Imposter At Arms

Every veteran eventually faces the same thing: the day they leave military service and venture into the civilian world to start the next chapter of their life. This is an exciting and uncertain period in a veteran’s life, where they’re thrown into the wild “real” world with only the skills they’ve honed as a servicemember. This transition period forces veterans to translate their existing skills into a value-add in civilian life and to figure out how they’ll engage the business community.

The process a veteran goes through in order to understand where their skills are valued and required in the private sector can take months or even years. It’s a process of self-discovery, devoid of the formal, regimented guidance veterans are used to having. Transitioning from active duty requires setting new civilian expectations for themselves, identifying how they want to use their skillset and ultimately picking a new career.

When transitioning into the civilian workforce, however, veterans often place unrealistic expectations on themselves and misinterpret the way society views them and their abilities. This misalignment of self-expectations and societal perceptions commonly results in a phenomenon known as imposter syndrome.

Seventy percent of people will experience imposter syndrome at some point in their life. Experts describe imposter syndrome as “an internal experience of intellectual phoniness in individuals who are highly successful but unable to internalize their success.” The syndrome often manifests itself through overworking, discounting successes, low self-assessments and anxiety about fear of failure. To understand how veterans develop and experience imposter syndrome, it’s helpful to take a look at their previous military environment. Read More…

Accelerating the Impact of New Government Leaders

Navigating leadership changes can be a difficult challenge for teams and organizations. New relationships, new ways of working, and shifts in strategic priorities can derail even the most successful teams. And with many organizations already struggling to meet performance expectations, it is imperative that leaders quickly make an impact on key mission priorities. So, how can new leaders more quickly assimilate?

Formal New Leader Assimilation

Most existing new leader assimilation processes trace their roots to original research conducted by John Gabarro first published in 1985. Gabarro studied the succession of 14 general managers to understand the challenges of taking charge of a new organization. Using longitudinal studies and historical case reviews, Gabarro examined successions covering:

  • Functional and general managers
  • Organizations ranging in annual sales from $1.2 million to $3 billion,
  • Turnarounds and normal situations
  • Successions that failed as well as those that succeeded.

In Gabarro’s work, he found that it typically takes 13 to 18 months of learning before a new leadership is ready to significantly impact the organization. Given the amount of time and resources invested in finding and placing a new leader, waiting a year or more to see a return on that investment is a daunting proposition for most organizations. As such it is no surprise that Gabarro’s work spawned tremendous interest in finding ways to significantly reduce that timeline. Read More…

CEO Spotlight: Dispelling Myths About Military Veterans In The Civilian Workforce

Every so often, I dedicate my writing to a topic that is near and dear to my heart- raising awareness of employment trends and challenges for military veterans who are transitioning out of the service and back into the civilian world of work. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a conference on this very topic at Amazon’s headquarters, hosted by Deloitte and other organizations dedicated to hiring veterans in their organizations as well as organizations that exist to directly provide transition support. 

Part of the day’s events included a presentation by representatives from LinkedIn who shared their latest Veteran Opportunity Report, a study using the massive data and insights available to the digital networking platform. What is important to acknowledge is that LinkedIn’s positioning as a powerhouse of professional networking puts its teams in a unique position to understand this topic in great detail. If you are interested in learning more about this untapped talent pool, I encourage you to download their report for yourself. In the meantime, here are some highlights that might surprise you. 

The quick stats:

  • Veterans remain with their initial employers 8.3% longer than their nonveteran counterparts
  • Veterans are 39% more likely to be promoted than their nonveteran colleagues
  • Veterans are 160% more like to have a graduate degree or higher as compared to nonveterans
  • Veterans with bachelor’s degrees have 2.9X more work experience than their peers

Read More…

Virtual Onboarding For Remote Employees

virtual onboarding

Last week OPM issued new guidance providing flexibilities for agencies to onboard new workers using remote tools. The memo lays out a few key activities that agencies can now perform using teleconferencing tools and encourages HR and IT leaders to work together to find the most effective ways to complete the administrative requirements of onboarding.

The new options are intended to enable agencies to continue meeting their staffing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, while the memo addresses remote delivery for the administrative elements of onboarding, agencies may be struggling to effectively connect new employees to the new organization. And, with one recent study suggesting that a negative onboarding experience makes new employees two times more likely to look for a new job, it’s clear that effective onboarding must be a priority.

Here are six things to consider as you are working to quickly shift to virtual onboarding: Read More…

The Network Gap and its Impact on the War for Talent

Network

As much as you may believe in your heart that two, equally qualified people should have equal opportunity to thrive professionally, the fact is, this isn’t the reality in many cases. There is a wealth of research that supports the notion that the strength of a person’s network has a significant impact on their ability to successfully manage their careers and to gain access to opportunities that others may have access to.

LinkedIn, the premier professional networking platform has utilized their massive wealth of user data to understand how a person’s network not only supports their long-term success but what factors contribute to (or stifle) a person’s ability to develop healthy networks throughout their lives.

Meg Garlinghouse shared these insights in her article on the LinkedIn Official Blog

  1. Where you grow up. LinkedIn users who grow up in areas with a median income above $100k are 3x more like to have a stronger* network than other users.
  2. Where you go to school. Users who attend top schools are 2x more likely to have stronger networks.
  3. Where you work. Users who have work experience at a top company are nearly 2x more likely to have stronger networks.

This ‘network gap’ presents a reality that can hinder career opportunity for some simply based on factors that are partially, or completely, out of their control. Read More…

Building Empathy To Address Critical Talent Gaps

organizational empathy

Talent challenges continue to be a priority for most agencies across the federal government. Frequent turnover, hard to fill roles, and shortages in mission-critical skill sets are all too common in most federal agencies.

There are countless strategies and approaches agency leaders can, and have, tried to address these complex challenges. But, building organizational empathy may be just the tool HR leaders need to make a near term impact.

Building organizational empathy is a strategic element for organizations trying to hire and retain top talent in an increasingly tight labor market. Research by the benefits technology firm, Business Solver in their State of Workplace Empathy report reveals that empathy is a key driver of retention, motivation, and productivity. More than 90% of employees surveyed indicated they were more likely to stay with an empathetic employer. In fact, respondents were even willing to trade off hours and pay in favor of increased empathy.

In an increasingly competitive talent environment, building a culture of empathy should be a key part of the people strategy in all organizations.

Read More…

Why I’m Taking a Day Off From Being Busy – And You Should Too

For the past 12 years since my family relocated to Northern Virginia, I’ve talked to my dad at least once a week on the phone. I’ve noticed over the past few weeks, though, that our conversations have evolved into a pretty familiar pattern. One that around various versions of one question: “What’s keeping you busy these days?” Of course, I’ve always got a list – starting new projects at work or at home, scrambling to get the next proposal in or find the next client, preparing for the sale of our house, or any other number of to-do’s whether large or small. Even my dad who’s been retired for the past five or so years also seems to always be busy. This phenomenon certainly isn’t unique to me and my dad.

The Culture of Being Busy
A few years ago the Atlantic published an article asserting that “Ugh, I’m so busy” has become the status symbol of our time. And in 2018, sociologist Anna Akbari’s Psychology Today article challenged readers to define their success not by their lack of time, but by the quality time they dedicated to the people and things that they loved. It seems our culture has come to embrace busyness over all else. The idea is that to be successful and happy we need to constantly have schedules filled to the brim. That being important means battling multiple conflicting priorities. Or that productivity means just having too much on our plate to possibly fit in one more thing.

And I think I’ve taken the bait, hook, line, and sinker. I pursue hobbies with such zeal that they look more like vocations. And I work so hard to provide my kids with opportunities, experiences, and activities that I stay busy keeping them busy. But at the end of the day, I don’t think I’m any more productive, significantly happier or more well off because of how busy I’ve become. Nor do I think any of the other folks I encounter who are constantly busy are any of these things either.

Read More…

Gotham Government Services Acquires Assets of Abrams Learning & Information Systems

 

Gotham Government Services LLC (GGS), a Virginia SDVOSB, will acquire all assets of Abrams Learning & Information Systems (ALIS).  GGS, under the leadership of Chris Cancialosi, will continue providing learning and performance improvement services to clients at the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Army Futures Command (AFC), and other Federal clients.

ALIS was founded in 2004 by President and Chief Executive Officer General (Ret) John Abrams. The company provides government and business clients with solutions and services in workforce development, strategic planning, change management, program management, exercise support, and executive and management education.

GGS was created as a partnership between, gothamCulture, a New York based SDVOSB organizational culture firm, and a long-standing federally focused training company and will continue to serve all geographic markets and contracts that ALIS currently serves.

“We are honored to bring on the ALIS teams that are providing analysis support to AFC and training development support at VBA,” said Chris Cancialosi, Founder and Managing Partner of GGS and the company’s parent firm gothamCulture.  “As a former armor officer, the opportunity to honor the Abrams legacy is of great importance to me. As a veteran, continuing to support our former and current Warfighters is a deeply personal mission. And adding the ALIS team to gothamCulture’s core capabilities in organizational culture, leadership development, and people strategy offers these and other clients new avenues for supporting their mission objectives.”

“As the Founder and CEO of ALIS, my father’s focus was always on doing great work, making a difference, and taking care of our ALIS family,” said Elizabeth Abrams Bauernshub, Vice President of Abrams Learning & Information Systems, Inc.  “With our shared core values, Gotham Government Services is the right company to lead ALIS’s work into this next chapter, which brings growth and opportunity for both our clients and our employees.”


Gotham Government Services is a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia. We provide government and business clients with solutions and services in workforce development, strategic planning, change management, program management, exercise support, and executive and management education. As a recognized leader in our field, we have worked with clients in government, academia, and private organizations to address their critical needs and meet their goals for the future. For more information visit www.gothamgovernment.com.

Managing Military Millennials

Managing Military Millennials

Let’s face it: Millennials and Generation Z are taking over. They account for more of the talent pool every year and, as every organization should know, they are motivated differently than previous generations.

Unfortunately, many senior leaders in the business world don’t understand what younger team members value and how to get the most out of their younger professionals. This causes high turnover rates, more expensive employee retention efforts and less pro-organizational behavior. Some perceive the frequent job switching of Millennials and Gen-Zs as irrational or impulsive, but many times they simply lack leaders who can adequately motivate and challenge them.

Ironically, one of the world’s most rigidly bureaucratic organizations – the United States Military – discovered effective ways to motivate Gen Z. The US military is at the forefront of understanding younger generations because it hires, onboards and trains more than 150,000 young people from all over the country every year. Their leadership has helped maintain an unparalleled force of readiness and provides several lessons for civilian leaders of every organization.

Military leaders seek to understand their people, learn what they value and use their talents to accomplish missions. After briefly considering what makes Gen Z different, we’ll explore organizational and individual approaches the military uses to effectively motivate Gen Z and provide a few concrete examples that business leaders can emulate. Read More…

Focusing On Customer Experience Is No Longer Optional

Customer Experience

Ready or not, the customer experience (CX) game is on. No matter what size or industry you may play in, you are now competing based on the experience you provide to your customers. Government agencies, this applies to you as well. So, if you’re not thinking that customer experience is something that you need to be concerning yourself with, you may be digging your organization into a hole that you may not be able to climb out of.

Why has CX become such a fundamental component of brand success?

While certain brands that have understood the power of the customer experience for many years and have continued to refine their CX delivery in new and profitable ways, the notion that all organizations need to consider the experience that they provide to their customers as a competitive driver has really only become something of note over the last decade. One primary reason for this is due to the great leaps and continuous improvements that these CX leaders make to their customer experiences which continue to raise customer expectations.

Brands like Amazon, Apple, and even Uber Eats have provided customers with the ability to engage in experiences that are designed around their specific needs and wants- and they like it. As expectations around experiences evolve those brands that are unable to deliver will undoubtedly lose the affection of their customers. This reality creates the need for organizations in all sectors and industries and of all sizes to ask themselves what they are doing to both understand what their customers want and need and what steps are they taking to be able to evolve their experiences to deliver on those expectations. Read More…