The 7 Characteristics of Highly Successful Government Leaders

March 5, 2013

One former senior level political appointee, Linda Springer, recently observed that a common set of successful characteristics of private sector leaders – being decisive, directive, and a risk taker – could actually undermine success in the public sector. So what works best in the public sector?

Here are seven characteristics the most successful government leaders share:

Characteristic 1: Self-awareness.

Taking the Myers-Briggs personality test is only a start! The Emotional Intelligence Quotient, popularized by Daniel Goldman, and Marcus Buckingham’s command to draw on your inner strengths, are also important ways to begin understanding yourself. One of the best pieces of advice I received was to never blame someone else, or the circumstances, for your failures, but rather to analyze what I did or didn’t do to allow the failure to happen.

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