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Proposed revisions to the "Cultural Awareness" Leadership Competency

Thursday, September 28, 2000
MSG 2000-078
Human Resources Directors
K. Joyce Edwards /s/ September 26, 2000 Director Office of Executive Resources Managment
Proposed revisions to the "Cultural Awareness" Leadership Competency

Our commitment to excellence in the executive corps requires constant focus on the leadership competencies to ensure they describe the attributes of high performing leaders, convey organizational values and strategic direction.

The view of the Federal Government on diversity has broadened. Historically, the focus has been on equal employment opportunity and affirmative employment. The current view embraces the business, cultural, demographic and legal dimensions. Managing diversity is much more than a matter of "getting the numbers right." Research consistently shows that the most effective executives and organizations view a diverse workforce as an asset and managing it a business necessity.

With the support of the OPM's Personnel Research and Development Center, we convened a diverse panel of experts from within and outside the Federal Government to consider the current definition of "Cultural Awareness", the leadership competency that deals with diversity. The panel was charged with revising the definition to reflect state-of-the art thinking with regard to diversity.

The panel developed a new title and definition that embodies the values of building, managing and maintaining a diverse, highly-qualified workforce. The definition stresses accountability and is results oriented.

Attached for your review is the proposed definition and title. Please share it with stakeholders in your agencies and let us know what you think by October 6, 2000. You may share your ideas with me, Marcia K. Staten, the contact for this initiative, or Daliza Salas, Director of the SES Staffing Center. We may be reached on 202-606-1610, or via email at

SES Leadership Competency


Cultural Awareness


Leveraging Diversity

Initiates and manages cultural change within the organization to impact organizational effectiveness

Recruits, develops, and retains a diverse high-quality workforce in an equitable manner. Leads and manages an inclusive workplace that nurtures and maximizes the talents of each person to achieve sound business results.

Values cultural diversity and other individual differences in the workforce.

Respects, understands, values and seeks out individual differences to achieve the vision and mission of the organization.

Ensures that the organization builds on these differences and that employees are treated in a fair and equitable manner.

Develops and uses measures and rewards to hold self and others accountable for achieving results