Strong Feelings

I enjoyed "Generation Passion" (December 2006) and think a brief follow-up article may even be appropriate.

For example, what does the government need to do to guide these young people in the right direction? When passion is misguided and without direction, it can overwhelm and cause problems, even innocently. When it is blocked by years of bureaucracy, it can die a miserable, painful death. The right people need to be mentoring these young people so they can direct their passion to make the changes that years of work have clouded for others, and so they can be aware of areas that may need clarification or modification. We don't need to leave them to their own devices, and we certainly shouldn't believe that just because they are younger and may be more educated that they have all the answers.

What would work best is a team approach that uses these young people, combined with the more experienced ones who can help change the walls and ceiling surrounding government. What we can't afford to do is to team them up with those who have been part of the problem all along.

A second consideration is that we shouldn't assume the passion exists only in those young people coming in. I'm amazed at the government leadership that seems to ignore the passionate ideas, dreams and suggestions of the existing workforce in lieu of contract or consulting employees regardless of topic. There are government employees in their 30s, 40s and even 50s who, after years of being deflected, still have that passion for excellence in the government and in their lives. They are just waiting to be heard.

From my perspective, bring on all the impassioned people you can find, regardless of age, including those being let go by private industry, who are willing to work together to make things better.

Tom Sullivan

I just received my copy of the December 2006 Government Executive magazine. As a public servant with over 40 years' service, I believe the cover photograph of a young woman with a nose stud and multiple earrings fails to portray the professional appearance expected of a government employee. I, for one, find it offensive.

Mike Tarman
Greer, S.C.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.