On My Watch: Leadership, Innovation and Personal Resilience with Martha Johnson

September 20, 2013

For two years Martha Johnson led the US General Services Administration, pursuing the remarkable goal of helping our government work better. On My Watch shares the possibilities and improvement that she teased from within tight bureaucratic constraints and gives insight on the resilience a leader can demontrate when the change/risk equation goes negative.


On My Watch: Leadership, Innovation and Personal Resilience with Martha Johnson
By: Martha Johnson
ISBN: 1940013089
Year: 2013

Jean's Review

The US General Services Administration sits at the heart of our federal system, responsible for making it work better. Assuming the helm of the organization in 2010, Martha Johnson recognized that unique positioning of GSA could help America realize a much more effective government. She spent the subsequent two years turning over every rock in pursuit of that goal.

Abruptly cut down in 2012 in the wake of spending and contracting mistakes on a conference in Las Vegas, Johnson now returns to the public eye to share the story of the possibilities for our government institutions even within the tight constraints with which she had to operate.

The book details dilemmas public sector leaders face – leading in the dark, at scale, and under oath.
 However, Johnson offers creative approaches could help anyone seeking to transform a torpid organization. A chapter of blockbuster ideas narrates three of her strategies of jiu-jutsu for organizations to find new and winning stances.

Johnson also faces down the question of demise. Honest leaders are continually haunted that the risks they take could yield failure. The twists of her own story suggest that upheaval yields surprises from which true leaders can find courage. She also opens up about the lessons she learned from her Crucible Moment. This final discussion sends the reader out on a note of great hope and possibility.  

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