skills that remain critical to employee performance and success in conservation leadership.

Value of the USFWS Leadership Competency Development Model
The USFWS Leadership Competency Development Model assists Service employees in the identification of the mission critical competencies or priority areas our Service leadership deemed significant at four different organizational levels of leadership. This tool was developed for the purpose of educating leaders at all levels regarding the competencies required for their success at each leadership level. For the leader who has reached their target level, this tool can be used to help identify strengths and areas for improvement for the purpose of continuous learning. For the individual aspiring to the next leadership level, this tool can be used to help create an Individual Development Plan (IDP). Supervisors can use this Model as a tool in coaching and mentoring their aspiring subordinates.

The USFWS Leadership Competency Development Model was developed to help prepare you to be a more effective leader in the Service. The Model answers the question regarding what competencies our Service leaders feel are most important for success in our agency. While the intent is not to minimize or downplay the importance of striving for excellence in all 28 leadership competencies, it is helpful for Service employees to know what Service leadership believes to be the top mission critical competencies for our agency leaders.

How to Use This Tool
This tool is designed so the reader can reference information by various methods. The following information is provided to accurately describe what each leadership competency looks like:

• A definition of a competency
• A description of the importance of the competency to a Service leader
• A description of how the competency is demonstrated in the Service
• The elements that make up the competency for a particular organizational level
• The behaviors that make up the element
• A listing of potential developmental activities that can be used to increase or develop competence

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