Leadership and management for EL2s

The 2006-07 State of the Service Report (APSC) includes a chapter on leadership, management and communication (Chapter 7) that offers some insights into what is expected of an EL2.

After identifying the leadership expectations for senior levels, the report goes on to say that “Employees at all levels can support leaders in their agency by examining new ways of doing things and identifying opportunities for their work area to contribute more effectively to achieving agency outcomes.”

Management is regarded as dealing with more practical tasks, “including financial, contract, project, risk management and managing people.”

Based on the underpinning survey, the report points out that EL2s:

  • have relatively limited experience outside their agency, with almost two-thirds having worked in only one agency
  • have a strong identify with their agency, which is a plus, but a greater sense of APS identify could be useful given EL2s have an important role as “carriers of culture”.
  • have skill gaps when it comes to people management (as do the SES). One third of agencies surveyed also reported skill gaps in these areas: capacity to steer and implement change, strategic thinking, communicating effectively.

These comments suggest that if you wish to progress in your career then these actions would be worth considering:

  • gain experience in other agencies, including central agencies
  • develop an APS perspective by identifying as a professional public servant in the APS
  • develop your people management skills
  • look for opportunities to steer and implement change, use strategic thinking and communicate effectively.
Dr Ann Villiers, career coach, writer and author, is Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist® specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people.