Forum Replies Created
January 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm #181305
Dave – a higer grade does not necessarily equate to supervisor. There are alot of higher grades but not all are supervisors, I hope they are managers and leaders of something though! I would like to think the grade level reflects the level of responsibility of the position – but after 27 years in DC, I know grade assignemnt is not a perfect science. If you move outside the beltway I think the grade levels reset to a more logical balance.
Sometimes I think we confuse the positons of Supervisor/Manager/Leader, anyone at any grade can be a leader and a manager – only some can be supervisors.
January 17, 2014 at 3:24 pm #181309
Back in 2012 the Valve Employee handbook was making its rounds across the internet – (http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/1074301/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.pdf). It was all about innovation, creativity and a streamlined company. very interesting read, but I have not heard about it in a while. I found an article from a former employee at Valve – and the issues of a flat organization http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-07-08-valves-flat-structure-leads-to-cliques-say-ex-employee.
I think there are problems at both ends of the spectrum – over supervison and under supervision. If supervisors found a middle ground- trust your staff, establish the vision and intent and then let them do what they were hired to do. Most people want the organization to succeeed and will do what is necessary to get there.
November 26, 2013 at 12:42 pm #63869
If there is no chance for failure, there is no chance for success. Darren Hardy Success Magazine
November 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm #165714
Telework is still not in the business culture of many agencies. To say federal employees “can” telework and actually say we “are” teleworking is a big step. There is still a good bit of management pushback on telework; “if I can’t see them, how do I know they are working?” is a very common response.
So to realize the full benefits of telework, there needs to be a catalyst such as agencies significantly lose physical realestate, budget cuts result in less funding for rent, significant pandemic/weather situation that forces an extended telework response.
Leadership development programs will need to include classes on managing remote employees, the communication skills necessary for virtual meetings and collaboration and staff will need to learn how to manage up.
October 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm #64065
“The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrting, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time.” Edwin Bliss
August 2, 2012 at 7:14 pm #167168
Good article. For a supervisor to ask those four words, they need to have the confidence in their own abilites and be prepared to get an answer they are not ready for. But it would improve the trust level in the office; especailly if the idea was acted on and the indivdiual was given credit for the idea.
May 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm #161683
Good morning Eric. just following up, did you have a moment to check out Carroll’s book? Very interested in your thoughts, I am trying to set up a mindful leadership class for my Office, ultimately to have it included in the Leadership Development program. Given the topic, it is not an easy sell. But the research is very impressive.
May 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm #161691
I recently started reading The Mindful Leader by Michael Carroll – http://www.amazon.com/The-Mindful-Leader-Management-Mindfulness/dp/…. This is not something we normally talk about – but 100 pages in – seems like a great idea. Anyone else have any exposure or experience with Mindful Awarness?
May 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm #161693
Eric, your point of leaders have to lead for the individual is very important and frequently forgotten. We are all different and require a different approach. Some need more input and guidance than others, some like feedback, som just like to be left alone til they are done. Leaderships is not for the feint of heart!
May 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm #161701
I find it interesting, I have been having conversations with people on leadership for years, only recently online. Considering leadership is something we all do at some level, there are classes, certificates, even undergraduate and master’s level programs – and we are still discussing it. People know good leadership – but cannot define it.
When I retired from the Army Reserves last Sept – I told the NCOs and Officers, after 28 years of doing this stuff called leadership it is my opinion to be a good leader you have to care, really care. However, the hard thing is when you care that much you make yourself vulnerable. You become vulnerable to other people’s opinions about you and your decisions, about whom you talked to and whom you did not talk to, everything you do is reviewed, analyzed and armchair quarterbacked – and usually without the same information you have.
So, if you really care, by default, you treat people right, you really listen, you praise, and you mentor/coach and educate. So who cares what you had for breakfast if your Team, Branch, Division, Organization is working well, efficiently and a shining example of good leadership?
May 15, 2012 at 11:30 am #64197
I like that. There are studies that show if you ask an expert how to solve a problem – they hedge and build in buffers because they know all the variables, issues, possibilities and they take forever to solve the problem. Someone who is not familiar with the issue is not constrained by all the minutia and frequently solve the problem. Not to say we don’t need experts, but sometimes too knowledge can get in the way.
The value of the Beginners Mind!
May 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm #160846
Here is some positive support!
May 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm #160906
Yawn … we got a nice memo from our Secretary on how proud she was to serve with such dedicated people; really inspired my week. Nor have I seen any posters, banners or coffee corners from senior execs. Kind of just passing by – maybe the funding was cut or it is an off year for Public Service appreciation. Or maybe people are just so jaded and burnt by another “Week of ..” or “Month of …..” Or maybe when Congress and the media keep denigrating federal employees as lazy, incompetent and can’t really work in the real world, kill pay raises for five years and increase deductions to “make it fair with our private sector peers” – it is hard to get excited over a week long recognition.
These recognition weeks/months are supposed to draw attention to a particular issue, but when every week is another issue or cause – my cause meter is just pegged out at 0.
Honestly, my peers and I really want to do good thngs, we want to solve those big issues, keep America safe, make America great, we do want to be innovative and think outside the box. But all we can do is enforce what Congress legislates based on thier rules and funding. Federal employees did not create this mess – but we seem to be the clean up crew … again.
May 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm #143736
Management by cliché does not work. Do more with less, low hanging fruit, best practices, think outside the box, work smarter not harder and the list goes on. There is a point where programs fail because they are not staffed or funded properly – regardless what the boss or the budget says. When staff are over worked, under resourced and then raked over the coals by media and in our case Congress – for being lazy, inefficient and incompetent, catchy phrases are irritating.
We all see places we could save money, revamping acquisition procedures, revising HR regulations, updating travel regs, bringing technology and staff together in real solutions. When half the agency is using Windows XP and Office 2007 and the other half using Windows 7 and Office 2010, or collaboration tools are installed but not able to be used fully – unless you are a political appointee or SES – because of funding, bandwidth deficiencies or image releases, people get tired of looking for solutions. It is frustrating for staff to put forth an effort only to lose funding and staff or political support.
I am not sure the Government is really designed to be innovative – the immune system is such working smarter vs harder is not easy – so many rules and regulations. What are the chances that FEDCLOUD will really work –http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-UnitedStates/Local%20Assets/Documents/Federal/us_fed_The_Future_of_Federal_Work_092011.pdf? And will it solve problems or create more? Will manager/supervisors support it or ignore it like telework? Many of us want to do better, be more efficient – but we need the support from managers, politicals and Congress – not just catchy phrases. We could do with less oversight and more freedom to try new things.
May 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm #159610
I have taken the Strength Finders and the Strength Based Leadership surveys and similar to the MBTI the assessments were accurate. We invested a day to put my office of 30 some people through MBTI and later this month doing the Strength Finders assessment for everyone. I suspect we will not make any staffing adjustments for anyone based on their strengths or revise anyone IDP to reflect the idea of working to your strengths.
When we form working teams, they are the usual teams and the usual personalities, but we can now put labels to the personalities and understand the perfectionists and the big picture thinkers.
I know it sounds like I am not supportive of these assessment efforts; I am but it is what we do with the information afterwards. Nothing changes after the effort, nothing changes after we go to “Who Moved My Cheese” and the “Getting Along with Difficult People” and all the other assessment/awareness training. If we would really use the new found awareness of ourselves and our co-workers – that would be impressive. And maybe if we developed that much awareness and it went up and across the agency – all the Employee Viewpoint Surveys would improve and leaders/managers/supervisors and ultimately feds would not be so bashed. (BTW – I am a INTP – big picture person and my Strengths are Adaptability, Connectedness, Context, Ideation and Input)