Managing Myths During the Transition

Inauguration is a week away. Are you ready for the transition?

When it comes to managing during the transition a couple think instantly pop: avoid gossip and do your homework.

Tom Fox is the Vice President for Leadership and Innovation at the Partnership for Public Service. He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that although transition on this scale only happens every four years, the government is always transitioning.

“When it comes to political appointees there is an 18-20 month cycle for a lot of them, so feds are used to transition,” said Fox.

What Should Career Feds Do?

“As a new political comes on board they will quickly assess the career folks. You can set yourself up for success to really have influence over the political appointees. You can make sure they are doing things that are in the best interest and be most efective for agency goals and objectives. Or you might be isolated because they assessed you and don’t think you will be helpful,” said Fox.

Be Prepared

“It is wise to do your homework. Follow the news cycle not the gossip mill or the water cooler. If you know the presumptive nominee do some research to understand their history and their experiences. People are creatures of habit, if they have led one way in the past they are likely to follow the same model,” said Fox.

Be Visible

“As a career fed you have to make the first move. If someone is new to government they might not understand the true value of civilian employees. You have to show them. You should also ge to know the political appointees team. You are better able to assess strengths and weaknesses from up close,” said Fox.

Be Honest

“You don’t want to say, “we don’t do that her,” but you also have to be honest. You have to find a way to give constant and honest feedback to leaders. This allows leaders to be savvy,” said Fox.

Be Frugal

“We know budgets are tight. So when you assess your own program you need to be straightforward. The best thing career employees can do is make an honest assessment of where your programs are and how they relate to other programs. You have to think what’s best for the agency not your project,” said Fox.

More on Transition.

If you are looking for more helpful tips for surviving the transition, we will be hosting a live one hour panel tomorrow right here at noon on GovLoop. You can check it out here.

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