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 with being a mother.

Q: How do you manage your time as a jet-setting nuclear arms negotiator and as a mother?

A: It goes back to the age-old method of prioritization and understanding that everything cannot be important. You do not have to be the person with the answer all the time. You can go to others and let them come up with good solutions to issues and problems. Over the years, I’ve found that sometimes that’s best–present the issue to others and be open-minded to their solution, and many times they can take things off your plate.

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