Leadership Advice


leadershipThe Obama team’s appointments are coming at a record pace, notes the Wall Street Journal.  For those being appointed, there is lots of policy advice.  But there’s also some useful leadership advice from those who have been in these kinds of roles before.  I’d like to highlight a couple.

First, the outgoing EPA deputy administrator, Marcus Peacock, offered some sage advice, in a letter several weeks ago to the readers of Federal Time: Memo to Future Deputies. He gives 10 pointers to his successors:

1. Be your agency’s chief operating officer. No one else has the scope of authority to do this job.
2. Listen. Within the first 15 days, interview 10 to 20 people who know the agency well.
3. Plan. Take what you learned from the interviews to your boss.
4. Learn.
5. Get help. Establish a team that can help you interpret the performance data.
6. Manage. Regularly meet with the head of every major office.
7. Motivate. Link awards, promotions, pay increases, bonuses and other recognition to the agency’s performance.
8. Show the world. Publicly release performance data; accountability is your friend.
9. Be honest. In Washington, reputation is the coin of the realm.
10. Have a blast.

The second is offered by author David Osborne and his PSG colleagues.  In an essay titled “Seven Signs of a Game Changing Leader,” they identify those signs as:

1. Someone willing to challenge the organization with “unreasonable” or “impractical” goals.  
2. Someone ready to invest her/his first dollars in change.  . 
3. Someone willing to invest her/his best people in change. 
4. Someone willing to get personally involved with the change. 
5. Someone with a vision or a blueprint for change. 
6. Someone willing to take extinguishers away and let fires of change burn. 
7. Someone who validates what was good about the past. 

There’ll be lots of advice to new leaders in coming months, but these are clearly worth thinking about!


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One Response to “Leadership Advice”

  1. Norman M. Macdonald Says:

    The link in the Osborn segment to PSG Colleagues had a link to New Zealand’s reinventing government initiative. What the Kiwis did is very interesting and informative . I believe that a closer study of a small but intellectually advanced nation has done would be a good idea. No so much as what went right but how and why things went in a negative direction.

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