Putting the "p" in public service

"I'm probably more approachable than I look." That was one of the messages the premier's deputy minister Allan P. Seckel had in a video address posted on the provincial government's employee Intranet. Mr. Seckel, who said the "p" in his name "actually stands for Paul," also emphasized his leadership style is one that "encourages a health debate on issues" - possibly putting him at odds with his boss, Premier Gordon Campbell. The rest of the address is mostly boilerplate, with Mr. Seckel picking up on some of the themes has predecessor Jessica McDonald emphasized, such as the need to be a more "nimble and innovating services" as a result of the "demographic challenges that are ahead of us." The following is a complete transcript of that message.

The "p" in Allan P. Seckel actually stands for Paul.

The kind of tone I would like to set in the public service is one where, ah, people continue to feel engaged in coming to work and that we set a tone that makes work an enjoyable place to be.

So my vision for the public service a year from now is:

* That we are a public service that is able to manage to results and that we are not merely a place that manages to rule.
* That we've been able to come out of the economic crisis and we're a stronger public service.
* And that we're better able to meet, ah, the challenges that are out there for, ah, for the work we do and for the public.

Five years from, ah, now I think we have to be, ah, be a nimble and innovating public service. I think we have to be able to meet the challenges of the, the demographic challenges that are ahead of us. I think we'll have to, ah, find new ways of doing business, and I think we'll have to find a way to become more of a diverse work place to, ah, reflect the citizens of this province.

My leadership style I would describe as being one that encourages a health debate on issues. I, I really appreciate when people participate in discussions. I like to encourage that, ah, but when there's an inability to come to a consensus I'm not afraid to try to make, ah, the decision that has to be made at that at that time. And, ah, generally speaking I, ah, really value service. I think it's important for me to provide service to the people I report to, but it's also important for me to provide service to the people that report to me - that I never become a bottle neck, that I can do move things along as quickly as possible.

Ah, one thing that the public service should know about me? Um, I'm probably more approachable than I look.

Well, I'd like to continue to try and meet more public servants in ah this job. I I've been fortunate over the last two years to participate and conduct many of the oath ceremonies. I think we've had close to 30 and I've done about 27 of them, and it's always been a great experience to meet, particularly the new public servants but also the buddies that come to that. And I'm hoping that - through this job and by participating in as many as those oath ceremonies as I might still be able to do - I'll be able to visit other offices of government throughout the province and get to find out a little bit more of what people do and what concerns them and, ah, and how we can improve the organization that we're all part of.

Primarily I think it's a big great honour to be able to have the job that I have right now and I'm looking forward to working with, ah, people throughout the public service and meeting as many people as I possibly can.

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