Preparing to Lead


Quick Details


June – November 2018*




GS-7 to GS-11 federal employees

Program Details PDF


For more information contact Chris Wingo at or
(202) 464‑2690.

*The June kickoff session will be held in Washington, D.C. All other sessions will be held virtually.

The American people rely on the federal government to address their needs and plan for the country’s long-term security and well-being. To fulfill these responsibilities, agencies increasingly are turning to federal employees throughout the country who excel in their current roles and would like to become our government’s next generation of leaders.

The Preparing to Lead program is a professional development opportunity that prepares federal employees for leadership roles. Participants who are early in their government careers practice strategies to help them become more effective employees and develop critical leadership skills they will be able to use throughout their careers.

Participants learn how to identify opportunities for change and collaborate with others most effectively, both within their teams and across the organization.

How to Apply

Completed applications must include your personal information, professional experience and objectives, up-to-date resume and supervisor approval form.

You do not need to complete the application in one session. You can save it and return to it later.

If you have further questions, please see the FAQ section.


Program Structure

After the Partnership holds an in-person kickoff session, the program will continue online with semi-monthly 90-minute sessions. In these virtual sessions, experienced instructors engage participants in conversations and activities and around key course concepts. Participants will also work in teams to make a digital, group presentation on a leadership concept of their choice. This assignment will give participants an opportunity to hone their virtual presentation capabilities, an important skill to develop as federal employees must learn to work with an increasingly remote workforce.

Session 1: June 21-22 (in person)

Why Public Service?
  • Reflect on your path to public service
  • Understand your personal values and your contribution to public service
  • Consider potential next steps in your federal career

Session 2: July 11 (virtual)

Emotional Intelligence
  • Recognize the value of understanding your personal emotional intelligence
  • Understand how emotional intelligence impacts your relationships
  • Identify and pursue tangible activities to strengthen your emotional intelligence

Session 3: July 25 (virtual)

Building Adaptability
  • Identify ways to stay flexible in a changing environment
  • Build skills to stay resilient through adversity

Session 4: August 8 (virtual)

Communicating with Clarity
  • Learn how to advocate for yourself during conversations with superiors
  • Understand essential communication techniques
  • Evaluate the impact and efficiency of your communication with others

Session 5: August 29 (virtual)

Managing Conflict
  • Learn effective conflict-management skills
  • Identify strategies for managing relationships from your level

Session 6: September 12 (virtual)

Effective Collaboration
  • Learn how to build relationships with colleagues at all levels
  • Identify what you can do at your level to promote better collaboration within and across teams

Session 7: September 26 (virtual)

Improving Customer Experience
  • Determine your customers and your responsibilities to them
  • Learn best practices for engaging with public- and private-sector customers
  • Reflect on the impact improved customer service has on your agency’s mission

Session 8: October 10 (virtual)

Navigating Structures
  • Understand your role within a larger organization
  • Identify ways to maneuver within the system effectively

Session 9: October 24 (virtual)

Creative Problem Solving
  • Learn how to develop creative solutions and ideas
  • Learn how agencies across the federal government are creatively addressing difficult challenges
  • Use course concepts to create innovative solutions to challenging issues

Session 10: November 7 (virtual)

Synthesis and Reflection
  • Discuss how to use core concepts to chart your leadership path
  • Build your personal leadership plan


Members from the Partnership staff will work with you throughout the Preparing to Lead program to ensure that your cohort experience goes smoothly.

Janira Garcia
Associate Manager

Cameron Kober

Anna Taleysnik-Mehta


Q: Who is eligible to apply?
A: The Preparing to Lead Program is designed for federal employees at the GS-7 to GS-11 levels.

Q: What application materials must I provide to be eligible?
You are required to submit a copy of your resume with all your professional work experience, both inside and outside of government. You must also submit a supervisor approval form.

Q: How will I know if I’m accepted?
The Partnership will send you an email notifying you of your acceptance status within a week after the application deadline.

Q: I’m no longer able to attend, will I receive a refund?
If you have participated in one or more sessions, we will determine whether a credit or partial refund is appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Can I reapply if I am not accepted into the program?
Yes, you are able to reapply as long as you meet the program’s minimum qualifications.

Q: Is there an application fee?

Q: How much is tuition?
Tuition is $3,500 and covers all course materials, including articles and management tools; online collaboration tools for team projects; and access to the Partnership’s resources, expertise and networks.

Q: When is the tuition deadline, and what are the options for tuition payment?
Pay should be arranged prior to the first session (the specific date will be provided in the first program communication to accepted applicants). Your agency is responsible for paying tuition. We do not accept payment from individual applicants.

We accept the following forms of payment: credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express), purchase order or Standard Form 182 (SF-182). The Tuition Form will provide instructions to request a purchase order that can be paid by your agency through Automated Clearing House transfer or check.

We will work directly with an agency contact—such as a training coordinator or human resources specialist—who is responsible for paying tuition, and we will need you to provide us with a contact’s name, email and phone number. Requests for tuition status updates should go through that contact.

Q: What should I do if I have to miss parts of a session or an entire session? Do you offer make-up sessions?
Participants can make up a session the next time the program is offered.

Q: Where will the sessions take place?
All classroom sessions will take place online, except for the kickoff session, which will be in Washington, D.C.