Leadership & Management
Driving organisational productivity and performance through inspiration towards a common goal.
Effective leadership and management inspires a sense of purpose and drives high performance.
Leadership is demonstrated by action at all levels and enables others to achieve goals. APS leaders focus and continuously develop their skills in response to evolving challenges and complexity.
What is Leadership & Management within the APS?
It's not leadership and management that you might just pick up and read in a textbook or go to a course that multiple institutions in the private sector run. This is really about how you do leadership management in the public service, understanding the environment that we're in and the unique role that we have in supporting government and what that means.
How do Leadership and Management work together in the APS?
When you're talking about management, it's really about our role in terms of accountability. And so we're very conscious that whatever we do, we do for the community and for the Australian government. We use funding that is provided to us through taxpayers. So being accountable and also transparent on how we do that, I think, is part of that good management and really being very clear on what we're doing, how we deliver good project management, and I think that for me, that's management, whereas I think leadership is much more about how we inspire our staff, how we pull together the vision that we have for the work that we do, how you connect that to the vision of the government and for the country. It's much... I think the two exist together, but a good public servant, you need to be good at both really.
How can we all exercise leadership within the APS?
In the public service, I think people can exercise leadership at any level within the service. It just changes depending on which level you're at and what your role is in a particular position. But leadership is really around understanding the vision, setting the vision, inspiring your staff to do their best, to build their capability. And I think that for all public servants, it's pretty important that we all kind of understand that and exercise it at the different levels that we can to help to build capability and to be able to deliver for government and the community.
What skills will our future APS leaders need?
We also need people that have the learning agility or the ability to continually learn and pick up new skills and knowledge, so people that are inquisitive, and I think they're the two kind of focus areas that are really important for the future in terms of whether it's leadership or management, but we need to be very conscious that we also need people that have got that growth mindset and that have the ability to engage, to listen, to influence, and who can read a room, so that emotional intelligence, the ability to connect and understand what's happening around you, and to continually develop and to grow because the world is changing.
Effective leaders must:
- Demonstrate ethical leadership, leading for wellbeing and valuing diversity and inclusion
- Navigate complexity within a strategic and political context to achieve positive outcomes
- Scan the horizon for emerging trends, identifying opportunities and challenges and inspiring a collective purpose
- Skilfully influence stakeholders to ensure complex relationships are productive
- Provide frank and fearless advice in order to create integrity and impact in services
Management is the use of formal authority and processes to ‘get things done’ in the right way. Effective management is critical to promoting high performance in the APS.
APS Academy Courses
Programs, Scholarships and Secondments
Executive Program Information
The APS Academy offers unique leadership opportunities to experience thought leadership and deep connectivity with colleagues who share your context across Australia. Together we will navigate the complexity of the public sector and grow collective capability and stewardship across the whole system.
Establishing the essential skills, partnerships and networks required for effective SES leadership.
Building the leadership capabilities of SES Band 1s through connection and collaboration across the system.
Strengthens the leadership capability of SES Band 2s in working within and across organisational boundaries.
Jawun APS Secondment Program
The Jawun APS Secondment Program is a strategic partnership to support Indigenous leaders to achieve their own development goals and develop APS leadership capabilities.
Public Sector Management Program
The Public Sector Management Program is a post-graduate coursework opportunity managed and delivered by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) on behalf of the Australian Public Service. It is available to APS 6 and Executive Level 1 and 2 employees.
Sir Roland Wilson Scholarship
The Sir Roland Wilson Foundation PhD Scholarship program is open to Executive Level APS employees to study for a PhD full-time at the Australian National University on issues of national significance.