Going for Gold — How Olympians can teach us about leadership and your weekend reads!

Welcome to GovLoop InsightsIssue of the Week with Chris Dorobek, where each week, our goal is to find an issue — a person — an idea — then helped define the past 7-days and we work to find an issue that will also will have an impact on the days, weeks and months ahead. And, as always, we focus on six words: helping you do your job better.

And we had a good week here on GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER

  • Joe Jordan Speaks at the Next Generation of Government Summit –Working in procurement is a little like working in a maze, there are lots of new and different regulations around every corner. But there are some ways to make it easier. Joe Jordan is the administrator in the Office of Federal Procurement Policy. He’ll told us his tips.
  • asdfjklqweruiop; — Is the government getting better at writing plainly? — Writing clearly and concisely is a challenge for anyone, but it’s been an even bigger challenge for the federal government — they are plagued with the dreaded Gov-Speak. But for the past two year’s they’ve been working hard to make their communications clearer.
  • On Vacation? 4 Ways to effectively disconnect — It’s summer and that means that many of you will be taking a much needed vacation. But with smartphones and laptops on hand the temptation to work is strong. So how do you disconnect? Advice from Tom Fox with the Partnership for Public Service.

But our Issue of the Week looks at leadership lessons from the Olympics.

I have to be honest and say I am obsessed with the Olympics. I love that every four years the world comes together to compete. But more importantly I love to see how the athletes communicate with each other without speaking the same language. I think we can really learn a lot from them, about how to be strong, dedicated leaders. Adam Nelson is a silver medal wining shot-putter. He closed out our Next Generation of Government Training Summit. He told the audience how he started off in shot-put.

Weekend Reads:

  • Amid Olympic fever, there is also a lot excitement about the new Mars rover, curiosity, which is scheduled to land in today. Space.com notes that Mars is our next-door neighbor in the solar system, but it is that neighbor that we don’t know much about. And so we’re heading there to learn more. The centerpiece of the Mars Science Laboratory mission, the Curiosity rover comes packed with a slew of instruments to study not only today’s Martian surface, but also the surface of the past. And the BBC reports that it all starts with a pretty crazy landing.
  • Why Is It So Hard to Land On Mars? Mars is not a friendly place. It’s freezing, windy, barren, and quiet except for howling dust storms that can threaten hopeful visitors. The planet is kind of a jerk, really, presenting vindictive obstacles to thwart the robotic explorers sent toward it for the past 47 years. And Mars usually wins.

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