As part of the CXO Fellows Power Lunch series, GSA Fellows met with Tim Horne, GSA Acting Administrator and Emily Murphy, Senior Advisor to the Administrator. The event created an opportunity for CXO Fellows to foster a connection with GSA leadership as well as their cross-functional peers. The fellows represented acquisition, finance, and IT function areas and are recognized by their CXO office as rising leaders in government. The conversation included projects that CXO Fellows are currently working on and how collaboration is beneficial when tackling current challenges. Tim and Emily shared their perspective on leading teams and shared ideas on how fellows could be effective now.
Accept the Challenge
As a leader, it is important to get out of your comfort zone. It is easy for leaders to stick to what they know. However, leaders cannot continue to get into the weeds of projects and still act as an effective leader. Strong leaders are often lifelong learners who push beyond one area of expertise.
Trust Your Gut
Great leaders trust their instincts and know that gut feel is an important consideration in the decisionmaking process. Leaders do not get consumed with overthinking things — they know that overthinking decisions can be a waste of time. Trusting your instincts while weighing all the available information is a key part of making good decisions.
Manage Up Through Communication
Convey the right information to managers. Managers should first trust their teams to do their work. Strong managers can operate successful initiatives without knowing every detail. Team members can update managers without overwhelming them with unnecessary information. It is up to the team members to inform managers of program risks and communicate when challenges arise before they become larger issues. It’s important to find the communication frequency and style that fits the project and team.
Opportunities like this highlight the need for a space to connect with peers across function and the benefits of hearing from home agency leadership. The CXO Fellowship looks forward to bringing the Power Lunch series to other agencies this Fall. Thank you to Tim and Emily for engaging with these rising leaders. To learn more about the CXO Fellowship or apply please visit cfo.gov/cxo-fellows.