Five ways to cultivate leaders in your team

Whilst there are several ways public servants can enter leadership roles across agencies, there is also a growing focus across the public service to develop and nurture leadership talent from within.

Though developing, valuing and supporting public servants at all levels is behaviour to get behind, there are several ways that agency culture can determine and guide the success of internal leadership development.

The key five important behaviours and activities that need to become commonplace for an agency to cultivate a positive internal leadership development program:

1. Recognise potential at all levels – singling out a few key performers is only part of the outcome. Recognising the strengths of all public servants at all levels and structuring projects and work to harness and leverage those strengths will lead to better policy outcomes.

2. Consider formal talent building programs – introducing a talent program can help support team members who aren’t naturally outgoing or assertive. A talent program can also align to an agencies vision and goals, become a core part of an agencies identity and become embedded into performance discussions and conversations.

3. Encourage open communication and L&D – giving a voice to your team and encourage learning of all types will assist in creating a high-performing team who are empowered and enabled to perform their role at their best. Giving colleagues forums to voice their concerns and ideas will enable trust and accountability for the agencies performance and outcomes. Learning and development also gives team members the skills they need to speak up with confidence and take calculated risks. Learning of all types (formal and informal) also ensures that the team are focused on filling skill gaps and broadening their own perspective and mind-set for the betterment of the whole team.

4. Trusting decisions – Conventional management opt to support team members and management who say and support their leader’s own methodology and thought process – the ‘yes’ men approach. At IPAA, we have seen several of our stewards who acknowledge and rewards public servants who buck this trend and present alternative options and trains of thinking. Through cultivating this approach, you are fostering new thinking, creating open lines of communication and valuing the input of your team. You are also introducing robust and constructive conversations to the table; which when well-managed, can lead to better policy outcomes.

5. Consider mentoring and coaching – several of IPAA’s ‘On the couch’ stewards have spoken to mentors, coaches and sponsors as being vital in playing a role in their leadership trajectory. Seeking or indeed being a mentor can help support ‘servant leadership’ and assist in guiding and learning new and different approaches to leadership behaviours. Investing as either a mentor or a mentee can play an important role in creating a workplace environment where growth, development and leadership can flourish.

About IPAA Queensland:

IPAA Queensland is the professional association for people engaged in public purpose work.

Our mission is simple. We promote and enhance the professionalism, capability and integrity of public administration and pride in public service.

We do this through a program of thought leadership forums and events that enable our members to build their connections, challenge their thinking and keep informed about contemporary issues.

Becoming a member of IPAA Queensland demonstrates your personal commitment and contribution to public purpose work and offers you exclusive development and networking opportunities.