Academic journal article The Public Manager

Embrace Change and Mind the Mission

Academic journal article The Public Manager

Embrace Change and Mind the Mission

Article excerpt

The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals are presented annually by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service to celebrate excellence in the federal civil service. Among the awards is the Management Excellence Medal, which recognizes a federal employee for demonstrating superior leadership and management that exemplifies efficient, effective, and results-oriented government.

The Public Manager spoke with finalists in this category to ask how their leadership style helped them champion changes at their organization.

Change can be unsettling, but we have a historical opportunity to be part of change. Some of what we tried to implement wasn't perfect at first, and we were OK with that. You have to revisit and perfect the changes over time.

You need a vision to know where you're going--it's a journey. You need measurements to show the people both below you and above you that the journey is occurring. Metrics keep them focused and let them know when they can expect to see changes. You have to share that information. Processes that were built over decades are not going to change overnight.

My style begins with my motivation, which is the mission of the Air Force: to fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace. …

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