My friends I come to you once again with my musings about government and public service.
I hope my presentation to you and yours inspires confidence and regard for the work civil/public servants do everyday, including holidays.
With that said, I have to ask you; yeah, I’m talking to you, the reader…
As a public/civil servant do you believe that you inspire confidence in your government’s ability to serve its population or do you encourage doubt?
Over the last eight years, and most especially during the recent “recovery” strategies, I hear grumblings inside and outside of government about how bad things are, and how screwed the nation is…
Yet, I don’t hear that squelching sound of a defiance indicating that we, (you, me, and we all) plan to beat back whatever negative circumstances may befall us and perservere until we are no longer alive.
Yeah, in my estimation, that’s what it means to be a patriot and support your government.
Professionally, I stay on point in telling my boss and people I work around how we should do things better or different, but when I deal with the public (or our service population, as I like to call them) I always show them my, “can do” attitude. I believe that’s where all public servants should be, a “can do” attitude with iron clad and committed effort to back it up.
That’s where I land… A very honest “can do” attitude and sincere committed effort. As public/civil servants that’s what we should always exhibit, come hell or high water.
So tell me folks, what do you believe about yourself, be honest…
Do you inspire confidence or doubt in your government’s ability to serve the people?
I’m waiting to hear from you. I value your opinion…
the Pragmatic Bohemian (and your committed public servant)
I inspire confidence until I screw something up.
I treat others how I want to be treated, which means clear communication, clear vision for shared goals, and respect. I am bullish on public service!
I sure try my best. I think public service is important and there are a great number of people working hard every day making our country run. I always get annoyed when people make fun of government and lazy gov’t workers. Yes, there are some lazy ones. But just like there are lazy people at GE. But generally public servants are just citizens who wake up every day to do a job – but that job has a little more importance than increasing the sales of mac ‘n cheese
A recent Gallup/Partnership survey reveals that the public lacks confidence in government’s ability to solve problems…but it also indicates that people are paying attention to government. Now is the time to step up and demonstrate the we are up to the task!
Quick plug: we are eliciting and highlighting the stories of ordinary public servants who exhibit that “can do” spirit at http://www.iampublicservice.org. The deadline for submissions to be included in the book has passed, but you can still submit your story…we may use it in the future to honor those government personnel who are making a difference every day.
Ken – Great post. I really like your can-do attitude. That’s my approach as well. For most of the last 10 years I have had a sign in my workspace that says “All Things Are Possible.”
When I hear a colleague complain (e.g. about bureaucratic stupidity or “the system”) my response is,
“So, what are you going to do to fix it?”
Ken, I will be honest with you and say that, as a CA State employee I have some doubts now and then. In the trenches, some days it’s a struggle to remain inspired when surrounded by others more jaded and less motivated, often those you look to for leadership and decision-making. In my current role, I am limited in my scope and sphere of influence due to our “chain of command,” but I push the envelope as much as I can, sometimes receiving an unofficial, “off-the-books reprimand.” However, I am also looking for some other avenues to get more involved through my network of other State employees, consultants, and USC alum and students here in the State Capitol. The current budget crisis and its effects have forced me to revise my career development and involvement plans to take on a more long-term strategy on how I can make a difference. Recently, some days my resolve wavers. If anyone has ideas to share with me on ways to stay motivated during challenging times such as these, I would appreciate it.
I try to help everyone that comes to me for it. I try to find efficiencies and answers to problems. So yes I believe I do inspire confidence in the minds of the residents I touch.
I try every day to remember why I left the private sector and entered the public one: I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to serve the community I care about. Swallowing the load of Political Chowder is a whole different matter. It’s hard to come in each day and work at this level of idealism. I never believed that public service would change me or discourage me, I believed I could be a small catalyst of change. This has proven a lot harder than it first seemed. At this level (local/ County) overachieving is seen as a threat to the social loafers around you and can spell your pink slip. The idealistic motivation ebbs and flows some days, when I run into the obstacle of “Big Ideas vs. Small Minds” but I continue to push, hoping for a breakthrough. But the wheels of local politics do grind some days and can make the “can do” a little harder to achieve. I have these two quotes taped above my desk and I read each of them every day or whenever I feel most frustrated:
“We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein &
” There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” Niccolo Machiavelli.
One of the two usually remind me not to waver and push on!