I interviewed V. Geis, District Manager, in San Francisco, California. V. Geis is a manager in a government organization that is responsible for providing direct service to the American public. The agency V. Geis works for is a government agency responsible for interpreting and applying laws and regulations to provide its services. V. Geis started her career as a representative, directly interviewing the public. She was then promoted to Operations Supervisor during which she supervised a team of representatives. She was then promoted to Assistant Manager and recently to Manager.
How has your role changed over the duration of your career?
Managers that are currently retiring took on their roles after gaining years of experience in numerous positions. The new leadership does not have this wealth of experience. They have limited experience in any one area, which does create concerns for those departing.
How have you developed leadership strengths in your career?
I have read many books, articles, attended training seminars and learned from peers and mentors.
Has your leadership style/approach changed since your first leadership experience?
When I was a second line supervisor in the organization, I was responsible for operations and for that reason my focus was on goals. I am now more concerned on the human side of the work.
How do you organize and oversee teams within your organization?
In my office there are three main teams, two are composed of representatives and one of management. One team main focus is to process quick transactions for our public. The other team of representatives is responsible for more complex transactions. The management team is composed of a supervisor for each unit and an Assistant Manager. I handle administrative matters and the assistant manager handles operations. A hierarchy structure is clearly defined.
How do you develop diversity in your organization?
When hiring census and statistical data is used to determine specific service needs such as language for our customers. To leverage diversity we also provide ongoing training to our employees.
What reform efforts consume most of your time?
Policies and procedures are constantly changing. Therefore, planning training or briefings take most of my time.
How do you nurture employees?
Employee development is important in our organization, especially with the wealth of experience that is being lost due to retirement. My focus is on maximizing employee potential trough assignments and training.
What tools are needed to successfully complete your leadership duties?
Understanding of the job, organization structure, communication skills, interpersonal skills, integrity, compassion and commitment are necessary tools a leader must possess.
What are your biggest leadership challenges?
Having to do more with...