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Public leadership: Navigating leadership challenges and operating in service of the common good in an interconnected world

M. Beth Page (University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada)

International Journal of Public Leadership

ISSN: 2056-4929

Article publication date: 9 May 2016




With increased globalization, technology advancements, and interconnectedness, greater alignment on values and leadership is needed. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role that personal values play in sustaining leadership during challenging times. The importance of values as a guidepost in an environment in constant change offers leaders a foundation for decision making.


Narrative inquiry and narrative interviews were used so leaders could share their stories of navigating challenging situations. One group interview was scheduled to share preliminary research findings with the research participants and receive their input. Both narrative analysis and thematic analysis were used.


Sustainable leadership included the ongoing pursuit of personal mastery, a values-based personal and professional support network, and expertise in leading self and other through the inevitable transitions that occur during change and challenge.

Research limitations/implications

The above recommendations allow for leaders to sustain themselves and others while working in service of the common good.

Practical implications

This research offers practical guidance to public sector leaders who wish to sustain themselves amidst the inevitable challenges that they experience as part of their public sector leadership.

Social implications

Leaders who adopt the above recommendations will be well positioned to support their leadership and to use values as guiding principles to release the hero in everyone around them.


This narrative study harvested the wisdom of the lived experience of leaders working in the public, health, and education sectors who have navigated challenges in their leadership. The findings offer valuable guidance to public sector leaders.



Page, M.B. (2016), "Public leadership: Navigating leadership challenges and operating in service of the common good in an interconnected world", International Journal of Public Leadership, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 112-128.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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