Let’s talk about the Federal Financial Leaders Program: Diane Talaber

Diane Talaber is a lead budget analyst with the Department of Labor. She participated in the Federal Financial Leaders Program two years ago. We recently caught up with her to find out what she remembers most from her FLP experience and how she continues to use program lessons in her government job.

What was your biggest takeaway from FLP?

Talaber: My biggest take away was how important self-assessment is in my leadership development. It’s about understanding who you are as an individual person, how your style adds value to a work group dynamic and what kind of leader you want to be.

Why do you think self-assessment is so critical?

I think that it is critical because we tend to get caught up chasing after “what’s next,” and sometimes that takes us away from the goals and results that are really important to us. I think periodically checking in with ourselves is important because we evolve and grow over time, and as a result, we need to get to know ourselves all over again.

So what did you learn about yourself?

I learned a lot about myself through this program. I learned what motivated me to perform, what I am passionate about, what kind of workplace culture I prefer. I recognized the core values that are important to me and that sometimes it is OK to let go of an opportunity if it is not right. I learned about what kind of leader I want to be.

How was your experience working with your results project team throughout the program?

How was your experience working with your results project team throughout the program? I had a great experience working with my results project team. Each one of us recognized that we are all unique and different and have different strengths to contribute to the group. As we made progress with our project, we learned a great deal about each other, how to effectively delegate, how to utilize each other’s strengths, how to encourage each other to step out of our comfort zones, and how to effectively collaborate. We had a lot of fun working together and gained new knowledge and new friendships. We became great friends and continue to serve as a support group for each other—and we are still meeting up and checking in with each other to this day.

What did you work on for your results project?

We created an onboarding process for financial professionals. We were trying to emphasize that when you hire a new employee, and you want to create a high-performance team, you need to focus on how to get people the skill set and the tools they need to succeed. It’s important to build the culture that cultivates motivation, innovation, and teamwork.

Did the program change your approach to dealing with people and difficult situations?

Absolutely! I learned to see a situation from a different angle, to remember that nothing is as it seems and to always turn something negative into a positive. I think there are many disappointing situations where the positive thinking helps turn things around.

Why would you encourage federal financial professionals to apply for the program?

It is a great place to meet other federal financial professionals to collaborate. It is also a great opportunity to discover yourself and the type of leader that you want to be.

Learn more about FLP