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National Council of

Social Security Management Associations

NCSSMA Executive Committee Meeting

Monday, July 31, 2017 


In June 2017, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend my first National Council of Social Security Management Associations (NCSSMA) Executive Committee (EC) Meeting as both a member of the Dallas region DRMA EC and a leadership development trainer.  


Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said it best when he stated,


“It is amazing what you can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit.”


I am not sure what I expected, but I am certain I experienced so much more!


First, due to a late flight, I was unable to meet the NCSSMA EC prior to the meeting in Central Office (CO).  Once I arrived and joined the team, through my initial observations, I immediately sensed deeply rooted relationships with the EC and the CO Executives.  Over the course of the two-day meeting in CO, I experienced the collaborative nature in which a group of empowered leaders worked to navigate through challenging issues raised during various sessions.  The mutual respect and team camaraderie was evident from the initial proceedings and through the duration of the meeting.  I also witnessed the courage of NCSSMA leaders to speak truth to power by initiating conversations regarding topics that affect our agency in the supportive environment that our agency leaders provided our EC to communicate challenges.  The fact that our CO Executive leaders provided that safe, judgment free forum, speaks highly of their character and integrity as civil servant leaders open to diverse perspectives.  I value the transparency that exists between this community of leaders.  I know this teamship exists in trust relationships and serves as the most efficient manner to raise and address the challenges we face as an agency.  Furthermore, I saw first-hand the tremendous work ethic of the NCSSMA EC.  While members are serving in this capacity, I know it does not alleviate their operational management responsibility and the members manage both roles with fluidity and grace.


Although the above mentioned would have been enough for the insight it provided, the most impressive thing about the meeting was the spherical communication style utilized by NCSSMA leadership.  I believe networking relationships were fostered and reinforced because of the vertical and horizontal sharing of information and collegial support.  


Given the organizational structure, I expected a more authoritative, protocol driven, style of leadership and communication; however, the cohesive group does not recognize an alpha presence.  Instead, individuals served as moderators to facilitate discussions, and all voices and perspectives were acknowledged and equally valued.  I know from my Dallas Region, Area 1, experience that establishing this communication style takes trust, time and work from all parties because the relational structure must first exist.


Although the NSSCMA EC invited us to this meeting to deliver management development training, I took away much more than I presented to the membership.  Simply stated, you have a group of service-oriented leaders coming together to address agency challenges, while continuing to build on the many successes.  In fact, I saw the concept of the Mentor Leader team-oriented approach demonstrated in individual and group interactions that resulted in a cohesive community throughout the week’s activities.  I am enriched and humbled to serve with such an innovative and dynamic network of leaders throughout the nation who work collaboratively to support the mission of our great agency.  


I salute you for your service and appreciate your partnership.  


Michael Ferguson

Dallas Region

Wrong password.