Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Five critical competencies for senior leaders

The five critical competencies below were identified by the Chief of Naval Operations as essential for every senior leader:

1. Financial Literacy. The goal is not to create CPAs or CFOs, but to give every senior leader in the Navy the requisite skills to successfully manage complex budget, procurement, and contracting processes so that taxpayers' money is used for its intended purpose.

2. Information Management. IT systems change with head-spinning frequency. The Navy is presently working to evolve the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet into NGEN. Senior leaders need to stay current on major aspects of this project, as well as on other IT systems and projects that enable unprecedented levels of flexibility and responsiveness to new and emerging threats to national security.

3. Human Capital. Ensuring that the right people are in the right place at the right time and doing the right work is a challenge in the best of times for the best of organizations. With nearly 1 million personnel spread far and wide across the globe, the challenge is complex for Navy senior leaders.

4. Change Management. In large organizations, it's often said that the only constant is change. Navy leaders must be expert at implementing and communicating significant change at every level--from grand to granular--to ensure that every service member not only has the orders for the day, but also understands how those orders contribute to both mission and readiness.

5. Leadership. Effective leadership begins with an individual who has an accurate understanding of self. Toward that end, FLAG University sponsors Navy senior leaders in a week-long intensive program at the Center for Creative Leadership, which is preceded by completion of five personal survey instruments, including two that require 360 degree feedback from subordinates, peers, and superiors. From there, the many dimensions of leadership are woven throughout the career learning continuum provided for Navy senior leaders.

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