Leading Change and Leading People
Leading Change-continual learning, creativity and innovation, external awareness, flexibility, resilience, service motivation, strategic thinking, and vision
? 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.

Leading People, Leveraging Diversity, Integrity/Honesty and Team Building
? 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.

(please use the information below this line for 4 page paper 1100 words)
I have been a leader in government and the private business environment for more than 20 years. My leadership experience encompasses service to my Nation as a noncommissioned officer in the United States Army and as a senior civilian manager within the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense. I have learned that leading a change initiative requires more than just envisioning the future. It [To what does “it” refer? If a pronoun is used without first identifying for what it stands, the reader might be confused.] requires staying on top of people, budgets, materials, vendors, and others, while at the same time [Redundancy, consider either “while” or “at the same time.”] making sure that necessary day to day [spelling — (requires hyphen)] business activities continue. In today?s environment, change is the norm. Before an organization can finish getting adjusted to one change, it [What is “it”? Avoid use of undefined pronouns. ] gets hit with several others. We?re [contractions are not appropriate in academic writing, e.g., don’t should be do not] living in a constant period of transition, and the shelf life of our solutions keeps getting shorter. ?What works? becomes history in a hurry.
In the course of development of my career in public service (military and civil service), I have had the privilege of learning from and being mentored by several outstanding senior officials.

During my career I have been promoted 10 times to attain my current grade of GS-15, which serves as an example of my ability to lead change and people, garner support for ?people programs?, build relationships, influence resources, and get results. As a result of my leadership contributions I have received the following honors for my performance:

? 2004 Secretary of Veterans Affairs (SECVA) Special Contribution Award (1999-2004)
? 2004 Selected for the VA SES Candidate Development Program (186 applicants, 33 selected)
? 2003 Secretary of Veterans Affairs Commendation for the Task Force on Women?s
Employment and Advancement (committee member and subcommittee leader)
? 2003 Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Honor Award for Performance (2001-2003)
? 2003 VA Quality Step Increase (GS-15, step 3-4)
? 2003 Selected for Leadership VA Executive Development Program LVA-2003
? 2002 VA Quality Step Increase (GS-15, step 1 to 3)
? 2001 Secretary of Defense Certificate of Recognition for support of 2001 Attack on
America (survivor)
? 2001 Secretary of Defense Meritorious Service Award
? 2000 Highlighted in Ebony Magazine w/Secretary of Defense (Nov)
? 1997 Selected by the Women in Service for America Memorial
Foundation (WIMSA) to represent the Department of the Army on a U [word choice — “an U”] .S. Post Office commemorative postage stamp recognizing the contributions of women in military service
? 1997 Certificate of Retirement, Department of the Army
? 1982-1997 Awarded 7 honor awards by the United States Army, to
include: The Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal; Good Conduct Medal; Army Staff Badge; Army Achievement Medal; Army Commendation Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Army Safety Award; Superior Unit Award; Air Force and Organizational Excellence Award

Example 1-Leading Change and Leading People:
Although a cabinet level organization since 1989, the Department of Veterans Affairs(VA) did not have an effort focused on protocol services. The organization needed an effort that directly advised, assisted, and supported development activities for the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and the Chief of Staff on official matters of national and international protocol, and in the planning, hosting, and officiating of related events and activities for visiting heads of state, members of Congress, senior Veteran Service Organizations (VSO?s), and diplomats. This was a challenge during the first year of the 2001-2004 administration when the department received visits from senior U.S. and foreign dignitaries to include the Vice President of the United States and Minister of Veterans Affairs for The Republic of Korea.

After learning of several challenges with VA events with high-level emissaries, I conceived, developed, and submitted a proposal to establish the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Protocol, while I [no comma before “while” — the following is not a stand-alone clause] was employed at the Department of Defense. This was an opportunity for me to demonstrate my skills in leading change (continual learning, creativity and innovation, external awareness, flexibility, resilience, service motivation, strategic thinking, and vision); and leading people (leveraging diversity, integrity/honesty and team building).

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and Chief of Staff reviewed my proposal, interviewed me (with 10 members of the SECVA staff), and approved my proposal and directed the creation of a centralized office responsible for planning, leading, organizing, and controlling of national and international events befitting of a cabinet-level organization. In October 2001, I was selected to establish the Office of Protocol. The purpose of my position was to lead the protocol services for the department(260,000 employees). At this level of the Department, projects or problems assigned are not clear cut and solutions are often nebulous. Getting buy-in from staff is a crucial piece in finding answers to difficult problems. I have a track record of taking on the hard tasks in my organization and developing a plan, getting buy-in from experienced staff, and producing results. I stood up the first Office of Protocol and opened a new territory in managing events and programs from a ?Systems Thinking? perspective. Immediately upon my appointment, I met with senior leaders and managers, which included senate confirm personnel (offices of the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Under Secretary for Health, Under Secretary for Benefits, Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs, Chief of Staff, Inspector General, Chairman, Board of Veterans Appeals, General Counsel, Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental, Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology, Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning, Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs, Assistant Secretary for Human Resources [human resources is not capitalized unless it is part of a title, e.g., XYZ Corp. Human Resources Department ] and Administration, Assistant Secretary for Management, Chairman, Board of Contract Appeals Director, Center for Women Veterans, Director, Center for Minority Veterans, Director, CARES Commission, Counselor to the Secretary, Special Assistant to the Secretary, Special Assistant, CARES, Deputy Chief of Staff, Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary, Executive Secretary, and the Special Assistant) to determine their perspectives on VA?s protocol needs and to discuss how the program could be structured to best meet their needs and organizational requirements as customers. I was the person responsible for researching, benchmarking and developing an implementation plan for the new structure. Next I had the challenge to motivate and build relationships with program officials (100+), to devote significant resources to projects to ensure success. To do this I instituted weekly meetings, which I invited program officials to discuss various elements of the project, their concerns regarding the project, specific challenges their programs are facing, ideas for meeting challenges and how the office of protocol could help them meet requirements. This candid exchange of ideas gave key players in the process some control over their early commitment. I directed all aspects of the Office of Protocol, to include program administration, resource management, human resource management, communications, customer service, and work plan accomplishment.

A major part of establishing the office of protocol was finding a balance between traditional (military) protocol and providing protocol services that support VA?s mission and its culture. I learned to integrate the essential components of an organization: human capital, financial , and technological resources to standardize protocol service delivery. I again seized opportunity to demonstrate my skills in leading people, emphasizing the area of team building and planned the selection of a team of 5 highly skilled professionals. In addition, I supervised the actions of more that 100 program partners who together executed delivery of cabinet level protocol related services. To date this includes high profile events, national programs of significance such as the Presidential Rank Awards, Robert F. Carey Award for Quality, Annual Observance of Veterans Day, Chaplains Awards, Carey Awards, and etc [“etc” is an abbreviation for the Latin “and the rest,” and since it already contains “and,” that word is redundant] . I developed the infrastructure essential to the Department?s success in protocol related activities within VA to support the following activities:
Ceremonies & [Do not use an ampersand except in citations and on the sources page.] Events (Routine)
? Events (Top 5-High Profile):
o 2002 Vice President Cheney Presentation to Korean War Veterans
o 2004 Secretary of Veterans Affairs (SECVA) Dedication iho The Honorable Sonny
Montgomery Veterans Conference Ctr
o 2004 Secretary of Veterans Affairs (SECVA) & [Do not use an ampersand except in citations and on the sources page.] Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
Dedication Ceremony iho Price of
o Freedom: Americans at War Exhibit (Reception)
o 2005 Farewell Ceremony iho 4th Secretary of Veterans Affairs
o 2005 Swearing-In Cremony iho 5th Secretary of Veterans Affairsat the US Chamber
of Commerce
? Swearing in ceremonies for all Senior Officials (political appointees) (as required)
? Advisory Committee Appointments (as required)
? Award ceremonies for all SES’ (as required)
? Retirement ceremonies for all SES’ (as required)
? Annual Observances (as required: MLK Birthday, Hispanic Heritage, etc.)
? Annual VA Awards (as required)

o Presidential Rank Awards
o Labor Management Awards
o Robert F. Carey Awards
o Olin Teague Awards
o Veterans Day Observance
o Equal Employment Opportunity Award (EEO)
o Excellence in Nursing Awards
o Holiday Activities (Employee Sing Along, VA Employee Walk Thru, and VSO Reception)
o Employee recognition ceremonies (award, retirements, swearing-ins, appreciation, etc.)
o Ethnic Observances
o Organization ceremonies (dedication, signings, task force recognitions)

Courtesy Calls
? Visits of foreign officials (22 to date: Minister of Veterans Affairs for the United Kingdom, Korea, Tawain, Vietnam, Jordan, etc.)

Routine Misc meetings:
? VA Executive Board (Qtrly Mtgs)
? BoB Mtgs-Business Opportunity Boards (Qtrly Mtgs)
? JPEC Joint Executive Committee Mtg (Qtrly Mtgs)
? Senior Mgt Council (SMC) (Qtrly Mtgs)
? VA Off-Site Mtgs-2-3 yrly *location: misc

FY 01 FY02 FY03 FY04 FY05 Totals
Breakfasts Meetings Presentations 0 0 26 23 1 50
Award & [Do not use an ampersand except in citations and on the sources page.] Retirement Ceremonies 6 22 60 41 1 130
Education Series 0 1 1 1 0 3
Foreign Visits 2 9 8 4 0 23
Misc (Pres/Recep/CCs) 1 8 1 60 8 78
Luncheon Meetings/Presentations 4 15 40 18 4 81
Observances (annual, ethnics) 4 10 11 15 0 40
Adv Committees Presentations 4 0 8 3 0 15
Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies 1 1 1 1 1 5
Signing Ceremonies 0 2 4 3 0 9
Swearing-in Ceremonies 5 2 3 7 0 17
Visits (misc) 5 5 8 6 0 24
Total 32 75 171 182 15 475

As there are a myriad of tasks to complete a ceremony usually 300, and a team of professionals to support the following services:

? Sequence of events
? Program scripts, agenda
? General Administration
? Site Search/Selection
? Guest List maintenance
? Letters of Invitation
? Signage
? On Site Support Services
? Social correspondence (invitations, programs, etc.)
? Security
? Venue Setup and preparation walk thrus
? photographer
? presentation of colors

I led an elite cadre of hand-picked staff to provide protocol services for related activities. Each staff member was new to VA, and new to the type of services we would be delivering. As such, I ?personally? trained each member of my staff and ensured their [pronoun agreement: since the antecedent (each) is singular, the pronoun (their) must be singular {his or her}] efforts were in accordance with VA?s mission, ?To care for him whom have borne the battle, and his widow, and orphan, by former President Abraham Lincoln?. I have mentored my employees, and successfully nominated them to hold positions on several activities within the organization to include:
? Vice Manager, VA Federal Women?s Program (2003-2004)
? Member of the Office of Administration Quality Council (2004-present)
? Member of the Customer Service Initiatives Work Group
? Member of the 2004 Women Veterans Summit
? Member of the OPIA National Special Events Planning Team (2002-pres)

As one who values diversity, half of my employees are women, minorities, and veterans. They too have unique roles in their lives which range from being parents, spouses, and a single parent, balancing the demands of work and homelife and providing top notch services to the department. I transformed this group of talented employees into a cohesive ?high achieving team?. This office is on the cutting edge [Clich? — your writing will be much better if you do not use this phrase] of activities throughout the department(at the highest level). I created a vision: ?To provide premier protocol services throughout the department?; mission: ?To provide worldclass protocol via special events, read aheads, gift program, foreign visits, and meeting management? for the Office of Protocl, set high goals, developed performance measurements and positioned the office to be the focal point for movement toward excellence throughout the organization. I recognize and maximize individual strengths creating a synergy for personal and office accomplishments. I strengthen the skills of my staff and subordinates through concrete learning experiences, performance coaching and counseling, and by involving them and their ideas in my decision-making process. This small office clearly outstrips normal output for an office of its size. Each member of my staff has received promotions for 3 consecutive fiscal years (FY02, FY03, and FY04) and special contribution awards, of significant amounts directly from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in recognition of their outstanding performance and their ability to meet the challenges of increased levels of responsibility and complexity of work. I have personally received from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Chief of Staff a promotion, several Special Contribution Awards and a Quality Step Increase (QSI) from 2001 until present.

As leader of this office, I am called on constantly as a Go To person and I am asked to take on the ?impossible? tasks. In the last year alone, incredibly short suspensed taskings directly from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Deputy Secretary, and Chief of Staff Offices were very common place and all were successfully accomplished. My office is recognized for its agility and hard charging character and has been singled out by a myriad of senior leaders. My proactive leadership in the Office of Protocol contributes immeasurably to the overall success of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Daily, the office of protocol provides viable services, which had not previously been available, and prevents embarrassing situations on a national and international level. My office is an indispensable tool for developing relationships with the VA?s stakeholders, preparing and executing events appropriate for high-ranking officials, while maintaining [no comma before “while” — the following is not a stand-alone clause] a positive impact on the organization?s image and working environment are all part of my less-than-average day. The Office of protocol has grown to provide major services to include: ceremonies and special events; daybooks for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (SECVA) (dictating his movements for an entire day), gift and presentations program, and meetings management.

The impact of my contribution established and defined the Office of Protocol for the Department of Veterans Affairs. My efforts and the efforts of my staff have ensured the stature of the Department of Veterans Affairs is functioning appropriately at the Cabinet level and is in the highest interest of the United States of America?s most precious jewels, its ?Veterans?..

Example 2-Leading Change and Leading People:

Throughout my career, I have become recognized by leaders and staff as an advocate of ?continuous learning?. In lieu of all the roles I have lived simultaneously as: a working professional, student, wife, mother, and soldier, I have always been driven to enhance my skills and the skills of others by embracing continuous learning. As a lifelong advocate of continuous learning, I have completed several formal educational programs to enhance my contribution as a leader and set the example for peers and staff. These have prepared me for the challenges of tomorrow by being knowledgeable and supporting my organization today. They have also assisted greatly me in becoming a better mentor to others.

I am committed to improving my skills in the area of leading change. I set the example as a continuous learner daily. I recently completed, the Master of Business Administration [do not capitalize] with a concentration in Human Resource [human resource is not capitalized unless it is part of a title, e.g., XYZ Corp. Human Resources Department ] Management from the University of Phoenix, March 2005. This degree will provide me with the most current techniques and tools which will assist my contribution to my organization. The skills I have learned will assist me by defining and solving problems, assessing information, considering alternatives, and choosing the best solution. I have enhanced my report writing, oral reporting, and group process skills. The program emphasized for me the identification, analysis, and solution of complex human resource management problems that require technical understanding and balanced decision making [spelling — (requires hyphen)] . I am developing an additional expertise in the solution of persistent management problems. Thus far, in the program the courses I have completed have greatly assisted in the development of my skills in the area of ?leading change and leading people?. They include: Fundamentals of Executive Management; Human Relations and Organizational Behavior; Legal Environment of Business; Information Management [do not capitalize] in Business; Advanced Marketing Management; Strategy, Formulation, and Implementation; International Business Management [do not capitalize] ; Applied Management Science [do not capitalize] Project; Management of The Total Enterprise; Managerial Communication; and Human Resources [human resources is not capitalized unless it is part of a title, e.g., XYZ Corp. Human Resources Department ] Management.

In particular, MGT 512, Fundamentals of Executive Management, a course designed for high-potential managers who wish to accelerate their development as an executive and a leader, provided me key concepts, frameworks and tools essential to career success. The course stretched my ability through simulations, case discussions, workshop activities and exercises that apply ideas to actual business challenges. I was provided with sophisticated assessment and feedback tools to identify and address opportunities for improving leadership communication and individual and organizational performance.

In several positions, I have held, I have applied buiness concepts such as best practices and benchmarking, which I learned in my formal education.
? As the Director of Protocol, to which I established the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Protocol. Using Systems Thinking models, I directed all aspects of the organization, to include program administration, resource management, communications, customer service, and work plan accomplishment, team of 4 and 100+ program partners.
o Through the best practice of Teamwork, I lead the planning, organizing, controlling, and execution for cabinet level activities, special events (250, valued at $150k) and executive actions 2000 (actions annually).
o Ensuring proper usage of resources, I led the organization in saving more than 50% of reception fund budget (FY02, FY03, FY04). I lead the national level events of significance include: Annual Observance of Veterans Day; Presidential Rank Awards, Nursing Awards, Ethnic Observances, Chaplains Award, Socioeconomic Awards, CVE Awards, Ceremonies (Swearing-Ins, Signing, Retirement, Award) and Visits of Foreign Dignitaries.
o Using leverage of my position within the Office of the Secretary, I was requested by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources [human resources is not capitalized unless it is part of a title, e.g., XYZ Corp. Human Resources Department ] to participate as a member of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Task Force for Women Employment and Advancement; VHA VA Learning University Marketing Committee; and the LVA Alumni 2004 Planning Committee. My efforts resulted in my receiving a promotion and The Secretary of Veterans Affairs Commendation Medal, Deputy Secretary Honor Award, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resource [human resource is not capitalized unless it is part of a title, e.g., XYZ Corp. Human Resources Department ] Management Honor Award.

? While at the Department of Defense as the USO Liaison Officer for the Secretary of Defense, my application of best business practices helped me to provide assistance in leading the USO team in contributing to more than 100 in standing-up the DoD Family Crisis Center for Sep 11th Attack on The Pentagon at 6:00am on November 12th, 2001. As a survivor of September 11th Attack on the Pentagon, and a key developer of the crisis response team, I assisted a myriad of injured pentagon employees. I developed coordinated and negotiated legislative strategy for the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF), prepared testimony and USO program briefings for the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and provided oversight for the $6 million dollar USO congressional budget allocation (largest to date). My efforts resulted in receiving an honor and performance award the Secretary of Defense Certificate of Recognition for efforts on Sep 11th Attack on America.

? During my tenure as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense and Deputy Secretary of Defense for Quality of Life Issues. I built consensus and a team of 50+ to create and establish the USO Exhibit located in the Pentagon, valued at $50k, and viewed by more than 100,000 tourists per year. During this period I also assisted in creating and executing the Secretary of Defense?s 1st Family Forum for servicemembers, and conceptualized a partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for spouse employment. I coordinated and streamlined staff policy, developed consensus positions and maintained focus on current goals and objectives for the Secretary of Defense. I facilitated timely flow of information between DOD and other federal agencies required for critical decision making [spelling — (requires hyphen)] processes. My efforts resulted in me receiving the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Service Award

The business concepts I have learned, enabled me to have a positive impact one each of my organizations, the Department of the Army; Department of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. My continuous learning over the past 20 years is demonstrated by the results of my performance of duty. The return on investment I have received is the preparation of me to be a better contributing employee and leader. This has led me to share my knowledge with others and become a mentor to a myriad of employees. In summary, the total essence of my character has been enhanced in the areas of performance of duty, work ethic, customer service, and leadership.