A New Home for Public Service Leaders
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A New Home for Public Service Leaders

Partnership Vice President of Leadership Development Andrew Marshall joins co-hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Elda Auxiliaire, to discuss the Partnership’s new Public Service Leadership Institute. Marshall discusses the institute’s goals to amplify public service leadership through policy recommendations, research and commentary, to create a shared standard of effective federal leadership around the Partnership’s Public Service Leadership Model, and to provide federal leaders and offices with world-class training programs and custom offerings. To date, Marshall and his team have helped tens and thousands of federal employees working at all levels of our government become more effective leaders.  

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Loren DeJonge Schulman: 

From the Partnership for Public Service, this is Profiles in Public Service—a podcast that shares the stories of the public servants who work on our behalf every day to make our country safer, healthier and more prosperous. 

We talk with career public servants, emerging leaders, journalists and many more to better understand what it means to be a public servant… the incredible variety of careers possible in government… and how public service impacts all our lives. 

I’m Loren DeJonge Schulman, 

Elda Auxiliaire: 

And I’m Elda Auxiliaire, a senior manager on the Partnership’s leadership development team and a co-host for today’s episode, which will feature a conversation between myself and our vice president of leadership development, Andrew Marshall.  

Andrew oversees the strategy, design and delivery of the Partnership’s leadership development programming and activities. To date, Andrew and his team have trained tens and thousands of federal employees working at all levels of our government. 

Loren DeJonge Schulman: 

Today, Andrew and Elda join us to discuss our newly launched Public Service Leadership Institute!  

We’ll hear all about the goals of this new institute, what audiences can expect from it moving forward, and how anyone interested in becoming a better public service leader or pursuing a career in public service can benefit from the resources it offers.  

Elda Auxiliaire: 

As we discussed last season, the Public Service Leadership model was created by the Partnership to set the standard for effective federal leadership. The model describes the core values public service leaders must prioritize and the critical competencies they must demonstrate to make an impact in government. 

The institute will seek to unify public servants around the model through policy recommendations, performance assessments, research and commentary, and more. 

Loren DeJonge Schulman: 

First, let’s hear from Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland on why the institute will be such a valuable tool for developing a strong and diverse body of government leaders. 

Transition Music 

Secretary Deb Haaland: 

Hello everyone. I’m Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior, single mom, tribal member and marathon runner. I mentioned all of these things because the public servants who devote their lives to our country also wear many hats that give them unique perspectives and insights that make them valuable members of the federal family, and leaders in public service.  

Today, I’m proud to welcome everyone to the launch of the Public Service Leadership Institute. I offer a huge congratulations to the Partnership for Public Service for making this program possible and investing the time and energy to professional leadership development. Through this Institute, we can help foster the kinds of leaders we need in government. Those who are guided by a deep commitment to the public good and stewardship of the public’s trust.  

Throughout my life, I’ve seen firsthand the difference that good leaders make. My father was a 30-year combat Marine and won a silver star medal for saving six lives in Vietnam. My mother, a public servant herself was a Navy veteran who worked with native American students for more than two decades at the bureau of Indian affairs. 

Guided by their example and by an incredible group of mentors, I have consistently worked to fulfil our government’s promise of serving all people, including those who are too often left behind. From phone bank volunteer and organizer, to Congresswoman, to cabinet member. I recognize the role that I and others play in making room for diverse voices and meeting our biggest challenges with equitable and inclusive solutions. 

And as a member of the Pueblo of Laguna and a 35th generation New Mexican, I believe that we need leadership in government where we haven’t had it before. We need leaders who look like America. That’s why I am proud to be the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary. And more importantly, why I understand my responsibility to leave the ladder down for future leaders. 

The Institute will also serve as a ladder that public servants can climb and will drive us closer to an equitable and inclusive vision for our country and our government. It will train and provide leaders at all levels with actionable insights for success, offer a world-class suite of training programs and custom offerings and set the standard for effective federal leadership through the Public Service Leadership Model. 

To protect our land, our earth and its people. We need bold public service leadership and to empower communities who are often overlooked or left behind. I challenge everyone to use this opportunity to build leaders that reflect the diversity of America, because I truly believe that the best solutions are developed when diverse experiences and perspectives have a voice at the leadership table. 

This is an incredible responsibility and an opportunity to build a future we are all proud to embrace. Congratulations again to the Partnership on this important initiative. I can’t wait to see the groundbreaking work you all will do. Thank you” 

Loren DeJonge Schulman: 

In addition to these remarks, the Public Service Leadership Institute’s launch event included a panel discussion of five of our government’s most prominent public service leaders on why strong federal leadership matters for our country.  

Head to the link in our show notes to watch the institute’s incredible launch event and go to ourpublicservice.org/PSLI to learn more about the new Public Service Leadership Institute. 

Now over to Andrew and Elda! 

Transition Music 

Elda Auxiliaire: 

Thanks for joining us today, Andrew. We are so excited to have you on profiles and public service. I think the best way to start off this conversation is to really get to understand how the Institute came about and why the Partnership for Public Service decided to bring about this entity. 

Andrew Marshall: 

Thanks for the great opening question. I’d start by inviting any listener to zoom out a little bit and think about the last two years of your life. And you’ve probably encountered some really serious challenges of one kind or another. Maybe it was through COVID-19 you were affected. Maybe you’ve been affected economically in one form or another due to what’s going on here and abroad. 

Maybe you have been affected by the challenges of racial inequity that we’re seeing persist in the country. Maybe you’ve been, you know, affected by a natural disaster. I could go on. This is a very dismal way to start a podcast. But I say that because government is the institution that exists to combat and even prevent these crises from happening. 

 That institution needs strong leaders in order to do that effectively. In order for us to get through the pandemic, to respond to the natural disasters, to bring equity where there’s division and inequity. To bring peace and economic prosperity, we need public service leaders of integrity who are competent and able and committed. 

We do not believe that there is a place or an organization that is focused on bringing consistency, bringing and setting a standard for leaders to rally around all federal leaders. And that’s what we hope the Public Service Leadership Institute can do so that leaders are more effective to serve and support when crisis strikes and maybe even prevent crises from striking at all. 

Elda Auxiliaire: 

You made a good point about setting a standard and formulating a standard. As you and I both know in our work on the leadership development team, we have developed a Public Service Leadership Model and there is definitely a mark for that within our public leaders. You and I both discussed the model a few months ago here on this podcast. 

How does the Public Service Leadership Institute expand upon the developed model? 

Andrew Marshall: 

Thanks Elda. The Institute gives the Public Service Leadership Model a home. Again, as I mentioned in my opening, one of the major goals of the Institute is for elected and appointed public service leaders to unify around a single standard for what effective leadership looks like. And we hold the model up as that standard. 

In addition to that, we’re also going to draw on the model and the 360-tool associated with the model to better understand what’s going on for public service leaders. We’ll publish insights based on that. We’ll also design our curriculum based on that which will make our programs more relevant and meaningful for the leaders who enter the Institute to develop and strengthen their capacity. 

So, in the end, it is a home for the model that didn’t exist before. And it really will be the standard that we hold up for the federal government.  

Elda Auxiliaire: 

For those who aren’t familiar with the model and the impact the model is making, can you provide an example on how government leaders have engaged with the Partnership’s training programs? 

Andrew Marshall: 

Sure. I mean, I think what resonates probably most about the Public Service Leadership Model are the core values. They are what hold it all together: the stewardship of public trust, the commitment to public good. That is a place where we are making a difference and making an impact. 

If I think back to last month when we kicked off our Excellence in Government program, they entered in and we were able to talk with them about the core values, about the stewardship of public trust, about the commitments of public good. We were able to have them recommit to their oath of office. In fact, they restated their oath of office with their arms raised and it’s a meaningful moment for them too, to consider the vast responsibility, the vast stewardship that each of them has. We then took them on a monuments tour from the Jefferson Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial, to the MLK Memorial, to think about the values that this country was founded on and how they’re evolving, how we’re trying to find this more perfect union and how the federal government is doing that. And how they are the embodiment of those original values, taking them from the past, bringing them to the present, moving them forward for the next generations to come, that they do that. I can’t overstate how valuable that is for public servants to have a chance to really reconnect to the why of public service leadership and reconnect to this country and reconnect to the whole meaning of democracy. 

That would be one. A second and maybe even more, you know, in some ways thinking about competencies, very practically: I did a retreat a couple of weeks ago, with two phenomenal colleagues with an executive team made up of political appointees, the very top of the agency and career senior executives. 

We were able to work through various parts of the model over the course of two days out in beautiful Shepherdstown West Virginia. Starting with self-reflection, that’s the very first sub- competency we have. We gave people a chance to pause and think about the meaning of their public service, but also think about their own values, think about their own strengths and connect with colleagues on those strengths. 

So, there was a lot of self-reflection moving over to engaging others and building relationships, which is also part of our model. We also talked about how they get work done, and how they can have a common vision for working together. How do they manage conflict? How do they make decisions where there have been some sticking points? And how do they use evidence for those decisions they make? And lastly, we got into priorities. What matters to them and what matters most? Because a lot can matter to all of us and how to be disciplined and build accountability in the work that they are doing. 

And now they’re off, you know, working more effectively in who they are, how they work together and what they’re trying to accomplish, all guided by the public service leadership model. I could give you many more examples, but I think that I have passed the length of time I’m supposed to answer a question on, so I’ll pause there.  

Elda Auxiliaire: 

These are really good examples, Andrew. One thing that I’d like to note for our listeners, who aren’t aware when we think about our, our leaders, this is the only profession where you’re making an oath before you even start on day one, you’re saying that you’re committed to the work that you do, and you see that. So, this is where the model really aligns with them saying that oh, three years ago, for those who are seasoned and for the ones who are just starting off their career, the model really is a nice setting point and, in some ways, marries nicely with that oath that they take on that first day. 

Andrew Marshall: 

 Absolutely. It’s something that they ought to think about every day that they wake up, you know, that they wake up and get into their work, this is about something so much bigger. That they are temporary caretakers of the public’s trust. It started before them, it’ll go after them, but that oath matters here and now. You can forget about it in the mix of work and the stress of work. And we really want this Institute to be a kind of a sacred ground for people to remember the why of public service, hopefully on a daily basis.  

Elda Auxiliaire: 

I agree. Totally. Andrew, as we think about the tools, programs, and events that are being offered by the Institute, what do you believe makes the Institute unique and why is this launch so exciting to you and the rest of the partnership? 

Andrew Marshall: 

 So, what makes it unique? One would be the Partnership for Public Service. We are a nonpartisan organization, and that allows us to work in a way that is in service to the government broadly and the people you know, the public broadly, and that nonpartisan status allows us again, not to work in a way that’s going to divide or pit people against each other but unifies and the model we hope is unifying. The Institute we hope is unifying. So that’s one, I think, unique aspect.  

Another is we’re a nonprofit. We have a mission to accomplish building a better government and a stronger democracy. And one advantage there is that we will work across administrations. The Partnership for Public Service is going to be around, and we have a track record across administrations, and we can have foresight into what’s ahead for administrations and help strengthen that continuity of government that can sometimes be missing when there are so many people coming in and out of that revolving door, not just around presidential elections, but honestly, throughout administrations.  

I think the Public Service Leadership Model makes us unique. Having a relevant model that applies to elected, appointed and career leaders is something that does not exist and with tools associated with it that are valid and reliable and will strengthen public service leaders.  

 What makes me excited? I mean, I really do think that no institution matters more than government leadership matters more than anything else for an institution to work. And so, if we are able to do our job, trust in government should increase. The experience employees have in their organizations should increase leadership effectiveness should increase. And we should see a whole lot more harmony, prosperity and peace in this very battered world that we live in right now.  

Elda Auxiliaire: 

Well, Andrew, you opened up the session talking about being in a reflective period a couple of years ago. Two years ago, the Partnership celebrated 20 years as an organization and as an entity. Within those two years, the Institute was birthed really in terms of working, so we do want to note that this, there was a level of thought that was put into this next phase of the organization and how we could really benefit our government leaders across the government. 

Who do you believe can benefit by being involved with the Institute and who were your major stakeholders? 

Andrew Marshall: 

First and foremost, public service leaders. And again, whether you were elected appointed, or you’ve been a career leader over the course of a long time or a short time, you are the people we are striving to strengthen, and support, champion and partner with. And you can engage with the Institute in a lot of different ways. 

We have programs that meet leaders where they are, these are action-oriented programs. These are real and relevant to them where they are working their challenges and not lecture series or trainings. They’re all based on the Public Service Leadership Model. We do hope and believe that they can be transformative experiences, both in what these leaders are able to do through the programs, but also the relationships they build that long outlast, the experience they have in them. 

We work with agencies, and we recently worked with the centers for disease control and prevention to administer our 360-tool assessment to the directors at CDC. And for the uninitiated, the 360 basically gives you a chance to see how you see yourself and how everyone around you sees you by the same criteria as a leader. We did that with all of the directors across the CDC, all of whom were then able to see how they lead in a more global way through the 360 and also work together to bring a shared sense of leadership to CDC as a result. So, partnering with agencies would be another way.  

In addition to developing leaders, which will continue to be foundational for the work of the Institute, we will publishing based on our 360 insights, our information that we get through our evaluations, and just our experience working day in and day out with so many public service leaders sharing insights on what’s going on for them, what they need, where they are strong, how we can maybe break down some of the stereotypes and the narrative that exists out there around government leaders, and would invite anyone to read what we produce, but also engage with us in the solutions and filling those gaps. Whether that is people in industry, in other good government organizations or the public. 

And lastly, we want to unify like I’ve mentioned around the Public Service Leadership Model and believe that the administration can take steps and we have our roadmap for renewal that I hope we can include in the show notes around what we would hope this administration and others would consider to bring consistency to public service leadership. We think also that the Hill could do that as well, and bring, in some ways a requirement for consistency around how we see leadership, how we develop leaders and what we expect of anyone who has answered the call to serve, of anyone who has taken that oath of office. This all falls under the benefits and the stakeholders of our public service leadership in. 

Elda Auxiliaire: 

Well, you talked about action-oriented programs, trainings, transformative experiences, consistency, and expectations around our leaders. It seems like the Institute the gap wherever you are and for just the gamut of our government, so it’s really exciting. As we think about any entity, I’m sure there are goals in terms of where you want to see the Institute go to, and the projection of the Institute. Can you share with the audience some of the goals that are immediate and some that are long-term? And then I also want to add to that, what are you aiming to achieve for both leaders and government institutions? 

Andrew Marshall: 

Yeah. So, our vision is a lofty one. Just to state it, we envision a dynamic and innovative federal government led by public service leaders of integrity that effectively serves our diverse nation. So that’s, that’s really the ultimate outcome we’re striving for. A government that is not this opaque fortress or this invisible force but made up of people and people that the public can trust. So that is the big, end game goal.  

To get there, we do believe that it will come down to some key areas, one helps a broader universe of people see what it is to lead in public service. So, sharing stories, sharing insights, publishing from our data, that will be one goal so that more people can be aware of the difference public service leaders are making. A second will be to develop public service leaders, and we’re going to have a particular emphasis on the senior executive service, as well as political appointees. 

If we can build greater career political collaboration where you work in that tension of the sprint and the marathon, the appointees often focus on what’s needed now to meet the needs of today and meet the needs of the administration. The career leaders focused on what’s needed always to meet the mission of the agency. If we can build that bridge and strengthen them, and we do so much with the Center for Presidential Transition, and now with the Public Service Leadership Institute, that will be an area of focus as well as our ongoing work with career leaders from the emerging leader to the leader of organizations.  

And then, we certainly have a goal around the standard that we can equip decision makers with a better understanding of why this matters, how if we were all aware of and striving for a shared standard of public service leadership, the difference that would make. And some of that could be done through policy. Some of that could be done through legislation. And some of that we will continue to do through our own work, and my hope is that within the year, we’ll have a certification in public service leadership, to see it as a profession, to see it as a calling, similar to what many other fields have. And that we could administer that and help bring more credibility to this work of public service leadership.  

So, amplify the importance of public service leadership, develop public service leaders and unify around a shared standard of public service leadership, would be the primary goals of the Institute. 

I don’t know how many more times I can say public service leadership on this podcast, but I don’t get tired of it. So, I’ll just keep saying it. 

Elda Auxiliaire: 

Well, Andrew, with any organization or new venture, there are challenges that you face. What do you anticipate are some challenges as you move forward with the Institute and how have you planned to confront those challenges in bringing this Institute about? 

Andrew Marshall 

That’s a great question. I think one of the challenges is people– leaders I should say more specifically– taking the time and investing in their development and in the development of those they lead. To do that requires a lot in this very active, very, you know, busy world that we’re living in. And there is such a benefit when people can pause, step away, learn, develop, and connect with one another. It might be a short-term loss for your ability to knock things out on your to-do list or tackle your inbox, and it’s a huge long-term gain. And so, one of the challenges is leaders taking the time, and I mean, any leader, I don’t think that anyone has arrived.  

Which brings me to another challenge, it’s a challenge I see in my work coaching leaders. It’s ego. When people don’t feel like they have space to develop or they’ve figured it out or they’ve met their standard, that can get in the way of what we’re trying to achieve, which is another version of this federal government, a better government, a stronger democracy. That implies that everybody in that government can also take a step forward to get us there and to take a step forward, you do need to take the armor off a little bit and say, how can I improve? How can I be better? What can I learn? How can I grow? How can I lead more effectively?  

If we could take care of those two challenges and get people in a space of openness and self-awareness and give them the space and time, there’s no end to what we could accomplish in the Institute and in our government.  

I think one other challenge I have noticed with all the work that we’re striving to do, there are others that are, that are also wanting to do this. Government itself has a lot of leadership development programs, internal universities, and I would say let’s join hands in this effort. Let’s connect and collaborate to strengthen public service leadership. So those would be, those would be some of the challenges and we’re going to keep at it despite them.  

Elda Auxiliaire 

And as you talk about the unifying and the partnering. Just a few weeks ago, we talked to a group of academics about public service and how their students at just the collegiate level could get involved. So, if we’re able to partner with so many different organizations, think about what the end result would be if everyone was just committed to public service and really building out what our country could be and how that looks. 

Andrew Marshall 

Agreed. And if we’re doing it with the same end in mind and working toward the same standard, there would be great power there. I loved that conversation we had with deans of public administration programs and public policy programs from across the country and how much this resonated. That if we could get it into the minds and hearts of young people are considering public service, that boosts everybody for a generation and beyond.  

Elda Auxiliaire 

I definitely agree. What are some next steps for the Institute? What’s on the horizon? What should people expect to see? 

Andrew Marshall 

Sure. So, I would say one thing people can expect is to see articles, white papers, both published by the partnership, or other avenues, about what we need in public service leadership. What we’re learning as folks who have been working with tens of thousands of leaders day in and day out for many, many years, and the one that we have right on the horizon is a series on women in public service leadership, and what we’re learning from our 360 data and focus groups and what we recommend to bring more consistency and to elevate opportunities for women in public service. So that’s one thing that’s right on the horizon.  

 In the development area, developing leaders, our programs are ongoing, the programs that we’ve been doing now for many, many years, they continue under the umbrella of the Public Service Leadership Institute. 

I think we will get, in fact, I can say with certainty, we will get more sophisticated in how we develop leaders. We will have more tools where the leader can see themselves in the work that they’re doing with us and apply it more immediately and more actively.  

We have just released our sixth case study featuring Francis Collins, focused on commitment to public good. And now we have a case study for every competency and core value in our leadership model, that leaders can take and use as a guide for their development.  

Then lastly, in the area of unifying as I mentioned before, we are aiming for a certification in public service leadership to bring credibility to the field of public service leaders. 

 Those would be a few things, among many that are on the horizon.  

Elda Auxiliaire 

We’ve had a really good conversation around the launch and I’m sure at this point, our listeners are probably asking how can they get involved? How can they engage in what the Institute has to offer? And for those who are asking that question right now, what would you tell them? 

Andrew Marshall 

So public service leaders, let’s talk. We’ve got programs, that can improve your leadership that can take you into that next version of you. We also have a lot of ways to engage with our work that are not full-blown formal programs. You should go to our website, ourpublicservice.org/psli and take a look at all the resources there. There you will see videos from our government leadership advisory council. These are luminaries from academia, from private sector, former cabinet secretaries and government, best-selling authors, people who understand leadership and government better than maybe anyone, and you can hear from them and hear their insight and wisdom. 

So, and, and that would go for our public service leaders, but really anyone get to know what we’re trying to do, what we’re about. The site is a great place to engage, that will stay active. Then we will over time also have convenings. We’ll have convenings in certain areas, whether that is for the senior executives and government. We recently hosted an event with senior executives and government and Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft. Events like that. Events for women in public service leadership. There will be opportunities to engage through the Public Service Leadership Institute, in order to (we hope) serve all in government, so that they can then go serve all in our country.  

Elda Auxiliaire 

Well, this was a great conversation. I definitely hope that folks really tune in to see what’s, to come for the public service leadership Institute. Andrew, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me and to let our listeners know what’s to come and the next iteration of the partnership and what we’re doing within the federal government. 

Andrew Marshall 

Elda, it’s been a pleasure, this conversation and also just in general, working with you.  

Yeah. I’d love also to hear anything you’d like to add around what you’re excited about or what you’re looking forward to around our work at the institute.  

Elda Auxiliaire 

I love this. I love how it’s changed. Interviewer being interviewed. Like Andrew, I’ve had the opportunity to work just in the planning and behind the scenes in some ways with developing the Institute. So, for me, I worked directly with an executive audience and so to see the Institute really take the work that we, as the partnership do to another level and be able to provide more to our government leaders. 

It’s amazing as sometimes we don’t understand that resources are limited. Resources are limited in a lot of sectors. But to be able to provide a lot of our services as the Partnership, at no cost to some of our audiences, it’s definitely a place that we want to be. And we are, in my opinion, the right organization to be able to produce some of the research that we produce and be able to really work hand in hand with some of these leaders. 

And I’m just looking forward to seeing just the faces and hearing the conversations that occur in some of these rooms and some of these learning and development spaces. And for those who don’t have opportunities to do that. It’s amazing to see the commitment that comes into these rooms and the ideas and the values as Andrew talked about of our leaders and where they want to take their agencies and where they want to be individually. 

So, I’m excited to see all of that with the Public Service Leadership Institute.  

Andrew Marshall 

Thanks for indulging. And yes, looking forward to it. 

Transition Music 

Loren DeJonge Schulman: So that’s our show, thanks so much for listening! If you haven’t already, please follow or subscribe to “Profiles in Public Service” wherever you get your podcasts. 

Rachel Klein-Kircher: You can also check this episode’s show notes to learn more about today’s topic and be sure to follow the Partnership for Public Service on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram to find out about future episodes!  

Loren DeJonge Schulman: “Profiles in Public Service” is created by the Partnership for Public Service.  

Rachel Klein-Kircher: Our writer and producer is Abigail Alpern Fisch. 

Loren DeJonge Schulman: Our script supervisor is Barry Goldberg. 

Rachel Klein-Kircher: And our executive producer is Jordan LaPier.  

Loren DeJonge Schulman: See you next time!