May 3, 2011

Many senior government leaders who have attempted to achieve ambitious goals have been quite successful, though others (sometimes very visibly) have not succeeded. What do those who succeeded do differently? Is their success just a matter of luck? What (if anything) do the most successful public sector leaders have in common across agencies with very different missions? To explore these questions, the authors use a reputational approach to identify success, relying on independent experts to nominate leaders from the two most recent completed presidential administrations. In order to understand what successful leaders do differently, the authors also use a control group for comparison.

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