The act of acknowledging and embracing learning and continuing in public service is a commitment. It is in this grounded place of commitment that public service truly becomes the work of service. Public service as the work of service allows each leader in each moment to have the potential to accomplish the mission in a consistent and meaningful way that is not subject to variables such as budget or political will. In this place leaders can choose to translate the work of public service to the work of service by extending trust, demonstrating deference, exercising flexibility, and offering patience to those they serve.

Trust is the starting point in working with others to build capability. Deference forms the foundation of ...

Get Leadership in Action: Reader Forum—Leading in Public Service—Choice, Learning, and Commitment now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.