CEO City

Take the Government Leadership Test

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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Geoff Smart for Harvard Business Review Blog Network says if you are a business leader at the very top of your game, it will help you avoid career stagnation. And it will also contribute to solving a broader problem: broken government. A recent Gallup survey reveals a record-high 81 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the country is being governed.

The challenge is to do a two-year, full-time stint in government leadership, and to do it before your 70th birthday.

Geoff says that a private sector leader who goes into government does not necessarily have a miserable time. Rather, a stint in government leadership can be the most fulfilling and thrilling leadership adventure of a lifetime.

As a corporate leader, one would have contributed value by building successful businesses, bringing innovative and high-quality products and services to market, and creating jobs.

Geoff further says the three problems that made great leaders avoid government are confidence, cost, and confidentiality.

Fred Steingraber (Mayor of Kenilworth, ILand former CEO of management consultancy A.T. Kearney) explained his time in government leadership this way: "I'm having great fun. These ideas are working and I get a lot of gratification from it. People I don't even know write me notes and put them in my mailbox, and thank me for what we are doing."

Kristin Russell (CIO of the State of Colorado and a former Oracle Vice President) turned down the highest paying IT job in the region to apply her talents at the State. And she has no regrets.

What was most surprising is those "three C's" that made government service unattractive to so many have turned out not to be such a big deal. The benefits, in the meantime, include learning and challenge, achieving meaningful goals, and building a wide variety of relationships.
If the prospect of career stagnation is looming, make the Leadocracy Pledge. It is a commitment to yourself to do a two-year full-time period in an appointed role in government by your 70th birthday.

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