Learning The Ropes

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Learning the Ropes: Insights for Political Appointees is geared to providing helpful advice to new political appointees on a variety of topics related to the challenge of managing in government. Chapter two by Judith Michaels presents key lessons learned from two surveys of previous political appointees, as well as personal interviews with nearly 50 former political executives from both Democratic and Republican administrations. Chapter three by Joseph Ferrara and Lynn Ross dispel common myths held by political appointees about careerists and by careerists about political appointees and sets forth constructive "rules of engagement" that political and career executives can use to form partnerships in achieving the administration's program and policy objectives. Chapter four by John Trattner presents advice for working with Congress, including an overview of how Congress functions, how decisions on money and programs are made, appropriators and authorizers, legislators and their constituencies, oversight, and how to get things done. Chapter five by John Trattner describes how political appointees can work with the media, including advice on how to minimize the impact of bad news, offensive and defensive strategies, and how to survive in the government/media culture. Chapter six by Mark Abramson and Paul Lawrence presents useful advice on eight lessons involved in transforming organizations. Chapter seven by Dana Michael Harsell presents advice for political appointees on working with career executives to "manage for results." The final chapter by Chris Wye describes how political executives can overcome common problems in the design, alignment, use, and communication of performance measures and information.

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Editorial Reviews

Reference and Research Book News
Writing for recent political appointees in the US government's executive branch, Abramson and Lawrence (both affiliated with the IBM Center for The Business of Government), along with other contributors, provide advice on how most effectively serve in their posts.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Mark A. Abramson is Executive Director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government, a position he has held since July 1998. Mr. Abramson was awarded the Laverne Burchfield Award for his article "The Leadership Factor" that was selected as the Best Book Review of 1989 published in Public Administration Review. In 1989, he received the Elmer B. Staats Award for Accountability in Government by the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. Dr. Paul R. Lawrence is vice president with IBM's Business Consulting Services. Dr. Lawrence works with federal executives, helping them solve complex problems, by applying solutions proven in similar government settings or the private sector. He is also the Partner-in-charge of the IBM Center for the Business of Government, which seeks to advance knowledge on how to improve public sector effectiveness (www.businessofgovernment.org). He is the host of the weekly radio show, the Business of Government Hour, heard on WJFK FM 106.7 Saturdays at 9-10 a.m., where he interviews government leaders about their job, career and vision for the future of government. Since the show began in 1999, he has interviewed 150 senior government leaders in the Clinton and Bush administrations. He is the editor of the Business of Government Journal. He is also the co-editor of Transforming Organizations and the editor of the book series, which has produced 12 books on government management topics. (www.romanlittlefield.com/series).

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Biggest Secret in Washington Part 2 Part I: Working with Career Executives Chapter 3 Becoming and Effective Political Executive: 7 Lessons from Experienced Appointees Chapter 4 Getting to Know You: Rules of Engagement for Political Appointees and Career Executives Part 5 Part II: Working with Congress and the Media Chapter 6 Working with Congress Chapter 7 Working with the Media Part 8 Part III: Working with Your Organization Chapter 9 Working to Transform Your Organization Chapter 10 Working with Career Executives to Manage for Results Chapter 11 Performance Management for Political Executives: A "Start Where You Are, Use What You Have" Guide

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