Some folks were meant to take the oath of office. Some were meant to say: “Do you want fries with that?” They are NOT interchangeable.
Do you have new hires at your agency come in trying to take charge? With all the focus in colleges on “leadership” we have been getting a few twenty-somethings coming in fresh out of school looking to be supervisors and above. One was so obnoxious that he was let go after a few weeks. When we hire GS fives and sevens, we’re looking for infantrymen, not captains. Captains we’ve got.
Sure, like a bench-warmer quarterback, you might just get a chance to throw that game-winning touchdown pass in the playoff game. Bide your time. Back when I was a GS 7 in the Defense Dept. a call came from the Pentagon late Friday afternoon that they were sending over three generals for a briefing. Surprise! Everyone over my grade was gone by 3pm. I couldn’t very well tell three generals to come Monday instead, so I pulled the info together and gave them what they wanted. Luckily it was my area. I got commended.
The other side of this coin is the high level hire from “outside.” Don’t you just love a new boss who was an executive in some company and knows absolutely nothing about how things are done in the government? Their style is often dictatorial and they have no patience for inter or intra-agency protocols. We had one lady come in and lay down a whole bunch of arbitrary rules like a dress code and an open door policy; not hers, yours. She finally ran afoul of upper management (big surprise there) and left to seek employment elsewhere. On her last evening as she walked out each and every door slammed shut as she passed it; like a 21 gun salute. I love the organization and determination that took.
One aspect of leadership is the ability, often innate, to inspire others to follow. If after trying you find that you only inspire contempt, help us all out here and find another line of work.