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Think Campaigning is Tough — Try Governing, Being the Gov’s CEO

We’ve all listened to the debates, the campaign stump speeches, the political ads — and if you were looking for the candidates take on policy — you’d be satisfied. But what about operations, implementation and management tactics?

If you were looking for how the President or Governor Romney would actually implement those policies you would be sorely lacking.

“Any brilliant policy idea will fail if government doesn’t have the capacity to lead and manage it effectively,” said Tom Fox.

Fox is the Vice President for Leadership and Innovation at the Partnership for Public Service.

He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that the President has to be more than a policy wonk he has to be the federal government’s CEO and top manager.

Fox’s Questions for the Candidates

  • There was a time when public service was synonymous with government service, and when it was viewed as an honor to be a federal employee and serve the nation. Today, trust in government is at an all-time low and federal workers are often given little respect and stereotyped. How will you restore prestige to federal service and attract top talent into government?
  • Because our government was formed to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty, defining a bottom-line can be challenging. How will you measure your success in running our government?
  • As CEO of our nation’s largest employer, what are your management priorities to make government more effective and what is your plan to achieve those priorities?
  • Much depends on the abilities of presidential appointees to lead our government. What criteria will you consider as you select your political appointees?
  • How will you hold your appointees and senior career leaders accountable for the quality and effectiveness of federal programs?
  • A majority of our federal government’s senior executives are eligible to retire, taking years of knowledge and experience with them when they leave. How will you ensure that the federal government continues to have the needed expertise to meet its responsibilities to the American people?

So what should career feds be asking from their presidential candidates? Did Fox miss any?

Programing Note: Fox references the Partnership’s latest report, From Data to Decisions II: Building an Analytics Culture. We will be interviewing one of the authors later this week.

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