Editorial: Looking for leadership

Leadership. It seems so simple, yet we all know how difficult it is.

In my Oct. 29 editorial, I urged Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to use his position in Congress and his years of experience to provide guidance to the government workforce.

That editorial has spurred some comments, one of which appears on Page 35 of this issue.

As an aside, I noted in the editorial that Waxman would not sit down with Federal Computer Week editors and reporters to talk about his goals, saying, “With few exceptions, Waxman has not spoken at government or industry forums. His staff rarely speaks about these issues.” In a notable exception, Waxman recently agreed to speak to the Professional Services Council.

Despite the difficulties, there are some core leadership tenets that would go a long way toward fostering a discussion about government management and procurement. Among those tenets:


  • Vision. Determine what you want to accomplish.

  • Communication. Tell people the expectations you have for them.

  • Oversight. Follow up to make sure they are accomplishing those

  • objectives.


True leadership goes beyond those points, but they are a good place to start.

Most people agree that some sort of government oversight is necessary. After all, the government is doing the public’s work and spending the public’s money.

But agencies are increasingly stymied because they don’t know what is expected of them.

We do not subscribe to the notion that politicians simply play politics. We have high expectations for politicians and believe they are in an honorable profession — a public service.

We also believe there is a unique opportunity now for leaders to emerge, particularly in the coming transition between presidential administrations. We hope politicians take this opportunity to live up to people’s highest expectations.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.