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Recipient of the 2008 Excellence In Leadership Award

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Photo of the Leadership Award
Timothy L. Miller

In recognition of your outstanding acts, services, and achievements that exemplify and support the USGS leadership goals throughout the bureau.

The award will be presented at U.S. Geological Survey's Honor Awards Ceremony on September 17, 2009, in Reston, Virginia.


Timothy L. Miller

Mr. Timothy L. Miller embodies and demonstrates each of the USGS Guiding Principles in his professional and personal interactions. His natural attributes and personal integrity cause him to bring all of these principles: respectfulness; accountability; communicating; valuing differences; encouraging; focusing; and collaboration to bear in any situation. The issues at hand might be difficult or have political, scientific or professional impacts but Tim adeptly moves between these diverse planes to effectively work with people to resolve conflict and craft a workable solution. Tim has the ability to connect with a diverse cast of scientists and non-scientists through his approach of genuinely valuing individuals and effective listening skills. His self-discipline to listen to all sides of the issue does not paralyze him from making decisions but rather, enables him to make better informed decisions. The decision might be counter to an individual viewpoint but they understand their ideas were heard and considered before a final rendering was determined.

One of the most valuable aspects of Timís leadership style is that he provides expert counsel on organizational and professional issues and interactions. He is frequently asked to prepare Congressional testimony on contentious water quality topics such as the effects of confined animal feeding operations on water quality. These prepared statements are coordinated with other Federal agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Department of Interior. The breadth and depth of his professional and life experiences and his principle-centered leadership style make him an excellent teacher, mentor, coach and leader.Timís interpersonal skills are definitely a strong personal attribute. He is a natural communicator and gifted storyteller who does not assume the audience has a full or accurate grasp of the background of a topic of discussion. He is deliberate and articulate and brings clarity to the discussion with pertinent facts and information. His approach is collegial and never condescending. He can confront without offending thereby preventing a defensive posture on the part of the recipient.

As the Agency Tender Official for the National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) Competitive Sourcing Standard Study, Tim took a very active role in the creation of the winning proposal to establish the Most Efficient Organization. He travelled to the Laboratory and participated in numerous meetings, facilitating a strong team environment and exhibiting his determination for the team, and ultimately the Laboratory, to be successful. The team dealt with many contentious and conflicting ideas which Tim helped address by showing a positive attitude and a strong ability to negotiate solutions. His personal involvement and leadership in the process gave the team confidence that a victory was within their reach.The NWQL is a Fee-for-Service organization and therefore, has a requirement to develop a full cost recovery pricing model. Tim spent considerable time gaining a full understanding of this complex process. He not only demonstrated his appreciation for the effort to produce the model but has taken valuable time over the past several years to truly learn and understand how the model works. His commitment and ability to master new business knowledge combined with his enthusiasm and support has been inspiring to those working on the model.

Timís commitment to ensuring a strong USGS of the future is clearly demonstrated in his commitment to serve as Co-Coordinator of the Leadership 101 and Leadership 201 classes since February 2002. For six years he has served as coordinator, teacher, mentor and coach; setting the context and tone for the learning experience; helping students aggregate and synthesize their understanding; sharing experiences and wisdom; and providing an environment in which it is safe to practice new skills and behaviors. His influence on future organizational change can be quantified in that nearly 550 students have benefitted from his instruction and mentoring since February 2002. Tim's mentoring does not stop at the conclusion of the Leadership classes. Many participants contact him after graduation to converse with him and seek his expertise on various topics. In summary, Tim has been instrumental in developing and expanding leadership capacity within the USGS and developing a leadership-centered culture. This is a true legacy of organizational change and he is most deserving of the USGS Excellence in Leadership Award.

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