The Circuit


How to read minds

Post-GSA's spending scandal, the last thing one would expect is a mind reader as entertainment at an event attended by feds. But that’s exactly what happened at the Management of Change conference June 5 when Robert Priest, a self-proclaimed mind reader and former Army PSYOPS trained practitioner, gave a presentation on how to hack a mind.

“I don’t do anything with the spirits or the occult, I’m not the son of a gypsy witch and I haven’t been struck by lightning,” Priest told the audience as ways of introducing himself.

Using his background in psychology and something called “mind scripting,” Priest put on a show that rivaled any other illusionist’s. But the secret to his seeming clairvoyance was a background in neurolinguistic programming and use of psychological principles. Priest made no secret about that his craft was something everyone could learn if they invested the time, adding jokingly it took him 20 years in the Army to develop his skills.

But for those uninitiated, it seemed almost like magic.

To kick off his show, Priest used Zener cards, the well-known psychic test developed in the 1930s. Each of those cards display different sign: a circle, a plus sign, a square and a star. He asked the audience members to think about one of those signs, “whatever you feel drawn to,” he said. (Yours truly chose the star.)

When he asked how many picked the square, only a few of the audience members raised their hands. “Maybe 2 percent,” Priest estimated.

“I find that those who pick the square are intelligent and decisive,” he said, flipping over the card with the square to show that the back of it said “intelligent and decisive” in capital letters.

Next, he asked how many picked the plus sign and only a few audience members indicated they had done so. “About 6 percent,” Priest said.

“The plus-sign people tend to be creative and ambitious,” he said, showing that the back of the card stated the two adjectives.

As he moved onto the next sign, an equally small percentage of audience members revealed they had picked the circle. People who choose that sign tend to be flexible, Priest said.

With the last card in hand, it became obvious that most audience members had picked the star. And it also became obvious that Priest had known they would. Printed on the back of the card, the purported personality traits of people who gravitate toward the star, was: “Drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll!”

 

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jun 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM0 comments


How political nominees can win over a Senate committee

Joe Jordan may have found the secret to winning over a Senate committee at a confirmation hearing.

A 10-month-old son and a snack pack of Cheerios suitable for feeding to the boy.

Jordan, administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, sat down May 9 in front of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee at his confirmation hearing to answer questions about acquisition and his views of how the government should proceed with contracting policies.

Turns out though, his son Carter was the star of the show, Jordan said in an interview June 5 with Federal Computer Week.

“While it was probably my 11th or 12th congressional testimony, I will say that, other than the great questions the senators asked, the one thing I would take out of it is that I should definitely invite my son to any future hearings,” he said.

Carter warmed the hearts of a number of committee members. And in an unexpectedly quick turn of events, the Senate confirmed him May 24, barely more than two weeks after the hearing. Their hearts may still have been warm.

From that hearing though, Jordan learned that he needs two key items in every future hearing:

“My briefing binder and a little thing of Cheerios,” he said.

Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jun 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM0 comments


Two take top honors for service at Management of Change conference

Federal Deputy CIO Lisa Schlosser has joined a distinguished group of government leaders who have been recognized for their longstanding commitment and dedication to public service.

Schlosser and John Okay, vice president of  of J. L. Okay Consulting and IAC vice chair for finance, were honored June 4 at the 32nd annual Management of Change conference in Cambridge, Md. The event is organized by the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council and is held June 3 to 5.

In previous years, only one winner has been given the John J. Franke Award. This year, however, two individuals were recognized for their significant contributions to federal service.

Mary Davie, assistant commissioner for the Office of Integrated Technology Services at the General Services Administration and ACT president, described the winners as ones who typically don’t make the headlines but instead work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the government better.

“This year, we have chosen to recognize two such individuals: John and Lisa exemplify the best of our profession and we are proud to recognize them with the 2012 John J. Franke Award,” she said.

Schlosser was appointed to her current role in 2011, having previously served in positions at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Housing and Urban Development, and the Transportation Department. Her private-sector experience includes stints at Global Integrity and Ernst & Young LLP.

Okay’s government career spans three decades and includes roles at the Agriculture Department, and GSA. Before retiring in 1997, Okay served as deputy commissioner of GSA’s Federal Technology Service. Two years later, he founded his own consulting business and partnered with Bob Woods, former FTS commissioner to launch Topside Consulting Group. He’s an active member of IAC and has chaired the Telecommunications Shared Interest Group.
 
The most recent years’ Franke Award winners include Roger Baker, CIO at the Veteran Affairs Department, Jim Williams, commissioner for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service and John Johnson, former assistant commissioner for GSA’s Integrated Acquisition Service.

Posted by FCW Staff on Jun 05, 2012 at 12:11 PM0 comments