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How to Address Position Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate that they meet the leadership and technical requirements when applying for executive positions. Each requirement must be individually addressed. Read each leadership and technical requirement in its entirety so that you will know precisely what type of experience the reviewers will be looking for.

Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

To give us specific information about your achievements, we recommend using the following Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model to describe the challenges you've faced in your career:


Describe the specific problems or goals you worked on.


Discuss the individuals and groups you worked with, and/or the environment in which you worked when you tackled particular challenges (e.g., clients, co-workers, members of Congress, shrinking budget, low morale).


What were the specific actions you took to address the challenges?


Give specific examples of the results of your actions. These accomplishments should demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of your leadership skills.

Writing Tips

This model is intended to help you frame your experiences and guide you in writing about them. Do not break up your narrative by labeling sections "Challenge", "Context", etc., which would be distracting to the reader. Use bullets to draw attention to information such as the number of employees you led, the size of the budget you managed, the geographic or functional scope of operations directed, and similar information.


  • Communicate in a clear, concise, organized and convincing manner
  • Focus on accomplishments, outcomes and results — not your personal beliefs or philosophies
  • Show measurable results (increased efficiency, productivity gains, cost savings)
  • Emphasize your personal leadership contributions (what you did, not what the organization did)
  • Include training or awards that relate to specific leadership/technical requirements
  • Have someone review your application — correct spelling or grammatical errors


  • List every award you've ever received or training class you've taken.
  • Use statements that simply parrot the competencies
  • Copy your job description
  • Address the requirements by referring the reader to other parts of your application
  • Include irrelevant information, letters of recommendation, or performance documentation


Limit your discussion of each requirement to 1–2 pages per requirement.

Executive Success Profile: Dimension & Competency Definitions

Listed below are the definitions and key characteristics (activities or behaviors) associated with each of the executive leadership dimensions. You can use these as guideposts to help you think about relevant experiences you've had.

Dimension 1: Achieving Operational Results

Successful executives apply a variety of techniques to deliver results. They establish clear, measurable objectives for the organizations and the people they manage. They adjust organizational operations to capitalize on lessons learned from both successes and failures. They make tough decisions to solve complex problems. They appropriately allocate resources to correspond to organizational priorities. They understand their clients' requirements and focus on delivering high quality products and service to satisfy those requirements.

Competency 1: Managing Organizational Performance

  • Sets key individual and organizational performance objectives
  • Effectively addresses individual and organizational performance issues
  • Adjusts the way work is performed to meet changing conditions and demands
  • Instills a sense of pace and urgency into the organization and seeks to maintain momentum
  • Takes corrective actions to ensure that critical programs meet budget and schedule requirements
  • Adopts new management systems and technology to improve quality and productivity

Competency 2: Accountability and Measurement

  • Takes responsibility for achievement of established performance objectives
  • Acknowledges personal failures as well as achievements
  • Establishes accountability for achieving objectives
  • Establishes systems to monitor progress and identify problem areas
  • Reaches agreement with other executives on common goals and mutual accountability
  • Assesses organizational successes and failures and applies lessons learned

Competency 3: Problem Solving

  • Provides clear direction but gives space for initiative and creativity
  • Addresses organizational barriers that impede success
  • Anticipates the impact and consequences of decisions
  • Analyzes and addresses the interaction of complex variables
  • Recognizes organizational and political interests
  • Engages stakeholders in making critical decisions
  • Makes tough decisions
  • Seeks win-win solutions in the face of opposing viewpoints
  • Helps resolve problems external to the organization that affect overall FAA performance

Competency 4: Business Acumen

  • Justifies resource requirements to internal and external stakeholders (e.g., cost-effectiveness and return on investment)
  • Works collaboratively to fund the right priorities from an FAA-wide viewpoint
  • Addresses National Aviation Priorities in budget and resource plans
  • Allocates and manages human, financial, and material resources effectively
  • Makes appropriate resource tradeoffs to achieve FAA long-term objectives
  • Tracks costs of doing business

Competency 5: Customer Focus

  • Leverages customer knowledge and insight
  • Shares information and ideas with customers
  • Establishes customer-oriented performance metrics
  • Plans for and adapts to changing customer relationships
  • Understands the needs, drivers, and constraints of stakeholders
  • Understands market and economic factors affecting FAA and the aerospace industry

Dimension 2: Leading People

Successful executives recognize that talented people working together accomplish the work of the FAA. They ensure that teams are established and properly supported. They establish organizations where all people are able to contribute. They make sure that employees' talents are cultivated and that developmental opportunities are available.

Competency 6: Building Teamwork and Cooperation

  • Uses teamwork effectively to achieve business results
  • Capitalizes on the diversity of talent to enhance team performance
  • Encourages differing opinions to be expressed and respected
  • Coaches teams toward goal achievement
  • Equips teams with resources to accomplish objectives
  • Anticipates barriers and resistance to change and looks for solutions
  • Works effectively across functions and cultures

Competency 7: Building the Model Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program

  • Creates an environment in which people thrive and accomplish their best
  • Recognizes and rewards high performance
  • Encourages people to take pride in their work
  • Manages people effectively
  • Prevents or eliminates discrimination and harassment
  • Understands and responds to the differing needs of people

Competency 8: Developing Talent

  • Provides feedback to employees to facilitate their development
  • Coaches, mentors, and guides development of employees
  • Plans for the development and deployment of talent in the organization
  • Supports development of corporate talent in other parts of the agency
  • Focuses training and development investments on defined business priorities
  • Leverages assignments to provide developmental opportunities (e.g., details)

Dimension 3. Building Relationships

Successful executives skillfully communicate and work with others. They establish a climate where ideas are openly exchanged. They establish networks inside and outside the organization to foster agency objectives. They seek consensus and collaboration, treating others with respect. They are reliable and ethical, honoring commitments and demonstrating high standards of behavior.

Competency 9: Communication

  • Communicates openly and honestly
  • Listens effectively and communicates understanding
  • Effectively interprets intent, influence, and non-verbal elements of communications
  • Fosters open communication and exchange of ideas and knowledge throughout the organization
  • Tailors communication style to fit different groups and circumstances
  • Facilitates lateral communication

Competency 10: Building Alliances

  • Represents FAA positions effectively to stakeholders
  • Understands the organization's impact on stakeholders
  • Fosters networks, alliances, and other business relationships
  • Finds and develops common ground among a wide range of stakeholders (e.g., labor, industry, public, international, other government entities)
  • Builds and maintains external stakeholder trust and confidence

Competency 11: Interpersonal Relations and Influence

  • Builds and sustains commitment to decisions
  • Collaborates with others to achieve results
  • Helps build consensus
  • Consistently treats others with respect
  • Builds rapport with other executives
  • Handles emotionally charged or controversial issues responsibly

Competency 12: Integrity and Honesty

  • Acknowledges personal failures as well as achievements
  • Leads with consistency, dignity, compassion and integrity
  • Demonstrates and fosters high standards and ethical behavior
  • Fulfills commitments
  • Stands behind decisions
  • Presents viewpoints with courage and conviction
  • Models commitment to public service and the mission of the FAA

Dimension 4: Leading Strategic Change

Successful executives lead fundamental changes in the ways that the organization operates. They are not satisfied with the status quo. Instead, they envision far-reaching changes and follow up with action to make sure that the changes occur. They successfully deal with ambiguity, learn from experience, and think creatively.

Competency 13: Vision

  • Builds a shared vision with others across the organization
  • Communicates organizational direction and priorities clearly
  • Anticipates political, economic, international, technological, and industry changes that will impact mission
  • Pursues opportunities to move the organization toward the vision
  • Articulates the connection between the efforts of employees and the mission of the agency
  • Engages others in translating vision into action

Competency 14: Strategy Formulation

  • Balances a long-term view of mission and purpose with short-term requirements
  • Determines objectives and sets priorities
  • Identifies immediate and longer range objectives
  • Analyzes implications of different strategic options and determines appropriate course of action
  • Addresses trends and future changes affecting the FAA
  • Translates strategy into concrete action plans that integrate multiple elements and programs

Competency 15: Agility

  • Works effectively under pressure (e.g., flexible, adaptable, resilient)
  • Changes viewpoints, behavior and work methods in response to new information
  • Copes with complex or ambiguous situations
  • Demonstrates a "can-do" attitude to achieving results
  • Recovers quickly from setbacks
  • Pursues self-development based on feedback
  • Learns from experience (failures and successes)

Competency 16: Innovation

  • Acts as a catalyst for organizational change
  • Models creative thinking and innovation
  • Challenges the status quo
  • Builds organizational readiness for change
  • Enables implementation of new ideas and innovative approaches
  • Supports and rewards individuals who take responsible risks
  • Champions implementation of new systems and technology

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