Leading Change ECQ Examples

Learn More About ECQs & KSAs

What Is an ECQ?

Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) are the competencies required by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to apply for a Senior Executive Service job. The five ECQs are specifically chosen characteristics and attributes intended to showcase a candidate’s executive experience and nontechnical expertise. For a candidate to become a part of the Senior Executive Service, they must demonstrate their success through these five elements:

  • Leading Change
  • Leading People
  • Results Driven
  • Business Acumen
  • Building Coalitions
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What Does It Mean to Lead Change?

When you’re writing your ECQ about Leading Change, you must demonstrate how you brought innovation to the organization that you lead. Choose examples that highlight your creative thinking, strategic capability and resilience in the face of opposition or adversity. Six segments comprise the Leading Change ECQ:

  • Creativity and innovation: You must develop new and unique ideas and inspire creative thinking within your team and organization. Your application should show that you challenge traditional thinking when it has become ineffective and that you can design new solutions to fix existing management problems.
  • External awareness: You show awareness of the factors that impact your organization at a local, national and global level and anticipate upcoming factors that may impact your organization. You understand what impacts organizational stakeholders and consider them in your work.
  • Flexibility: You demonstrate an ability to accept and welcome organizational change while adapting to new challenges that arise within your organization.
  • Resilience: You adapt to challenges and quickly bounce back while maintaining a positive attitude and demanding one from your team. You take responsibility and offer leadership in the face of challenges. You demonstrate an ability to move forward after setbacks.
  • Strategic thinking: You demonstrate an ability to think ahead and make the best decisions possible for the company. You seize opportunities, meet goals and mitigate risks. In the end, you must demonstrate an ability to understand and formulate long-term objectives for your organization.
  • Vision: You have clear long-term visions and goals that you can share with your team and materialize within your organization. You think of the future and execute plans for your organization.

Visit our examples page to read examples on Leading Change ECQs and Leading People ECQs.

Tips for Selecting Your Leading Change Examples

As always, the most important thing about ECQs is clearly and thoroughly addressing the competencies within the different essays. But you also need a starting point, the beginning of a career story.
Here are some potential ideas and scenarios that others have used to write highly successful Leading Change narratives:

 Designing/implementing new, streamlined policies or business processes to align operations with strategic goals; institute a new mission, approach, or service.

 Developing a long-term vision and strategic plan that challenged conventional ways of thinking and addressed shifting requirements, such as economy and political environments.

 Standing up a new organization from scratch or changing/expanding a division or group that represents a new capability/service.

 Developing a new vision for an organization in disorder and shifting the culture and operations to a more positive environment, while overcoming resistance and using innovative approaches.

 Other situations in which your efforts brought about impactful change in support of strategic goals within and/or outside your organization.


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