If You Had 60 Minutes With a Senior Exec, What Would You Ask?

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Doris Tirone 10 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #104447

    Jeremy Rissi has asked a great question over in the Next Gen Gov’t group as he prepares for moderating a session with senior executive leaders Jim Williams of GSA and Lisa Schlosser of EPA next week.

    Essentially, he asks: “If you had 60 minutes to ask a senior executive anything – how they got started, how they moved up the ladder, what they think now that they’re ‘there’ – what would you ask them?”
    Feel free to chime in here!
  • #104477

    Doris Tirone

    I’d ask “What were you THINKING?” So often, Senior Execs ignore the facts and make their decisions solely based on “gut”. This is risky business (and risky government too)! One decision at the top can crumble all the positive efforts in place that are lower down on the food chain. It takes a village (or a group of competitent advisors) to successfully run an organization. “Gut” just doesn’t cut it in the 21st century!

  • #104475

    Steve Ressler

    What is the biggest thing that is different about being a senior exec than you thought it would be when working way up?

    Tell us about the most difficult project/situation you’ve worked on and why.

    Change seems so slow in govt. Do you think thats true? And how do you make change?

  • #104473

    Nichole Henley

    Well, I think this question needs to be tied into— if you were offered full disclosure without reprocussion, what would you ask them?

    I’d ask my Senior Executives:
    1) Why don’t we try something drastically different and actually attempt to solve the problems? (And then of course I would read off my list of problems and possible solutions)
    2) Why do we really do things here the way that we are doing them? WHat goes on behind the closed doors?

  • #104471

    Henry Brown

    What is it going to take to engender/improve trust in you and the organization?

  • #104469

    Hmmm…I actually wonder if Malcolm Gladwell is onto something in his book Blink and the whole notion of “adaptive unconscious.” Things are moving so fast today that leaders often need to make decisions without full information…and I think this pace picks up even more with the speed of web and mobile…so maybe the question here could be:

    – Is the need to make quick decisions becoming even more pronounced given the speed of technology and information flow and how do you develop skills to effectively make those decisions?

  • #104467

    Bowen Moran

    I’d ask “what do you want to do about the clay layer“?

  • #104465

    Roberta Croll

    What if you had just 60 seconds?

  • #104463

    Nice…I’d tweet them! 🙂

  • #104461

    Debbie Hopkins

    What advice do you wish someone had told you before you entered the SES?

  • #104459

    Steve Ressler

    good question…

  • #104455

    Arvind Nigam

    I will watch the executive in silence and invisibility. Learn as much as I can.


  • #104453

    David Dejewski

    Ask what they believe is the single most significant thing they can do to ensure continuity of decisions made across a Department and over time (i.e. across administrations). They’ll love that question.

    Follow up with a question that asks what techniques they use to incorporate staff recommendation and testimony into their decision making process.

    Finally, if there’s any energy left, ask them how they believe they should be held accountable for the decisions that are made over time. Oh boy. 🙂

  • #104451

    Nichole Henley

    Since witnessing the panel…thought of more ?s. What does ur work/life balance look like? How would u encourage young professionals to take on ses roles? …

  • #104449

    Durand Yates

    Have you ever tolerated incompetency for the sake of loyalty?

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