In this tough job economic climate, I didn’t expect to read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about an individual who told his boss that his job should be dissolved! Let alone expect to read it was a politician who said it. Well Gavin Newsom the Lt. Governor of California did just that. Boy, it’s refreshing to hear a politician make sense once an awhile.
Forget for just one moment your political affiliations if you can, and think about this as an example of effective leadership, employee productivity and the positive impact derived from courageous decision-making.
It takes great courage to speak up, especially when your job is on the line. Then why do it? Great leaders can’t sit back and stay silent when every cell in their body has an impulse to jump up and fix the problem. It’s automatic, just look to Steve Jobs. He was a firm believer in speaking up in ‘real’ time, if he was unhappy about a project and demanded an immediate course correction. This created an environment that rewarded agility, authenticity and feedback. (Though ex Apple employees have commented on how harsh his feedback could be at times.)
Courage cannot be taught but it can be encouraged and rewarded. Politically we seldom have a chance to experience it. Should working for the government be any different than working at Apple? Should Gavin Newsom keep a low profile, consider himself lucky because he has a job and enjoys picking up a paycheck? Or should he be rewarded for speaking up and asking for more responsibility and a change in procedure? Once again Newsom has shown himself to be a ‘change’ agent. However, I have a sense this is not about politics’ but about a guy who wants job satisfaction, and is willing to put himself on the line because making an impact in his job is important to him. He also just happens to work for the government. I would have thought this was a good thing, an individual who wants to earn his wage and works for the government.
Come on, Mr. Jerry Brown, you have an opportunity to be an effective leader, listen to the feedback, analysis the information and make the necessary changes to solve the issue and move on. Top talent is hard to find and retain.
I am a firm believer in supporting government jobs. In my opinion we need a strong infrastructure to support a growing population and to reach global markets. That aside, what if Gavin Newsom decides to dissolve his position, is it his choice? No. Who was it that said, “What does a Lt. Governor do” Gavin Newsom… said prior to taking the job. Lesson learnt? (small issue up front, big issue down the road).
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