Posts By Tom Fox - The Federal Coach

The Federal Coach: Norm Mineta – Arm-wrestling with Tom DeLay

This week I spoke with Norm Mineta, who represented San Jose, CA in Congress for 20 years, as well as served in Cabinets of both Republican and Democratic presidents. As Secretary of Transportation for President George W. Bush after September 11th, Mineta was tasked with guiding the creation of the Transportation Security Administration – withRead… Read more »

The Federal Coach: Four leadership lessons from the oil-spill’s Adm. Thad Allen

The Gulf Coast oil spill has become one of the greatest environmental disasters this country has ever faced, and many are already blaming our federal government and its leaders for a failed response. It’s appropriate to question our leaders — even in a crisis — but we should consider both facts and context before rushingRead… Read more »

The Federal Coach: John Mayer’s theme song for fed-hiring reform?

A few years ago John Mayer won a Grammy with the song Waiting on the World to Change. It’s an upbeat, even memorable song, but here’s my worry: That federal leaders may be taking this tune as their theme song when it comes to enacting government-hiring reform. I know what you’re thinking — hiring reform,Read… Read more »

The Federal Coach: Uneven success in federal hiring

In response to Monday’s column on hiring reform, several readers correctly highlighted that some federal agencies do several things better than the private sector when it comes to hiring. Here is one of those comments: There are a few things that [agencies] do far better than the private sector – posting salary ranges, defining jobRead… Read more »

The Federal Coach: Housing and Urban Development’s ‘malignant optimist’

This week I interviewed Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who – through leading with ‘malignant optimism’ – tries to instill a culture at HUD that encourages creativity and risk-taking. Q: How can federal employees be better leaders? A: My sister, a psychiatrist, once jokingly diagnosed me as a malignant optimist, completely incurable,Read… Read more »