Leadership in the news: “Secret Service Director’s Mission: Fix the agency”
New Secret Service director, John Clancy, recently opened the agency’s doors to the media to talk and show what was going on at the Secret Service to change and regain the population’s trust in that agency. By doing so, Clancy’s leadership comes shining through.
In the CNN report, the director openly talked about the agency’s past and how the agency must change to put that part of its history behind them and the nation, of course in the name of progress.
However, as is the case for making change in any organization it just does not happen with a snap of a finger. It happens when leaders are deliberate and want to deliver “more transparency and speedier reforms”.
Even then, those on the outside the agency are still demanding answers for past actions. A past that is clouded with scandal and lax security procedures, which have threatened the White House.
By having a leader that is willing to step out in front and work to deliver that change, the organization can step away from its ugly past and move into the light of progress and success.
The agency has been criticized for NOT bringing in an “outsider” to “clean house” and make the necessary changes that would appease the critics and not necessarily make the organization better.
I am a big proponent of hiring and promoting from within. I used to work for a state agency in Texas that was mired in scandal and the powers that be (legislature) saw it fit to demand an outsider come in and make things right. The outsider had no clue what it was really like to be out on the frontlines and was summarily dismissed and replaced. The replacement was not that much better. The outsiders did nothing but create a culture of fear and panic. They also managed to create an environment where GOOD LEADERS could no longer thrive for fear of dismissal or ARREST. Yes, some leaders were arrested but I digress.
Outsiders do not understand the culture from within. Outsiders tend to throw ALL employees into the same barrel of rotting pickles instead of knowing who was good and who was rotten to the core.
Fortunately, for the Secret Service they do not have to deal with such nonsense but instead are given another opportunity to stand out, thrive, and resume their role as one of the most trusted organizations in the US Government. That’s because they have a leader that not only comes from within its ranks but also has nothing to hide when it comes to leading change.
Now, that’s a leader that all organizations should strive to create, cultivate, and not hesitate when it comes time to hand over the reins to a new leader.