Author: Dr. Dana

Hiring freeze: Keeping your team warm until the thaw

We are less than a week out from the announcement of Trump’s hiring freeze. As a hiring manager, supervisor, or team lead, you may be panicking about what to do to keep your team functioning until the thaw. These are entirely reasonable concerns. And, we’re here to help. We offer three suggestions of what to do until the hiring freeze is over. Three things to do while waiting out the hiring freeze Finish job analyses and position descriptions It seems like a futile task to keep moving forward with any job analyses or position descriptions that were active before the...

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Fake confidence looks like real confidence: Keep faking it

Imagine that you could make yourself feel confident whenever you wanted. Consider that confidence is just a few moments away by changing your posture. “Powerful people tend to be…more assertive and more confident, more optimistic…they also tend to be able to think more abstractly…Before you go into the next stressful evaluative situation…configure your brain to cope the best in that situation…and it can significantly change the outcomes of your life” – Amy Cuddy   This TED Talk is one of my favorite. I use what I’ve learned from this TED Talk at least once a month. It’s not unusual...

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Worst advice on becoming SES I’ve ever heard

Depending on whom you listen to there’s either a huge gap in the leadership pipeline or a resurgence in Senior Executive Service (SES). My opinion is that it may be both. With the increased interest in senior leadership roles comes terrible advice on becoming a federal executive (i.e., SES). This bad advice is leading to a gap in the pipeline. Here’s a list of the worst advice on becoming SES I’ve heard: Go to one of the SES residential or year-long leadership programs. Many people who show up in my office want the agency to fund them to go...

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Missing business acumen is a career killer

Nearly any leadership class, book, or program you attend will focus on interpersonal skills. The ability to communicate, build trust, and engage employees are critical skills. However, they may not be the key to the top floor or becoming a federal executive. In fact, this TED Talk argues that there’s a missing skill that’s keeping most people from progressing.  That skill is business acumen. “This skill set has to do with understanding where the organization is going, what its strategy is, what financial targets it has in place, and understanding your role in moving the organization forward…it’s missing in...

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Challenge yourself: Make today a ‘say yes’ day

Before I started working for the government, I was given advice that has stuck with me throughout. The advice was: You will hear ‘no’ a lot. Don’t take ‘no’ as a final answer. Keep asking until someone will say yes. And, as luck would have it, I have in fact heard ‘no’ throughout my career. Many career articles will give advice on how to say ‘no’. Today, though I encourage you to say yes. And here’s why: Say yes: Accept situations that help you grow and connect I’ve recently been binge watching Frankie and Grace. Two of the main...

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