06/07/2013 03:47 pm ET Updated Aug 07, 2013

Talking Presidential Transitions and Agency Leadership: A Conversation With Michael Leavitt

Michael O. Leavitt has served as governor of Utah, head of the Environmental Protection Agency and secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In 2012, Leavitt headed the transition team for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and this experience is documented in the newly released book, Romney Readiness Project 2012: Retrospective and Lessons Learned. The Romney Readiness Project was the first transition organization to operate under the Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010.

Leavitt speaks here about Washington politics, leadership and his experiences preparing for a possible Romney administration in an interview with Tom Fox. A guest writer for On Leadership, Fox is vice president for leadership and innovation at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service and also heads the Partnership's Center for Government Leadership.

How can Washington overcome gridlock and the divide between the political parties?

Effective government has to be viewed as a collaborative exercise, not simply as an ideological exercise. When people get down to problem solving, they create a more effective government and the people are better served.