Senior Management

7 Skills for Public Leaders

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Public leaders today operate in a VUCA world characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. They are answerable to multiple stakeholders with their own distinct agendas and interests, ranging from their own organisations and affiliated agencies, to private companies, citizens, and civil society groups, both domestic and international.  Aside from having to manage these stakeholders, public leaders are also often confronted with policy conundrums with no easy answers.

On the other hand, if they able to leverage the expertise offered by stakeholders and harness the benefits of technologies, public managers may be able to create more value at lower cost, thus turning challenges into opportunities.

To be able to effect this transformation, public leaders must develop new competencies and skills to complement their existing expertise across strategic planning, operational control, and financial forecasting.  But which competencies are most important, and how can managers acquire and nurture these?

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy’s four-day programme on 7 Skills for Public Leaders prepares you for a VUCA world by providing cutting-edge insights on complexity, diversity, and resilience. Guided by the lead instructor’s book, The 21st Century Public Manager, and using tools, cases and best practices, the programme inculcates seven key skills to help public managers become more effective within their operating environments 

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore (469C Bukit Timah Road Singapore 259772)

Tue 9 April 2019 to Fri 12 April 2019

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

SGD4,060 + GST

Mon 11 March 2019

  • Prepare effectively for ‘known’ and ‘unknown’ 21st century public management challenges;
  • Be more confident and astute in dealing with ambiguous stakeholders, populist electorates and political bosses;
  • Realistically assess the risks and benefits of cross-sectoral collaboration;
  • Effectively manage and lead diverse teams of members from different generations and backgrounds; and
  • Become skilled at combining long-term strategic planning and foresight with immediate responses to continuous media cycles and requests.

The programme is structured around 7 key skills that help public managers become more effective in their operating environments:

1. Managing Multiple Stakeholders –
Dealing with more fluid and ambiguous stakeholder networks across various engagement platforms (including new media).

2. Managing Political Turbulence and Leadership Shifts – Dealing with declining public trust and legitimacy, populism, and more frequent (and sudden) leadership shifts.

3. Managing the New Work (Force) – Dealing with new generations of workers and new (virtual, technologised, remote, and flexible) work practices.

4. Managing Internal and External Innovation Forces – Managing tensions between innovation, risk-aversion and austerity in implementing new regulations, programmes and technologies.

5. Managing Ethical Complexities – Operating amidst new types of ethical dilemmas and scrutiny from stakeholders;

6. Managing Short versus Long Term Horizons – Acting in the present as well as anticipating the future(s) through strategic use of foresight exercises and media frames.

7. Managing Cross-Sectoral Collaboration – Leveraging on the working styles, resources, and agendas of different types of partners in collaborative arrangements.

  • Middle-to senior level policymakers and directors of programmes, departments and agencies who want to adopt a more future-ready mindset
  • Public managers who are transitioning from leading small teams, programmes or projects to more senior roles where they will lead and manage bigger teams in cross-departmental, cross-sectoral, and cross-national settings
  • Managers of non-profit and private sector organisations working with or through governments



Programme Fees:

S$4,060 + 7% GST

S$3,248 + 7% GST (for LKY School Degree Programme/ Executive Education Progamme Alumni)

For every 3 participants from the same organisation, the 4th participant attends for free

Fee is inclusive of lunch, refreshments and learning support materials


Executive Education Department
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore
469C Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259772

Tel: (65) 6516 8697 / 6601 5774
Fax: (65) 6872 9291