Curriculum Theme: Leading Change
Audience: GS 13-15 or equivalent
Program Schedule: One year
Four one-week in-person training sessions (attendance required)
Action Learning Project work between sessions
Credit: 13.6 CEU
Course ID: EPPG88400L
The Executive Potential Program (EPP) is a 12-month competency-based leadership development program that provides training and developmental experiences for high-potential executives at the GS 13-15 levels or equivalent. The program theme is leading change. The program objective is to equip leaders with the information, tools, and experience they need to serve at the highest levels.
The EPP curriculum is focused around the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) with a focus on leading change. Training consists of four one-week in-person sessions conducted at Graduate School USA in downtown Washington, DC. Program components include individual development, action learning, and assessment. Participants also complete a team project by the end of the program. Teams work together during and between training sessions using the action learning process to identify and address real world problems and to produce recommendations that have direct impact.
Note: This program is not a Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program (SESCDP) though many of its components are equivalent to SESCDP programs. Participants learn more about the SES in the program and are given training in how to write ECQ statements.
12 months with four one-week in-person training sessions
Tuition covers all materials. Travel is not included.
- Prepare participants for senior leadership positions within the federal government.
- Assess and develop participants’ aptitude and capabilities in relation to the Executive Core Qualifications through a variety of experiential training methods.
- Enable participants to work in tandem with federal agencies to identify and solve real organizational problems.
- Expose participants to leadership and management best practices of both governmental and nongovernmental organizations.
Benefits to participants:
- Are challenged to get out of their comfort zone in ways that build resilience, confidence and understanding of what it takes to be a leader at the highest levels.
- Work on real world problems they might not know anything about with a team of people they have never worked with to produce results with real impact.
- Learn about best practices in key leadership and fundamental competencies tied to the Executive Core Qualifications.
- Gain insight into challenges faced by other departments, organizations and senior leadership across the government, private and nonprofit sectors.
- Develop a network of peers they can continue to rely on for support.
Benefits to organizations:
- Retain, support and grow their talent.
- Gain insight into best practices in leadership across the public, private and government sectors.
- Have access to training with proven success for 30 years.
The Executive Potential Program is strategically designed around three program components; assessment, experiential learning and individual development.
Assessments – Participants take the Graduate School USA’s premier Leadership Effectiveness Inventory (LEI), a robust 360 degree feedback assessment by supervisors, peers and direct reports if applicable. The results guide the learner and course development objectives. Additional assessments may include determining personality types and conflict management styles.
Experiential Learning – Participants engage in activities inside and outside of class designed to develop core competencies. Certain activities serve to meet these program requirements:
- Retention of a Mentor
- Leadership Development Plan
- Action Learning Team Project
- Two 60-Day Development Assignments or One 120-Day Assignment
- Senior Executive Services (SES) Interviews
- Shadow Assignments
- Leadership Book Reviews
Individual Development – During four in-person training sessions, participants receive instruction focused around the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). Classes include lessons in the leadership mindset, leading in a changing environment, creative and innovative practices in leadership, and vision as a leadership catalyst. Throughout the program, participants continue to build a network of peers across agencies, challenge one another, and expand their resume of accomplishments. Participants also complete an Action Learning Project by the end of the program that requires teamwork outside the training sessions and tackles a real-world problem or challenge faced by an agency.
The following requirements are to be met in order for successful completion on this program:
- Retention of a Mentor – Participants secure a mentor at the beginning of their program so that they have a dedicated source of support and encouragement to help them reach program and career goals. The mentor must be at a hirer level of leadership than the learner and preferably at the Senior Executive Service level.
- Leadership Development Plan (LDP) – Participants develop and follow an LDP based on developmental objectives drawn from results of the Graduate School USA’s Leadership Effectiveness Inventory (LEI), a 360 assessment. The LDP includes tracking of program requirements and how they address core competencies. Support and final approval for this plan is coordinated with the first-line supervisor and agency program coordinator.
- Action Learning Project – Participants are assigned to a small team that they work with throughout the program to complete an action learning project. The project introduces the action learning process and benefits that include the opportunity to address current issues facing leaders in the federal workforce, provide recommendations that can have real impact, and to develop leadership and interpersonal skills. Projects are worked on during and between training sessions.
- Developmental Assignments – Participants must complete two 8 week or one 16 week developmental assignments that provide exposure to different leadership/managerial experiences and perspectives. Participants are responsible for securing their assignments.
- Shadow Assignment(s) – Participants complete a shadow assignment that involves "shadowing" one member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) for three days or three separate executives on different occasions. By observing executives in action, participants gain exposure to managerial duties, responsibilities and various leadership styles to apply to their organizations.
- Executive Interviews – Participants interview five or more federal senior executives, flag rank officers, or high-level executives who work in a private sector or non-profit organization. The executive interviews provide the opportunity to interact at the highest levels of management and gain critical information for long-term networking and career planning.
- Leadership Book Reviews and Presentations – Participants read and review two or more books on leadership and management issues. This component helps broaden knowledge of the field and strengthen analytical skills.
Is this Program for You?
This program is for you if you are interested in leadership at the most senior levels of government, learn how to lead change, connect with peers across the government, build a portfolio of accomplishments tied to the Executive Core Qualifications, and to tackle real world problems using action learning and action leadership.
To consider or be considered for this program, participants are either nominated by their agencies for their leadership potential, or they apply directly with the support of their agency based on their personal development objectives. This program demands a large commitment of time and effort from participants and, in return, delivers results. At the very least, participants will be away from their positions for a minimum of 20 weeks (four one-week training sessions and sixteen weeks on a developmental assignment).* Participants can expect to work on individual and team activities outside the training sessions, often meeting weekly with team members. Please consider carefully these requirements before submitting an application.
In order to graduate from the Executive Potential Program, participants must finish all program components— NO exceptions.
(*) Additional time away from the participant’s position may be required to complete other program requirements.