10 Tips for Creating a Public Sector Leadership Development Program

The most recent edition of Public Personnel Management,Guest Posting Winter 2004, focused solely on one of the hottest issues facing today’s public sector human resource professionals: workforce and succession planning. During the 2004 IPMA-HR International Training Conference, numerous sessions focused on the growing need to implement workforce and succession planning systems in order to address the mass exodus of workers that is anticipated in the next five to ten years. In both Public Personnel Management and at the conference, the issue of leadership development was cited as a primary tool for preparing the workforce for the future.


Numerous agencies are incorporating leadership development as an element of their workforce planning efforts. Notable leadership development programs that have been documented include those implemented in San Diego County, CA; Henrico County, VA; Hennepin County, MN; City of Las Vegas, NV; City of Phoenix, AZ; and City of San Jose, CA. In my observation, many of the best practice elements in public sector leadership development are consistent between agencies. The purpose of this article is to share ten practices that appear to be common threads among agencies that are developing leaders internally to fill anticipated vacancies in the future.

The following tips are provided as guidance to public sector organizations that m