• Petri Virtanen
  • Marika TammeaidEmail author


This opening chapter provides an introduction to the contents of the book. This chapter maintains that public sector leaders do not assume greatness in leading people at birth or by accident. This applies to all leaders—ranging from the private sector to the public and non-governmental sectors. A leader’s charisma develops over time and in accordance with their experience. To achieve it, you will have to put yourself in ‘front of a mirror’ and to ask yourself what you are good at and what you are ready to do in order to make yourself a better leader. The future of public sector leadership notably differs from ‘old-school’ New Public Management. The world is now more complex and managing people and performance in it requires a new kind of mindset based on cooperation, mutual trust and learning. Public sector leaders are in a key position in the development of our societies. More is yet to come, however, if we listen to what future studies’ scholars say. According to them, the pace of change is set to increase dramatically; our world will change more in the coming decades than it has over the last few centuries. This chapter views future public sector leadership as becoming increasingly dependent on how the mindset of public leadership evolves and develops. The chapter introduces service-dominant logic, the theory of agile public institutions and organisations as well as strength-based positive psychology, which together constitute the foundations of public sector leadership. Together these elements help to nurture greater motivation among public sector employees and better service delivery to service users. Most of the ongoing and indeed forthcoming societal changes relate to technology. An essential element in these change processes is the reconfiguration of state and public institutions. The essential questions are: what will the role of the state be in future and how will public sector leaders perform their duties in this new and complex societal context? Focus, therefore, shifts towards the available tools and practices public sector leaders can deploy in developing their leadership skills.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ITLA FoundationHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.University of VaasaVaasaFinland

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