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Which leadership skill should you develop next?

10 May 2017

News and media


Robin Ryde, director of our Executive Fellows Program (EFP), developed the EFP Leadership model as a simple but powerful framework for understanding the full breadth of skills required for effective leadership.

Each circle is associated with different personal strengths and opportunities for development. While they’re all important, you may find that you’re putting most of your time and energy into only one or two of these circles.

Environment: How to respond to the world around you

Leadership within the environment is the broadest circle of leadership. How you engage with the political, economic and media operating environment, in particular in the international context, play a role in determining how successfully you lead. Learning how to connect your own behaviour to this circle of leadership will help you deliver better citizen outcomes.  

Organisation: How to prepare your organisation for the challenges it faces

Leadership of your organisation is situated inside your environmental context, and relates to the creation of ‘public value’. Being a leader who can create public value is strongly tied to your ability to shape the culture, strategy and structure of your organisation.

Others: How to inspire and mobilise the people around you

Leadership of others encapsulates the daily work of a leader to engage with others to deliver better outcomes. Understanding how to manage power, politics and influence, while navigating the informal organisation world, are crucial skills to building your capacity as a leader of others.

Self: How to earn the right to lead others by understanding yourself

Leadership of the self is the central and most important circle in this model.  Developing self-awareness, authenticity and resilience as well as your personal impact and presence is crucial to succeeding as a leader. This circle is underpinned by theories of emotional intelligence, self-management and personal leadership styles.

Build your capacity across all Four Circles

Our Executive Fellows Program, which uses the Four Circles model as its framework, builds the sort of leadership capacity that is, as Director Robin Ryde notes, more important than ever in an age of political uncertainty.

“Being a public service leader is hard now, and it’s going to get tougher. Today’s leaders have to be cognitively agile to deal with events and shocks that they couldn’t have expected, or even imagined, and with this goes a need to be strong both emotionally and cognitively.” said Mr Ryde.

The Executive Fellows Program is an intensive, three-week residential program for senior public sector executives who want to further develop their leadership, management and strategic skills. Applications are now open.