In the early ’90’s I worked in the Telcom branch of what we now call OCIO for Mike Lombard. He would hold 5 minute daily meetings of his senior staff each morning, coffee cups in hand, to find out what fires we were putting out that day. His rules were simple. If someone wasn’t there and something needed to be done, do it (he was big on cross-training) (him too). We all make mistakes, that’s ok, just let him know so he doesn’t have to hear about it from someone else first.
Of all the bosses I’ve had in 28 years in Federal service, no one else ever fostered that feeling of belonging to a team as well as Mike did. He had that ability I’ve seen in only a few managers to make you want to do your best, not only for yourself but for the team. He taught me by example how to treat employees and how to manage the work of others. He was great on details like those pins you get for years served. He kept track of all his people. The official midpoint reviews and official ratings conferences, not so much. I remember once having my midpoint and final review in a one minute walk by conversation in a hallway. “Hey Ed, midpoint, you did good. Rating you got this score. That good? Ok, I’ll leave the papers in your drawer. Sign them and leave them in my drawer, I have to get them in tomorrow.” We all knew where we stood and he knew what we were doing everyday. His team never needed those scheduled “talks”.
Mike left Commerce for DHS and did very well. He retired and works as a consultant for DHS now. He’s here on GovLoop. Hopefully he won’t see this. He’d be embarassed.