Managing the “New Normalcy” with Values-Based Leadership: Lessons from Admiral James Loy


Heather Getha-Taylor is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of South Carolina. Her research and teaching interests focus on public and nonprofit management, with special emphasis on personnel administration, executive leadership, and organizational behavior. She received her PhD in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.


Tensions remain in adapting to the “new normalcy”—that is, the balance between national security and other democratic and administrative priorities in the aftermath of 9/11. Perhaps no one appreciates this balance more than Admiral James Loy. Immediately following the September 11 attacks, he left his post as commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard to accept the challenge of standing up the Transportation Security Administration. Next, Loy tackled the role of deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Loy’s efforts to articulate a set of core organizational values in three organizational contexts offer lessons for public managers who seek to enhance internal cohesion. Strong cultural cohesion is expected to support organizational transformation and, ultimately, performance. Loy’s example puts that connection to the test.