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What is the Leadership Matters Program?

The Leadership Matters program supports a new approach to democratic governance and sustainability in the United States. It promises new classroom learning opportunities, the application of skills to an innovations project (with professional support), and sharing of best practices with other municipalities and organizations. Perhaps most importantly, Leadership Matters develops leaders armed with the knowledge and skills of a new model of public leadership.

Predicated on the belief that public leadership is a profession which requires skills that can be developed and improved, the Leadership Matters Program is based on the work of the Public Sector Consortium—a nonprofit organization created by public leaders to educate and reinvent the current model of America’s public leadership. The Pell Center at Salve Regina University serves as the location for the RI program and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy serves as the location in MA. Leadership Matters provides learning opportunities to rising leaders who seek advanced management and leadership skills and the opportunity to apply those skills. This program will provide the state’s leaders with the tools to address current and re-occurring challenges and enact sustainable long-term solutions.

The dedication, courage and persistence of public leaders are essential to civic success. And while some individuals are born with instinctive leadership qualities, there are public sector leadership skills that can be taught and learned, practiced, and mastered.

The Leadership Matters Program is the result of in depth interviews (conducted over the last two years) with municipal leaders, non-profit leaders, and elected mayors and representatives. The focus of the discussions were: areas of challenge faced by state and local government leadership, structural barriers which impeded leadership innovation, and citizen expectations of public service. The Leadership Matters Program design is the direct result of the information collected in the interviews with state Leaders. Program attendees are carefully selected in teams of four with the senior most leader serving as the steward for the innovations work which begins immediately following the classroom training.

Testimonials, Press Releases, and Articles about Leadership Matters

The results of the Leadership Matters Program have been captured in news releases and articles since its inception. Click here to read more about the work of municipal leaders and elected representatives as they apply their new learned skills to tough challenges in their communities.

Rich Rainer, Town Administrator, Portsmouth, RI “For the second year in a row, I’m going to come in well under my tax cap. We wouldn’t be able to do that without the efficiency we’ve gained from Leadership Matters. Compared to what you get out of the program, the cost is miniscule. You can’t afford not to do it. It’s a no-brainer.”

Click here to review additional participant feedback.

Municipal and State Systems Maps

The system maps that appear on this page were created by Public Leaders in the Leadership Matters Program which includes municipal leaders (civil servants and elected), educational leaders, and nonprofit leaders. Most of the maps include a series of analytical questions which were addressed by the groups (e.g., identifying the highest point of leverage to bring about the change they want in the future). We are always interested in adding to this collection, so let us know if you have done similar work. Click here to review helpful “why” questions and their corresponding system maps.

How will the program measure success?

Ultimately, the success of Leadership Matters will be measured not simply by the number of participants who complete the curriculum, but in the money saved by municipal and state governments, the efficiencies and improved services achieved, and the satisfaction of the citizens served.

Curriculum & Instructors

Managing crises and enacting sustainable long term changes at the same time is the great challenge facing all public leaders today. But neither of these alone will sustain nor meet the needs of the citizens. The work of Leadership Matters is to provide leaders with the tools to achieve both long-term change on big issues and crisis management, simultaneously.

Leadership Matters provides training in three phases. The program provides learning opportunities to teams of rising leaders who seek advanced management and leadership skills through classroom instruction, as well as the application of the skills learned to an “innovations project” in their own community. Finally they will participate in a ‘lessons learned’ conference to begin building a culture of collaboration and support across communities.

Instructors from the Public Sector Consortium are seasoned professionals. All of them have experience in working with public sector leaders and many have published extensively. Each course is taught by two instructors, including a “content lead” with extensive knowledge in the field and the principles of adult learning. The second instructor is generally the “context lead,” someone with experience as a public sector manager who can provide examples of how the content can be effectively used and applied in public sector workplaces. In most of these instructor partnerships there is at least fifty years of professional experience present in the classroom.

Click here to learn more about our other learning programs.