1. Why should I sign this?
As The Public Leadership Manifesto says, the work that the government does is important. Many government employees entered the public service because they are passionate about the mission of their agency. Unfortunately, their zeal is often quenched by bosses who are not effective leaders.
Leadership is a choice, one that requires initiative and a drive to make things better within your sphere of influence. We are asking you to make the choice to lead—and to do so publicly.
In a sense, yes it is. A petition is a call for action. In this case, it is a call for action by you. The cause is to build a more effective government by encouraging managers to embrace the challenge of learning to lead effectively.
You are making a personal commitment to yourself and to your team to do the hard work required to become the best leader you can be.
4. Why do you want me to pursue “varied and challenging assignments” and all those other activities listed in the last part of the Manifesto?
Research by the Center for Creative Leadership has determined that more than half of all leadership learning comes from varied and challenging experiences. Senior mentors are also an important source of learning, as are life’s setbacks, failures and disappointments. Training and self-study are also important. It is critical that leaders have challenging experiences that force them out of their comfort zone. Mentors and a disciplined regimen of reading can help the leader deal with specific challenges and also learn from the mistakes and successes of others.
4. So, what's in it for me?
Well, if you are in a leadership position, your team will be much more successful if you are an effective leader. And if your team is successful, chances are pretty good that you will be too. You will also derive many intrinsic rewards from the satisfaction of developing people and growing leaders behind you.
5. Does it cost anything?
Nope. If you sign The Public Leadership Manifesto the only thing it will cost you is hard work. GovLeaders.org is a totally free site that is designed to help public managers learn to lead. Learning to lead takes effort and commitment. We want you to make that commitment because effective leadership in government is important.
6. Is there a catch?
Well, the hard work of learning to lead is on you. GovLeaders.org is here as a free resource for the reading regimen and self-directed learning that should be part of your leadership development journey.
7. What can GovLeaders.org do for me?
The site has a wealth of resources that can provide tips and food for thought as you work your way through various leadership challenges. The Topics and Stories sections are an especially rich resource. The Leadership Toolkit has a template for a Personal Leadership Development Plan and articles on such core skills as delegation, giving feedback, and coaching.
8. I am a senior executive and already a pretty effective leader. Should I sign this?
Learning to lead is a lifelong process. So, yes, it is important that you make the commitment to keep learning. But we would like to ask even more of you, as a senior executive. Growing the next generation of leaders is the most important legacy of senior leaders. You have a crucial role to play as a mentor, coach, teacher, and exemplar. So please pay extra attention to paragraph 3 of The Public Leadership Manifesto, where you will be committing to: "Invest in the growth of those more junior to me to ensure that the next generation will be equipped to lead effectively."
9. Why now? I am sick of the wage freeze, sequestration, and all the bashing of government employees.
Yes, those issues are frustrating. And annoying. There have always been—and there will always be—people who don’t like government or who will blame “the bureaucracy” for different things. But we have a choice to make. One option is to sulk, under-perform, and spread cynicism. , or we can try to prove the critics wrong by taking pride in our work and providing the best government we can for the American people. Now, more than ever, it is important that we, as leaders, find ways to re-kindle the passion that brought us all into the public service.
10. I don’t think I’m up to the challenge. I don’t really want all that responsibility and don’t like the idea of giving people feedback or dealing with performance problems.
Leadership is not everyone’s cup of tea. If you are not up to the challenge of doing it well, you should avoid applying for supervisory positions. You will save yourself—and your prospective team—a lot of misery.
Go back to The Public Leadership Manifesto.
© GovLeaders.org 2014