Posts By Tom Fox - The Federal Coach

Federal Coach: With the Chesapeake Bay, Solving a Complex Leadership Problem

Katherine Antos is a water-quality team leader in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program Office, where she led the creation and evaluation of state plans to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary, and one of the planet’s first identified “marine dead zones.” She previously worked for a private environmentalRead… Read more »

Federal Coach: The Puck Stops Here

The Washington Capitals are off to their best start in team history. I’ve enjoyed watching the games on television with my nine-year-old son Jack, and he’s been thrilled with their performance after they flopped in the playoffs last year. While watching a game the other night, he asked, “Why is the team playing so muchRead… Read more »

Federal Coach: Leading on the Dotted Line

Last month, I held an online training for GovLoop members around the three key secrets for rising up to the challenge of leadership. For today’s column, I wanted to share a question from a participant of this training. Do you have the same recommendations for dotted-line managers—for people who must pull together different teams, perhapsRead… Read more »

Federal Coach: How to be Happy at Work

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and one of the world’s leading experts in human potential, has lectured on his research in 48 countries. After more than a decade at Harvard University, Achor founded Good Think Inc. to share this research with organizations worldwide. This interview was conducted by Tom Fox, author of theRead… Read more »

Federal Coach: Preparing for What the Supercommittee Has in Store for Federal Agencies

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, often called the Supercommittee, is examining a wide-range of options that could dramatically affect federal employees, such as huge cuts in agency budgets and programs, workforce reductions, extension of the federal employee pay freeze and increased contributions to the retirement system. As this difficult and tension-filled political processRead… Read more »

Federal Coach: Mapping the NIH’s Leadership DNA

Dr. Francis S. Collins is the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), overseeing an institution that is the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world. A physician-geneticist, Collins is noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 withRead… Read more »

The Federal Coach: Poor Performers — Dealing With Performance Issues in Federal Government

In the newest season of NBC’s The Office, Andy Bernard – self-admittedly the worst paper salesman at Dunder-Mifflin’s Scranton branch – has been promoted to office manager. As a fan of the show, his unorthodox management style is pretty hilarious. To motivate the crew and impress his superiors, Andy recently promised the employees that theyRead… Read more »

Federal Coach: How to Overcome Bureaucracy so You Can Innovate

I am in a federal office that places a high value on innovation, yet there are so many bureaucratic obstacles to being innovative. Are there any good models you can recommend where federal programs have been both innovative and produced valuable results? -Federal Supervisor (GS-14), Department of Homeland Security I can share plenty of examplesRead… Read more »

Federal Coach: Looking to Grow as a Leader? Then Look to the Past

No time has been more turbulent for leaders than the present. At least that’s what we like to think. Even a superficial review of our nation’s history, however, will show that we’ve encountered plenty of tough times. For developing leaders – often eager to move forward quickly – it’s important to slow down and studyRead… Read more »