Many Republicans are certain that global warming comes not from human activity but from solar or other natural cycles. Many Democrats are convinced that global climate change is the result of humans. Most of us are not so scientifically astute that we can evaluate the data ourselves, so we tend to rely on the pronouncements… Read More How Tribe Blinds Even the Best to Truth
As public administrators, our jobs are to direct, instruct and give insight within a business, agency or organization. Often, we have to know the ins and outs of our jobs and the jobs of others. It is more than a notion to manage employees, but managing leadership can be very puzzling, worrisome and stressful. My… Read More The Struggle of “Managing Up”
Sometimes it seems like a leader wears many hats: the manager hat, the coach hat, the counselor hat, the disciplinarian hat, the mediator hat, the visionary hat, the teammate hat, the goal-setter hat, the analyst hat or even the friend hat. Depending upon their specific title and responsibilities, some of these may apply more than… Read More Public Service Motivation and the Magic Leadership Hat
William Wordsworth wrote, “The world is too much with us; late and soon/ Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers…” His words prompt us to ponder a life in the public eye. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Despite legislative achievements in Albany, a jury convicted former Assembly Speaker Silver of seven corruption counts involving two separate… Read More First, Do No Harm
I have noticed the postings in restaurant windows about sanitation ratings, generally on an A through F platform. This raises the question of why don’t we rate government program performance similarly with a very public notice good until the next rating? Of course, some will say that agency performance is more complex than a letter… Read More Is It Time for Posting Agency Performance?
The weekly staff meeting is in five minutes. As usual, “better citizen service” tops the agenda. You’ve heard the spiel so many times you now lip sync its delivery. Your eyes closed and lips ready, the meeting begins. “This man left his three sons 17 camels. The first son gets half. The second son gets… Read More The Power of TWT
About a decade ago, there was a movement to create a national academy for government along the lines of the military academies—the United States Public Service Academy. It was designed to attract the best and the brightest of each year’s high school graduates into government and offer a highly visible symbol of good government and… Read More A New Way to Look at Government
The qualities that make a successful leader in public administration today are often contemplated. How can we effectively create teams that function almost effortlessly to accomplish the task at hand? I believe that the most effective way to build successful organizations is by creating employee confidence through competence. As leaders in public administration, we should… Read More Qualities of a Successful Leader
Over three years, a city manager developed a plan to improve what, to her, were lackluster employee ratings of organizational quality – work environment, wages and benefits, communication and the like. By the end of the period, employees were reporting better work conditions. But here was the big surprise. In a citizen survey, residents gave… Read More Local Government Employees Reveal What Makes for Job Success*
My work experiences in the nonprofit sector have given me much practice in managing. In my view, there is a slight struggle in how management believes nonprofit organizations should be governed and how (and if) they should change. For example, I have always felt that change is good. While people I have spoken with typically… Read More When Is It Time to Change?