AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Sarah Agan

Director, Corner Alliance Inc. Sarah Agan is a regular contributor to Excellence in Government. She has spent the past 17 years working with clients across the federal government with a focus on helping individuals and organizations thrive. She is a Director at Corner Alliance Inc.
Results 1-10 of 34

Is Your Strategic Plan Stuck?

July 2, 2014 Strategic planning is traditionally a highly rational and intellectual process. It is important business and should be treated as such. At the same time, many strategic planning processes tend to fall short of the aspirations and expectations leaders and process participants envision, in great part due to the tendency organizations ...

Why It’s Important to Communicate Bad News

June 25, 2014 “Folks, this is your captain speaking, it’s going to be a rough ride leaving Denver.” Those were the first words I heard from the pilot as I buckled my seat belt to fly home after a business trip to Boulder, Colorado. From my window seat, I could see the ominous ...

The Hard Facts About Happiness and Productivity

June 5, 2014 How important is it to you to be happy? Most of us spend about a third of our lives at work, a third sleeping, and a third doing “personal life.” It’s kind of an odd way to look at life; parsed into fractions. But let’s explore the parsed part of ...

Hiring Managers: Stop Trying to Grow Pineapples in Alaska

May 20, 2014 Government agencies and the people who lead and work within them have a fundamental responsibility to be good stewards of the public trust and taxpayer dollars. For many, if not most, agencies the largest budget item is compensating the employees who work within those organizations. They are mission-critical assets. Without ...

6 Communication Tips From Emergency Managers

May 19, 2014 Before, during and after an emergency it’s absolutely critical to provide information and communicate. Why? Because in an emergency, and in life in general, the vacuum created when nothing is communicated is filled with information that can be, and often is, incorrect. The principles outlined by organizational theorist Chris Argyris ...

Lessons From Emergency Managers: Why It’s Important to Like People

May 5, 2014 In a recent leadership development program for emergency managers from many of the largest cities in the country, Corner Alliance invited experienced leaders from the emergency management community to share their experiences and what they think are important leadership traits. These people are at the top of their game and ...

Leaders, Are You Betraying Your People?

April 21, 2014 If you are a leader in the federal government, and doing your job, at some point you will likely betray the people in your organization in pursuing the higher purpose required of a public servant (and being a leader in general). Your larger responsibility is to sustain the governmental organization, ...

Are You a Dictator?

March 31, 2014 Are you a leader who is frustrated that members of your team aren't doing what you want them to do? Perhaps it’s time to take a look in the mirror to see whether you might be the problem. Merriam-Webster lists among the synonyms for “leader” the words channel, conduit, duct, ...

Like Many Federal Leaders, You're Probably Stressed Out

February 11, 2014 During the past week I’ve seen half a dozen people who are deeply important to me whom I hadn’t seen in over a year. During each conversation I found myself recounting how much 2013 sucked because of the stress I experienced. I’ve constructed a woe-is-me story that after telling several ...

Does Your Team Suck…or Are You Just a Bad Leader?

October 30, 2013 “My people don’t get it. My staff is incompetent. I feel like I’m babysitting instead of doing real work. My team is dysfunctional. I’m sick of my employees bringing me problems instead of solutions.” Ever hear yourself registering these complaints to a confidant, significant other, or friend? I’ve heard these ...