230 FW 6
Leadership Development


Date: May 5, 2011

Series: Employee Development and Training

Part 230: Employee Development and Training

Originating Office: National Conservation Training Center



PDF Version


6.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter:


A. Describes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) policy for leadership development, and


B. Identifies key resources available to focus and guide leadership development.


6.2 What is the Service’s leadership development policy? It is our policy to:


A. Ensure leadership and supervisory development is a priority for supervisors. All supervisors are responsible for the leadership development of the people they supervise. Leadership development is important for all employees regardless of their position.


B. Adopt the 28 leadership competencies that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) identifies as critical to leadership success as components of our own competency model.


C. Use the USFWS Leadership Competency Development Model (also see section 6.6) as our primary leadership development guidance.


D. Help focus development efforts on the seven leadership competencies we identify as most critical for leadership success at each of the four organizational levels of leadership. Highlighting these competencies helps supervisors and employees understand which competencies are important as they write their Individual Development Plans (IDP) (see 231 FW 2).


6.3 What are the objectives of this chapter? Our objectives are to:


A. Reinforce leadership development as a Service priority,


B. Strengthen the quality of leadership and leadership development throughout the Service,


C. Align employee development efforts with distinguishing behaviors appropriate with the level of leadership an employee aspires to achieve, and


D. Ensure experienced and capable Service employees are available to assume supervision and leadership roles as positions become available.


6.4 What is the scope of this chapter? This chapter applies to all Service employees.


6.5 What are the authorities for this chapter?


A. Civil Service Regulations, Training and Supervisory, Management, and Executive Development (5 CFR 410 and 412.101 through 401).


B. Government Organization and Employees, Training (5 U.S.C. 41).


C. U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Training and Development Policy.


D. 370 DM 410, Human Capital Training and Development.


6.6 What is a competency and what is the USFWS Leadership Competency Development Model?


A. A competency is the integration of a person’s knowledge, skills, abilities, and attributes in order to perform effectively on the job. Competencies are observable and measurable behaviors that are critical to successful individual and corporate performance. Competencies incorporate knowledge, skills, abilities, and attributes and are applied through behaviors that help to ensure organizational and mission-critical results.


B. OPM identified and adopted Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and their underlying leadership competencies in 1997. Although we adopted the ECQs and the 28 competencies, the large number of them makes it difficult to apply and prioritize them for our employees. To help us with our leadership program, we developed and adopted our own USFWS Leadership Competency Development Model based on OPM’s five ECQs and foundational competency groupings. 


C. Our 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. The model also enhances and complements the scientific and natural resources management knowledge and skills that remain critical to employee performance and success in conservation leadership. The top seven competencies critical for success at each organizational level of leadership are highlighted in the model. Figure 6-1 is a summary of the model.


                                    Figure 6-1: USFWS Leadership Competency Development Model




6.7 Who is responsible for leadership development in the Service? Table 6-1 describes the responsibilities of Service employees for leadership development.


Table 6-1: Responsibilities for Leadership Development

These employees…

Are responsible for…

A. The Director

(1) Approving our leadership development policy, and


(2) Fostering an environment that values and seeks leadership development.

B. The Director, National Conservation Training Center (NCTC)


(1) Administering and overseeing our leadership development training courses and programs,


(2) Advising the Director about Service strategy to assist the Service to achieve leadership goals, and


(3) Supporting the implementation of this and other leadership policy.

C. Deputy Assistant Directors and Deputy Regional Directors

Overseeing and supporting Service leadership development programs and efforts.

D. The Chief of Training, NCTC

(1) Working with the Directorate and other managers to identify leadership development needs, and


(2) Providing resources, oversight, and guidance to NCTC leadership development efforts.

E. The Chief, Branch of Leadership and Employee Development

(1) Identifying what is required to deliver products, services, courses, and programs on leadership development to Service employees;


(2) Developing and implementing those components identified; and


(3) Evaluating the components to determine how well they are helping us to achieve our goals.

F. Supervisors


(1) Being accountable for their personal leadership development;


(2) Providing ongoing feedback, supporting, mentoring, and coaching employees to promote leadership development;


(3) Approving time for and encouraging employees to pursue developmental opportunities (see 231 FW 1, Continuous Learning);


(4) Ensuring every employee has an Individual Development Plan (IDP) (see 231 FW 2, IDPs); and


(5) Holding themselves accountable by addressing the development of others in their supervisory performance appraisals (see the Division of Human Capital’s Web site on performance).


G. Service Employees:

(1) Being accountable for their personal leadership development;


(2) Meeting with their supervisors to discuss developmental needs to consider as they write their IDPs using FWS Form 3-2020B (for help see NCTC’s Web site on career planning and the IDP);


(3) Giving FWS Form 3-2020B to their supervisor for final approval; and


(4) Working with their supervisor to implement their IDP.



6.8 Where can Service employees find resources to help them with their leadership development? The best place to start your search for resources is the USFWS Leadership Competency Development Model that is available on the NCTC Web site. The USFWS Leadership Competency Development Model will help you to:


A. Define the leadership competencies,


B. Identify the corresponding distinguishing behaviors for each organizational level of leadership,


C. Determine developmental activities and training suggestions for each competency level, and


D. Find Service and other developmental resources.


6.9 How do supervisors encourage employees to develop their leadership competencies if the employee is not interested in moving up the Service organizational levels of leadership? Leadership exists at all levels, from individual contributor to Project Leader to Division and Program Chiefs to Assistant and Regional Directors. Every day provides opportunities for Service employees to be conservation leaders, whether they’re supervising other employees or working with peers or partners. Supervisors can highlight how their employees lead in their every day work, interact with their co-workers, and build relationships with others in support of our mission.




For information on the content of this chapter, contact the National Conservation Training Center. For information about this Web site, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy and Directives Management.  


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