The Six Essential Tools of Public Service

By Holloway, Eddie A. | Nation's Cities Weekly, August 15, 2005 | Go to article overview

The Six Essential Tools of Public Service


Holloway, Eddie A., Nation's Cities Weekly


The following is a preview of one of the topics to be covered during Leadership Training Institute seminars at the Congress of Cities in Charlotte, N.C. "The Six Essential Tools of Public Service" will be held on on Tuesday, December 6.

Effective leadership is central to the success of any organization. Today, many people would agree that there is a crisis in constituency confidence, as well as a lack of trust, in leadership at both the public and private levels.

Elected and appointed officials, as well as corporate CEOs and managers, have enormous pressures to satisfy, duties to perform and desired results to obtain.

Historians will record today's political and economic turbulence, with such scandals as the Enron fiasco and prisoner abuse allegations in Iraq, as posing tremendous challenges to leaders.

Public servants and leaders make commitments to serve their entire constituency.

When persons step forth and answer the call to perform such service, the concepts of 'leadership and management' must be clearly understood, along with corresponding skill-sets and best practices that can facilitate effective public service.

First and foremost, leadership depends on the employment of good listening and communication skills.

One of the most accepted approaches to leadership is the situational approach, which stresses leadership based on situations.

This style recognizes that skills and motivation vary over time, and leaders must be willing and prepared to adapt to new situations and change strategies to obtain desired results.

Another quality of effective leadership is modeling ethical behavior, always being mindful of personal conduct and high character.

The leader keeps in mind the kinds of values that demonstrate a "quality of care" and hold extreme significance for ethical leadership.

The guiding principles of ethical leadership are respect, service, justice, honesty and community.

The leader learns to adopt a system of rules and principles that guide ethical decisionmaking based on commonly accepted values, often referred to as the "Golden Rule."

The need to manage change is clearly evident in our daily discourse. …

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