Army Civilian Training, Education, and Development System Plan
CP-14 - Contracting and Acquisition Career Program


The Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) has issued guidance placing strong emphasis on the need for continuous development of leadership competencies, for all acquisition personnel, throughout their careers. While not everyone will become a team leader, supervisor, manager, or executive, all acquisition workforce professionals must possess certain management and leadership competencies in order to adapt to new assignments, assume increasing responsibilities, and perform successfully in the future acquisition environment.

This site is based on a leadership competency model, the Leadership Effectiveness Inventory, in wide use within the Federal sector for the development and evaluation of senior personnel for assignment and promotion. This leadership model is officially endorsed by the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) for these and related purposes.

This site provides three specific development tools. Defense acquisition workforce personnel may use any one, or all three. The tools are arranged in the following sequence at this site:

The Acquisition Leadership Effectiveness Inventory is based upon an identification of the critical competencies and knowledge deemed essential to successful leadership. The competencies (and the relationships among them) constitute the Acquisition Leadership Model. These are the fundamental competencies needed by leaders at all levels to perform effectively. Each competency is defined by one or more specific leadership behaviors. These observable behaviors are discussed under Introduction to the Acquisition Leadership Effectiveness Inventory (available on the website).

Members of CP-14 are strongly encouraged to use this tool as an initial strategy to conduct a self-assessment of their leadership competencies to help clarify their leadership development needs. The results from using this tool should be translated, ultimately, into training, education, and experience projections to be incorporated into the employee's IDP.

In addition to leadership competencies those aspiring to positions of leadership and management at the Senior Executive Service level are encouraged to review the Executive Core Qualities (ECQs) and their underlying competencies, and seek training as needed to attain these competencies. The ECQs are five generic managerial qualifications that are considered necessary for effective performance in any SES position and are the basis of a Qualifications Review Board certification for career appointment to the SES. The ECQs are Leading Change, Leading People, Results Driven, Business Acumen, and Building Coalitions/Communication. Detailed discussion of the ECQs, their underlying competencies, tools for assessing and describing executive qualifications, and training opportunities can be found on the Office of Personnel Management website at Many agencies require SES applicants to provide written qualifications statements for each ECQ to give executive resources staff, rating and selecting officials, and Qualifications Review Board (QRB) members--specific information about the applicant's achievements. A brief summary of the characteristics of the each of the ECQs is provided in the following paragraphs.

ECQ 1 Leading Change - This core qualification encompasses the ability to develop and implement an organizational vision that integrates key national and program goals, priorities, values, and other factors. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to balance change and continuity; to continually strive to improve customer service and program performance within the basic government framework; to create a work environment that encourages creative thinking; and to maintain focus, intensity and persistence, even under adversity.

ECQ 2 Leading People - This core qualification involves the ability to design and implement strategies that maximize employee potential and foster high ethical standards in meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals.

ECQ 3 Results Driven - This core qualification stresses accountability and continuous improvement. It includes the ability to make timely and effective decisions and produce results through strategic planning and the implementation and evaluation of programs and policies.

ECQ 4 Business Acumen - This core qualification involves the ability to acquire and administer human, financial, material, and information resources in a manner that instills public trust and accomplishes the organization's mission, and the ability to use new technology to enhance decision making.

ECQ 5 Building Coalitions/Communications - This core qualification involves the ability to explain, advocate, and express facts and ideas in a convincing manner and to negotiate with individuals and groups internally and externally. It also involves the ability to develop an expansive professional network with other organizations and to identify the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization.

The following paragraphs identify the 27 Acquisition Leadership Competencies with a brief description.

1. Creativity and Innovation
Develops new insights into situations and applies innovative solutions to make organizational improvements; creates a work environment that encourages creative thinking and innovation; designs and implements new or cutting-edge programs/processes.

2. Continual Learning
Grasps the essence of new information; masters new technical and business knowledge; recognizes own strengths and weaknesses; pursues self-development; seeks feedback from others and opportunities to master new knowledge.

3. External Awareness
Identifies and keeps up-to-date on key national and international policies and economic, political and social trends that affect the organization. Understands near-term and long range plans and determines how to best be positioned to achieve a competitive business advantage in a global economy.

4. Flexibility
Is open to change and new information; adapts behavior and work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles. Adjusts rapidly to new situations warranting attention and resolution.

5. Resilience
Deals effectively with pressure; maintains focus and intensity and remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks. Effectively balances personal life and work.

6. Service Motivation
Creates and sustains an organizational culture which encourages others to provide the quality of service essential to high performance. Enables others to acquire the tools and support they need to perform well. Shows a commitment to public service. Influences others toward a spirit of service and meaningful contributions to mission accomplishment.

7. Strategic Thinking
Formulates effective strategies consistent with the business and competitive strategy of the organization in a global economy. Examines policy issues and strategic planning with a long term perspective. Determines objectives and sets priorities; anticipates potential threats or opportunities.

8. Vision
Takes a long-term view and acts as a catalyst for organizational change; builds a shared vision with others. Influences others to translate vision into action.

9. Conflict Management
Identifies and takes steps to prevent potential situations that could result in unpleasant confrontations. Manages and resolves conflicts and disagreements in a positive and constructive manner to minimize negative impact.

10. Cultural Awareness
Initiates and manages cultural change within the organization to impact organizational effectiveness. Values cultural diversity and other individual differences in the workforce. Ensures that the organization builds on these differences and that employees are treated in a fair and equitable manner.

11. Integrity/Honesty
Instills mutual trust and confidence; creates a culture that fosters high standards of ethics; behaves in a fair and ethical manner toward others, and demonstrates a sense of corporate responsibility and commitment to public service.

12. Team Building
Inspires, motivates, and guides others toward goal accomplishments. Consistently develops and sustains cooperative working relationships. Encourages and facilitates cooperation within the organization and with customer groups; fosters commitment, team spirit, pride, trust. Develops leadership in others through coaching, mentoring, rewarding and guiding employees.

13. Accountability
Assures that effective controls are developed and maintained to ensure the integrity of the organization. Holds self and others accountable for rules and responsibilities. Can be relied upon to ensure that projects within areas of specific responsibility are completed in a timely manner and within budget. Monitors and evaluates plans, focuses on results and measuring attainment of outcomes.

14. Customer Service
Balances interests of a variety of clients; readily readjusts priorities to respond to pressing and changing client demands. Anticipates and meets the need of clients; achieves quality end-products; is committed to continuous improvement of services.

15. Decisiveness
Exercises good judgment by making sound and well-informed decisions; perceives the impact and implications of decisions; makes effective and timely decisions, even when data are limited or solutions produce unpleasant consequences; is proactive and achievement oriented.

16. Entrepreneurship
Identifies opportunities to develop and market new products and services within or outside of the organization. Is willing to take risks, initiates actions that involve a deliberate risk to achieve a recognized benefit or advantage.

17. Problem Solving
Identifies and analyzes problems; distinguishes between relevant and irrelevant information to make logical decisions; provides solutions to individual and organizational problems.

18. Technical Credibility
Understands and appropriately applies procedures, requirements, regulations, and policies related to specialized expertise. Is able to make sound hiring and capital resource decisions and to address training and development needs. Understands linkages between administrative competencies and mission.

19. Financial Management
Demonstrates broad understanding of principles of financial management and marketing expertise necessary to ensure appropriate funding levels. Prepares, justifies, and/or administers the budget for the program area; uses cost-benefit thinking to set priorities; monitors expenditures in support of programs and policies. Identifies cost-effective approaches.

20. Human Resources Management
Using merit principles, ensures staff are appropriately selected, developed, utilized, appraised and rewarded as well as takes corrective action.

21. Technology Management
Uses efficient and cost-effective approaches to integrate technology into the workplace and improve program effectiveness. Develops strategies using new technology to enhance decision-making. Understands the impact of technological changes on the organization.

22. Influencing/Negotiating
Persuades others; builds consensus through give and take; gains cooperation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals; facilitates "win-win" situations.

23. Interpersonal Skills
Considers and responds appropriately to the needs, feelings, and capabilities of different people in different situations; is tactful, compassionate and sensitive, and treats others with respect.

24. Oral Communication
Makes clear and convincing oral presentations to individuals or groups; listens effectively and clarifies information as needed; facilitates an open exchange of ideas and fosters an atmosphere of open communication.

25. Partnering
Develops networks and builds alliances, engages in cross-functional activities; collaborates across boundaries, and finds common ground with a widening range of stakeholders. Utilizes contacts to build and strengthen internal support bases.

26. Political Savvy
Identifies the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization. Approaches each problem situation with a clear perception of organizational and political reality, recognizes the impact of alternative courses of action.

27. Written Communication
Expresses facts and ideas in writing in a clear, convincing, and organized manner.

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