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Creating a Leadership Pipeline


Thu Nov 07 2013

Creating a Leadership Pipeline

This engaging and interactive session was moderated by Peter Bonner and included a distinguished panel consisting of Quentin Currie, U.S. Department of Education; Mary Lamary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; and John Palguta, the Partnership for Public Service.  After introductory remarks, the panelists dove directly into the challenges of building a successful leadership pipeline.

Key Steps


The moderator and panelists together came up with a series of foundational steps that must be taken in order to build a successful pipeline:

  • Identify the mission.

  • Determine what it will take to complete.

  • Look to buying talents while building a plan.

  • Identify potential candidates and assessments to evaluate them.

  • Engage frontline managers, who are crucial to influencing and owning the process.

  • Manage resources and lead people.

Identifying Potential Leaders

The panel also discussed creative strategies to identify and develop top talent.  Alumni networks for agencies can be great places to find people given that these are people with government experience and experience specific to a particular agency.  There wouldn’t be so great of a need for extensive onboarding for people with pervious federal experience, thereby reducing ramp up time.  Alumini are also people who may know other alumni, whether or not they are affiliated with alumni groups.

The panelists also agreed that they liked to see people with multiple agency experience as it told of a number of leadership qualities, such as initiative, risk-taking, and flexibility, along with a more holistic view of government.

One of the panelists suggested that when looking at retention of quality leadership candidates within the government, one should broaden the definition of retention by looking at retention across multiple levels, including agency, department, and within the broader framework of public service.


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