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Tom Fox
Tom has experience in the federal executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government, including the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), the U.S. Senate, and the White House.

Immediately prior to joining the Partnership in May 2002, Tom was a Senior Consultant with Andersen's Office of Government Services, providing strategic human capital and workforce planning support to government clients.

From 1998 to 2000, Tom was a human capital analyst with GAO where he managed the development of reports including Human Capital: A Self-Assessment Checklist for Agency Leaders and Human Capital: Key Principles from Nine Private Sector Organizations.

Tom is a summa cum laude graduate of Bowling Green State University and holds a graduate degree from Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute.

Entries by Tom Fox

Good People Make Good Leaders

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 10:33 PM

Fred Kiel, author of Return on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win, conducted a seven-year study of more than 100 CEOs, their companies and 8,500 of their employees. What he found was that leaders of strong character achieved up to five times the return on...

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Managing Employees Who Are Older and Have More Experience

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 10:27 PM

You've been promoted at a relatively young age and now manage a group of employees, almost all of whom are older than you.

How do you handle this situation, especially if some of the employees believe they deserved the job and are resentful, and others are not particularly overjoyed about...

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The Government's Most 'Social' Chief Information Officer

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 6:16 PM

David A. Bray, the chief information officer of the Federal Communications Commission, is modernizing the agency's information technology systems to better meet mission needs. He tweets as @fcc_cio and was named the most social CIO in the world for 2015 by Forbes magazine.

In an interview...

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Federal Agencies Are Failing When it Comes to Managing Employees Throughout Their Careers

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 4:32 PM

The management of the federal workforce--effectively using talent, providing training, creating opportunities for promotions--can have a profound effect on employee performance and job satisfaction.

Based on an analysis of federal survey data by Deloitte and my organization, the Partnership for Public Service, agencies are failing on a number...

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Improving Society by Improving the Workplace

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 5:36 PM

Daryl Brewster is head of CECP, a global nonprofit that draws together CEOs who think an essential measure of business performance is an executive's ability to improve society. In this interview, Brewster shares his thoughts on fixing ineffective government agencies, engaging employees and creating environments that...

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How to Cure Federal Workers' Biggest Workplace Pains

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 4:49 PM

My recent column on how federal senior executives have vastly different perceptions than their employees on a number of critical workplace issues struck a chord with readers, many of whom described their own experiences.

The readers were responding to an analysis of a federal employee survey, which revealed...

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Talking Leadership With the Head of the Maritime Administration

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Paul "Chip" Jaenichen leads the Maritime Administration, where he's responsible for overseeing the Department of Transportation's efforts to promote water transportation and the viability of the U.S. Merchant Marine. Jaenichen, who spent 30 years in the Navy, mostly in submarines, spoke with Tom Fox about bringing...

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The Huge Gap Between How Federal Workers and Federal Leaders See the Workplace

(1) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 1:32 PM

Federal senior executives, you've got a problem.

Employee surveys show that, across government, senior executives have vastly different perceptions than those lower down the ranks have regarding critical workplace issues--including the fairness of promotions, the recognition and awards given for good job performance, and the way poor performers are handled.

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Trying to Bring More Diversity to the NSA

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 11:08 AM

Debora Plunkett is the senior adviser for equality at the National Security Agency, where she leads the organization's diversity efforts and best practices. She has spent more than three decades in government, holding leadership positions in NSA's signals intelligence and information assurance missions, and working on cybersecurity issues at the...

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A Summer Reading List That Will Help You Professionally

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 10:29 AM

With summer in full swing, it's time for some leisurely reading. For many, this means hitting the beach and getting immersed in the world of fiction. For others, it's an opportunity to step back, reflect on work and gain some insights on becoming a more effective leader.

Whether you prefer...

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Do We Need an Academy Like West Point, but for Civil Service?

(1) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 1:18 PM

Arizona State University (ASU) will launch a Public Service Academy, an undergraduate program that will integrate cross-sector and civilian-military experiences to develop future leaders, this fall. In an interview with me, Jonathan Koppell, the dean of the ASU College of Public Service and Community Solutions, talked about the...

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How Top Federal Leaders Define Leadership

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2015 | 3:20 PM

During the past several years, I have asked a number of Cabinet secretaries and other top Obama administration officials about their leadership philosophies and styles, and the lessons they have learned from managing a large workforce. I decided to collect highlights from their answers in one place, in the hope...

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Cass Sunstein on the Virtue of Anxious Leaders

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 2:09 PM

Cass Sunstein is a professor and legal scholar at Harvard, the author of numerous books and the former administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He spoke with me about his experiences in the Obama administration, his views on regulatory policy and leadership, his favorite sport...

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How to Be a Better Coach to Your Employees

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2015 | 1:19 PM

Whether in the public, private or nonprofit sector, leaders produce the best results when they invest in teaching and mentoring their employees. That means not only encouraging them to perform their existing roles exceptionally well, but providing long-term developmental support that stretches them beyond their current experience and expertise.


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Lessons From a Longtime Washington Leader

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 9:33 AM

David Mader left the Internal Revenue Service in 2003 for the private sector after more than three decades of federal service. Yet last year he returned to government, from Booz Allen Hamilton, this time as controller of the Office of Management and Budget. He is now focused on improving management...

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Dealing With Conflict in the Workplace

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 5:06 PM

People want leadership roles for a variety of reasons, but the opportunity to manage conflicts is rarely at the top of anyone's list. It's a skill that many have a hard time mastering -- and let's face it, avoiding conflict tends to be the first inclination for most of us.

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What It's Like to be the Architect of the Capitol

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 4:55 PM

As architect of the Capitol, Stephen Ayers oversees 2,300 employees responsible for the maintenance and operation of the historic U.S. Capitol Building, the House and Senate office buildings, the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court.

In this interview, Ayers discussed the importance of having "crucial conversations" with his leadership...

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How Federal Leaders Should Thank Their Employees

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2015 | 10:33 AM

Public Service Recognition Week, celebrated from May 3 through 9, is a time to honor our public servants and reflect on the benefits they provide to the American people.

Government employees are often taken for granted, that is until there is a crisis and the public expects that...

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Talking Leadership With Commerce CFO Ellen Herbst

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 2:32 PM

Ellen Herbst, who joined the government in 2005 after two decades in various private-sector leadership positions, is the chief financial officer and assistant secretary of administration at the Department of Commerce. She oversees matters dealing with the budget, financial management, strategic planning and performance management.

In an interview...

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What Makes Some Federal Agencies Better Than Others at Innovation

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 11:00 AM

Given the complexity and difficulty of the challenges that government leaders face, encouraging innovation among their workers can pay dividends. Government-wide employee survey data, however, suggest that much more needs to be done to foster this type of culture at many federal organizations.

According to that data, nearly...

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