Leading Forward: Successful Public Leadership Amidst Complexity, Chaos and Change


AvoLead LLC Senior Consultant, John S. Lybarger, Ph.D. is co-author of the new book, Leading Forward: Successful Public Leadership Amidst Complexity, Chaos and Change (with Professional Content). Published by Jossey-Bass, the book will be available this month.

From the Publisher:

Leading Forward explains the four Leadership Meta-Competencies for effective public sector leadership. There is a wealth of advice available for corporate leaders, but little in the way of leadership guidance for those in government agencies. Leading Forward fills that gap by providing the Four Leadership Meta-Competencies Model: (1) Agile Learning Capability, (2) Adept with Ambiguity, (3) Adroit at Thinking Strategically, and (4) Ambitious Drive to Execute. These four leadership meta-competences must be developed and mastered in order to successfully lead in in the public sector. Based on years of experience working with agency leaders at all levels, the latest assessment data from the Office of Personnel Management, the authors’ own survey of over 200 government agency leaders and interviews with over 30 mid-level through senior executive leaders, this engaging yet practical resource includes an assessment, development guide and online resources.

  • Offers unique and uncommon leadership guidance for those in the public sector
  • Includes examples, exercises, techniques, and development resources
  • Ideal for government agency executives, managers and emerging leaders as well as students in leadership and professional development programs

Leading effectively in a government agency is different than leading in the private sector. Leading Forward offers a practical and effective framework for developing great leaders for public service.

An early accolade from Jim Kouzes, co-author of the bestselling, The Leadership Challenge and the Dean’s Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University:

“I am the proud son of a public servant. My dad spent his entire career in Federal service. He started out as a file clerk and retired as a Deputy Assistant Secretary. He taught me more about the real life of a leader than anyone. I know that he’d be a huge fan of Leading Forward just as I am. That ‘s because Tim Flanagan and John Lybarger have captured the essence of what federal leaders struggle with every day and the skills required to master the ambiguities of their roles. Leading Forward is unique in its focus, full of compelling examples that make it an engaging read, and rich with practical suggestions that enable the reader to take action immediately. And the assessment and personal development plan at the end of the book is a valuable bonus that’s worth the price alone. Leading Forward is a must-read for all those who want to continue to make extraordinary things happen in public service. Enjoy.”

JohnLybargerJohn S. Lybarger, Ph.D is a nationally known organizational development consultant and executive coach. He serves public and private sector clients as a consultant, program director, curriculum designer, facilitator and executive coach. Read more about John here.



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