Our tools are designed to strengthen public service leaders. They draw on our experience working across all federal agencies, are consistently among the highest-rated components of our programs and remain relevant to the challenges public service leaders face today.
Developing leaders for today’s government
When we released the Public Service Leadership Model in 2019, we emphasized the importance of effective government leaders in an increasingly complex and divided world. The three years since have reaffirmed that public servants are uniquely positioned to solve our country’s biggest challenges—and good leaders matter more now than ever. We know that government leaders must be stewards of the public trust with a passionate commitment to the public good. And we know that there are core values leaders must prioritize and critical competencies they must master to achieve their agencies’ missions and desired impact.
The Partnership’s PSL 360 assessment tool helps leaders keep a pulse on the skills and competencies needed to lead in government. Launched in June 2020, this comprehensive, multi-rater assessment tool has been used by almost 2,000 federal leaders. Leaders can use this 360 to evaluate their performance, assess their leadership progress and chart a course for self-improvement. The PSL 360 has been called “the roadmap to [my] leadership success” and has been used across our leadership development programs, within Cabinet agencies, and with leaders of all levels, from emerging leaders to senior executives.
So what have we learned about government leadership from our 360 data in the past two years? Of the leaders that have completed the 360, our analysis affirms that public servants are deeply committed to the public good and being stewards of the public’s trust. The data also highlights strengths of public servants: integrity, diversity, equity and inclusion, and collaboration, to name a few. Based on the leaders we have assessed, there are also opportunities for continued development in competencies such as self-reflection, embracing risk and innovation.
We have also taken a closer look at gender differences in the data. Our preliminary analysis shows that women rate themselves lower than men in certain competency areas, including leading change. Interestingly, we are finding that women are rated higher than men by other raters in several sub-competencies: commitment to public good, authenticity, empowering others, collaboration and systems-thinking. We anticipate these trends will continue to evolve as the number of leaders taking the PSL 360 grows.
Government needs leaders who are prepared to meet the evolving needs of the American people. The Public Service Leadership Model and our 360 assessment set the standard for evaluating effective government leadership. The power of the PSL 360 tool—its reliability, validity and the impact it has on individual leaders across government—will help public servants cultivate stronger leadership skills and be prepared to deliver mission-critical services for the American public.
Interested in learning how the PSL 360 can support your own leadership development?
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“I suffer from imposter syndrome and often doubt my leadership abilities, 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.”
“My roadmap to success.”
The Public Service Leadership Model sets the standard for government leadership, outlining the core values and competencies that federal employees must demonstrate to best serve the public. The following case studies highlight public servants who have activated the model’s core principles to solve big challenges, drive impact and strengthen our country.
For decades, the federal government has worked to keep nuclear facilities around the world safe and secure. In the early 2000s, these efforts hit a snag when yearlong talks between the Energy Department and the Russian Defense Ministry stalled, leaving nuclear materials in the former Soviet country vulnerable to theft and misuse. A dynamic federal leader finally broke the logjam: Nicole Nelson-Jean, a recently hired 28-year-old working in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Material Protection Control and Accounting Program.
Arleas Upton Kea, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s former director of the Division of Administration, oversaw a rapid hiring surge and extensive culture change initiative that revamped the FDIC’s work culture and enabled the agency to meet the challenge of stabilizing and reinspiring confidence in the nation’s financial system during the 2008 recession.
When Sandeep Patel launched his career in government nearly a decade ago, he knew little about his new job at the Department of Health and Human Services. As an open innovation manager, his mandate was as abstract as it was critical: to help the agency use new tools and strategies to find innovative solutions to serious health challenges.
In 2014, a major crisis hit the Department of Veterans Affairs. Explosive reports claimed that the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care System had for several years falsified data showing how long veterans were waiting to receive medical care. The VA is still making headlines today—but for different reasons. Thanks to its Veterans Experience Office and productive partnerships across and outside the VA, the agency has become a leading customer experience organization in government.
Each year, phony Medicare claims cost the American taxpayer billions of dollars and deprive those eligible for coverage—senior citizens, and people with disabilities and serious illnesses—of proper health care. These fraudulent schemes turn Medicare, a historic federal program that insures more than 60 million Americans, into a personal piggy bank for private interests who prey on the vulnerable and exploit the public good. One group, however, has protected this vital national asset with unprecedented success.
To solve pressing health challenges, Francis Collins has demonstrated a willingness to collaborate and engage others, a strong self-awareness with a unique blend of academic and emotional intelligence, a desire to lead change by taking calculated risks and a steadfast focus on achieving results for individual patients. Throughout his four-decade career, Collins has leveraged all of these leadership competencies to serve the public good and improve the well-being of current and future generations worldwide.