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FCW Insider: Fed 100 advice, part two

Yesterday, I offered up some advice on Fed 100 nominations. Yes, the deadline is approaching.

But first, while we are on the subject of deadlines, we got the first request for an extension of the deadline. I've also received a number of e-mails asking what the time on the deadline is. So, let me talk about deadlines.

We have the deadline listed as Jan. 4. But, because we always get calls near the end, we would probably push it until the morning on Monday, Jan. 7. But, as a special note to you as a FCW Insider reader, I'm telling you first: We will take it down first thing in the morning on Tuesday, Jan. 8. That gives everybody three full days plus a few hours to finish up their nominations.

Let me quickly explain why we have the deadline in early January for an event that is in March. There is all sorts of stuff that happens between January and the awards gala in March.

After you finish up your work on nominations, we have a ton o' work to do. Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 8, we have to go through and make copies of all those nominations, make copies for the 12-15 judges -- for those math wizards, calculate out the hundreds of nominees, each nomination form having two to four pages, and then 12-15 copies of those. That takes a lot of time. But we have to get it to the judges by that weekend so they have time to review them all before judging takes place on Saturday, Jan. 19. After that, we always have a few checks to do so we make sure that deserving people are getting the awards. Once we get the finalized list, FCW reporters do mini-profiles of all 100 people. We also have to get each person's photo. All of that takes place in February because the issue and the awards gala are in late March. So the first quarter of the year is a very busy one. But that is why we absolutely, positively have to close down nominations by Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 9a. But... you have a few days between now and then, so...

(I did send something of a snarky note to the person who requested the deadline extension. It is so funny because we are all driven by deadlines. We literally opened up the Fed 100 nominations in late October. And yes, we all have other things to do. It is triage -- you have to address the deadline items first. That's why we get the calls right about now each year, but... You have a few days, so...)

Back to advice from the judges.

Again, I want to stress that each judging body is unique, so what any of these people say may or may not hold weight this year. An example is the role of the CIO. We go through some years when CIOs are nominated and they get shot down because, as one person said, CIOs don't really do anything. (Really! That's what the person said.) Personally, I whole-hearted disagree. I think a CIO can provide absolute essential leadership. That leadership allows others to excel. An strong CIO can also provide his people with cover to try new things, to be innovate. So I disagree, but... to each their own.

So what I'm presenting here are examples and guidance, not rules.

But here are insights from another judge:

There are some things to consider.  I agree they are all star awards, not a hall of fame award for long service.  Beware of gaming in the system.  Several oddly similar write ups from friends and allies is a dead give away.   Ask whether the person was basically doing their job.  Did the deed(s) involve any risk or did you do as you were told.  I am particularly not a fan of people in safe policy type jobs with no risk, no innovation and nothing new.  Try to resist the temptation to reward awards based on rank.  They are not good for award credibility.

Consider an occasional good effort award. I have a higher opinion of those who tried and failed than those who are selected based on the least number of mistakes.

Work hard to find those that get things done but may be unheralded. I personally get a great deal of satisfaction from seeing beyond those whose blow in, blow off and blow out.  Those who persevere should get a break.

Finally, keep rank and diversity in mind when considering an award.  Let’s find the Major or GS-13 who is going the extra mile and not just the SES or flag officer.  I have been in the leader and follower roles and sometimes it is much harder to be a follower.

This is just one person -- and a former judge at that, but... hopefully it will help you to hone your nomination.

The best advice: Tell us why he person went above and beyond.

Again, it only takes a few minutes to nominate and the form can be found at www.fcw.com/fed100.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Dec 20, 2007 at 12:17 PM


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