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The 9th thing you need to know after you are in your new job.
Five of my Fifteen Tips to Give You an Edge during a Presidential Transition
1. Transition Tip. Fernando, while you will need to assign staff to prepare a lot of strictly formatted material, you personally should not spend much time on briefing books because the final products are stacked too high to be read, and nobody will read them cover to cover. Still, the material will help you to plan for your first meeting with the new agency head.
2. Transition Tip. Take every opportunity to educate new appointees until you know they understand your program. Any face-to-face meetings, whatever the subject, provide good opportunities to further educate your new boss about your program.
3. Transition Tip. Transition is an opportunity since everyone starts fresh, at ground zero. There can also be a lot of tension during the first year. At the same time, there are many opportunities when the new political appointees arrive. This is a time to be watchful, and on your toes, ready to help, but also ready to promote your program, yourself, and your creative ideas for change.
4. Transition Tip. Most political appointees enter government with some distrust of the government and its employees. It takes time for them to get beyond their pre-conception. Some quickly figure out that most government employees, especially the senior career officials, want the new appointee to be successful. Typically, these appointees trust the career managers to run their programs, allowing themselves to operate at a higher level in the agency hierarchy.
A small number of political appointees never figure it out and they become more isolated in their agency as the weeks pass, and life becomes difficult for them as well as for their career managers.
David Bibb, a former senior career executive and deputy administrator at the General Services Administration, worked with political appointees for years. He counsels that it is too easy for them to get lost in the endless daily issues and meetings. Then, before they know it, their time is up and it can be difficult to identify any personal accomplishments. Bibb advises new appointees to take some time and identify the three or four things they really want to do in their time in government.
5. Transition Tip. If you have been honest with yourself while examining your program, you will have corrected any soft spots. But, what should you do if the newcomers signal they are unimpressed with you or your program? Data documenting the value of your organization is the best cure for a disbelieving boss. There is a lot of data available about government programs. However, data produced by companies such as the Gartner Group or the Forrester group should be used carefully and confirmed by other data sources if possible because these companies are also in the business of seeking government contracts. Try to produce your own data and use outside sources to confirm your findings.
Manage your way to success in your government assignments