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20 Lessons Learned From Great Federal Managers

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It occurs to me that I shouldn’t be giving away all my secrets. But I am betting that a rising tide lifts all ships. So that my doing so will show I am a valuable asset by being selfless and helpful. That’s lesson 1.

Here are the rest:

2. Travel with a posse. It makes you look important.

3. Delegate. Repeat that a hundred times.

4. Help people—give them credit—promote them—and maintain good relationships for life.

5. Ask for help. This is not the same as delegating. Find resources.

6. Overcommunicate, and collaborate genuinely.

7. Work around red tape. Do not fight it.

8. Be quietly effective most of the time, but know when to be loud.

9. Don’t make enemies if you can help it.

10. Be nice to everyone, no matter what.

11. Don’t take it personally.

12. Understand when something is a lost cause. Walk away.

13. Remember what’s really important and go home on time.

14. Also remember it’s all a game.

15. Be passionate about excellence. That’s not just a line.

16. Have a clear competitor in mind. This is not the same thing as an enemy.

17. Learn one skill from everyone you meet.

18. Understand how truly ignorant you are.

19. Stay out of things that are not your business.

20. Be humble and grateful, but don’t pass up a chance to shine.

Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D., is a communications specialist in government, as well as a blogger and speaker on branding and social media. The views expressed are her own and do not represent a federal agency or the government as a whole. Follow her on Twitter at @oursocialfuture.

(Image via Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com)

Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D., is a federal communicator with 20 years' experience in the private sector, academia and government. Best known for her work on branding, Dr. Blumenthal now focuses on the discipline of management, particularly the intersections between identity, culture and communication. She has lectured at a variety of schools including The George Washington University and the University of Maryland University College. In her spare time she is an independent community activist, focused primarily on raising awareness about child sexual abuse and domestic violence. All opinions are her own.

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