The Federal Coach: Young Gov Leaders — Love them or lose them

Attending the Next Generation in Government Summit last week highlighted that government 1) is full of young, driven and innovative employees; and 2) needs to make sure that it harnesses that passionate creativity and allows it to STAY AND GROW IN GOVERNMENT!

I discussed this challenge in my column in the Washington Post this morning.

Part of leadership is about creating the next generation of leaders.

It’s easy to look at the younger generation — with their high expectations and big demands — and scoff. Yes, they have so much to learn, but they also have a lot to give. And with the baby-boom retirement wave on the horizon, federal managers need to lay the foundation for the future by developing their young employees.

After spending some time last week at the Next Generation of Government Summit hosted by the social networking site GovLoop and by the professional organization Young Government Leaders, I was left thinking how strong our government will be if we effectively harness the intelligence, creativity, drive and enthusiasm of this up-and-coming group of employees.

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I like:
-Show them the path
-Tap their brains

I think these are two simple ones to use…even if it is just brainstorming offering a way for young employees to share ideas is so helpful. It’s cathartic to have someone listen to your idea – event if they don’t implement it.

I think the path is also key. Teach for America does a good job of that. It shows that Teach for America leads you down a path where 1) you can be a great teacher if you want to go that route 2) get into a great grad school if you want that 3) or get a corporate job with their corporate partners