The ability to lead is complex and not intuitive for everyone. Some people are natural leaders, but for those who aren’t, the good news is that it is a skill that can be learned and refined over time for those who are willing to consider a new perspective.
Leaders in the private sector are more likely to need to embrace change at a dizzying pace, while leaders in the federal government are often navigating in a workplace beset with rules that tend to maintain the status quo. This presents leaders in the federal workplace with a unique challenge — the need to adhere to set parameters while providing leadership to effect meaningful change.
Leadership is all about producing results. To produce good results, a leader needs human and financial resources, both of which are often in short supply in the federal government these days. This is a common challenge most leaders face in their careers.
Yet, expectations do not change—leaders must still produce results regardless of a scarcity of assets behind the scenes. Federal budgets are not growing, and with the economy approaching full employment, everyone is competing for limited resources. How can a leader be expected to accomplish their agency’s mission under these challenging conditions? It’s not easy, but there are some strategies that work well.