Leadership Drives Results
WHAT'S GRABBING HEADLINES TODAY is international
terrorism and our ability to handle a potential outbreak of small
pox. We dont hear nearly as much about the increasing pressure
on our public executives to improve performance. Yet, more and more,
managers at all levels of government are expected to achieve specific,
quantifiable goals, from measures of economic development in United
Nations programs to the ability of the Centers for Disease
Control to drive up immunization rates.
To help public managers meet these demands, a new
executive program at the Kennedy School, Driving Government Performance:
Leadership Strategies that Produce Results, provides public officials
with the tools to improve performance and to share that information
The 1993 Government Performance and Results Act sought
to cut out waste and inefficiency in federal programs, but these
guidelines provided public managers with little assistance on how
to accomplish these goals. Thus, this new executive program seeks
to give public executives the skills they need to determine what
better performance should look like, to ratchet up that performance
(even given limited resources), to produce results that citizens
value, and to generate the resources and flexibility needed to do
even better in the future. As in all of
the schools executive programs, the participating executives
wrestle with a series of cases challenging them to develop a performance
strategy that will produce real results. Whether analyzing a case
about the contracting strategy employed in Oklahoma to assist more
persons with developmental disabilities or the Compstat strategy
that New York used to drive down crime rates, the faculty keeps
the discussion focused on the four key components of this program:
leadership, strategy, motivation, and results.
Bob Behn, faculty chair of the new program, asserts
that public agencies wont truly improve their performance
until their leaders have not only created performance measures and
are reporting those measures, but are also using them internally
to motivate people. Performance wont go up just because
we created some sort of government-wide system, says Behn.
It requires real leadership.
Participants arent let off the hook with the
excuse that charisma is not one of their strengths, adds Behn. Most
of us arent very charismatic. But that doesnt mean we
cant be analytical, persistent, and inspirational. One of
the key roles of any leader is to make sure that everybody understands
precisely what theyre supposed to accomplish both individually
and collectively. AC
Want to take a peak at the challenges facing todays public
Ask Roger Porter
Roger Porter, professor of business and government,
has served for more than a decade in senior economic policy positions
in the White House, most recently as assistant to President H. W.
Bush for economic and domestic policy. He also served as director
of the White House Office of Policy Development in the Reagan administration
and as executive secretary of the presidents Economic Policy
Board during the Ford administration.
Porter teaches courses in the Program for Senior Executives
in National and International Security, Senior Managers in Government,
and the Leadership Strategies for Senior Executives series.
Why are executive programs relevant for those working
in public service?
In almost any job, its easy to become mired in the thick of
things. There is far too little reflection about the bigger picture
in a world filled with deadlines, crises, and urgent demands. Theres
considerable value in stepping back and seeking a longer and broader
view during an executive program. Carving out time for an executive
program is an excellent way of helping to make time for such reflection.
Who comes to executive programs and why do they
One great advantage of many executive programs is that participants
come from the legislative and executive branches, from public and
private sectors, from military and civilian agencies, and from career
and political appointee positions. In our competitive world, it
is easy for people to view situations as a zero-sum game filled
with winners and losers. Helping participants achieve win-win outcomes
is not only challenging, but, when one is successful, tremendously
New and Upcoming Executive Programs
Justice and Reform: Promoting the Rule of Law
May 1023, 2003
This new program brings together policymakers from around the world
to focus on the relationship between the judicial, executive, and
legislative branches during the legal and judicial reform process
and the role of each in promoting the rule of law. For members of
the judiciary, prosecutors, policymakers, parliamentarians, and
others involved in justice and reform.
Strategic Public Sector Negotiation
May 1216, 2003
This program teaches how to move to new levels of strategic negotiating
skill and produce more successful and productive agreements. For
managers in government, corporate, nonprofit, or international organizations.
Performance Measurement for Effective Management
of Nonprofit Organizations
May 2831, 2003
The strategic use of performance measurement can improve key areas
of management concern resource allocation, learning, internal
processes, and external accountability. This new program is designed
for top executives and other leaders of nonprofit organizations
around the world who are committed
to implementing effective performance measurement and management
in their organizations.
For more information call 617-496-0484, extension
1; fax 617-495-3090; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit
the Web site www.execprog.org.