Posts By Tom Fox - The Federal Coach

The Federal Coach: ‘You don’t always have to be the person with the answer’

In this week’s interview I speak with Nicole Nelson-Jean, who has worked for more than 14 years with the Department of Energy on nuclear arms control, nonproliferation and national security issues. Nicole discusses some of her complex roles such as securing Russian nuclear materials in Siberia, as well as how she balances those responsibilities withRead… Read more »

The Federal Coach: When we don’t trust government

In today’s column I address the issue of declining public trust in government – and how building up that trust begins in your home agency. As a Toyota owner, I was disappointed when the company failed to recall its vehicles after large numbers of driver complaints about sticky gas pedals. However, I was not surprisedRead… Read more »

The Federal Coach – Deadwood, the sequel: More on the problem of poor performance

My “deadwood” column on Monday about removing poor performers from their government jobs received lots of feedback and comments, with readers offering their own advice — and frustrations — on the topic. Some readers wrote that government leaders do not deal with poor performers in part because the system is too hard to navigate. IRead… Read more »

The Federal Coach: Deadwood – The Myth of Poor Performers

In today’s column I look at the myths associated with removing poor performers in government and what practical steps managers can take. Even if you’re not a fan, you’re probably familiar with the Discovery Channel’s MythBusters, a series that uses science and special-effects to separate fact from fiction. The government needs its own version ofRead… Read more »

The Federal Coach: When Michael Scott works for Uncle Sam

Despite the presence of outstanding leaders throughout our federal government, the bad ones have a disproportionate impact on government performance. Michael Scott may be television’s version of a bad boss on NBC’s The Office, but from what I hear, there are lots of leaders with similar failings roaming agency hallways. It may be funny toRead… Read more »