We the Partnership

What’s next for the Public Service Leadership Model?

By Andrew Marshall | June 30, 2021

Rebel Powell, a leader in IT at the Department of Energy, recently graduated from the Partnership’s Mission Support Leadership Program. Over the course of the program, he deepened his stewardship of public trust and strengthened his commitment to public good, core values of the Public Service Leadership Model. The model “re-motivated (him) to focus on why service actually matters” and reminded him of the “charge to selflessly drive toward our ultimate goal of achieving results.”

The Partnership’s Public Service Leadership Model continues to serve as the standard for effective government leadership, two years after its release. The model reminds public servants of their immense responsibility as they honor their oath to the Constitution and work toward a better future for our country.

Powell is one of thousands of public servants motivated by this ideal—one that’s became even more salient this year, as we experienced a genuine threat to our democracy in the wake of a contested presidential election and an attack on the Capitol. The federal workforce provides our government with continuity in the face of political transition and turmoil, and the oath of office that all federal leaders take draws us back to the founding principles of this country.

We responded to the crisis surrounding the election with a call to restore the stewardship of public trust, creating a video featuring members of our Government Leadership Advisory Council, a call to action from the same council, an article in MIT’s Sloan Management Review and a case study focused on stewardship. We remain committed to making stewardship an animating force for government both career and political leaders.

A new tool for leaders

The model must serve as more than a source of inspiration if it is to reach its full potential, as I’ve said before. In 2020, we launched the Public Service Leadership 360 assessment to provide federal leaders with a reliable way to measure their leadership competencies against those in the model.

More than 1,000 federal leaders have used the tool and 95% found it to be “very” or “extremely” effective in strengthening their leadership abilities. One leader called the tool “my roadmap to success.” Another career leader in the Department of Defense said it provided insight into how others perceive her leadership skills. “I suffer from imposter syndrome and often doubt my leadership abilities,” she said, “but the 360 evaluation increased my self-awareness and helped me to see myself as others see me—as a strong, action-oriented, innovative leader who gets results.”

What’s next for the Public Service Leadership Model?

In the coming year, we’ll draw on data and insights gained from the 360 assessment to develop more tools and resources that meet the needs of 21st century public service leaders. We’ll continue to advocate for effective leadership at the career and political levels—as described in our Roadmap for Renewal—and we’ll continue to engage with luminaries both within and outside government to advance the cause of effective public service leadership.

Nothing impacts an institution more than its leadership. And no institution matters more than our federal government. That’s why we’re dedicated to developing public service leaders of integrity who are faithful stewards of the public trust with a passionate commitment to the public good.  


Andrew Marshall

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