Failed Leadership at the Highest Levels of Government

The botched roll out of the Affordable Care Act(Obama Care) by Health and Human Services, the inappropriate targeting of certain political groups for audit by the Internal Revenue Service, the shamefully long wait times for veterans to receive care from the Veterans Administration, and the failure of Homeland Security/Secret Service to ensure the protection of the President and First Family have all combined to reveal a frightening lack of leadership by the appointed Cabinet Secretaries or Directors of each of these high level organizations. The vetting process that the President and Congress employ has major shortcomings. What has been revealed is that the nomination and approval proceedings are placing individuals into key leadership positions that do not possess the level of leadership talent required to lead these important organizations within our Federal Government. The appointed senior leaders in each of these organizations have an obligation to establish an environment and culture that ensures the accomplishment of their assigned missions while at the same time maintaining the well-being of their respective workforces. To do this, it requires these appointed leaders to become familiar with the current internal structure and policies of their respective organizations to include being aware of any inspector general findings, ethics issues, and general employee complaints to gain an understanding of the organization’s culture and performance. Given this, these ethical breaches, poor performance, and bad behaviors that now permeate these organizations are an embarrassment and they shake the confidence of Americans in the ability of our government to do its job.
Paul Okum has 40 years’ experience with the Federal Government in the Departments of Transportation, Interior, Army, and Defense in leadership positions, including being a US Army officer and a director of a human resources office in the Department of Defense. Okum has written “Leadership DNA,” a guide book about identifying, selecting, and developing natural born leaders. The book also explains how to deal with poor performing leaders before they cripple an organization.
For more information about Paul Okum and “Leadership DNA,” visit

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