Every day we face choices about what we should or should not do. We have to consider what tools and techniques enable leaders and their team members to always do the right thing.
I lay in the narrow bunk, heeled 30 degrees, listening to the storm tear at the boat and sails. And, I listened to the crew tackle each adversity calmly, collaboratively, decisively, and transparently. Do you do the same when adversity hits your organization?
It has been said that there are those who lead and those who follow. Tell that to a mid-level leadership and you will get more than a pair of rolling eyes. Caught between the crosshairs of complying with executive leadership and being responsible for team leading, many mid-level leaders find themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place. When this happens the risk of occupational burnout intensifies.
In the United States of America, September 17, 1787 is etched in the memory of its citizens as the day that 38 delegates signed a new ‘Constitution’ that would bring into existence the United States of America with a central, federal government. Through the echoes of history, such an event stands as a great achievement and the words of Stephen. R. Covey ring true. If the founding fathers were not focused, consciously committed to the task of creating a new ‘Constitution’, they would have, according to Covey, been committed to something else less important and thus history may well have taken a different course.
After a recent presentation, someone approached me and asked, “I noticed that when you share your learning with us, you often give us things to do rather than telling us what not to do. Why do you do that?” I responded by stating that when someone tells you what not to do, your brain focuses on that, often leading you to do what you are told specifically not to do. For example, if you were teaching someone to ski, you would not tell them, “If you lose control, don’t look at the trees!” Making this statement would lead people to look at the trees. Rather you would say, “If you lose control, remember to look down the hill in the direction you want to go.”
Individuals, governments, and private businesses all share one absolute truth: Reputation is everything. If an individual has a bad reputation, no one wants to take a chance on them. When a company has a bad reputation, no one wants to do business with them, so much so, that others can simply avoid these less-desirable services and take their business elsewhere. However, people often can’t easily avoid or seek out another local government as easily. Therefore, in many ways, it is even more critical that local governments guard their reputation.
Applying for a government position is a lot different from applying for a private-sector job. Unlike the latter, government or public-sector applications often require a cover letter or personal statement. Landing a job in a government agency takes a special approach and the cover letter is the hiring manager’s first glimpse at your skills and qualifications. At the same time, it serves as an introduction to your personality and interests.
“Hacks” and Identity Theft have been around for a very long time, but over the past few years, the hackers have changed tactics and are targeting whole systems for attack. Ransomware is the latest incarnation of this where clicking on a single email can launch an attack that will lock down an entire organization and render their computer inaccessible until a “ransom” is paid to the hacker for the promise of an access code to unlock the system.
There are several insights anyone can gain from an effective, genuine leader. As a genuine leader, you should be bold about your values and about the behaviors you must demonstrate to live your values. Share them. Ask your staff to help you live them. Connect to each of your team members. Learn and support their plans, hopes, and dreams. Let people know you care – and they will care right back. Demonstrate your skills in the workplace and help others build their skills. Be bold about the skills you DON’T have, yet, and ask for coaching from players who do have those skills. Commit time, talent, and treasure to personal and company philanthropy. Share what you have with those less fortunate, not just during the holidays, but all year long.
Have you heard of the enneagram? There are nine different types of people according to this system, which helps one understand the way people think, feel, and act in relation to the world, others, and themselves. What if we thought about what type of person we were interacting with at any given point in time? How about what’s going on in their lives? Or, who’s here?
I spend a lot of time listening to job seekers discuss their skills and accomplishments and expressing their concerns as to how those skills can help or hinder their job search and their careers. Unfortunately, not enough emphasis is put on soft skills, which are the most important ones. Soft skills are the non-measurable, subjective skills that are not specific to one’s role, industry, or their career. They typically speak to how well one interacts with others. They are essentially personality traits that help define one’s character, however, they do offer less proof of their experience.
Let us turn now to the question, how much are you worth to your Government agency? Assuming the job you do has been well designed and that you interact with members of the public on a regular basis (thus have a professional relationship with the public), or that you support those that do, then you are immensely valuable to your Government agency.
Whether you’re sent to an industry event by your current employer or attending one on your own dime, work conferences are an ideal setting for forming relationships that can help grow business and further your career.
We often think of a brand statement as applicable to a company, but did you know you have a personal brand statement as well? When preparing for an interview, your priority should be creating a confident, accurate brand statement. This is a personal summary of who you are, your skills, and attributes you bring. You must be clear, succinct, and land the message.
Bullying causes immense personal grief as well as inhibiting employee work performance and work passion. Even so, it is all too common that bullying is ignored in organizations. Bullying often takes the form of subtle behaviors over time as opposed to bold actions – so, it can be difficult to gauge if a particular boss or employee is bullying.
I was recently visiting with a friend who just so happens to be a vice president within her company. I could tell that she was frustrated so I asked her about it. She told me that she was frustrated because of something that had happened in an important meeting. She indicated that one of her colleagues had spent most of their meeting complaining about having to fire one of his key people. When she asked why he had to terminate the individual, he indicated that his employee was not meeting his expectations. When she asked him if he had given this individual that feedback, he stated, “No. I hate doing that kind of thing, but now I have to get rid of him anyway, which is even harder.” She was troubled by not only his lack of candor, but also of his unwillingness to manage his own expectations.
Jobs in cybersecurity are in high demand, with companies and organizations throughout the country hiring cyber talent to keep data safe and computer networks secure. If you’re considering a career in cybersecurity, a job in the government sector comes with good benefits and advantages not found in other businesses.
From the local level to the national and even international level, governments play a key part in shaping environmental policy. National Geographic states that the effects of climate change will grow in the next few years, citing rising sea levels, stronger hurricanes, increased drought and the spread of diseases as potential consequences. These instances touch every piece of our government, from budgeting to disaster relief programs and many departments in between.
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