By James S. Bowman

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Regina Blackstone, mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, had the technical expertise required for her research position, but was thrust into a leadership position that called for skills that she had not yet developed. Leaders of the new public service, such as Regina once she has retooled, will be able to accurately assess, effectively negotiate, and creatively manage change. Chapter 4 analyzes five components of the leadership competency: assessment and goal setting, hard and soft management skills combined with personality traits, management styles, political and negotiation skills, and evaluation of personal and organizational behavior.

I think to some extent it’s designed to reduce the independence and autonomy of the civil service” (quoted in Frank 2008, 137). Naomi Klein (2007) provides numerous examples of this “hollowing out of government,” which exacerbates what some have called a human capital crisis. As AFL-CIO President John Sweeney observes, “ . . ’ The real possibility exists that in the future, lucrative service contracts paid for by taxpayers will be doled out in ways the civil service system was created to prevent” (AFGE 2008).

Indeed, states like Georgia and Florida have recently radically reformed their civil service systems, reinstituting at-will employment, a policy whereby employees can be let go at any 20 chapter 1 time. At-will employment not only undermines job security, but also has the potential to replace merit with a spoils-like system of job placement (Condrey and Maranto 2001; Bowman and West 2007). Furthermore, in most jurisdictions, even those purportedly based on merit, politics has not been removed entirely from the selection process.

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