Posted in leadership

Bona Fide Bureaucratic Behavior


Thank you for not urinating.

Career civil servants deal with bureaucrats and bureaucratic behavior daily. You can reduce the tendency toward protecting the status quo and being bound by established procedures by

Know why you are carrying out the function and whom you are serving (this allows you to think of your agency as an ends not a means and allows you to think of the program, not the procedure).

Enable those under you to feel they control their own areas of work allowing a sense of ownership and pride in work.

Don’t get locked into some early job because you are good at it.

Be wary of those who carry the rules and regulation gene, those who decide they must regulate every conceivable situation before it arises.

Remember, a rule is a momentary solution to a constantly recurring problem; it is not an inviolable law.

Be wary of the in-house critics who spend all their time criticizing your work while you are busy working full-time managing your program responsibilities and staff. Remember, the longer they look, the more important it is to them that they find something.


Cite: Ashworth, Kenneth (2001) CAUGHT BETWEEN THE DOG AND THE FIREPLUG: or How to Survive Public

Thank you for not urinating.
Thank you for not urinating.

Service, Washington, DC, Georgetown University Press



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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