Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
FOLLOW US:!/congressfdn

Summary of Chapter 9: Defining Your Role in Congress

*Excerpt from Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide, copyright Congressional Management Foundation. 


  • figure out the right role for you in Congress by analyzing and balancing:
    1. your personal strengths and weaknesses
    2. your mission in Congress
    3. the needs of your district/state
    4. your political circumstances

  • define your role as one of the following:
    1. Legislative Insider
    2. Party Insider
    3. Ombudsman
    4. Statesman
    5. Outsider

  • determine if you want to “major” in one role and “minor” in another. Balancing two compatible roles can lead to increased effectiveness and power.

  • operate opportunistically without the benefit of defining your role. Members adopting too large a range of issues can work very hard but accomplish little.