Rich Bittner, a branch chief at the Department of Commerce for the federal government, has over 27 years of government experience and still works daily to learn and improve upon his leadership skills. Rich uses supreme people skills and a knack for truly getting to know someone’s history and how they act in a professional setting as inputs for his daily leadership style as well as identification of where leadership skills can be improved.
Rich has dealt with individuals from all walks of life and from those experiences has developing stellar people skills and can adjust to just about any social situation. Rich’s people skills allow him to get to know a person on a deeper level and understand their motives and behaviors. He uses this information to adjust his leadership accordingly when it is called for and as a catalyst for improvement in specific leadership skill areas.
Not only does Rich adjust and address leadership skills based off of other team member’s personalities but he also adjusts and addresses them based off his own background, experiences and behaviors. Rich takes time for introspection regularly and shares his insights with his team to help them also understand where he is coming from or why certain decisions being made. Not only does Rich look inward but he also asks for input from team members on where they think his leadership skills could be improved. Rich aggregates all this information, analyzes it and from there develops a plan for how to further improve his leadership skills, be it through a class, a book or research, or mentorship.
Even after 27 years of experience in the government Rich continues this pattern of leveraging his people skills to get to know people, looking inward, obtaining information about himself externally, and putting all of the information to good use to improve his leadership skills. Most federal leaders simply take mandatory leadership training and never look back at the training, leverage the knowledge learned from it or consider other areas where leadership skills could be improved. Rich’s efforts go above and beyond the typical federal leader and prove that with a little insight, feedback from team members, and a motivation to learn and improve, you can become and remain a stellar federal leader.