Growing Leaders for the Government
How do leaders develop? The resources on this page discuss the role of experience in forging character and leadership skills, as well as the importance of mentors, training, and reflection.
Developmental Assignments: Creating Learning Experiences without Changing Jobs) discusses several different types of developmental assignments, how to get them, and how to ensure they are truly developmental.
Building Character: Strengthening the Heart of Good Leadership. He discusses the importance of stretch assignments and job rotations, and suggests how government agencies can train leaders of character despite shrinking budgets. He also asserts that setting a positive leadership example is "the highest form of leadership" because people tend to imitate the behaviors they see in their leaders.
Public Sector Consortium (at the time known as the High Performing Federal Agencies Community of Practice) developed a series of systems maps that illustrate the kinds of leadership dilemmas faced by public managers in a democratic society. For example, the need to show short-term results for a new administration tends to reward command-and-control leadership styles and complicates efforts to define a clear mission for an agency. The Consortium developed the maps to help leaders and the professionals who design leadership development programs to engage in dialogue about the systems and structures in their own organizations. The intention is to create opportunities for organizations to create the structures and systems that support quality public sector leadership. The Public Sector Consortium also offers training courses. Contact Georgie Bishop for more information. Article used by GovLeaders.org with the kind permission of the the Public Sector Consortium.
The Public Manager, Blunt describes three "character courses," activities that leaders and aspiring leaders can pursue to cultivate their leadership--and their character at the same time. These include reflective work that results in a guiding life purpose or mission; learning from the life and experiences of mentors; and being part of a community of practice that learns together and holds each other accountable. Highly recommended. Posted by GovLeaders.org with the kind permission of the publisher.
The Center of Creative Leadership.
IBM Center for the Business of Government. In "Leaders Growing Leaders: Preparing the Next Generation of Public Service Executives," Blunt describes the vital role that senior government executives must play in developing the next generation of leaders. He includes vivid case studies of three senior executives who successfully cultivated the leadership skills of their people by being good exemplars, mentors, coaches and teachers. In "Organizations Growing Leaders: Best Practices and Principles in the Public Service," Blunt profiles five U.S. Government agencies that have implemented successful leadership development programs. He explains what the successful programs have in common--and what that means for agencies that aspire to growing their own leaders.
Leadership and Managing.
Government Executive Magazine. Watkins, outlines seven common traps that leaders fall into during the transition period that can seriously undermine their chances of success. Watkins co-authored the book, The First 90 Days in Government.
The Brookings Institution Press.
HBS Working Knowledge.
Leading Up. Includes a number of compelling examples of upward leadership--both good and bad and suggests a number of strategies that executives can implement to encourages employees to help keep their bosses on the right track.
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