Public Leadership: Correlation of Power and Influence

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Public Leadership

Emmett J. Nixon


Karen Amabile

Leadership in itself is the correlation of power and influence put to use to ensure that objectives are met to achieve satisfactory rewards (Rusaw, 2001). However, the main difference between private and public sector leaders is the intended target. The duty of the private sector is to serve its patrons and investors, where profitable business is dependent upon client sales, stakeholders, and its customer base. A leader in the private sector will make decisions based on financial gain and cost-analysis; a public sector leader’s obligation is exclusive to the public to provide essential services and communications in a more visible way. Furthermore, a leader in the public sector may make decisions that are not financially favorable, but are in the interest of the public. As an example, it can be argued that welfare programs are not a beneficial financial investment, but it is in the public interest to invest in these programs. It is important to note that a definition of public leadership is challenging. One definition of public leadership is an approach to community management or guidance used to integrate and implement the talents and resources that best serve the interests of society. A public sector leader, for instance, acts as an experienced representative of a segment of the public who is passionately and skillfully able to articulate the concerns of the group. This delicate dance involves a sense of balance necessary between the realization of objectives and the support of followers in areas that prove to be unclear or conflicting. This type of headship demands organizational effectiveness, and a successful leader must possess the ability to work in partnership with others to coordinate the available assets he or she requires in an effort to achieve the initial fundamental purpose or intention. According to Sir Richard Leese, a member of the Manchester, UK City Council,...
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