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Posts by APW
Name: Arthur
Joined: Sep 26, 2017
Last Post: Oct 4, 2017
Threads: 2
Posts: 5  

From: brazil

Displayed posts: 7
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Oct 4, 2017
Scholarship / The importance of developing a network and related skills - CHEVENING [4]


Sorry, but I think you are off the track.

You did not demonstrate how are your networks build, nor if they are effective. The mere fact that you talked nicely to some customers is no evidence that you master the use of a network. It just shows you are potentially a good salesperson.

I would advise you to rewrite it completely.
Oct 3, 2017
Scholarship / Scholarship question about networking. Is it right to put a professional and social network? [2]

Chevening is looking for individuals with strong networking skills, who will engage with the Chevening community and influence and lead others in their chosen profession. Explain how you meet this requirement, using clear examples of your networking skills, and outline how you hope to use these skills in the future. (minimum word count: 100 words, maximum word count: 500 words)

Is it Ok to create this professional/social network divide or it would be better to make it different?

Thanks for any thoughts.

First, I would like to explain my professional networking skills. I have one within the local government, and another in the federal branch. In the local, I keep close ties with members of Government Management and Public Policy Specialists, which is the career I belong to, especially from my class and those who have worked with me, but also as an active member of our association. One clear example occurred when I was special adviser and became Chief Procurement Officer (CPO). The Secretary of State asked me to point him someone that could replace me, I had three very good names, all from my career, and he chose the one of those. As a CPO, I invited a few colleagues to join me, and when I moved on, I also had the honor to appoint my substitute, a friend and career colleague who I sponsored to be CPO and did very well. In the local government, wherever I go, I tend to bring part of my network with me, and having worked in logistics, procurement, public management modernization, the Chief of Staff's Office, I have strong bonds in those areas. In the future, this network tends to occupy more senior positions and to become policy makers, not only policy managers, which will be positive.

Additionally, in 2014, I had the third highest grade competing with more than 13,000 local public servants to participate in a one-month professional training in Austria, about smart cities public policies. The result is that I studied for a whole month amongst the top 90-career public servants from many departments from the Government, such as police, education, finance, health, environment, territory and international relations. Those connections not only remain alive, to solve government problems more quickly, but we constitute a strong top-tier network inside the government. It is my expectation to engage in a similar way with my future Cheveners colleagues, not only from Brazil, but from all over the world. This possibility is an enormous asset, as I can address any public issue (in my case), and ask for advice, help, or give back my experience.

In the Federal sphere, both in the Executive and Legislative branch, is the other part of my professional networking. Three factors concurred to that: I live and work in Brasilia, my wife also lives and works here in a prominent position (attracting foreign direct investment) and my current job is about influencing public policies in the National Congress, both at the Senate and at the Chamber of Deputies, all of what led me to meet a lot of professionals. Besides that, I have many friends working in the Ministries, especially in Planning and Management and Foreign Affairs.

Second, I would like to present my social networking skills. Besides the usual dinner meetings, I also have a expanded network from my school, college and MBA classes, the tennis team circle and the parents from my children's class. I met my direct boss, a Senate career public servant, more than ten years ago in a tennis class. At the time, he was working as a Chief of Staff for a Senator and I was beginning my career in the Government. When he became Chief of Staff of a Senator from the Federal District, we began to talk more frequently, and whenever he needed something local he phoned me. One day we discovered our kids were from the same class and we intensified our contacts. By that time, we were talking about a new government and how we could give a good contribution, as we was working for the next governor. Now, we work together, in a very special position, due to a network built in from a tennis class.

Last, I hope I can expand my network, not only to advance in my public service career, but also to be more efficient, and to be capable of create better public policies.
Sep 27, 2017
Scholarship / Essay about the Chevening leadership question: is this progression right? [4]


I tried my best to adapt. What I did was to divide into two occasions in which I had leadership and influence skills in both situations. Do you think it is ok?


To lead is to inspire others to realize a vision you have. In the public service, this is essential to improve people's lives. In my career, I would like to present two occasions in which I had a major leadership role, and two I had to master my influence skills.

As a special adviser of the XXxX, my main duty was to lead part of the implementation of the New Public Management in the government, through a series of twelve special projects, considered the backbone of the government plan . The Undersecretary and the team wanted to realize a monthly monitoring of the special projects, via e-mail, and assess the evolution mainly from this data. I proposed to do an in-site weekly follow-up of the projects, creating a confidence bond with the project managers, to better understand the foundations of the projects. Although the Undersecretary was reluctant at first, I was able to convince her to allocate four analysts under my supervision and to allow me to put this model in motion to four special projects: xxxx; to build xxxx; to create more units of xxxx and to implement a model of xxxx. After that, the model I proposed proved to be better, as we found critical unnoticed flaws in the special projects and we proposed and implemented corrections to the projects, before presenting the results to the Governor. From this leadership and influence experience, I was awarded twice: first, the Governor promoted me; second, the model I proposed was expanded to all special projects.

In another role, as Chief Procurement Officer (CPO), I was the leader of all government procurement procedures, with an office of 130 professionals, processing more than 5,000 acquisition processes totaling around USD 1 billion in estimates, for more than 80 different government units. There was a general complaint that the processes were too slow and the morale of the staff was down, with lots of criticism. In my first month, I put an effort to identify the numbers of the operation, since in more than 10 years they have never done it before. It was difficult, but without the numbers, I would not be able to perform a diagnostic, a plan and a vision. In three months, I had the mean time of the procedures, with departments demanded the most amount of procedures, the recurrent errors and many more. Having the numbers, I was able to convince my bosses of my plan and I was cleared to implement my vision: to reduce the total time and to increase savings. I identified that the creation of the process was taking too much time and created a help desk to assist them; we mapped our internal operation to reduce time; I asked for funding to give executive and professional training for most of our staff and improved measures against corruption. The savings amounted around USD 500 million per year; our procedures were reduced by 30% (from three months to two) and the preparation procedures from the other departments by 25% (from four months to three). With these results, I was appointed substitute Undersecretary, got my first leadership course, and helped to propose improvements in the federal law of procurements.

From those accomplishments and recognitions, I have a deep belief that no matter how brilliant you think your idea may be, you still have to communicate it well to you bosses, to your subordinates, to your colleagues and to the stakeholders. All that gave me sense to understand I have leadership and influencer skills.
Sep 26, 2017
Scholarship / Essay about the Chevening leadership question: is this progression right? [4]


I'd appreciate any coments on this leadership essay I'm working on. I put a different progression from most essays I've read, using four categories instead of a chronological perspective. I also tried to specifically address what the essay command asked (Chevening is looking for individuals who will be future leaders or influencers in their home countries. Explain how you meet this requirement, using clear examples of your own leadership and influencing skills to support your answer.)

Recently I read a Harvard Business Review article about a research on leaders. According to the article, successful leaders have four specific behaviors: deciding with speed and conviction, engaging for impact, adapting proactively and delivering reliably. I figured it would be interesting to put my experiences on leadership and influence according to these four essential behaviors the article pointed out.

About the first one, when I was chief procurement officer (CPO) for XXX, I lead a team of 130 professionals, managing over 5,000 acquisition requests, 1,500 bidding process, on roughly USD 1 bi in estimates per year. My main decision as a leader was to set a vision and to implement it: I manage to reduce the overall time of procedings in 20%, and savings around 60%. On some occasions I also had to decide on tough decisions, such as to cancel biddings on medicine and other major acquisitions. Plus, not rarely I had to hamper pressure from congressman and secretaries of state, without boasting.

On engaging for impact, as special adviser, one of my duties was to map stakeholders in order to gain support and minimize resistance. I had two major experiences as influencer: creating an expenditure cut and implementing a management for results program. I manage to convince other departments to conduct a significant cut in gas, fleet, communications and surveillance, and I was able to start the New Public Management in the government. As CPO, part of my schedule was on meetings with Secretaries to explain our job and how they could help themselves to have a successful process. My current job, XXX, is all about engaging for impact, as I had to influence congressman to vote on behalf of my interest group, creating strategies and scenarios to have the right impact.

The third behavior is adapting proactively. Working in government sometimes is like sailing uncharted waters, is to adapt proactively, and this is something I have experienced. In my current position, I have to decide on what to negotiate in a given scenario. Also, political alliances are redrawn constantly these days, and we have to have strong networking skills with parliamentary assistants to help us foresee tendencies. On one occasion, what I had laid out had to be redesign due to a change on policy beyond our control; nonetheless, I secure the expected result.

Last, but not least, delivering reliably is to produce results. Across the years in the public service I've given a lot of importance to management for results, being one of the pioneers of the management for results in the government, with special projects, strategic planning and other techniques. I also completed management and leadership courses and I made for three times my successors and I have been appointed as Undersecretary substitute for more than five times, including in my current job.

I assume that given the examples above, I have proven leadership behavior as well as influence habilities, prone to develop this characteristic further, learning and improving from where I am today.