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Leadership Tools For Public Sector Professionals. Annie Neal Portland State University Executive MPA Candidate, Spring 2010. Overview:. Significance: why this Capstone project? Literature review Why is leadership important in public organizations?

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leadership tools for public sector professionals

Leadership Tools For Public Sector Professionals

Annie Neal

Portland State University

Executive MPA Candidate, Spring 2010

overview
Overview:
  • Significance: why this Capstone project?
  • Literature review
        • Why is leadership important in public organizations?
        • What is leadership and how do you “do” it?
        • How is leadership learned?
  • Research questions & method
        • Leadership tools in the EMPA curriculum
  • Survey
  • Results
  • Recommendations

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.” -Yogi Berra

why this capstone project
Why this Capstone project:
  • Leadership skills are increasingly important for public sector professionals
  • Leadership can be learned

* Education * Experience * Example

  • Leadership knowledge does not readily translate to practice

* “Transfer of learning” problem * Experientially acquired skill

  • Tools make leadership knowledge transferable and easy to use

* Tools = knowledge in a simple, useable and systematic form

leadership in the public sector
Leadership in the public sector
  • Leadership is “a person’s capacity to be effective in … setting direction, creating alignment, and maintaining commitment in groups of people who share common work” (Morse & Buss, 2009)
  • Public sector organizations with strong leadership capacity also exhibit increased:
    • Adaptability
    • Innovation
    • Effectiveness
    • Efficiency
  • However, most public sector organizations still prioritize technical skills, not leadership skills
leadership knowledge vs leadership practice
Leadership Knowledge vs. Leadership Practice
  • Leadership knowledge does not readily translate to leadership practices
  • Leadership practices can be learned through
    • Education
    • Experience
    • Example
  • Leadership development requires disciplined practice
research problem
Research Problem
  • What knowledge from this EMPA program can be applied to develop leadership practices?
  • Four research questions
    • Tool Definition: What constitutes a leadership tool?
    • Content Analysis: What tools were taught in this EMPA curriculum?
    • Organization: When or how can this tool be used?
    • Evaluation: Which tools are most useful to this EMPA cohort?

“Knowledge is potential power.”

-- Napoleon Hill

tool definition
Tool Definition
  • Tools are knowledge translated into simple, useable and systematic form
        • ‘knowledge tools’ are common in many disciplines:

Examples: high-rise construction, airline flight, medicine

  • Brief “applied” materials that can be used in a leadership capacity
        • Exercises
        • Assessments
        • Checklists/guides
        • Visual Aids
survey
Survey

Which tools are most useful to this cohort?

  • Cost of application: Given what you know about the cost, time and effort involved, which of the following tools would you actually use?
  • Utility: This tool would be helpful for me in addressing the major leadership challenges in my current work setting.
  • Credibility: If I were to use these tools in my workplace, I believe others would find them credible (i.e., they would be inclined to use or accept the results).
  • Transferability: useful across a range of public administration settings (public works, public safety, human services, administration)
results
Results
  • 63% response rate, similar responses across all sectors (public works, public safety, human services, administration)
  • Top-ranked tools:
recommendations
Recommendations
  • Emphasize “applied knowledge” for future cohorts
  • Provide a concise template for each tool:
        • Recommended uses
        • Supplies needed
        • Instructions
        • Strengths & weaknesses
        • Examples
        • Additional reference materials
  • Practice: put leadership knowledge to use

Leadership is a “measurable, learnable and teachable set of behaviors.” -- Kouzes & Posner

suggested toolkit resources
Suggested “Toolkit” Resources
  • Bens, Ingrid. Facilitation At a Glance! Second Edition. Salem, NH: Goal/QPC, 2008.
  • Brassard, Michael and Diane Ritter. Memory Jogger 2, Second Edition: Tools for Continuous Improvement & Effective Planning. Salem, NH: Goal/QPC, 2008.
  • Creighton, James. The Public Participation Handbook: Making Better Decisions Through Citizen Involvement. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005.
  • Kane, Sam, Lenny Lind, Catherine Toldi, Sarah Fisk, Duane Berger. The Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decisionmaking, Second Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007.
  • Kouzes, James M. and Barry Z. Posner. The Leadership Challenge, 4th Edition. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2007.
  • University of Kansas Work Group for Community Health & Development. Community Tool Box, http://ctb.ku.edu/en/tablecontents/, accessed May 2010.
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