In some ways, “government acquisition” (the process of the government buying things) is as boring as it sounds. Even the simplest purchases can require an almost endless amount of paperwork, and it literally takes years for many decisions to be made. So, many government workers naturally view acquisition as the least exhilarating part of their job. But not every government worker sees it that way. A friend who works for the government was recently taking an acquisition class, and was pleasantly surprised to find a really energetic instructor. She obviously cared about her work as an acquisition professional and wanted her students to care about acquisitions too.
At one point she said to them “your work will impact people’s lives.”
It seems like a pretty strong statement for a field that, in day-to-day execution, is not known for excitement or a sense of a strong impact. Read More
I happened to be rummaging through a colleague’s desk not too long ago (with permission!).
I came across a notecard that had a name, date, some niceties, and random topics on it. After I’d seen 4 or 5 of these cards, I realized they were my colleague's way of reminding himself what he wanted to accomplish in a given interaction.
I smiled to myself. This guy is a nice, somewhat irreverent, confident gentleman. I would have assumed he strolled into most meetings and automatically fell into normal chit-chat, knew which high points he had to hit, and moved on.
As it turns out, he was intentional when he went into meetings. He wrote down the person’s name, some personal details (their spouse’s name, hometown, or favorite sports team), and the topics he wanted to cover.
I’ve been to a number of meetings with this colleague and never saw him pull out a notecard. With just the simple act of writing these things down, he was much more effective in meetings by building personal bonds with people and knowing what business he wanted to complete. Read More
“Teach me to do it myself” is a concept in the Montessori education philosophy. It’s the idea of helping a child only as far as they need your help. You should transition the activity you’re doing with them over to them as soon as their abilities allow for it.
The idea is that children should always be growing in their abilities, and you shouldn’t keep them helpless or totally dependent on you for everything.
It’s a spiritual principle as well. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul talks about the idea of milk versus solid foods. When you are an infant, you need pure milk because your digestive system isn’t developed enough to handle real food. The same is true for spiritual infancy. But the expectation is that you will grow spiritually and be able to handle more solid food (harder questions and bigger decisions). God desires that as we grow in our knowledge of Him, we grow in the ability to walk according to His will. We are able to feed ourselves (study the Word) and make Godly decisions because we know who He is and listen to His voice.
It’s a philosophy in children’s education, and a spiritual concept, and it also applies to our jobs. Read More
That is why we must “pitch our tents” where we will always have quiet times with Him, however noisy our times with the world may be.
As a government employee, I often heard outside consultants and contactors referred to as “greedy bandits.” And now as an outside consultant and contractor, I hear government employees referred to a “lazy and ignorant.”