The nature of government is changing. Social networks and media are creating a new level of transparency. Generational shifts, technological advancement, revenue challenges and ever-present political change underscore the kinds of constant shifts occurring within the federal space.

VUCA is an acronym that has quickly found its way into the leadership lexicon. It stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous – an apt description of the current and future leadership environment in government. Government leaders must possess the skills to survive in this uncertain world and to perform their jobs while under constant observation from a range of sources – from bloggers and other social media to traditional print and broadcast reporters.

This report explores the skills government leaders need to be successful in a VUCA environment. It is based on an analysis of leadership effectiveness data from more than 16,000 managers working in the government sector who attended leadership development programs at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®). The results indicate the top priorities for leader development in the government sector involve:

  • Leading employees well
  • Leading change
  • Developing participative management skills
  • Understanding boundaries and how to span them

The pages that follow provide details on CCL’s study and introduce recommended strategies for addressing each of these critical leader development priorities.

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