The leadership framework for the public sector — it defines effective leadership across the public sector. 

Leadership Success Profile

Leadership matters. Strong leadership at every level in the public sector will transform the experiences of New Zealanders.

We currently have a pool of good agency leaders who deliver in the context of their agencies. What we are now working towards is a group of leaders who can both lead their agencies well and work together to have an impact across the entire public sector system. This is not an easy shift but one that, with focused effort and the right incentives in place, will deliver the types of leadership required to enable us to deliver better collectively.

This Leadership Success Profile (LSP) has been designed to have an inclusive view around leadership. It is for the many, not the few. This is a different model of leadership than we have exercised before.

The metaphor used through the design is that of a compass. ‘True North’ guides. This is ultimately about the customer who use our services — everyday New Zealanders. Each aspect of the compass must orientate and balance to achieve results — our strategy, our delivery, our people. There is also a recognition that points of the compass create tensions — how do I achieve this as well as that? How do I create what is good for the parts and good for the whole?

The outer rim is a bezel, which also guides. At the centre is the leader themselves — their character described by the attributes. An individual's leadership will look different based on personality and external circumstances such as role, experiences, culture, gender, and age. But every leader must master the fundamental attributes.

The previous LSP has been used as a starting place, recognising that Strategy and Delivery were the key aspects of the profile. The Talent Management and System Leadership aspects are new, reflecting the new demands of the leadership landscape. The core aspects of the framework are translatable across the leadership pipeline and into functional and professional areas.

myLSP is an online resource designed to support people to learn about the LSP and use it in practice. See how the LSP applies to public sector roles, self-assess against a role, create a development plan, recruit using the LSP, and see leadership career pathways across the public sector.

Strategic Leadership: Navigating for the future

Key Leadership Questions

  • ‘Where are we going? And how do we get there?’

    Leadership as strategy. You will position teams, organisations and sectors to shape, define and respond to the future. Be it policy or service delivery, you work effectively with others to figure out what the future should look like – and how to get there.


  • Leading strategically

    Think, plan, and act strategically; to engage others in the vision, and position teams, organisations, and sectors to meet customer and future needs.

  • Leading with influence

    Lead and communicate in a clear, persuasive, and impactful way; to convince others to embrace change and take action.

  • Engaging others

    Connect with and inspire people; to build a highly motivated and engaged workforce.

System Leadership: Stewardship — of people, functions, organisations and systems

Key Leadership Questions

  • ‘How do we together build for a better NZ?’

    Leadership that builds sustainability, resilience and connections. You ensure capabilities, assets and initiatives are built with the future of the Public Services system in mind. You know when and how to use relationships, ICT, finance, supply market and people levers. Managing the tension between 'and, and' you make decisions for the good of the system for the long term.

  • Enhancing organisational performance

    Drive innovation and continuous improvement; to sustainably strengthen long-term organisational performance and improve outcomes for customers.

  • Enhancing system performance

    Work collectively across boundaries; to deliver sustainable and long-term improvements to system and customer outcomes.

  • Leading at the political interface

    Bridge the interface between Government and the public sector; to engage political representatives and shape and implement the Government's policy priorities.

Delivery Management: Making it happen — with and through others

Key Leadership Questions

  • ‘How will we turn what we know into what we do?’

    Leadership that delivers results. You make sure that things happen by translating strategy into action. You focus on getting things done, with and through others – knowing which key decisions you need to make, where to influence, when to collaborate, and when to delegate. You create strong teams that deliver results.

  • Achieving ambitious goals

    Demonstrate achievement drive, ambition, optimism, and delivery-focus; to make things happen and achieve ambitious outcomes.

  • Managing work priorities

    Plan, prioritise, and organise work; to deliver on short and long-term objectives across the breadth of their role.

  • Achieving through others

    Effectively delegate and maintain oversight of work responsibilities; to leverage the capability of direct reports and staff to deliver outcomes for customers.


Talent Management: Identifying and developing our ‘talent’

Key Leadership Questions

  • ‘How am I building talent for the future – for my agency and others?’

    Leadership that builds people capability. You attract, retain and develop individuals with the attitude, skills and potential to deliver results — for today and tomorrow. You create positive work environments and figure out what people need to deliver results and how to get the best out of them.

  • Enhancing people performance

    Manage people performance and bring out the best in managers and staff; to deliver high quality results for customers.

  • Developing talent

    Coach and develop diverse talent; to build the people capability required to deliver outcomes.

  • Enhancing team performance

    Build cohesive and high performing teams; to deliver collective results that are more than the sum of individual efforts.

Leadership Character

  • Curious

    Show curiosity, flexibility, and openness in analysing and integrating ideas, information, and differing perspectives; to make fit-for-purpose decisions.

  • Honest and courageous

    Delivers the hard messages, and makes unpopular decisions in a timely manner; to advance the longer-term best interests of customers and New Zealand.

  • Resilient

    Show composure, grit, and a sense of perspective when the going gets tough; to help others maintain optimism and focus.

  • Self-aware and agile

    Leverage self-awareness to improve skills and adapt approach; to strengthen personal capability over time and optimise effectiveness with different situations and people.