The Federal Leader’s Crisis – Nu Leadership Series

“In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.”
Ken Blanchard

As the Iraq conflict spins out of control, many Americans are concerned about the state of government life. They wonder what can be done to make the government better. I posed this problem to a leadership expert at Regent University. This discussion turned peculiar because of the need for a radical change. Professor Bekker explains, “…a catalyst of change is needed in the process of transforming federal bureaucracy.”

Fortunately, the catalyst won’t come solely from within the government. As the wounds of November’s election start to heal, Republicans wonder what went wrong. Let’s ask the voters. Government corruption was the top ranked issue (41% viewed it extremely important), followed by terrorism and the Iraq War. Yet, politicians still don’t get it. Values do count.

Therefore, reengineering the bureaucratic culture is necessary. Unfortunately, external initiatives have proven unsuccessful. However, a joint effort by transformational leaders within the government system and external influences, such as community groups and media organizations may be the catalyst.

Prahalad and Ramaswamy, authors of The Future of Competition, maintain today’s organizations can’t conduct value formation in a vacuum. Consequently, the government can’t change its culture without help from the outside.


Page, S. (November 11, 2006). GOP coalition fractured by opposition to war. USA Today.

Prahalad, C.K. & Ramaswamy, V. (2004). The Future of Competition: Co-creating Unique Value with Customers. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green