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What Government Does: How Political Executives Manage Different Agencies

Overview

To understand the challenges of political leadership and how top executives succeed in accomplishing an Administration’s objectives, business-in-government experts Paul R. Lawrence and Mark A. Abramson present the findings of a four-year study of top political appointees in the Obama Administration.

The 42 participants—Deputy Secretaries and agency heads—provide case studies of how each approaches the management challenges and achieves the ...

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What Government Does: How Political Executives Manage

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Overview

To understand the challenges of political leadership and how top executives succeed in accomplishing an Administration’s objectives, business-in-government experts Paul R. Lawrence and Mark A. Abramson present the findings of a four-year study of top political appointees in the Obama Administration.

The 42 participants—Deputy Secretaries and agency heads—provide case studies of how each approaches the management challenges and achieves the mission of their organization.

Full of behind-the-scenes insights and practical advice from government political executives on how they face management challenges in real time, What
Government Does: How Political Executives Manage offers indispensable insights to current and prospective political appointees and everyone interested in understanding how leaders make government agencies more effective.

The new book, a follow-up to their previous book, Paths to Making a
Difference: Leading in Government, presents an insightful framework of what government does. Instead of thinking about government by policy area, the authors present an alternative approach in which government executives are categorized by the type of agency they are managing. The book includes chapters on Deputy Secretaries, producers, regulators, infrastructors, scientists,
and collaborators.

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Editorial Reviews

Washington Monthly
[T]his [is an] important and admirably well-crafted volume. Every American has a stake in what government does and how political executives manage; few Americans, however, have enough of an interest to read through a granular-level, interview-based book on the subject. But more of us should, and I would be delighted . . . to see this fine book top the best-seller lists. . . .With every new administration over the years to come there will be a fresh crop of political executives in dire need—whether they know it or not—of the lessons, cautionary tales, and pep talks from their predecessors assembled here. The rest of us can treasure it now as a reminder of how exquisitely important these jobs are; how lucky we are to have such talented, patriotic people taking up these brutally hard and often thankless tasks; and what a pickle we will be in if public leaders of this caliber ever stop raising their hands to do the difficult work on which our welfare depends.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442232426
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/15/2014
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul R. Lawrence is a partner at Ernst & Young and a leader in the government and public sector practice.
Mark A. Abramson is president of Leadership, Inc.

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Table of Contents

Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: The Job of the Political Executive: Running an Agency
Chapter Three: The Deputy Secretaries
Chapter Four: The Producers
Chapter Five: The Regulators
Chapter Six: The Infrastructors
Chapter Seven: The Scientists
Chapter Eight: The Collaborators
Appendix: Dates of Interviews
Index of Profiles by Organization
References

About the Authors and Contributors

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