Public Leadership What should we expect from our leaders in public service?
What do you expect of those in public leadership roles?
By now I think you will have a pretty good grasp of my own leadership values. I expect all leaders to set an example, to exemplify the vision they espouse and to earn the respect of those who follow their lead.
So, when I look at those who hold public office, I want to see them "doing the right thing", acting in the best interests of the public they serve. I am dissapointed when they stretch the rules to breaking point, justifying their actions by saying they haven't actually broken them! Being a public servant means following a moral compass that helps you to decide what is right and what is not.
In the UK we have the Seven Principles of Public Life, sometimes called the Nolan Principles after Lord Nolan, the chairman of the
Committee on Standards in Public Life
. All candidates for public appointments are expected to demonstrate a commitment to, and an understanding of, the value and importance of the principles of public service. Of course, it doesn't mean that there aren't problems at times. But at least we have a benchmark against which actions can be measured.
My personal belief is that these are the very values that the public wants to observe in their public leaders. And if they saw them, those who hold public offices might find themselves with more followers and may well be more successful!