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Ernst & Young: LLP book on political appointees cites examples

By Rob Starr, Content Manager,

Anticipation around changes to the second Obama administration, particularly at the agency level, is growing as the new term approaches. In the newly-released second edition of Paths to Making a Difference: Leading in Government, Ernst & Young LLP’s Government and Public Sector practice provides insights on selecting the right appointees, the management challenges of the political executive and how these top executives can succeed in accomplishing an administration’s objectives.

“Effective political appointees are key to a successful government. A new group of political appointees soon to join the Obama administration can learn about making the transition from their previous positions into a leadership role in government, a transition that without guidance and understanding can be quite daunting,” said Paul Lawrence, leader of the Federal Government Consulting Practice, Ernst & Young LLP, and author of Paths to Making a Difference: Leading in Government. “This book provides a framework organized around the types of management challenges awaiting those who accept these positions to help them design and follow a path that will lead to achieving the agencies’ goals and priorities.”

The book also examines three distinct roles of the political executive:  builders, managers and innovators. Each of the 32 executives featured builds organizational capacity, strong processes, relationships, credibility and visibility. Political executives face three major management tasks: assessing the organization, achieving mission alignment and tracking the agencies progress. The third role of the political executive is that of innovator, with two distinctions: innovation from inside government and innovation in engaging the private sector in problem solving.

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