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FCW : January 2013
Editor'sNote New starts tend to breed optimism --- the beginning of a new school year, a business launch or a new calendar year. Everything is still a promise that can be ful lled positively. As we begin 2013, however, it's hard to be optimistic about how the year will go. We are already one-quarter of the way into the nancial year, and everyone is still playing some kind of survival game, trying to avoid furloughs and save pennies because no one has any idea how much money a program or even an agency will receive. Congress created this problem with the sequestration solution to its own inability to pass budgets, appropriations and spending cuts. But it seems unrealistic to expect legislators to solve it. The last Congress could not even come close, and with only minor adjustments to party numbers in both House and Senate, all indications are that we will have another cliff drill in March, probably teamed with a debt-ceiling crisis. As one who believes in the power of the government to do good and also understands the concerns about a "too big" bureaucracy, I think the biggest danger facing us is if these continual funding crises create an environment in which it is impossible for anyone in government to do anything. If there was ever a time for leadership from behind or below, this is it. In addition to the funding uncertainty, many agencies are facing a prolonged change at the top. Although this is natural when one administration ends and another begins, most agencies are already dealing with "actings" in key leadership positions. It is dif cult to get an accurate count of how many senior leadership positions are lled with people who are in the role only temporarily. But having a large percentage of acting executives rarely results in bold leadership. Traditionally, career executives and members of the Senior Executive Service step up in times of transition. This year it seems even more critical for them to come forward and provide direction, leadership and movement. My worst fear is that, faced with these ridiculous conditions, some government executives will give up and retire or leave for the private sector. I hope the sense of mission that drives most career government executives will kick in and we will weather this silly season. There is real work to do. --- ANNE ARMSTRONG firstname.lastname@example.org Time to lead from within January 2013 FCW.COM 7 FCW (ISSN 0893-052X) is published 21 times a year, two issues monthly except one issue in Jan, Feb and Dec by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Ste. 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Periodicals postage paid at Chatsworth, CA 91311-9998, and at additional mailing of ces. Complimentary subscriptions are sent to qualifying subscribers. Annual subscription rates payable in U.S. funds for non-quali ed subscribers are: U.S. $125.00, International $165.00. Annual digital subscription rates payable in U.S. funds for non-quali ed subscribers are: U.S. $125.00, International $125.00. Subscription inquiries, back issue requests, and address changes: Mail to: FCW, P.O. Box 2166, Skokie, IL 60076-7866, email FCWmag@1105service. com or call (866) 293-3194 for U.S. & Canada; (847) 763-9560 for International, fax (847) 763-9564. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to FCW, P.O. Box 2166, Skokie, IL 60076-7866. Canada Publications Mail Agreement No: 40612608. Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to Circulation Dept. or XPO Returns: P.O. Box 201, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4R5, Canada. CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER EXECUTIVE EDITOR Anne Armstrong Troy K. Schneider PRINT MANAGING EDITOR ONLINE MANAGING EDITOR Terri J. Huck Michael Hardy SENIOR WRITER Matthew Weigelt STAFF WRITERS Amber Corrin, Frank Konkel, Camille Tuutti CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Richard E. 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