The Holy Grail of Public Leadership challenges traditional notions of “success” in community-oriented, social sector work. Too often, society sets low expectations for community groups, government agencies, non-profits, and other collective action organizations. As a result, many of these organizations are plagued by poorly-defined goals, unreasonable assumptions, and few internal methods for achieving Measurable Impact.
The Holy Grail of Public Leadership provides leaders with practical tools to reverse this trend. The book urges readers in traditional and non-traditional leadership positions to make policy decisions grounded in data. If leaders at the community level use the right indicators that allow them to measure their progress incrementally, they will quickly learn what’s working well and what isn’t. That way they can change course without wasting time and money. Each lesson on data-driven decision making is complemented by a running allegory of a quest for Holy Grail that marks the reader’s progress and understanding. Inspiring anecdotes and easy-to-understand examples bring the lessons to life for readers across the public and private sectors.
The Holy Grail of Public Leadership is two books for the price of one. It is a leadership guide and performance management textbook. The book transitions seamlessly between these two spheres. Many leadership books focus on soft skills and ignore the importance of management and organization. And many management books are too dense to digest and complicated by academic considerations which don’t apply in the real world.
But through colorful examples, real-life anecdotes, and a conversational tone, The Holy Grail of Public Leadership aims to inspire readers to unlock their potential as leaders–without any background in performance management techniques. It builds upon the foundation laid out in the seminal book on Results-Based Accountability™ (“RBA”), Trying Hard is Not Enough by Mark Friedman. But rather than focus on the how, The Holy Grail of Public Leadership also addresses why achieving Measurable Impact is so important. The Holy Grail of Public Leadership humanizes the framework and demonstrates how to adapt the tools to the reader’s community.
The aim of all public programs should be to have a Measurable Impact in our community.Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Ranking Member, House Budget Committee
A great resource for any local government that is thinking about a results-based approach to government operations.Rushern L. Baker III, County Executive, Prince George's County (MD)
A valuable read for government employees looking for a way to know that they are making a positive difference in partnership with the people they serve.Tres Hunter Schnell, MSW, Director of Performance Improvement and Public Health Accreditation Coordinator, New Mexico Department of Health
The concepts in this text, namely Results-Based Accountability™, have been proven an effective approach for public managers to marshal resources from across complex systems to drive better outcomes for kids and families.Chris Kingsley, Principal Associate for Data Initiatives, National League of Cities
The concepts in this book are the cornerstone of our Community Impact model. A must read for grant makers and non-profits looking to make a difference.Elisabeth Buck, Senior VP of Community Impact, United Way of Central Iowa