Summary of Chapter 10: The Member's Role as Leader of the Office
*Excerpt from Setting Course: A Congressional Management Guide
, copyright Congressional Management Foundation.
- understand that you are the leader —
not the day-to-day manager — of your office.
- assess and understand your leadership
style. Request honest feedback to help
you analyze your leadership strengths and
- hire a Chief of Staff whom you can trust
to manage the office with broad guidance you
provide. If you lack confidence in your Chief of
Staff, you will feel compelled to micromanage
- take the time to assess the capabilities
of your staff so you can feel confident in
delegating work. This will allow you to focus
the leadership responsibilities of the office.
- create a positive office culture by:
having a clear mission and goals; operating
according to personal values that will result in
staff respect; and treating staff with trust and
- create a negative culture by:
failing to adhere to clear, consistent values;
promoting the mistrust of others; making
staff feel that they are expendable.
- deny that every office has resource
limitations. Members who constantly
generate new initiatives and projects without
making strategic trade-offs in priorities
overburden themselves and their staff and
accomplish little for their efforts.
- neglect the Member/Chief of Staff
relationship. To work well, this relationship
requires a good deal of discussion and
negotiation about roles and expectations.