Posts Tagged development

You Forgot Your Socks… Again?! Leadership Priorities in a Time of Change

Leadership Priorities in a Time of ChangeToday’s post was written by How Gov Lead’s new contributing author, Amber Hansen.  Amber has worked in Government contracting for over nine years. She is currently a Project Manager working with Federal Government clients at The Ken Blanchard Companies. Watch this blog for more thought leadership from Amber.

Have you ever met someone who is really great at one part of their job and terrible at another?  I happen to be married to a man who for many years was a Navy Corpsman who loved his job but struggled with some of what comes with being in the military.  I once heard a leader of his say he was “an amazing Corpsman and a terrible sailor.”  To put it in very simple terms, that means he was really good at caring for his patients and training junior members of his team and not so great at keeping his uniform in order and being on time.  This leader understood clearly that my husband had significant strengths but like all of us, he had weaknesses, too.

What happens when forgetting to bring the right kind of socks for a uniform becomes a reason to be reprimanded at work?  That may depend on one’s leader.  Some of us are truly adept at handling the details of life; we might keep backup socks in the car just in case.  Others just do not think this way.  My husband is very bright, he learns things quickly, takes what he believes is useful and leaves behind what he sees as a bit of a waste of his time.  I suspect the things that may have made him a good sailor, like bringing the right pair of socks, were the same things that appeared to him to be a waste of time.  In my husband’s world, ensuring he had the right medical supplies packed for a mission ranked just a little higher than the socks.  If my life depended on him and I had to choose between socks and medical supplies I would be glad to have left the socks behind.

Some of the military leaders I have met would focus on those missing socks because they see that as the foundation to doing the rest of any job well.  They could not see past the socks to find a truly valuable and talented team member.  They allowed the socks to become the focus of their interaction with a Corpsman who by the end of his career was influencing the careers of junior Corpsman, helping them build their skills, improve their productivity, and learn to teach others.

Our military is dealing with stressors many civilians cannot fully comprehend.  From multiple deployments and Post Traumatic Stress to shrinking budgets and less time and resources to train; our military members work hard and they deserve leaders who are prepared to support and serve them. Our military and government leaders need to be innovative in this new world of looming sequester budgets and ongoing wars. And they must ensure their teams are able to fully realize their potential in order to bring the most value to the organization and to themselves. Empowerment is key!

When a team member can’t seem to remember to bring the right socks the leader must set him up to succeed anyway.  Helping that direct report remember to “bring the appropriate socks” may seem like a waste of time, but if it is a waste of time for the leader, perhaps that is the heart of the reason it’s a waste of time for the individual.  If a leader can show that helping that sailor succeed with his socks, the payoff is that the sailor will trust the leader to help him succeed in much more significant ways.

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The Leadership Priority: Investing in Training to Grow Great Leaders

When agencies are hit with budget cuts, leadership development training initiatives are often the first to go. Without a clear understanding of the positive and measurable mission impact, it’s easy to dismiss leadership development as being too expensive and too time consuming. In addition to expending millions of budget dollars each year, less-than-optimal leadership practices negatively impact employee retention, satisfaction, morale, and productivity. The result can lead to employees showing up for work to collect a paycheck, without the maximum motivation and engagement to support the accomplishment of their agency’s mission.

Reserve your space now to join Ken Blanchard and other leadership development experts that will share insights on how investing in your agency’s most important asset – people – will re-engage employees and grow great leaders.

Why you need to attend:

  • Learn ways you can motivate yourself and others by increasing productivity, enhancing motivation, encouraging creativity, and building loyalty.
  • Understand the 3 inherent needs every disengaged employee requires to get motivated.
  • Address generational differences impacting today’s leaders and the next generation in line for those leadership roles, and why this is critical to attracting – and keeping – Generation X, Y, and Millennial employees engaged.
  • Interact with your colleagues to discover how they’ve implemented successful (and on budget) training initiatives within their agencies.

Share Best Practices, Skills, and Ideas Forum

You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with a panel of your government colleagues as they share the leadership training, strategies, and programs that have been successful at their agencies.

Speakers:
Ken Blanchard, Co-founder, Author – The Ken Blanchard Companies
Sharon Ridings, National Training Manager – Environmental Protection Agency
Sioux Thompson, Head of Organization Development and Learning – Board of Governors, Federal Reserve
Peter Shelby, Chief Learning Officer – National Reconnaissance Office
Naomi Leventhal, Director– Deloitte Consulting
Jeff Vargas, Chief Learning Officer – Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Jim Atwood, Director of Government Leadership Solutions – The Ken Blanchard Companies

Date, Time, and Location:
September 26, 2012
The City Club of Washington
555 13th Street, NW
Columbia Square
Washington, D.C. 20004

Breakfast and Registration
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Leadership Development Summit
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

For more information and to reserve your seat, call Christine Simmons at 800-272-3933.

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Analyzing performance management: Is your leadership style effective?

To bring out the best in others, leadership must match the development level of the person being led.

In order to improve performance management and efficiency, several federal agencies are using analytics to identify problems, identify progress, and share information and results. The Partnership for Public Service and the IBM Center for The Business of Government reviewed four agencies that are using data analysis to save money, improve services and more effectively achieve their goals. The agencies that were reviewed include Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Each of these agencies is actively using analytical tools to determine the success of specific programs they have implemented. The agencies highlighted in the study shared certain practices that they all used to gather data and turn the information into knowledge that improved their program results:

  • Leaders focused on transparency, accountability and results.
  • Staff had a clear line of sight from where they stood to the desired goals and outcomes.
  • Agencies invested in technology, tools and talent.
  • Agencies cultivated and leveraged partnerships across the agency and with partners who deliver services.

Equally as important as the analytical tools used to improve performance management is the leadership style and direction managers use with their direct reports.

Leaders play a critical role in communicating a clear vision, setting expectations and calling for accountability for results.

Oversupervising or undersupervising has a negative impact on people’s development. That’s why it’s so important to match leadership style to development level. This matching strategy is the essence of Situational Leadership II®, a leadership model that delivers an effective approach to managing and motivating people. It opens communication and fosters a partnership between the leaders and the people the leader supports and depends on. SLII is based on the beliefs that people can and want to develop and there is no best leadership style to encourage that development. You should tailor leadership style to the situation.

Check out this fun video, narrated by Ken Blanchard, about how the right leadership can make a world of difference in your agency’s success.

You can also access the study on how agencies are using analytics to measure performance management and improve program success.

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Three Cheers to the OPM!

Last week, the Office of Personnel Management’s Federal Training and Development Wiki was presented with an Innovation Award by the Training Officers Consortium (TOC).  The award is included in the TOC’s Annual Distinguished Service Awards Program which recognizes trainers and training programs that have made a valuable impact within the Federal Government.  The Innovation award nominees include individuals, teams, or agencies that have implemented a new training strategy to achieve desired performance results.

An agency that is filled with self leaders is an agency with an empowered workforce.

 “The Federal Training and Development Wiki is another example of how OPM employees are innovating every day,” said OPM Director John Berry. “The Wiki improves efficiency and best practices for agencies by providing a forum to share ideas and training tools. This will help agencies address their learning and development needs to best support the mission and career success of federal employees. I am proud of our program experts for developing this award-winning tool.”

The recognition was announced just as the OPM released the 2010 Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program (FEORP) report to Congress that found an increase in the number of women and minorities in senior-level positions in the federal government.

High performing organizations rely on new and existing leaders to utilize training programs and tools, like the Federal Training and Development Wiki, to support and encourage their direct reports and get them involved in building the agency’s vision.  When leaders incorporate skills that blend goals with ongoing communication, they are actively engaging individuals and increasing their level of motivation and commitment to the organization.

What leadership programs have you encountered that have made an impact on your productivity and performance?

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A Light at the End of the SES Tunnel

Senior Executive Service employees have had several changes take place regarding their roles and responsibilities over the past year but a recent memo delivered to the organization may be music to some folk’s ears. Senior Executives have been tasked with identifying poor –performing programs, eliminate some of the reporting requirements placed on agencies and maintain new requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act, all while seeing smaller pay raises. A recent study by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) found SES members received an average 2.7 percent increase in pay, the lowest in the five years since a pay-for performance system began.

When people are empowered, their organizations benefit.

All this may push someone to throw in the towel. However, good news came in the form of a memo to SES members on Friday from Jeff Zients, Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management and John Berry, Office of Personnel Management Director outlining proposals developed by the President’s Management Council to streamline the performance appraisal process and certification system, boost recruitment for SES jobs and improve executive engagement and career development opportunities.

Key initiatives include:

• Stronger links between employee appraisal systems and agency performance goals, as well as improved personnel performance planning, assessment and recognition.

• More engagement of senior agency leaders in SES issues through coordination with the PMC, the Chief Human Capital Officers Council and the Performance Improvement Council, along with agency-specific SES forums.

• Additional opportunities for SES career development, including a one-year onboarding program for new executives; government wide leadership development curricula and events; networking programs; and a pilot project offering rotational opportunities for upper-level GS employees.

• Improved recruitment for SES jobs through a resume-based hiring pilot project, external talent searches and a cross-agency effort to market and recruit for open positions.

Carol Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executive Association was very happy with the efforts of the organization to collaborate with the government on improving opportunities for SES employees. Such opportunities can increase employee passion and dedication to the organization. Scott Blanchard and Drea Zigarmi of the Ken Blanchard Companies conducted a study on what kind of leadership has the greatest impact on performance. The team discovered that employee success included things like employee satisfaction, employee loyalty, employee productivity, perceptions of one’s relationship with his or her manger and the team environment, and more tangible measures, like absenteeism, tardiness, and vandalism.

What are other positive results that can be created from this opportunity?

Find out what Blanchard believes are the 8 factors that lead to employee passion.

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