Management lessons from inside Treasury

Nani Coloretti is the Department of the Treasury's assistant secretary for management. She previously helped establish the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and served as its acting chief operating officer. Coloretti spoke about her experiences and views on management with Tom Fox, a guest writer for On Leadership and vice president for leadership and innovation at the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service. Fox also heads up their Center for Government Leadership.

Q. Can you tell me about a leadership responsibility you took on as a young person?

A. I was the director of an all-female sketch comedy group in college. We wrote and edited skits, casted for them and put on shows sort of like "Saturday Night Live." There are a lot of management skills you learn being the director of a bunch of people who are funny and writing their own material. I learned to be on my toes and adaptable to whatever comes my way. Sometimes the costumes didn't come on time and the curtain didn't go up, but the show must go on.