Leading People – ECQs

ECQ 2: Leading People

As discussed in the last blog, the Executive Core Qualification (ECQ) statements are broken down into five categories:

Leading Change | Leading People | Results Driven | Business Acumen | Building Coalitions

Each ECQ category has leadership competencies that are required to be addressed within each ECQ. Each ECQ typically has two stories – and the leadership competencies can be woven through both stories.

Today, we are going to discuss Leading People. The leadership competencies attached to Leading People are:

Conflict Management: Encourages creative tension and differences of opinions. Anticipates

and takes steps to prevent counter-productive confrontations. Manages and resolves conflicts

and disagreements in a constructive manner.


Leveraging Diversity: Fosters an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued and leveraged to achieve the vision and mission of the organization.


Developing Others: Develops the ability of others to perform and contribute to the

organization by providing ongoing feedback and by providing opportunities to learn through

formal and informal methods.


Team Building: Inspires and fosters team commitment, spirit, pride, and trust. Facilitates

cooperation and motivates team members to accomplish group goals.

One or more of the Leading People stories should focus on leveraging diversity and conflict management. If you integrate those competencies into the stories, then most likely you will also cover team building and developing others.

Leading People is focused on leading the people, rather than human capital or human resources management. Many ECQ writers will find that they need to flip stories from Leading People to Business Acumen – or vice.

To include diversity, identify stories that involve a wide-range of personnel with varied skill sets, ages, or varied experience (e.g., military, industry, university, international). One writer told a story of matching more senior staff with millennials; he asked the senior staff to mentor and provide knowledge transfer to the newer staff, and he asked the junior staff to teach the senior staff how to use smart phones and other computer programs.

Another writer told a story of melding military personnel with non-military. He created special forums and team-building activities to blend the two cultures and bring understanding.

For conflict management, one writer told a story about how he assumed leadership for a disorganized and chaotic team in constant conflict with official grievances. He mentored his senior subordinates (Branch Chiefs) to properly use performance evaluations for the staff and enforce performance standards. He professionally developed the entire staff by coaching his Branch Chiefs to properly manage their staffs.


Final Tip for Leading People: Use stories that focus on more than one person – the results need to provide benefit to the greater team or staff/offices. Stories that focus on only one person and one conflict can be too narrow and may be disqualified by the Qualifications Review Board (QRB). Conflict resolution stories at affect the entire staff are much stronger and show broader expertise in applying the required leadership competencies for Leading People.

If you need additional assistance, check out our newly updated book (December 2015), The New SES Application, or visit our Services page for a quote. Diane can also deliver hands-on training in ECQ writing at your agency; contact us for a discussion.

Diane Hudson is a multi-credentialed career coach, executive resume writer and editor, specializing in posturing federal and non-federal employees to enter the federal government’s Senior Executive Service (SES). She is co-author of “The New SES Application,” the first-ever book written about the Five-page SES Federal Resume, as well as the traditional 10-page ECQ format. Diane is an experienced trainer in Senior Executive Service, ECQ/TQ, KSA and Federal Resume Writing topics for SES Candidate Development Program candidates. Agency instruction experience includes Commander’s Leadership Development Program at the Naval Ship Yard, Air Force Headquarters, US Army Missile Command, FEMA, Defense Acquisition University (Fellows), EPA, PTO, Bureau of Reclamation, Southern Command, Special Forces, and others. Diane is an instructor for military employment readiness specialists and retiring military; as well as train-the-trainer at career industry conferences internationally on outplacement and career search topics.

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