Category: Leadership

How can you mobilize across generations to transform public service?

How can you mobilize across generations to transform public service?

A beginning…

(1 of 3)  Four years ago NxtGov was an ambition. It was born out of a government improvement initiative and the need for a space for public servants to feel like they belong.

Over the years, I have seen several iterations of this movement. These iterations include a few name changes and failed experiments, but most importantly, they have included the names and faces of the people that have each contributed to the growth of NxtGov.

As the national political environment has questioned the role and efficacy of the public sector, we have been inspired and determined to uplift our public sector ethic and make permanent important spaces like NxtGov. Today, NxtGov is a reality that continues to grow, with the dedication of our members and brave leaders that step up when opportunity calls. 

Opportunity is calling:

We are recruiting leaders that will help us lead NxtGov through its next chapter- NxtGov as a non-profit!  

We are looking for leadership in the following open roles:

  • Board Position
  • Council Positions:

Timeline:

  • 10/11: Nominations Open!
  • 11/4: Nominations Close
  • 11/11: All Candidate Profiles Posted & Voting Opens
  • 11/18: Elections Event
  • 11/19: Board Member Announced & Endorsements for Director Positions Close
  • 12/1:  Directors Announced

Process:

  1. Full description of the roles and timeline can be found here:  http://bit.ly/NxtGovExecElectionPositions
  2. The Nomination form can be found here:  http://bit.ly/2019NxtGovNominations
  3. RSVP for the Election Event: RSVP  

READ ON… How did we get here? [2 of 3]; What is next? [3 of 3]

For any questions about the upcoming opportunities and changes, don’t hesitate to contact us at collaborate@nxtgov.org


Servant Leadership: Still Relevant in the 21st Century Workforce

Servant Leadership: Still Relevant in the 21st Century Workforce

Guide Civil Service Leadership Forward Using Servant Leadership

By Tonia Burgess, NxtGov’s Director of Professional Development

 

“The only test of leadership is that somebody follows” – Robert Greenleaf

Change is imminent in the government workforce. According to the 2018 Gallup poll 66 percent of employees in the United States are unhappy, and 13 percent of the remaining 34 percent are disengaged with their jobs.  Emerging leaders should consider conducting a self-examination of their personal “why” before taking a job that can negatively influence the work experience of others. 

As individuals prepare to lead, it is important they assess their intent and motive to lead others.  Ask yourself, who will you lead and how will you lead? The way you answer this question will shape organizational culture.

Traditional leaders lead from a hierarchical perspective that is top-down focused on the executive level, to middle managers, employees, and lastly customers.  Servant leaders take the opposite view.  A servant leader functions from an inverted triangle where customers are at the top, employees next, management, and lastly executive leadership. 

Servant leadership embodies an inverted triangle. A servant leader devotes himself/herself to serving the needs of others; focuses on meeting the needs of those they lead; develops others and brings out the best in them: coaches, mentors, and encourages others; facilitates growth; and builds a sense of community that engages individuals. All of these factors demonstrate the characteristics of a servant leader. 

Funnel Visual of Servant Leadership

Robert Greenleaf a landmark leader introduced the concept of servant leadership during the 20th century. The tenets of his work continue to lend themselves to the discipline of organizational leadership and development. Greenleaf identified three significant organizations he believed were appropriate to facilitate servant leadership and they were: churches, universities, and businesses. And yes, Greenleaf expressly considered government, as a large organization or business. Greenleaf stated, “all holders of power are suspect and all actions that stem from authority are subject to question. Who and how does it serve?” Moreover, he postulated “whoever will be great among you must be your servant.” 

Greenleaf’s, style of leadership may seem unorthodox to many, especially in government.  However, as government evolves in the 21st century with variations in technology and a diverse workforce, the next generations of civil service leaders would do well to explore and adapt key principles of servant leadership to guide government forward.   


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Building the Future Public Sector Workforce

Building the Future Public Sector Workforce

NxtGov and Innovative Pathways to Public Service invite you to help inspire students and young adults into public sector careers.

By Danielle Metzinger, NxtGov’s Deputy Director

Did you know more than 20% of all jobs in the six-county Sacramento region are in the public sector? That’s 1 out of every 5 jobs in our region! And with the public sector facing a wave of retirements at all levels, our region has an opportunity to bring in a new generation of skilled public servants.

NxtGov is proud to partner with Innovative Pathways to Public Service (IPPS) in their work to inspire young adults to consider public service and create accessible, inclusive pathways into public sector careers in the Sacramento region.

In support of IPPS, I’d like to invite our NxtGov community to learn more about their work and attend their upcoming leadership summit Building the Future Public Sector Workforce on August 29.

This free, half-day summit will bring together government leaders, educators, and nonprofit/industry partners to reflect on a region-wide study of public sector employment. This study includes the counties of Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Sutter, Yuba, and Yolo.

During the summit, participants will hear from speakers and panels on the opportunities to mitigate barriers and bring youth and young adults into public sector careers. All levels of government in the region will be represented at this event!

Learn more about the Summit and register today.

NxtGov’s partnership with IPPS has brought about dynamic projects like our Millennials in Public Service video series and ongoing consultation opportunities for our Public Recruitment Committee, and I know even more exciting work is on the horizon. I hope you’ll be part of the effort to build the future public sector workforce and lend your perspective to the workforce challenges government faces every day. Now is the time to come together and help build the future public workforce for our region and beyond.


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Paths to Service Profile featuring Laura Carr

Paths to Service Profile featuring Laura Carr

Name: Laura Carr

Job Title: Air Pollution Specialist

Recommended Reading: Walkable City by Jeff Speck

What was your path into public service?

Lots of my family have had careers in the public sector, so I grew up with public service in the back of my mind as an option that was not only viable but attractive, presenting an opportunity to help people and leverage the power of government for good. Two environmental studies classes in high school posed big, concerning questions about the state of the planet, and a B.A. in environmental policy provided both a framework to grapple with them and further confirmation for me that policy work in the public sector was the best pressure point to try to address them. I volunteered part-time at a Caltrans district office to get experience working for the State, and then committed fully to that millennial rite of passage, the unpaid internship, at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research in Sacramento. The internship evolved into a paid position, which I held for more than a year before opting to go back to school for a brief ten-month stint to earn an M.S. in economics. Four months after completing my Master’s, I got the job I’d been envisioning since college at the California Air Resources Board (CARB). I’m hoping for and planning on a full career in public service. The work is fulfilling, the colleagues are inspiring, and I’m excited to see what lies ahead.

What do you do in your current position, and what is something you are working on right now?

At CARB, I’m part of the air quality planning staff, focusing on the San Joaquin Valley. The planning effort to clean the air and meet national air quality standards involves putting together usually quite lengthy documents laying out the strategy to cut emissions. Earlier this year, I helped write and compile a thousand-page plan for the Valley that had been in the works for well over two years—longer than I’ve been with the agency. Now that the plan is finished, we’re moving into the implementation phase, making sure everything is progressing as laid out in the plan. It’s a big task with lots of moving parts, but it’s a team effort, which makes it doable and rewarding.

What cautionary tip would you give to someone looking for a job in state service?

Know that you might not hear back about a job you’ve applied for; sometimes that courtesy isn’t provided, but don’t let it get you down. Relatedly, be patient, be persistent, and don’t despair if you don’t get the first position, or even the first dozen positions, that you apply for. Applying for jobs with the state is at least partly a numbers game, and finding the right fit is liable to take time on the order of months rather than weeks.

What’s it like living and working in Sacramento?

Great! It lives up beautifully to its City of Trees designation, has an eminently walkable downtown (see recommended reading), and it’s invigorating to be surrounded by so many other people who’ve chosen a path of public service.


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What’s Next for NxtGov?

What’s Next for NxtGov?

Learn more about our plans to develop NxtGov from a thriving grassroots community into an inclusive and sustainable organization.

With hundreds of members and growing, NxtGov has embarked upon an incredible journey over the past couple of years to become the strong community it is today. So where do we go from here? How do we build upon our momentum to do even greater things?

With these questions in mind, I’m pleased to present the NxtGov Strategic Plan 2019-2021 which will help guide NxtGov toward a bright future in the years to come. This plan was developed by the NxtGov Executive Team to set the strategic direction for our organization to realize its mission. Our goals include attracting and retaining members and partners, ensuring our organization runs smoothly, and develop NxtGov from a thriving grassroots community into an inclusive and sustainable organization.

I want to share how proud I am of the Executive Team in living out NxtGov’s values as we developed the strategic plan together. Their forward-thinking and collaborative approach resulted in a solid foundation upon which the organization can continue to grow. In addition to all their usual work of coordinating events and opportunities for our members, the Executive Team came together in March and April to conduct an environmental scan and align on visionary goals and action plans that will take NxtGov to the next level.

This kind of planning is critical as we develop from a grassroots startup into a nonprofit organization. Shortly before the development of the strategic plan, NxtGov was officially registered as a nonprofit in the State of California and is now in the process of filing as a nonprofit with the federal government as well. This process has allowed us to solidify who we are as an organization and what value we offer to public servants and government operations.

I hope you will take the opportunity to review the NxtGov Strategic Plan 2019-2021 and learn about all the ways to get involved in NxtGov and contribute to the community we are building together.

Danielle Metzinger
Deputy Director, NxtGov


Follow us here and subscribe here for all of the latest news on how you can promote positive change with NxtGov!

Vote: A Message and an Invitation

Vote: A Message and an Invitation

*updated 11/8/18

We are a nonpartisan organization, but we recognize the opportunity of engaging in the process of electing leaders that reflect our values. Election Day brought a significant increase in civic engagement in most of the country.

NxtGov is hosting our Election Event this Friday November 9th.

This smaller, but significant election represents our work in serving the public, collaborating across the silos, and inspiring the current and next generation of public servants; those that will stay and continue to serve for a better good no matter the politics.

The NxtGov Executive Team Election is a representation of growth and the acceptance of change. We learn, we grow, we pay it forward, and we adapt.

Over the last year, NxtGov has continued to expand thanks to the support from our members, leaders and partners. It is your support that allows us to flourish in our mission to bring pride back to public service and break the silos that can help us transform government.

The diversity of our effort is uplifting.

Our NxtGov Ambassadors represent 15 departments across state and local government with experience spanning from a few months to 10 or more years in the public/private sector.

Our network has over 400 members from across all backgrounds and we are proud to continue to support local organizations that connect with our values of service, collaboration, and inspiration.

Join us at the NxtGov Election Event Friday, November 9th from 5pm to 7pm at Sacramento City Hall where you will be able to hear from our NxtGov Executive Team Candidates and have the opportunity to meet members, partners, and sponsors; including one of our first and biggest supporters, GovOps Agency Secretary Marybel Batjer.

You can still engage and support our public servant leaders. They are ready to take NxtGov to the next level. Cast your vote now.

Sincerely,

Angie

RSVP for Election Event

Meet the Candidates

Vote Now

PS: As we enter the month of Thanksgiving, I want to recognize and give thanks to our current Executive Team. You have all been there from the start and it’s your dedication to our mission and the passion that you bring to your role that generated the energy and support that has taken us this far and allowed us to grow. I am forever thankful.

NxtGov Ballot, RSVP For Election Event, Updates

NxtGov Ballot, RSVP For Election Event, Updates

 

 

RSVP For Election Event

and/or Vote Now!

We are hosting an in person election event with special guests and light appetizers. All of our partners, sponsors, and members are invited.

Friday November 9th
5:00-7:00pm
Sacramento City Hall

Agenda

5:00 Check-in and Mingle with appetizers
5:30 Welcome- Angelica Quirarte, Founder & Exec. Director of NxtGov
5:45 Keynote by special guest: GovOps Secretary, Marybel Batjer
6:00 Candidate Introductions
6:30 Voting and more Mingling
7:00 Wrap up

RSVP

You can Start Voting now for your NxtGov Candidate!
Do keep in mind the Voting Rules:

  1. You must be a subscribed member of NxtGov to vote
  2. Online votes count for 1 point
  3. In person votes at the election event count for 10 points
  4. You can only vote for one candidate per position
  5. You can only vote once

Vote

Community Engagement Opportunities

Sign up now- space limited or time sensitive! 


NxtGov is Partnering with APSEA!

Join us Oct 27th

“My Sister’s House Run for a Safe Haven”

My Sister’s House Run for a Safe Haven has been a primary fundraiser for the past 15 years. Beginning in 2003 with only a few hundred runners, the Run for a Safe Haven has become an annual tradition for many living in the Central Valley. In 2017, over 1,000 registered runners raised over $65,000 for My Sister’s House services and programs. This year is the 15th anniversary of the Run for a Safe Haven.

Thank you for joining us in “Working toward homes without violence and lives without fear.”

Join the fun and register under “APSEA”. Team registration is $32 per team member. 

See here for the registration details for instructions!

Special Community Engagement Opportunity


Join NxtGov as we partner with the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Shelter to distribute turkeys this Thanksgiving!

Spaces are limited- save your spot now!

What: The Annual Turkey Distribution at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services
When: Monday, November 19, 6:00 – 9:30 AM
Where: 3333 Third Ave. Sacramento CA 95817
RSVP: Contact Sean.Harrison@fire.ca.gov with names and email addresses for each volunteer!

This one-day event allows approximately 4,000 families to be given turkeys and other Thanksgiving foods. Able-bodied volunteers age 16 and up are needed to assist clients who are struggling or disabled with carrying their turkeys. This does not involve bagging or distribution. This event has the possibility of being physically demanding as you will have to walk families to their car (up to a few blocks in distance in some cases) with turkeys and grocery bags that might be heavy. Hurry – spots filling up!

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8 WAYS to ADD VALUE to PUBLIC SERVICE and STAY INSPIRED

8 WAYS to ADD VALUE to PUBLIC SERVICE and STAY INSPIRED

Authors: Isabella Blasi and Angelica Quirarte 

Public service is a humble profession that impacts the lives of millions and intersects all industries. The concept of being a “state worker” has a negative connotation that is not reflective of the amazing work that civil servants do every day. The bureaucracy of our government sometimes prevent us from being the most effective in our daily work and service delivery and social impact seem slow. However, the people behind the scenes are part of something greater, even when they don’t know it.

As public servants we have the power to change the world, if we can break our silos, build connections and embrace our mission to serve the public.  Below are eight actions that we as public servants can do to collaborate, serve and inspire: 

1. Listen

Serving the public means serving individuals, families and communities. Be active in learning about the people you serve. Listen to what are their needs, challenges, strengths and values. Engage with clients when appropriate, keep up with community news, be an advocate for your public and serve as the link between the public and the big bureaucracy.

2. Be a program expert

As a public servant you have the power to use your skills and knowledge to help make Californians’ lives better. The public depends on you to apply your skills into programs that affects millions of lives. Being an expert in your field shows that you play an essential role in ensuring that people are being served. Don’t shy away from the opportunity to use your knowledge!

3. Know the little things matter

Seemingly mundane tasks can go a long way, especially when interacting with the public. Something as simple as redirecting a phone call to the right department can mean helping put food on a family’s table. Simply listening to a client’s backstory can help him or her feel confident that they are heard and matter to the government.

4. Be a connector

We depend on relationships and collaboration to truly drive effective change. It is through the shared opportunities and resources that we can help bring others along when working on complex issues. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of information we do not know within the bureaucracies of government. Playing an active role in connecting people to resources when you find those opportunities will create synergy in our work.

5. Be nice to yourself

While your work is invaluable, it is not your sole responsibility to save the world each and every day. Know your sphere of influence, constantly work towards expanding it and don’t beat yourself up when you can’t solve climate change in one day. Instead, collaborate with your fellow public servants and keep trying.

6. Be solution-oriented

Don’t be discouraged by the “big bad bureaucracy” or the seemingly insurmountable public issues we are responsible for solving. Be creative when thinking of ways to address the issues that arise.

7. Be a mentor

You’ve worked hard to get to where you are. What are lessons learned that would inspire our workforce? Know of someone close to you that has potential? Most of us have been able to find opportunities with the support of mentors. Find the opportunity to mentor someone and give back. Our experiences serve as lessons learned for others.

8. Give back to your community

If you are looking to collaborate, to serve, and to inspire others, join us. NxtGov is here to stay, because our work is never done and we always need peers and partners to effect change.

DISCLAIMER: This is an unofficial organization that is not connected to any one government entity.

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