Leadership Counts: Lessons for Public Managers from the Massachusetts Welfare, Training, and Employment Program

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Harvard University Press, 2009 - Political Science - 248 pages
How can public officials move large government agencies to produce significant results? In Leadership Counts Robert Behn explains exactly what managers in the inherently political environment of government need to do to obtain such performance. In 1983 the leadership of the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare -Charles M. Atkins, Thomas P. Glynn, Barbara Burke-Tatum, and Jolie Bain Pillsbury-set out to educate and train welfare recipients, place them in good jobs, and move them from dependency to selfsufficiency- From these efforts to accomplish a specific and important public purpose, Behn extracts the fundamental ingredients of successful public leadership. Behn's analysis spans the spectrum of managerial tasks-from the almost spiritual responsibility to create and communicate a public mission to the seemingly mundane chore of motivating specific individuals to accomplish specific tasks. He describes how to manage for performance, examines how effective leaders can use external success to build internal morale, and analyzes the dilemmas of evaluating ongoing and evolving public policies. He explains in detail how accomplishing specific purposes requires management by groping along. And he analyzes three different metastrategies for government executives -strategies that emphasize policy, administration, or leadership. Leadership Counts is more than an intriguing success story. It offers specific lessons that the nominal head of any government agency can employ to become the organization's true leader. This insightful book will be of interest not only to students and teachers of public management but to leaders at all levels of government-from the principal of a school to the secretary of defense.

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Important Events along the Way
The Idea behind ET CHOICES
The Birth of ET CHOICES
The Structure of ET CHOICES
Managing for Performance
An Emphasis on Marketing
Making Government More Businesslike
Management by Groping Along
Managing and Evaluating Social Programs
Evaluating ET CHOICES
The Necessity of Leadership

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Page 242 - ... the workman who is best suited to actually doing the work is incapable of fully understanding this science, without the guidance and help of those who are working with him or over him, either through lack of education or through insufficient mental capacity.
Page 233 - The professional manager in America exists above the industrial din, away from the dirt, noise, and irrationality of people and products. He dresses well. His secretary is alert and helpful. His office is as clean, quiet, and subdued as that of any other professional. He plans, organizes, and controls large enterprises in a calm, logical, dispassionate, and decisive manner. He surveys computer printouts, calculates profits and losses, sells and acquires subsidiaries, and imposes systems for monitoring...

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