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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Do You Want to Be Told What To Do?


At our Excellence in Government LinkedIn group, Mark Micheli has a post this week about presidential transitions. Whoever gets elected in November, there's a big transition looming, with a lot of changes in leadership -- and right now, a lot of people with "acting" in front of their titles. That, he notes, can contribute to uncertainty in the career civil service.

I was struck by a quote in the post from Chase Untermeyer, director of presidential personnel under George H.W. Bush:

“What [civil servants] really need at the oval office level is leadership…they want to be told what to do,” said Untermeyer. “There are millions of people in the career force and some of them may agree whole heartedly with the new administration. Those are the people you want to go find—empower them or cleverly encourage them to come up with new ideas that just so happen to be the administration’s ideas.”


The notion that career people in government want and need to be told what to do has sparked some discussion on Mark's post. If you want to share your thoughts, head on over to the EIG LinkedIn page to join in

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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