A framework to select public sector leaders

Leadership at Work

995748___network__THERE is no sector in society that needs leadership in greater measure than the public sector. In business, when a president is not effective, the business will soon fold up. In public organizations, when the head of the agency fails to deliver services to the public, he suffers the ire of the citizens but the agency remains. In business, an ineffective manager bodes ill for the organization; in the public sector, a corrupt public official adversely affects the whole of society. Business executives are accountable to their stockholders, employees and customers. Public sector officials are accountable to the nation and the laws of the land.  From this perspective, leadership in the public sector has a greater impact than in business.

According to Ronald Heifetz, author of “Leadership without easy answers,” the term leadership is value-laden, that is, it connotes moral values. From this perspective, some of those in power in…

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