Great leadership books in 2012
For the federal leaders on your holiday shopping list, here are some of my favorite leadership books from 2012. Each book offers keen insights into management, human nature, and the thinking and actions of those who have been on the frontlines and succeeded.Continue reading this post »
Using data to improve government performance
Like most baseball fans in the nation’s capital, I had my heart broken when the Washington Nationals failed to advance in the playoffs.
While still in mourning, I was shocked by the number of pundits who claimed to have all of the answers to the team’s heartbreaking defeat. They should have pitched Stephen Strasburg. The other pitchers are bums. Davey Johnson, the team’s skipper, made the wrong calls.
Everyone is entitled to their views, but the problem is that most of the post-game analysis was based on uninformed opinion and emotion, not on a careful analysis of all the facts.
Surprisingly, there’s an analogy to federal leaders’ management of government programs. Particularly during elections, every armchair analyst proclaims which federal programs are essential and which ones waste taxpayer dollars, but they often lack data to back up their claims. With budget cuts (and perhaps even sequestration) looming, every federal program is under the microscope. And every federal leader should be honestly and carefully assessing their programs to gauge effectiveness and improve outcomes.Continue reading this post »
Mr. President: As CEO of the federal government, how will you treat your workers?
With the presidential race in full gear, I know there are a great many issues requiring attention — the economy, health care and foreign policy chief among them. But I can’t help wishing the candidates would also be asked about their leadership and management priorities, since the president is essentially the CEO of the nation’s largest, most significant institution: our federal government.Continue reading this post »
Five questions to ask yourself before meeting with your federal employees
With the new fiscal year just beginning, now is the perfect time for federal leaders to have one-on-one conversations with their employees about expectations, performance and results, as well as offer feedback and coaching to help them continuously improve and succeed.
While agencies have their own performance management systems and timetables for employee reviews, these conversations should be occurring throughout the year. Engaging in meaningful conversations in real time with members of your team can make a big difference. Managers need to provide regular feedback to reinforce the best behaviors and guide employees when change is necessary.
To help you be fully prepared to offer meaningful feedback about your employees’ performance, here are five questions to ask yourself:Continue reading this post »
Moving forward in times of uncertainty for federal agencies
Now that we are in the midst of the presidential election cycle and face uncertainties regarding budgets and programs, some federal leaders may be tempted to keep their heads down and wait for events to unfold.Continue reading this post »