Public Service: A Career with Purpose

USDA employees gather for the Unsung Hero Award Program of the Organization of Professional Employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington on May 4, 2017.
by Terry Gerton

I didn’t start adulthood envisioning a life of public service. I accepted an appointment to West Point as a way to pay for college and make sure I had a job when I graduated. This, I thought, was a very practical, but not particularly altruistic, logic. My plan to serve out my five-year ... Read & React

Happiness Research Shows the Biggest Obstacle to Creativity is Being Too Busy

by Emma Seppälä Science Director, Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism

From Vincent Van Gogh on through Kanye West, the figure of the broody, tortured artist looms large in the popular imagination. But research suggests that the key to creativity has little to do with angst. In researching my book The Happiness Track, I found that the biggest breakthrough ideas ... Read & React

A Neuroscientist’s Baby-Step Guide From Multitasking to Single-Tasking

by Corinne Purtill

Multitasking is more stressful than doing one activity at a time. It’s also less productive and, technically, not even possible. What looks like several simultaneous actions is really a series of frantic cognitive switches in the brain, each slurping from the same reserves of oxygenated ... Read & React

How Sleep Resets the Brain

by Dr. Francis Collins Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

People spend about a third of their lives asleep. When we get too little shut-eye, it takes a toll on attention, learning and memory, not to mention our physical health. Virtually all animals with complex brains seem to have this same need for sleep. But exactly what is it about sleep that’s so ... Read & React

Trump’s Desire For Free Time In His Schedule Actually Makes Lots of Management Sense

by Oliver Staley

There’s plenty of reasons to mock President Donald Trump’s management style. But his desire to have free, unstructured time in his schedule shouldn’t be one of them. A New York Times article (paywall) about Reince Preibus compared the White House chief of staff to a pre-school teacher who, as he ... Read & React

Sustaining the SES in Difficult Times

by Robert F. Hale

The following is one of a series of chapters Government Executive is excerpting from a new book, Building a 21st Century Senior Executive Service, published by the National Academy of Public Administration and edited by Ron Sanders, vice president and fellow at Booz Allen. Click here for more ... Read & React

Confirmed: The Strategic Importance of Brown-Nosing Bosses For Your Career

by Oliver Staley

You always knew that sucking up to your boss was a smart career move. Now the management gurus at McKinsey have confirmed it. In a study of senior marketing executives, “mobilizing their bosses,”—McKinsey’s phrase for managing up— as well as their peers in the company, was more than twice as ... Read & React

How To Stop Waltzing Around an Important Issue

You’ve sensed that you need something more or different from someone important to you in the organization in order for you to perform at your best. You’ve been elusive about the issue, telling them what you need indirectly hoping they’ll “get it.” You’ve been doing this dance for a long time and ... Read & React

Developing 21st Century Senior Intelligence Executives Into Leaders

by Letitia Long

The following is one of a series of chapters Government Executive is excerpting from a new book, Building a 21st Century Senior Executive Service, published by the National Academy of Public Administration and edited by Ron Sanders, vice president and fellow at Booz Allen. Click here for more ... Read & React

OMB’s Biggest Challenge

by Howard Risher Workforce Management Consultant

The Trump administration’s ambitious plans to reorganize government highlight two core issues associated with maximizing performance. As described in guidance from White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, they are: 1) eliminating “barriers to hiring and retaining the workforce necessary to ... Read & React

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