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The Leadership Podcast

The Leadership Podcast

Why do we do this?

We interview great leaders, review the books they read, and speak with highly influential authors who study them.

How we do this?

#1 We interview great leaders.
#2 We review the books great leaders read and write.
#3 We have fun!

Sep 25, 2019

When you are working in a highly regulated and restricted environment, it may be more challenging to come up with creative solutions, make decisions and work within a culture that feels flexible. However, this week, Jim and Jan discuss the unique leadership challenges in the public sector, and how to still thrive.  Jim and Jan answer a few listener questions and concerns regarding problems that are unique to public sector organizations, and give personal examples of times they needed to think outside the box to move things along. 


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The Leadership Podcast is proud to announce a new initiative with thoughtLEADERS to provide very short podcasts called “chalk talks.” They’re “bitesize” hacks on common (but challenging) leadership issues. 


You can only access the Chalk Talks by subscribing to our mailing list at The Leadership Podcast


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Key Takeaways 

[2:22] Before we look at external threats, we must first look internally and see what we are able to control. 

[4:03] When bureaucracy bears down and feels constrictive, great leaders are creative in problem solving. 

[10:46] Challenge your assumptions and be open to a different way of doing things. 

Highly regulated complex systems are rarely air tight, so look for the gaps. 

[11:13] Be crystal clear about expectations, including who does what by when and what the consequences will be if someone fails to meet the expectations. 

[15:03] Try to talk with the union, find a common interests and see where you can work together to find a solution for the greater group. 

[16:43] Control what you can, and adapt and change around those you can’t. By doing this, we influence for the good. 

[22:09] Your network is your insurance policy, and so is learning and growing within your company and industry. It is your personal responsibility to take lessons learned when you can. 


Strategic Partner


Beyond the Uniform offers over 300 free episodes to help military Veterans succeed in their civilian career. This includes overviews of potential career paths, deep dives on necessary skills to succeed, and reviews of other free services that support the military Veteran community. You can find more info at


Quotable Quotes 

  • “Remove some of your assumptions, challenge them and pressure test them.” 
  • “Ultimately, the thing we all have is a choice.” 
  • “Control what you can.” 
  • “Invent your way out of a tight box.” 
  • “Learn how to adapt and change.” 


How to Deal with Stifling Bureaucracies 

Find the best boss, the industry doesn’t matter 


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Website: The Leadership Podcast