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Can Government Grow Great Leaders?

As a part of the Academy’s Executive Consortium, the Academy and Human Capital Solutions conducted a symposium on June 23, 2005, that addressed key issues regarding federal leadership development.

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Key Findings

  • Symposium participants stressed the importance of agencies focusing on ways to build and sustain leadership. Key themes identified by the panel and participants were:
  • New competencies are needed for the leaders of today and tomorrow.
  • Federal agencies need to better transfer successful military leadership practices to civilian leadership development.
  • The "culturalization" and institutionalization of leadership is critical.
  • New personnel authorities are needed to enhance government leadership development programs.


The final report of the “21st Century Manager Series,” “Final Report and Recommendations: The 21st Century Manager,” noted that today there is an enormous gap between what is expected of federal leaders and what they are capable of delivering. Closing this gap is essential to effective government programs and the overall fundamental well-being of the United States. The symposium provided information about what is needed to help address this fundamental leadership need. Recommendations included ensuring that leaders have new competencies to address today’s and tomorrow’s challenges, learning from the positive leadership development experiences of the military, "culturalizing" and institutionalizing leadership, and providing needed changes to personnel rules that could enhance leadership development.

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