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4. Support tools

We have developed a number of tools to assist individuals, leaders and HR practitioners to apply the descriptions and behaviours described in the Leadership Pathway. The tools form another significant component of the System.

All components of the System have been designed for flexible application. Agencies and individuals will select those tools that suit their requirements, adjusting as required to meet their particular contexts.

The tools are listed below and each is discussed in detail in the following sections.

  1. comparative view of the Leadership Pathway
  2. layers of complexity
  3. critical transition points
  4. individual profiles of the Leadership Pathway
  5. self assessment tools
  6. development methods and options
  7. mapping for individuals.

4.1 Comparative view of the Pathway: Detailed information

The comparative view of the Leadership Pathway scans across the levels from EL1 to SES B3 and describes the behaviours and the changes in capability at each level. Those capabilities where new behaviours have been introduced are shown in bold, while a more complex application of the behaviour is shown in italics.

This tool is highly versatile for individuals and is particularly useful in guiding leadership capability development for:

  • those who are aspiring to leadership positions at executive and senior executive levels
  • those transitioning to the next level, or to a new role
  • those who want to be more effective at their current level

HR practitioners will use this tool to:

  • coordinate leadership development opportunities
  • workforce plan
  • understand bench strength
  • support individuals in career planning.

The most significant changes in capabilities across the levels are found in:

  • Shapes strategic thinking
  • Achieves results
  • Cultivates productive working relationships.

4.2 Layers of complexity

This tool describes the increasing layers of complexity as roles change. It will help individuals identify the context that they are working in, or aspiring to.

As roles increase in seniority, the level of complexity increases in each of the four aspects—future focus, breadth of responsibility, breadth of contact, and breadth of impact.

  • Future focus—shifts from considering the longer-term implications of actions to developing a vision and direction for the future. This is most evident in the Shapes strategic thinking capability.
  • Breadth of contact—stakeholder interactions become more frequent and the range of stakeholders increases. This is most evident in the Cultivates productive working relationships capability.
  • Breadth on impact—shift occurs from an impact on one's self and the team, to an impact on a business unit, the whole organisation and then an impact on the whole of government. This is most evident in the Shapes strategic thinking and the Achieves results capabilities.
  • Breadth of responsibility—clear shift in responsibility that develops from a responsibility for achieving individual and team outcomes to a responsibility for achieving organisation wide outcomes. This is most evident in the Achieves results capability.

Individuals can identify where different aspects of their role are more complex than others. They are able to position themselves within the layers without perceiving their role to be at a higher level. The tool is also useful for managers to use as a basis for career planning discussions with staff.

Agencies will find these elements of complexity may affect levels other than executive and senior executive, depending on their particular context—e.g. small agency or strong regional base.

The following diagram expands the descriptions of these four aspects as they increase in complexity.

Figure 8: Increasing layers of complexity - from executive to senior executive

Future focus

  1. Emphasis on recognising long-term implications of own work & actions
  2. Develops plans & priorities based on consideration of long-term needs
  3. Engages the business unit in activities that facilitate the achievement of long-term strategic opportunities
  4. Identifies opportunities that exist in the future, recognises emerging trends and aligns the business operation to capitalise on these
  5. Focuses on the future with the specific aim of improving the organisation's capacity to deliver outcomes

Breadth of contact

  1. Interactions are primarily with the team, peers and colleagues
  2. Greater emphasis on bringing parties together to share information & knowledge with team, peers & colleagues
  3. Scope of interactions broaden and there is an increased emphasis on facilitating knowledge development and sharing
  4. Interactions reflect a cross agency focus, with an emphasis on encouraging stakeholders to work together to achieve outcomes
  5. There is an additional element of building a relationship with Ministers, and communicating the importance of consultation throughout the organisation

Breadth of impact

  1. Impact primarily on one's self and on the team
  2. Impact is on the business unit, specifically with a remit to ensure the operational effectiveness of the unit
  3. Impact on the business unit, however with a greater emphasis on defining and driving strategic direction of the group
  4. Impact shifts to the organisation
  5. A slight shift further towards organisation wide activity, including an emphasis on unifying the organisation

Breadth of responsibility

  1. Responsibility is relatively discrete, ands is primarily directed towards tasks, projects directly relevant in the job
  2. Responsibility shifts towards building business unit capacity & responsiveness
  3. Scope of responsibility moves beyond immediate priorities towards creating an environment that can flexibly respond to changing needs and circumstances
  4. Responsibility shifts towards the organisation, with and emphasis on ensuring organisational sustainability
  5. Organisation wide responsibility is evident with a focus on removing barriers to success and looking outside the organisation for possible solutions to issues

4.3 Critical transition points

Critical transition points have been identified for each capability across the various levels. These are points where new behaviours have been introduced and are indicated by bold text in the Comparative View of the Pathway at Section 4.1. The critical transition points are generalisations—agencies may expect some of these capabilities to be critical at levels other than those identified. This is a key characteristic to customising the Pathway and maintaining its flexibility. This tool is most useful in raising awareness of which capabilities will be undertaken in a different manner in a new role. It does not imply that only these capabilities change. It is cumulative; the behaviours at the level below create the 'floor level' behaviours for the next levels.

Figure 9 Critical transition points
Capabilities EL1 EL2 SES B1 SES B2 SES B3
Shapes strategic thinking
Inspires a sense of purpose and direction -> => -> -> ->
Focuses strategically -> => => => =>
Harnesses information and opportunities -> -> => -> =>
Shows judgement, intelligence and commonsense -> => => -> ->
Achieves results
Builds organisational capability and responsiveness -> => => => ->
Marshals professional expertise -> => -> -> ->
Steers and implements change and deals with uncertainty -> -> => -> =>
Ensures closure and delivers on intended results -> => => => ->
Cultivates productive working relationships
Nurtures internal and external relationships -> => -> => ->
Facilitates cooperation and partnerships -> => => -> =>
Values individual differences and diversity -> => -> -> =>
Guides, mentors and develops people -> -> => => ->
Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
Demonstrates public service professionalism and probity -> -> => => ->
Engages with risk and shows personal courage -> -> => -> ->
Commits to action -> -> => -> ->
Displays resilience -> -> => -> ->
Demonstrates self awareness and a commitment to personal development -> -> -> -> =>
Communicates with influence
Communicates clearly -> -> -> => ->
Listens, understands and adapts to audience -> => -> -> ->
Negotiates persuasively -> => => => ->

4.4 Individual profiles of the Pathway

Another way to look at the capabilities and behaviours described in the Pathway is by individual profiles. A profile exists for each level from EL1 to SES B3. The profiles describe the capabilities and behaviours expected at a particular level, and complement agency specific capabilities and individual job requirements.

If an individual wants to become more effective in their current role, the relevant profile will be particularly useful in guiding their leadership capability development. It is also useful for individuals aspiring to leadership positions at executive and senior executive levels, or if they are in transition to the next level, or to a new role.

The profiles do not contain any mandatory requirements but are tools to assist individuals to identify development needs and options.

4.5 Self assessment tools

This is a tool to inform individual's thinking about their capabilities. The completion of a self-assessment against their level or the level they are interested in, will assist individuals to prepare a development plan. This is not a formal assessment for performance appraisal purposes.

There are three self-assessment tools, arranged in pairs of levels.

  • Self-assessment for ELs combining EL1 and EL2
  • Self-assessment for SES combining SES B1 and B2
  • Self-assessment at the major critical transition into the SES, combining EL2 and SES B1.

Individuals preparing for a temporary or permanent career transition to a higher level should use the descriptions in the profile for the next level to identify areas for development.

Self-assessment tool for ELs

The self-assessment tool can be used as a guide to assist individuals identify areas of strength and areas that might benefit from development. For a complete picture of the capabilities and behaviours for each level, review the relevant profiles.

Instructions

  1. Read the descriptions of the capabilities listed below; reflect on a recent example where you demonstrated the capability and assess yourself as confident or not confident.
  2. Tick below to identify those capabilities where you believe you want more development or experience to build on your existing capabilities.
  3. You may then want to discuss with your manager areas you have identified that need further development or experience.
Shapes strategic thinking
EL1 EL2 A recent example More development?
Inspires a sense of purpose and direction
Provides direction to others regarding the purpose and importance of their work. Illustrates the relationship between operational tasks and organisational goals. Sets work tasks that align with the strategic objectives and communicates expected outcomes. Translates the strategy into operational goals and creates a shared sense of purpose within the business unit. Engages others in the strategic direction of the work area, encourages their contribution and communicates expected outcomes.   Y/N
Focuses strategically
Understands the organisation's objectives and aligns operational activities accordingly. Considers the ramifications of issues and longer-term impact of own work and work area. Understands the organisation's objectives and links between the business unit, organisation and the whole of government agenda. Considers the ramifications of a wide range of issues, anticipates priorities and develops long-term plans for own work area.   Y/N
Harnesses information and opportunities
Gathers and investigates information from a variety of sources, and explores new ideas and different viewpoints. Probes information and identifies any critical gaps. Maintains an awareness of the organisation, monitors the context in which the organisation operates and finds out about best practice approaches. Gathers and investigates information from a variety of sources, and explores new ideas and different viewpoints. Probes information and identifies any critical gaps. Maintains an awareness of the organisation, looks for recent developments that may impact on own business area and finds out about best practice approaches.   Y/N
Shows judgment, intelligence and commonsense
Undertakes objective, systematic analysis and draws accurate conclusions based on evidence. Recognises the links between interconnected issues. Breaks through problems and weighs up the options to identify solutions. Explores possibilities and innovative alternatives. Undertakes objective, critical analysis and distils the core issues. Presents logical arguments and draws accurate conclusions. Anticipates and seeks to minimise risks. Breaks through problems and weighs up the options to identify solutions. Explores possibilities and creative alternatives.   Y/N
Achieves results
EL1 EL2 A recent example More development?
Builds organisational capability and responsiveness
Reviews project performance and focuses on identifying opportunities for continuous improvement. Identifies key talent to support performance. Remains flexible and responsive to changes in requirements. Evaluates ongoing project performance and identifies critical success factors. Instigates continuous improvement activities. Responds flexibly to changing demands. Builds teams with complementary skills and allocates resources in a manner that delivers results.   Y/N
Marshals professional expertise
Values specialist expertise and capitalises on the expert knowledge and skills of others. Contributes own expertise to achieve outcomes for the business unit. Values specialist expertise and capitalises on the knowledge within the organisation as well as consulting externally as appropriate. Manages contracts judiciously. Contributes own expertise to achieve outcomes for the business unit.   Y/N
Steers and implements change and deals with uncertainty
Establishes clear plans and timeframes for project implementation and outlines specific activities. Responds in a positive and flexible manner to change and uncertainty. Shares information with others and assists them to adapt. Establishes clear plans and timeframes for project implementation and outlines specific activities. Responds in a positive and flexible manner to change and uncertainty. Shares information with others and assists them to adapt.   Y/N
Ensures closure and delivers on intended results
Sees projects through to completion. Monitors project progress and adjusts plans as required. Commits to achieving quality outcomes and ensures documentation procedures are maintained. Seeks feedback from stakeholders to gauge satisfaction. Strives to achieve and encourages others to do the same. Monitors progress and identifies risks that may impact on outcomes. Adjusts plans as required. Commits to achieving quality outcomes and ensures documentation procedures are maintained. Seeks feedback from stakeholders to gauge satisfaction.   Y/N
Cultivates productive working relationships
EL1 EL2 A recent example More development?
Nurtures internal and external relationships
Builds and sustains relationships with a network of key people internally and externally. Proactively offers assistance for a mutually beneficial relationship. Anticipates and is responsive to internal and external client needs. Builds and sustains relationships with a network of key people internally and externally. Recognises shared agendas and works toward mutually beneficial outcomes. Anticipates and is responsive to internal and external client needs.   Y/N
Facilitates cooperation and partnerships
Involves people, encourages them and recognises their contribution. Consults and shares information and ensures others are kept informed of issues. Works collaboratively and operates as an effective team member. Brings people together and encourages input from key stakeholders. Finds opportunities to share information and ensures that others are kept informed of issues. Fosters teamwork and rewards cooperative and collaborative behaviour. Resolves conflict using appropriate strategies.   Y/N
Values individual differences and diversity
Recognises the positive benefits that can be gained from diversity and encourages the exploration of diverse views. Harnesses understanding of differences to enhance interactions. Recognises the different working styles of individuals, and tries to see things from different perspectives. Recognises the positive benefits that can be gained from diversity and encourages the exploration of diverse views. Harnesses understanding of differences to anticipate reactions and enhance interactions. Recognises the different working styles of individuals, and tries to see things from different perspectives.   Y/N
Guides, mentors and develops people
Identifies learning opportunities for others and empowers them by delegating tasks. Agrees clear performance standards and gives timely praise and recognition. Makes time for people and offers full support when required. Delivers constructive, objective feedback in a manner that gains acceptance and achieves resolution. Deals with under-performance promptly. Encourages and motivates people to engage in continuous learning, and empowers them by delegating tasks. Agrees clear performance standards and gives timely praise and recognition. Makes time for people and offers full support when required. Delivers constructive feedback in a manner that gains acceptance and achieves resolution. Deals with under-performance promptly.   Y/N
Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
EL1 EL2 A recent example More development?
Demonstrates public service professionalism and probity
Adopts a principled approach and adheres to the APS Values and Code of Conduct. Acts professionally and impartially at all times and operates within the boundaries of organisational processes and legal and public policy constraints. Operates as an effective representative of the organisation in public and internal forums. Adopts a principled approach and adheres to the APS Values and Code of Conduct. Acts professionally and impartially at all times and operates within the boundaries of organisational processes and legal and public policy constraints. Operates as an effective representative of the organisation in public and internal forums.   Y/N
Engages with risk and shows personal courage
Provides impartial and forthright advice. Challenges important issues constructively, and stands by own position when challenged. Acknowledges mistakes and learns from them, and seeks guidance and advice when required. Provides impartial and forthright advice. Challenges important issues constructively, stands by own position and supports others when required. Acknowledges mistakes and learns from them, and seeks guidance and advice when required.   Y/N
Commits to action
Takes personal responsibility for meeting objectives and progressing work. Shows initiative and proactively steps in and does what is required. Commits energy and drive to see that goals are achieved. Takes personal responsibility for meeting objectives and progressing work. Shows initiative and proactively steps in and does what is required. Commits energy and drive to see that goals are achieved.   Y/N
Displays resilience
Persists and focuses on achieving objectives even in difficult circumstances. Remains positive and responds to pressure in a controlled manner. Continues to move forward despite criticism or setbacks. Persists and focuses on achieving objectives even in difficult circumstances. Remains positive and responds to pressure in a controlled manner. Maintains momentum and sustains effort despite criticism or setbacks.   Y/N
Demonstrates self awareness and a commitment to personal development
Self-evaluates performance and seeks feedback from others. Communicates and acts on strengths and development needs. Reflects on own behaviour and recognises the impact on others. Shows strong commitment to learning and self-development, and accepts challenging new opportunities. Critically analyses own performance and seeks feedback from others. Confidently communicates strengths and acknowledges development needs. Acts on negative feedback to improve performance. Reflects on own behaviour and recognises the impact on others. Shows strong commitment to learning and self-development, and embraces challenging new opportunities.   Y/N
Communicates with influence
EL1 EL2 A recent example More development?
Communicates clearly
Confidently presents messages in a clear, concise and articulate manner. Focuses on key points and uses appropriate, unambiguous language. Selects the most appropriate medium for conveying information and structures written and oral communication to ensure clarity. Confidently presents messages in a clear, concise and articulate manner. Translates information for others, focusing on key points and using appropriate, unambiguous language. Selects the most appropriate medium for conveying information and structures written and oral communication to ensure clarity.   Y/N
Listens, understands and adapts to audience
Seeks to understand the audience and tailors communication style and message accordingly. Listens carefully to others and checks to ensure their views have been understood. Checks own understanding of others' comments and does not allow misunderstandings to linger. Seeks to understand the audience and tailors communication style and message accordingly. Listens carefully to others and checks to ensure their views have been understood. Anticipates reactions and is prepared to respond. Checks own understanding of others' comments and does not allow misunderstandings to linger.   Y/N
Negotiates persuasively
Approaches negotiations with a strong grasp of the key issues, having prepared in advance. Understands the desired objectives and associated strengths and weaknesses. Anticipates the position of the other party, and frames arguments accordingly. Encourages the support of relevant stakeholders. Strives to achieve an outcome that delivers benefits for both parties. Approaches negotiations with a strong grasp of the key issues, having prepared well in advance. Understands the desired objectives and associated strengths and weaknesses. Anticipates the position of the other party, and adapts approach accordingly. Encourages the support of relevant stakeholders. Encourages debate and identifies common ground to facilitate agreement and acceptance of mutually beneficial solutions.   Y/N

Self-assessment tool for SES B1 and SES B2

The self-assessment tool can be used as a guide to assist individuals identify areas of strength and areas that might benefit from development. For a complete picture of the capabilities and behaviours for each level, review the relevant profiles.

Instructions

  1. Read the descriptions of the capabilities listed below; reflect on a recent example where you demonstrated the capability and assess yourself as confident or not confident.
  2. Tick below to identify those capabilities where you believe you want more development or experience to build on your existing capabilities.
  3. You may then want to discuss with your manager areas you have identified that need further development or experience.
Shapes strategic thinking
SES B1 SES B2 A recent example More development?
Inspires a sense of purpose and direction
Develops the strategic direction for the business unit and creates a shared sense of purpose by demonstrating how elements of the strategy fit together and contribute to higher-level goals. Encourages others' input and communicates required actions and expected outcomes Champions the organisation's vision and goals and promotes a shared commitment to the strategic direction. Helps create organisational strategies that are aligned with government objectives and likely future requirements. Encourages others' input and communicates expected outcomes from organisational strategies.   Y/N
Focuses strategically
Understands the organisation's direction and role within government and society including the whole of government agenda. Considers multiple perspectives when assessing the ramifications of issues. Develops plans that address both current and likely future requirements. Seeks to align business unit activities with strategic priorities. Understands the organisation's role within society and considers multiple perspectives when assessing the ramifications of key issues on the organisation and community. Provides advice to government that reflects analysis of a broad range of issues and the whole of government agenda. Considers emerging trends, identifies long-term opportunities and aligns organisational operations with strategic priorities.   Y/N
Harnesses information and opportunities
Draws on information and alternative viewpoints and monitors information channels to understand new issues of importance to the government. Monitors change in the environment. Seizes opportunities and adjusts approach to respond to threats. Addresses any critical information gaps. Uses knowledge of the organisation to provide a context for others. Draws on information and alternative viewpoints and monitors information channels to understand new issues of importance to the government. Monitors change in the environment. Positions the organisation to seize opportunities and minimise threats. Addresses any critical information gaps. Uses knowledge of the organisation to tailor approaches to different issues.   Y/N
Shows judgment, intelligence and commonsense
Applies intellect and knowledge to weigh up complex information and identify critical factors and issues. Works effectively when all of the information is not available. Explores the options in full and makes sound decisions under pressure. Considers opportunities and anticipates risk. Applies lateral thinking and identifies innovative solutions. Applies intellect and knowledge to weigh up information and identify critical factors and issues. Demonstrates effective judgement to weigh up options and develop realistic solutions. Anticipates risks, addresses them quickly and helps others to recognise them. Capitalises on innovative alternatives to resolve complex problems.   Y/N
Achieves results
SES B1 SES B2 A recent example More development?
Builds organisational capability and responsiveness
Investigates ways to improve effectiveness by harnessing technology and implementing continuous improvement activities. Builds teams with complementary skills and engages in succession planning. Responds flexibly to changing circumstances, deploys resources astutely and identifies optimum resourcing combinations. Creates a flexible environment that enables others to meet changing demands. Focuses on activities that support organisational sustainability. Nurtures talent and engages in succession planning. Facilitates information accessibility and sharing. Investigates ways to improve effectiveness by harnessing technology and implementing continuous improvement activities. Monitors and manages resourcing pressures for optimum outcomes. Creates a flexible environment that enables others to meet changing demands.   Y/N
Marshals professional expertise
Integrates professional expertise into the organisation to improve overall performance and delivery of business unit outcomes. Manages contracts judiciously. Actively ensures relevant professional input from others is obtained and shares own experience. Integrates professional expertise into the organisation to improve overall performance and delivery of organisational outcomes. Manages contracts judiciously. Actively ensures relevant professional input from others is obtained and shares own experience.   Y/N
Steers and implements change and deals with uncertainty
Adopts a planned approach to the management of programs. Defines high-level objectives and supports translation into implementation strategies. Operates effectively in an environment of ongoing change and uncertainty and maintains flexibility. Actively ensures stakeholders are kept informed during times of change. Oversees the implementation of multiple change initiatives with a focus on the desired outcomes. Defines high-level objectives and ensures translation into practical implementation strategies. Operates effectively in an environment of ongoing change and uncertainty and maintains flexibility. Actively ensures stakeholders are kept informed during times of change.   Y/N
Ensures closure and delivers on intended results
Drives a culture of achievement. Ensures ideas and intended actions become reality and that planned projects result in expected outputs. Strives for quality, and ensures compliance with regulatory requirements. Puts systems in place to establish and measure accountabilities. Manages risks that may impede on project outcomes and ensures that key stakeholders are across all relevant issues. Drives a culture of achievement, and fosters a quality focus in the organisation. Ensures ideas and intended actions become reality and that planned projects result in expected outputs. Enables the achievement of outcomes by identifying and removing potential barriers to success. Keeps stakeholders informed of progress and any issues that arise.   Y/N
Cultivates productive working relationships
SES B1 SES B2 A recent example More development?
Nurtures internal and external relationships
Builds and sustains relationships within the organisation, with the Minister's office, across the APS and with a diverse range of external stakeholders. Looks for shared agendas and uses these to bring people together. Shows a commitment to client service through own actions and those of the business unit. Builds and sustains relationships within the organisation, with the Minister's office, across the APS and with a diverse range of external stakeholders. Encourages stakeholders to work together, and establishes cross-agency approaches to address issues. Shows a commitment to client service through own actions and those of the organisation.   Y/N
Facilitates cooperation and partnerships
Brings people together and encourages input from key stakeholders. Facilitates cooperation within and between organisations. Promotes the reciprocal sharing of information to build knowledge. Fosters teamwork and rewards cooperative and collaborative behaviour. Resolves conflict and manages the sensitivities involved. Consults broadly to obtain buy-in. Draws on the knowledge of key stakeholders within and outside the organisation and facilitates cooperation by sharing information. Promotes information exchange by maintaining open communication channels. Personally manifests strong interpersonal relations and rewards cooperative and collaborative behaviour. Anticipates and resolves conflict.   Y/N
Values individual differences and diversity
Recognises the positive benefits that can be gained from diversity and capitalises on these for the benefit of the business unit. Harnesses understanding of differences to anticipate reactions and enhance interactions. Recognises the different working styles of individuals, and tries to see things from different perspectives. Capitalises on the positive benefits that can be gained from diversity and harnesses different viewpoints. Uses understanding of differences to anticipate reactions and enhance the operation of the organisation. Recognises the different working styles of individuals, anticipates reactions and tries to see things from different perspectives.   Y/N
Guides, mentors and develops people
Encourages and motivates people to engage in continuous learning, and empowers them by delegating responsibility for work. Sets clear performance standards and gives timely praise and recognition. Makes time for people and offers full support when required. Delivers constructive feedback and manages under-performance. Offers support in times of high pressure and engages in activities to maintain morale. Identifies and develops talent. Encourages and motivates people to engage in continuous learning, and empowers them by delegating responsibility for work. Sets clear performance standards and gives timely praise and recognition. Makes time for people and offers full support when required. Delivers constructive feedback and manages under-performance. Offers support in times of high pressure. Celebrates success and engages in activities to maintain morale.   Y/N
Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
SES B1 SES B2 A recent example More development?
Demonstrates public service professionalism and probity
Adheres to and promotes the APS Values and Code of Conduct and acts with utmost integrity and professionalism. Encourages these standards in others. Operates professionally and within the boundaries of organisational processes and legal and public policy constraints. Represents the organisation effectively in public and internal forums, and advocates the corporate agenda. Adheres to and promotes the APS Values and the Code of Conduct and aligns business processes accordingly. Addresses breaches of protocol and probity. Operates professionally and within the boundaries of organisational processes and legal and public policy constraints. Represents the organisation effectively in public and internal forums, and advocates the corporate agenda.   Y/N
Engages with risk and shows personal courage
Provides impartial and forthright advice. Is prepared to make tough corporate decisions to achieve desired outcomes. Challenges and encourages debate on difficult or controversial issues. Stands by own position and supports others when required. Takes responsibility for mistakes and learns from them. Seeks guidance and advice when required. Provides impartial and forthright advice. Is prepared to make tough corporate decisions to achieve desired outcomes. Clearly voices own opinion and challenges difficult or controversial issues. Stands by own position and supports others when required. Takes responsibility for mistakes and learns from them. Seeks guidance and advice when required.   Y/N
Commits to action
Commits to achieving key outcomes for the organisation. Demonstrates personal drive, focus and energy. Galvanises others to act. Acts decisively and initiates urgent action to overcome difficult problems. Commits to achieving key outcomes for the organisation and uses personal drive, focus and energy to enthuse others. Galvanises others to act. Acts decisively and initiates urgent action to overcome difficult problems.   Y/N
Displays resilience
Persists with, and focuses on achieving, organisational objectives even in difficult circumstances. Monitors own emotional reactions and responds to pressure in a controlled manner. Displays a positive outlook and maintains momentum in difficult situations. Persists and focuses on achieving organisational objectives even in difficult circumstances. Monitors own emotional reactions and responds to pressure in a controlled manner. Overcomes obstacles and rapidly recovers from setbacks. Displays a positive outlook in difficult situations.   Y/N
Demonstrates self awareness and a commitment to personal development
Examines own performance and regularly seeks feedback from others. Confidently promotes areas of strength, acknowledges development needs and proactively identifies related learning opportunities to extend skills and experience. Reflects on own behaviour and recognises the impact on others. Demonstrates a high level of self-awareness and acknowledges areas of both strength and limitation. Confidently promotes areas of strength and proactively identifies learning opportunities to extend skills and experience. Reflects on the impact of own behaviour on others and is responsive in adjusting behaviour.   Y/N
Communicates with influence
SES B1 SES B2 A recent example More development?
Communicates clearly
Confidently presents messages in a clear, concise and articulate manner. Focuses on key points for the audience and uses appropriate, unambiguous language, and explains the implications and ensures the conclusion is clearly conveyed. Selects the most appropriate medium for conveying information and structures written and oral communication to ensure clarity. Confidently presents messages in a clear, concise and articulate manner. Focuses on key points for the audience and states the facts. Structures message for brevity and presents message with precision and confidence, harnessing the most appropriate methods of communication. Creates meaning for the audience by using analogies and stories to illustrate key points.   Y/N
Listens, understands and adapts to audience
Seeks to understand the audience and tailors communication style and message accordingly. Listens carefully to others and checks to ensure their views have been understood. Anticipates objections and prepares a response to address the audience's concerns. Checks own understanding of others' comments and does not allow misunderstandings to linger. Seeks to understand the audience and reads their non-verbal cues. Adapts communication style and message to meet their needs. Listens carefully to others and ensures their views have been understood. Anticipates objections and prepares a response to address the audience's concerns. Checks own understanding of others' comments and does not allow misunderstandings to linger.   Y/N
Negotiates persuasively
Approaches negotiations with a strong grasp of the key issues. Presents a convincing and balanced rationale. Anticipates the position of the other party, and is aware of the extent of potential for compromise. Acknowledges and addresses disagreements to facilitate mutually beneficial solutions. Encourages the support of relevant stakeholders. Focuses on the desired objectives and ensures negotiations remain on track. Approaches negotiations with a strong grasp of the key issues. Presents a convincing and balanced rationale. Focuses on the way in which the message is delivered, and uses techniques to illustrate the argument persuasively. Anticipates the position of the other party, and is aware of the extent of potential for compromise. Acknowledges and addresses disagreements to facilitate mutually beneficial solutions. Identifies key stakeholders and seeks their support. Focuses on the desired objectives and ensures negotiations remain on track.   Y/N

Self-assessment tool for EL2 and SES B1

The self-assessment tool can be used as a guide to assist individuals to identify areas of strength and areas that might benefit from development. For a complete picture of the capabilities and behaviours for each level, review the relevant profiles.

Instructions

  1. Read the descriptions of the capabilities listed below; reflect on a recent example where you demonstrated the capability and assess yourself as confident or not confident.
  2. Tick below to identify those capabilities where you believe you want more development or experience to build on your existing capabilities.
  3. You may then want to discuss with your manager areas you have identified that need further development or experience.
Shapes strategic thinking
EL2 SES B1 A recent example More development?
Inspires a sense of purpose and direction
Translates the strategy into operational goals and creates a shared sense of purpose within the business unit. Engages others in the strategic direction of the work area, encourages their contribution and communicates expected outcomes. Develops the strategic direction for the business unit and creates a shared sense of purpose by demonstrating how elements of the strategy fit together and contribute to higher-level goals. Encourages others' input and communicates required actions and expected outcomes   Y/N
Focuses strategically
Understands the organisation's objectives and links between the business unit, organisation and the whole of government agenda. Considers the ramifications of a wide range of issues, anticipates priorities and develops long-term plans for own work area. Understands the organisation's direction and role within government and society including the whole of government agenda. Considers multiple perspectives when assessing the ramifications of issues. Develops plans that address both current and likely future requirements. Seeks to align business unit activities with strategic priorities.   Y/N
Harnesses information and opportunities
Gathers and investigates information from a variety of sources, and explores new ideas and different viewpoints. Probes information and identifies any critical gaps. Maintains an awareness of the organisation, looks for recent developments that may impact on own business area and finds out about best practice approaches. Draws on information and alternative viewpoints and monitors information channels to understand new issues of importance to the government. Monitors change in the environment. Seizes opportunities and adjusts approach to respond to threats. Addresses any critical information gaps. Uses knowledge of the organisation to provide a context for others.   Y/N
Shows judgment, intelligence and commonsense
Undertakes objective, critical analysis and distils the core issues. Presents logical arguments and draws accurate conclusions. Anticipates and seeks to minimise risks. Breaks through problems and weighs up the options to identify solutions. Explores possibilities and creative alternatives. Applies intellect and knowledge to weigh up complex information and identify critical factors and issues. Works effectively when all of the information is not available. Explores the options in full and makes sound decisions under pressure. Considers opportunities and anticipates risk. Applies lateral thinking and identifies innovative solutions.   Y/N
Achieves results
EL2 SES B1 A recent example More development?
Builds organisational capability and responsiveness
Evaluates ongoing project performance and identifies critical success factors. Instigates continuous improvement activities. Responds flexibly to changing demands. Builds teams with complementary skills and allocates resources in a manner that delivers results. Investigates ways to improve effectiveness by harnessing technology and implementing continuous improvement activities. Builds teams with complementary skills and engages in succession planning. Responds flexibly to changing circumstances, deploys resources astutely and identifies optimum resourcing combinations. Creates a flexible environment that enables others to meet changing demands.   Y/N
Marshals professional expertise
Values specialist expertise and capitalises on the knowledge within the organisation as well as consulting externally as appropriate. Manages contracts judiciously. Contributes own expertise to achieve outcomes for the business unit. Integrates professional expertise into the organisation to improve overall performance and delivery of business unit outcomes. Manages contracts judiciously. Actively ensures relevant professional input from others is obtained and shares own experience.   Y/N
Steers and implements change and deals with uncertainty
Establishes clear plans and timeframes for project implementation and outlines specific activities. Responds in a positive and flexible manner to change and uncertainty. Shares information with others and assists them to adapt. Adopts a planned approach to the management of programs. Defines high-level objectives and supports translation into implementation strategies. Operates effectively in an environment of ongoing change and uncertainty and maintains flexibility. Actively ensures stakeholders are kept informed during times of change.   Y/N
Ensures closure and delivers on intended results
Strives to achieve and encourages others to do the same. Monitors progress and identifies risks that may impact on outcomes. Adjusts plans as required. Commits to achieving quality outcomes and ensures documentation procedures are maintained. Seeks feedback from stakeholders to gauge satisfaction. Drives a culture of achievement. Ensures ideas and intended actions become reality and that planned projects result in expected outputs. Strives for quality, and ensures compliance with regulatory requirements. Puts systems in place to establish and measure accountabilities. Manages risks that may impede on project outcomes and ensures that key stakeholders are across all relevant issues.   Y/N
Cultivates productive working relationships
EL2 SES B1 A recent example More development?
Nurtures internal and external relationships
Builds and sustains relationships with a network of key people internally and externally. Recognises shared agendas and works toward mutually beneficial outcomes. Anticipates and is responsive to internal and external client needs. Builds and sustains relationships within the organisation, with the Minister's office, across the APS and with a diverse range of external stakeholders. Looks for shared agendas and uses these to bring people together. Shows a commitment to client service through own actions and those of the business unit.   Y/N
Facilitates cooperation and partnerships
Brings people together and encourages input from key stakeholders. Finds opportunities to share information and ensures that others are kept informed of issues. Fosters teamwork and rewards cooperative and collaborative behaviour. Resolves conflict using appropriate strategies. Brings people together and encourages input from key stakeholders. Facilitates cooperation within and between organisations. Promotes the reciprocal sharing of information to build knowledge. Fosters teamwork and rewards cooperative and collaborative behaviour. Resolves conflict and manages the sensitivities involved.   Y/N
Values individual differences and diversity
Recognises the positive benefits that can be gained from diversity and encourages the exploration of diverse views. Harnesses understanding of differences to anticipate reactions and enhance interactions. Recognises the different working styles of individuals, and tries to see things from different perspectives. Recognises the positive benefits that can be gained from diversity and capitalises on these for the benefit of the business unit. Harnesses understanding of differences to anticipate reactions and enhance interactions. Recognises the different working styles of individuals, and tries to see things from different perspectives.   Y/N
Guides, mentors and develops people
Encourages and motivates people to engage in continuous learning, and empowers them by delegating tasks. Agrees clear performance standards and gives timely praise and recognition. Makes time for people and offers full support when required. Delivers constructive feedback in a manner that gains acceptance and achieves resolution. Deals with under-performance promptly. Encourages and motivates people to engage in continuous learning, and empowers them by delegating responsibility for work. Sets clear performance standards and gives timely praise and recognition. Makes time for people and offers full support when required. Delivers constructive feedback and manages under-performance. Offers support in times of high pressure and engages in activities to maintain morale.   Y/N
Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
EL2 SES B1 A recent example More development?
Demonstrates public service professionalism and probity
Adopts a principled approach and adheres to the APS Values and Code of Conduct. Acts professionally and impartially at all times and operates within the boundaries of organisational processes and legal and public policy constraints. Operates as an effective representative of the organisation in public and internal forums. Adheres to and promotes the APS Values and Code of Conduct and acts with utmost integrity and professionalism. Encourages these standards in others. Operates professionally and within the boundaries of organisational processes and legal and public policy constraints. Represents the organisation effectively in public and internal forums, and advocates the corporate agenda.   Y/N
Engages with risk and shows personal courage
Provides impartial and forthright advice. Challenges important issues constructively, stands by own position and supports others when required. Acknowledges mistakes and learns from them, and seeks guidance and advice when required. Provides impartial and forthright advice. Is prepared to make tough corporate decisions to achieve desired outcomes. Challenges and encourages debate on difficult or controversial issues. Stands by own position and supports others when required. Takes responsibility for mistakes and learns from them. Seeks guidance and advice when required.   Y/N
Commits to action
Takes personal responsibility for meeting objectives and progressing work. Shows initiative and proactively steps in and does what is required. Commits energy and drive to see that goals are achieved. Commits to achieving key outcomes for the organisation. Demonstrates personal drive, focus and energy. Galvanises others to act. Acts decisively and initiates urgent action to overcome difficult problems.   Y/N
Displays resilience
Persists and focuses on achieving objectives even in difficult circumstances. Remains positive and responds to pressure in a controlled manner. Maintains momentum and sustains effort despite criticism or setbacks. Persists with, and focuses on achieving, organisational objectives even in difficult circumstances. Monitors own emotional reactions and responds to pressure in a controlled manner. Displays a positive outlook and maintains momentum in difficult situations.   Y/N
Demonstrates self awareness and a commitment to personal development
Critically analyses own performance and seeks feedback from others. Confidently communicates strengths and acknowledges development needs. Acts on negative feedback to improve performance. Reflects on own behaviour and recognises the impact on others. Shows strong commitment to learning and self-development, and embraces challenging new opportunities. Examines own performance and regularly seeks feedback from others. Confidently promotes areas of strength, acknowledges development needs and proactively identifies related learning opportunities to extend skills and experience. Reflects on own behaviour and recognises the impact on others.   Y/N
Communicates with influence
EL2 SES B1 A recent example More development?
Communicates clearly
Confidently presents messages in a clear, concise and articulate manner. Translates information for others, focusing on key points and using appropriate, unambiguous language. Selects the most appropriate medium for conveying information and structures written and oral communication to ensure clarity. Confidently presents messages in a clear, concise and articulate manner. Focuses on key points for the audience and uses appropriate, unambiguous language, and explains the implications and ensures the conclusion is clearly conveyed. Selects the most appropriate medium for conveying information and structures written and oral communication to ensure clarity.   Y/N
Listens, understands and adapts to audience
Seeks to understand the audience and tailors communication style and message accordingly. Listens carefully to others and checks to ensure their views have been understood. Anticipates reactions and is prepared to respond. Checks own understanding of others' comments and does not allow misunderstandings to linger. Seeks to understand the audience and tailors communication style and message accordingly. Listens carefully to others and checks to ensure their views have been understood. Anticipates objections and prepares a response to address the audience's concerns. Checks own understanding of others' comments and does not allow misunderstandings to linger.   Y/N
Negotiates persuasively
Approaches negotiations with a strong grasp of the key issues, having prepared well in advance. Understands the desired objectives and associated strengths and weaknesses. Anticipates the position of the other party, and adapts approach accordingly. Encourages the support of key stakeholders. Encourages debate and identifies common ground to facilitate agreement and acceptance of mutually beneficial solutions. Approaches negotiations with a strong grasp of the key issues. Presents a convincing and balanced rationale. Anticipates the position of the other party, and is aware of the extent of potential for compromise. Acknowledges and addresses disagreements to facilitate mutually beneficial solutions. Encourages the support of key stakeholders. Focuses on the desired objectives and ensures negotiations remain on track.   Y/N

4.6 Development methods and options

Development methods vary and it is valuable to incorporate a blend of development activities into a career development plan. Research by the Corporate Leadership Council in 2001 indicated that leadership development occurs best when development opportunities are distributed amongst a number of activities[2].

A range of development options could include:

  • challenging job-based experiences including job rotation, special assignments and cross-functional involvement including special projects or taskforces
  • exposure to the strategic agenda and to senior officials of the organisation
  • well-targeted training (such as executive development programs or formal skills training, where appropriate)
  • self-development strategies
  • use of senior mentors and coaches.

Figure 10 Development methods and options

No single development option will cover all dimensions of a public service career. The examples included in Figure 11 describe development options that will build breadth and depth of experience. This list is by no means exhaustive, and opportunities will vary depending on the Agency and location.

Figure 11 Development opportunities

Public sector service delivery role

Examples include:

  • working with clients and/or members of the public;
  • leading and managing a service delivery work team.

Potential benefits:

  • understanding the impact of implementing policies
  • gaining experience in process and people management
  • demonstrating the application of people and client skills, and flexibility
  • gaining experience in accountability for financial and physical resources
  • gaining experience in leading and managing teams

Public sector policy role

Examples include:

  • secondment to a special cross-partner project;
  • conducting research as part of a multi-disciplinary team;
  • experiencing and articulating an external (e.g. community, business, regional or international) perspective into policy formulation, evaluation or implementation;
  • work experience over more than one agency sector or area of specialisation.

Potential benefits:

  • understanding policy development, implementation, monitoring and evaluating of processes and practices
  • understanding how government programs are structured
  • understanding how consultation processes contribute to success and timeliness of programs
  • gaining experience in accountability for financial and physical resources
  • gaining experience in leading and managing teams
  • developing research skills

National office or central organisation role

Examples include:

  • leading and managing a work team in a national office environment;
  • participating in a project team with staff drawn from both national and regional offices.

Potential benefits:

  • understanding how the whole APS works
  • appreciating the coordination and prioritisation required to pursue a broad strategy
  • relating with people at senior level in other APS agencies

Branch or regional office role

Examples include:

  • implementing national policy at local level;
  • field testing or researching for future policy initiatives;
  • participating in a project team with staff drawn from both national and regional offices.

Potential benefits:

  • understanding the viewpoint of people outside of a national office environment
  • providing advice that recipients see as understanding, and being relevant to, regions and communities

Experience in a Minister's office

Examples include:

  • providing advice directly to ministers, senior officials, or select committees;
  • contributing to the management of the political–government interface.

Potential benefits:

  • developing confidence in relationships with ministers and the ability to assert professional advice
  • developing timing, tone, prioritisation and policy advice that are in step with Ministers' needs, building trust and confidence in professional ability
  • understanding how politicians operate, and how decisions are made

International experience

Examples include:

  • attending Leading Australia's Future in Asia (LAFIA), representing Australia's interest on the international arena, which is the core aspect of the work of several agencies, e.g. foreign affairs, trade and overseas development, economic development, tourism and education—most ministers have an international dimension to their work.

Potential benefits:

  • understanding Australia's perspective and contribution to international issues
  • acquiring ability to represent a whole of government perspective on international affairs and issues
  • seeing how other countries' public sectors are approaching similar challenges

Private sector experience

Examples include:

  • developing operations and customer facing systems;
  • managing a small or medium business;
  • starting up a business;
  • business advisory role;
  • quality assurance role;
  • development role in one of the primary or major industry sectors;
  • managing the public–private sector interface.

Potential benefits:

  • developing credibility with the business world
  • developing a broader view through gaining insights into the demands of the global economic system and the impact on the Australian economy and society

Voluntary/social activities

Examples include:

  • bringing up a family;
  • belonging to a voluntary society;
  • doing volunteer services abroad;
  • chairing a local committee;
  • serving on a public or professional body as an elected official;
  • providing mentoring or support to members of a community or professional organisation.

Potential benefits:

  • understanding community perspectives, developing trust and credibility with community stakeholders
  • being able to influence without being in a position of authority, or being able to impose an expert view
  • developing a broader view of the impact of service delivery and how to build values into operations
  • engaging with community stakeholders and gaining support for policy and gathering feedback on implementation

Undertaking stretch assignments

Examples include:

  • working with people or in situations not previously encountered;
  • being placed in high-stake, ambiguous or difficult situations; dealing with or leading significant change;
  • leading or implementing a 'whole of organisation' project;
  • taking on a significant project of work that presents new learning and challenges;
  • managing people for the first time;
  • moving from line operations to corporate or policy role, or vice versa;
  • taskforce assignment or special project work involving increased scope.

Potential benefits:

  • developing confidence in own judgement
  • developing change management skills
  • developing skills in influencing others
  • displaying courage to take on new challenges and experience, or promote a professional view
  • acquiring ability to think systematically rather than focusing only on tasks
  • developing a vision for a new future and managing the complexities involved in making it happen

Informal development

Examples include:

  • self-directed study and wide reading;
  • being mentored or coached;
  • experiential learning;
  • providing mentoring and support to members of a community or profession;
  • personal life and work experiences outside of paid work.

Potential benefits:

  • seeing areas for improvement and opportunities for development
  • realising own potential and that of others

Formal education and training courses

Examples include:

  • attending seminars and presentations from leading thinkers;
  • personal and professional courses.

Potential benefits:

  • building intellectual capability and conceptual frameworks
  • updating knowledge

Postgraduate study

Examples include:

  • completing Masters or further study;
  • PSM Program;
  • ANZSOG Masters of Public Administration: Executive Fellows.

Potential benefits:

  • increasing facility to see the big picture and make conceptual connections and holistic responses
  • having opportunity to reflect
  • linking in to influential networks of potential future leaders and CEOs
  • applying a conceptual framework to earlier experiences

Capability development planning

Once an individual has completed the self assessment tool, and decided on the most appropriate development methods, the capability development planner provides a template to assist individuals to document their development plan. Individuals seeking to develop their capability can also use the development planner as a basis for a conversation with their manager.

The following sample capability development plan for an EL working in the APS Commission is included as a guide. The sample planner is based on the development options available for an APS Commission employee—individuals should consider the development options that are available within their agency, as this will vary depending on location and size of agency. A blank template is provided on the following page as a starting point for individuals.

Figure 12 Sample capability development plan for an EL working in APS Commission

Figure 13 Template for capability development plan
Category Options
Learning and development opportunities  
Education  
Coaching and mentoring  
Organisational opportunities  

4.7 Mapping for individuals

Each component of the System has been mapped below to assist individuals as they work through the process.

Figure 14: Mapping for individuals

Comparative view

  • The comparative view of the Leadership Pathway scans across the levels from EL1 to SES B3 and describes the behaviours, and the changes in capability at each level.
  • Individuals aspiring to more senior leadership positions can use the descriptions in the comparative view for the next level to identify areas for development.

Layers of complexity model

  • This tool describes the increasing layers of complexity as roles change.
  • Individuals can identify each of the aspects of the model that are relevant for their current or future role.

Critical transition points

  • Critical transition points have been identified for each of the Pathway capabilities across the various levels (dark arrows).
  • They are the points where new behaviours have been introduced and are indicated by bold text in the Comparative View of the Pathway.

Individual profiles

  • The Profiles allow individuals to look at the capabilities and behaviours for a specific level.
  • Critical transition points for each level have been shaded.

Self-assessment

  • Self-assessment tools have been included to assist individuals clarify their development needs. This is not a formal assessment for performance appraisal purposes.
  • Locate the self-assessment for your level, or the one above. They are paired to make comparison with another level easier.
  • Remember the self-assessment tool is only asking Are you confident behaving in this way, do you want more development?

Development methods

  • This tool will assist individuals to identify the development methods that best meet their agency requirements and circumstances.
  • Are there development methods that you prefer? Are there methods that you don't normally consider?

Capability development planning sample and template

  • The capability development planning tool provides a template to assist with recording your development needs.
  • Once you have identified the capabilities that you want more development in, decide on the complexity of the context that you are, or will be, operating in. Then consider appropriate development methods.
  • Refer to your agency's development opportunities, the APS Commission website and other avenues of development that you are familiar with.
  • Plot your development plan on the template provided.