#IredellDems Blog


By: Dr. Joseph Glasgow


Today in many of our government entities- public sector leaders are required to function with far-less resources and continually find new ways to overcome challenges. Leadership in the public sector is especially important; it not only influences the job performance and satisfaction of the workforce, but also how government and public agencies perform. Leadership is critical to good public governance, including good planning, efficiency, transparency, and accountability.

Effective leadership in the public, local, federal, state, and municipality sector organization is an integral and important part for organizational effectiveness. Effective leaders in the public sector organizations enhance the work culture, the efficiency, motivation, and strength of the workforce. Leaders in public sector organizations are responsible for setting organizational objectives to ensure employees productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

There is evidence that supports importance and necessity of the need for leadership in public sector organizations. According to a study by the Partnership for Public sector service published in 2003 analyzed and studied the US office Personal of Management for the year 2002. It was found that factors of leadership was key for satisfaction in the workplace. On the other hand, impact of leadership in some public sector organizations was found to be more than the impact of leadership in federal government organization. To that point, according to a study conducted in 2003, it was found that leadership in the federal government was deficient at best.

Let’s be clear, leadership plays a crucial role in the development of public sector organizations across the spectrum, it is important for driving worker’s satisfaction in addition to utilizing their skills and intellect to provide customer satisfaction. Developing good leaders with effective teamwork and leadership skills remains fundamental for public sector organizations.

According to the Rainey and Thomson study conducted in 2003, it was noted that committed and effective leadership is important for the crucial growth and development of public sector organizations. Analysis of public sector organizations involving the federal government revealed that in every case; management capacity should be strong enough to enhance leadership affairs in
public sector organizations, which will ultimately lead to the development and growth of those organizations.


Today’s leaders are expected to do two main things for the public sector organizations, (a) to lead and (b) to serve all aspects of their constituents. This is not only to enhance and improve management capacity but also to increase trust and loyalty of members within their respective constituents. Conversely, it equates to a person developing confidence – trusting leaders in public sector organization more than ever before, especially if those persons are assisted by the power of the digitized world, social media, and technology.

However, there is a crisis on hand in a leadership role as it relates to public sector organizations. Societal changes and unprecedented changes in financial matters, creativity, design and innovation which is presently applying a lot of pressure on leaders. They are also dealing with many complex challenges as of late.

One of the most notable dilemma which is identified by many public sectors leadership (gurus) within the public sector organizations’ is that – programs need to address special leadership concerns of public agency managers, including but not limited to creative and critical thinking, collaboration, cross-organizational team building, and leading for results. Leaders have to be able to make an impact and influence on both internal and external environments within their respective organization. Further, internal leadership can be easily managed in public sector organizations, this can be accomplished by influencing employees and work groups so they can achieve a whole consisting of unified parts acting in harmony to execute tasks to achieve goals, both effectively and efficiently. A properly implemented organizing process should result in a work environment where all work group members are aware of their responsibilities. External leadership on the other hand, is about influencing the organization’s environment affecting employees productivity. Arguably, It is all about handling citizens and constituents with respect to their satisfaction, needs, and expectations set-forth by the organization leaders and decision makers.

Most importantly, leadership in the public sector has to be both internal and external. Conversely, we cannot always know what are the most important aspects of leadership in public sector organizations, in view of the fact leaders are reactive to current changing trends surrounding the digitized world, such as globalization, technological advances, and urbanization. We are not quite clear whether or not, if leadership in the public sector organizations would be irrespective about what occurs in the external environment, and only dreaming about organization as a whole, living a vision and trying to deliver ideas,

Leadership matters very much in most structures within all levels of government and public sector organizations. Leadership matters because the organization has to be alerted and aware of the changes, in addition to alterations in the various environment surrounding the public sector, which can also affect internal system of organizations.  Notwithstanding, leadership is important in public sector organizations because we need to evaluate more risks, opportunities and dangers through the values, mission, passion, and organizational lenses of leader’s vision.

Secondly, leadership is important to take on decisive roles when any danger or the situation demands. To that end, leaders need to be very agile. Leadership is very crucial at times when final decisions have to be made. Equally, some leaders are even stakeholders and investors, and they have to set boundaries at the time of a demanding situation to avoid conflict of interest. Admittedly, the aforementioned statement clearly exhibits that leadership matters in public sector organizations.


Leadership is affected by many factors. An important factor which affects leadership in public sector organization is that of work culture. The most significant challenge and important aspect of leadership in public sector organization is to manage relationships, especially when there are contradicting and conflicting views and policy statements implemented by government officials in public sector organizations.


It is the leader’s responsibility to motivate and strengthen employees and workers of organization for creating an efficient work culture to build healthy relationships with their fellow employees. Good leadership in a public sector organization is vital to assure organization success while creating contextual meaning and motivate a workforce to collaborate using a shared vision or a mission. The public sector organization needs energy from its workforce for its continued development and sustainability. Additionally, research has shown that leadership plays a major role in the functioning of public sector organizations.


Leadership remains paramount for public sector organizations to initiate a long-term legacy, ensuring that future teams and work groups in the public sector organizations can utilize the assets and knowledge to enhance accountability, commitment, efficiency and organizational integrity of any public sector organization. Leadership is crucial in the public sector organization for developing a mindset of working culture and agility among the public sector workforce. They also promote ‘whole of government view’ to make a good and lasting impact on outputs, structures, and processes of public sector organizations.




Posted: 02-05-2020