We often forget that the essence of an organization is its people. Public sector organizations are notorious for this oversight. If we expect them to be successful, innovative, and improve the organization, we need to focus on how we produce leaders and what we expect from the process. That being said, we should ask ourselves what kind of leadership matters?
From an organizational perspective, the most valuable leadership is “performance leadership,” the human skills and motivation that is continuously supported and reinforced by the organizational design. Its components include the individual’s commitment to understand organizational performance, the motivation to develop skills that align to organizational goals, and the choice to pursue performance improvement. When we see successful organizations in sports, civics, and business, we also see those who provide performance leadership—those with “skin in the game.” It is not just their dedication that causes the “wins,” it is the dedication of the organization to their performance leadership.
If public agencies ignore the responsibility to develop performance leaders, we are allowing the ugliness of bureaucracy to take over, the dehumanizing practices that make each person a “Cog in the Wheel.” Take a hard look at your agency….while most organizations have managers for routine activities, and some have leaders for future initiatives, few have leaders for lasting performance capabilities.
Are you a Performance Leader?
Is your agency developing performance leadership?