“Profession: Public Servant” offers glimpses into the federal government’s corridors of power during a decade of profound change and underscores the importance of learning for individuals, groups, and organizations in today’s fast-paced world. This important book asks questions about the moral contract public servants have with the public, the politicians and the need to speak truth to power. The book explores such concepts as “healthy communities of practice”, harassment, the “well-executed failure” and the fine line between bending and breaking the rules.

Print version
ISBN: 978-0-9813931-3-1
Price: C$ 17.95

Electronic version
ISBN: 978-0-9813931-4-8
Price: C$ 9.99

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Information about the author:


Ruth Hubbard

Key Ideas

Deputy ministers play a key role in how Canada steers itself – loyally serving the elected government while safeguarding a few key principles on behalf of its citizens. At the same time, today’s fast-paced, globalized world has brought profound change and uncertainty to their work environment.

This tale chronicles the highlights of the journey of one person from an unremarkable beginning – working in the federal government so as to earn a living – to taking up the burden of professional public service and finally, by chance, to striding along the corridors of power with all the highs and lows, perks, risks, and agonies that can bring. A journey that just happened to coincide with much of that significant change in context.

It allows brief glimpses of life in those corridors and at the same time reveals one person’s struggles to stay out of one ditch – excessive concern about safeguarding those key principles – without sliding into another – being too anxious to please or too tempted to put personal interests first. Struggles that were not always successful but that provide insights into what worked and what might have been done differently and better that may prove useful to others.