That's enough to cause me to hyperventilate, especially when I think about the stakes involved. At DHS, mission failure is not an option, and by definition, the same applies to the management functions that enable them. However, I've had the chance to sit down with Secretary Deyo on several occasions (including but not limited to our interview), and to say he's calm and unflappable in the face of those challenges is an understatement. You see, he comes to his daunting position after a full career in the private sector doing very similar things, and he's pretty much seen it all.
To be sure, he acknowledges there are some significant differences—for example, the media "fishbowl" that we all live in, a 535-member board of directors that is perennially running for office, and the degree of rigid regulation in some areas like HR. However, at the end of the day, he says that management is management—no matter how complex the management challenge (whether in the public sector or private), if you break that challenge down into its individual components, deal with them one by one, and stay true to your core principles and priorities along the way, you'll get there.
That's what gets him through a day, and it's an approach worth remembering—especially when the world of public managers gets complicated.
Chairman, The Bureaucrat Inc. Board of Directors