Let’s Talk: Leadership

Let’s Talk: Leadership 2019-07-10T17:56:30+01:00

“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.” —Peter Drucker

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” —Rosalynn Carter

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right–for you’ll be criticized anyway. “—Eleanor Roosevelt

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. “—John F. Kennedy

Welcome to our Let’s Talk: Leadership pages!

I’m delighted to welcome you to the Let’s Talk: Leadership pages.  Together with my colleagues, we are passionate about our themes and ensuring that we encourage debate, sharing and learning across our public service colleagues.

Leadership is a very broad area – there is a wealth of academic research and practice.  And on top of that, plenty of opinion too!  Whilst understanding theory is critical, it’s as important that HR & OD professionals learn from applying theory.

CIPD defines leadership as “the capacity to influence people to achieve a common goal. Reviewing progress and providing adequate levels of feedback. However, while leadership is currently much discussed and academic studies have multiplied since the 1970s, there’s no single definition or concept of leadership that satisfies all”.

Typically, leadership theory has focused on the who (are leaders born or made?), the how (is leadership a process?) and the what (leadership style etc).  Increasingly however, we are looking at purposeful leadership – which encompasses the why.  It isn’t possible to address all aspects of leadership here.  But what we will be focusing on in 2019/20 are the following:

  • Community leadership: here we’re going to look at how co-creating with our communities (one of the key characteristics of a 21st Century Public Servant) will help public service organisations develop capability in our communities.  This will enable a re-balancing of relationships between citizens and public servants.
  • Engaging leadership: we’re very fond of Professor Beverley Alimo-Metcalfe’s work.  Her engaging leadership model is substantially evidence based and tested across public services.
  • Values based leadership – trust/authenticity/integrity – human leadership.  It sounds blindingly obvious that leaders are human.  However over the years, different theories and models have focused more on outcomes than perhaps recognising that qualities such as authenticity, honesty, vulnerability etc have critical roles to play in leadership.

Within these pages you will find a range of resources, some theories, some latest thinking and the most interesting part for me – interviews and engagement from across our membership community.

Over the year more resources will be added so please keep checking back for more and if you want to talk Leadership with me, please get in touch with me on [email protected]


Back to Let’s Talk Themes page

Let’s Talk: Leadership Theme Lead

Janet Cox 

Email: [email protected]

#Hashtag: #PPMALeadership

Want to find out more?

I’d love you to get in touch and work with me on this really important theme.  You can email me on [email protected].

I’m sure you’ll enjoy getting engaged on this and other themes.


In different ways, Leadership impacts on all our PPMA Let’s Talk: Themes.  During 2019/20, we will be focusing time and effort on our #outoftheshadows campaign, which is looking at bullying, harassment and victimisation.  One of our aims in a research survey is to assess the extent to which we can draw direct conclusions about the relationship between leadership and the extent to which bullying, harassment or victimisation happens in organisations.

A working hypothesis is that poor leadership can contribute to cultures that enable and empower this behaviour.  We strongly encourage you to engage in #outoftheshadows.

You can find out more here.