Monday, September 10, 2007

Joe, you got fired because....

...of the way you treated your Staff (AKA Command Climate). So, we learned our lesson, right?
Freshman Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), a retired three-star (sic) Navy admiral, has fast developed a reputation for being a temperamental and demanding boss. Thirteen staffers have quit this year, say former aides citing public records.

Sestak’s reputation as a difficult manager, which hounded him in the Navy, has followed him to Congress. The Navy Times reported in 2005 that Sestak was relieved from his last post as deputy chief of Naval operations because of “poor command climate.”

Now, in running his congressional office, Sestak has imported a measure of military toughness; he is battling a “misguided” culture in Washington, said William Walsh, Sestak’s district director.

Oops. Guess not. I'm on the same boat as Skippy here - that last line is a bunch of Beltway spin Crap. Joe Sestak, RADM USN (Ret.) {that is two stars}was fired by the then CNO now CJCS because he ran his shop exactly opposite to "military tradition." He chewed up and spit out good people to the point that he was a detriment to good order and discipline, a veritable hazard to navigation in even the galley slave environment of The Pentagon. Walsh insults every military leader out there with that statement.
Aides are expected to work seven days a week, including holidays, often 14 hours each day, going for months without a day off. These are very long hours even by Capitol Hill standards.

After more than nine years on Capitol Hill and only six months as chief of staff, Brian Branton announced on Aug. 17 that he would be leaving Sestak to become vice president for congressional affairs at USA Funds, a nonprofit corporation that guarantees student loans. Sestak also has seen three press secretaries come and go.

In Sestak’s district office in Media, Pa., staffers are expected to work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., during the week and part of the day on Saturday. One aide manages the office on Sundays, Walsh said.

Some aides have also bristled at their boss’s temper. At a markup in the House Education and Labor Committee this year, Sestak dressed down a legislative assistant in a manner that got the attention of other lawmakers and aides.
We all know the type. Full of ego and knowledge that no one in the world is as perfect as he is.
But Sestak does not attribute staff resignations to problems of his own making. “Some had other opportunities, some were not the perfect fit,” he said when asked about the 13 departures, adding, “I have had wonderful people working for me. I have asked a lot of my staff.”

And he works just as hard as his staff, trying to inculcate a military ethic; Walsh confirmed one former staffer’s complaint that he had told aides to read an obituary printed in the U.S. Naval Academy’s alumni magazine about a young female Marine Corps officer killed in Iraq.

“The idea is that we’re here to honor this woman,” Walsh said. “It is about commitment, it’s about those kids over there fighting. It is part of our culture here. You can choose to be here or not. There’s no ego involved, no power trip involved in this.

“I don’t accept the premise that something is wrong systemically. We’re trying to create an environment that requires the same level of effort and effectiveness as” in the Navy.
What a sick SOB. Smearing the blood of others to justify your own mental illness. What Sestak is doing has nothing to do with the military culture - at least not my Navy - he protesteth too much.
Still, turnover has plagued Sestak’s office since January. Most new lawmakers move quickly to hire chiefs of staff, but Sestak waited until the end of February. He sought and received a waiver from the ethics committee so that his sister, Elizabeth, could help set up the office, former aides say.

“We have a cohesive team that has truly come together,” Sestak said. “I respect every person we have had.”
Yep, same 'ole Joe. Must have spent the month of JAN making sure no one had key to the Congressional icebox.

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