Lead and manage ability in public governance

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Competency: to lead and manage in public governance. (CEO)

You are the Chief Executive Officer of a California County (you select which one). You are aware of the critical need to manage water resources in the public interest. After briefing your Supervisors, they task you with leading an effort to coordinate a new water management policy for the County.

How will you go about this task?

Who are the stakeholders and what are their needs?

What resources will be needed?

How do leadership theories help guide your effort?

Note: this is NOT about the content of water policy. It is about planning a process!

3 pages (Single space)

Lead and manage ability in public governance assignment example

Deanna’s Input for Question 1:

As Chief Executive Officer of Riverside County, water resources are a top priority to ensure public needs are adequately being met for all county communities. Water is essential and a human right. Without water, life will not exist. The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottle water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, springs, and wells. It is extremely important to eliminate as much contaminants in drinking water for the public health. As such high demands in the county for clean drinking water, there is a need to create a new water management policy, which includes the development of a new drinking water treatment plant to respond to this critical need. The following steps are proposed to help coordinate the new water management policy.

The first step is to ensure that choices are rational and based on facts to the highest extent possible. This will help to reduce the tendency for decisions to be driven by individual and/or groups who may be motivated by personal and political interests. One way I would go about this task is to ensure the process is rational and use a policy development framework such as the Eightfold Path. The process includes the following steps.

Policy Development Framework – Eightfold Path

  1. Define the problem– review literature to determine conditions that cause the identified problem.
  2. Assemble evidence – review sources to ensure they are coming from a trustworthy scholarly source, for example: college or public library; peer-reviewed journal; and database which contains peer-reviewed journals. Additional reputable policy review sources include: Public Policy Institute of California; Legislative Analyst’s Office; United States Government Accountability Office; and the Congressional Research Service.
  3. Construct alternatives – review and report on alternative policy options.
  4. Select criteria – introduce evaluative criteria for the policy (e.g., efficiency, policy sustainability, political acceptability, etc.).
  5. Project outcomes – develop outcomes matrix; include project outcomes that others may be interested in.
  6. Confront tradeoffs – conduct marginal analysis; clarify the trade-offs between outcomes associated with various policy options.
  7. Narrow and decide – determine plausibility of proposed course of action.
  8. Communicate and disseminate – ensure final narrative is digestible and not too technical in nature; tailor final report to meet the needs of county’s audience (community business owners, residents and environmentalist)

Stakeholder –

Due to high demands and the complexity of the issue, the challenge of creating a new water management policy would be best undertaken through a collective effort of government, private and non-profit sector leaders. Engaged leadership is extremely important for a successful planning process. Leading an effort to coordinate a new water management policy for the County requires a distant set of leadership attributes that will motivate the workforce to do more than merely process planning documents. Engagement consists of interacting with various stakeholders. There will also be continued efforts to include additional groups and individuals as necessary. The following is a list of stakeholders who would need to be involved for a successful planning.

  • Government agencies and agents– local and state elected officials (e.g., mayors, county supervisors, etc.); local municipal water board; Western Municipal Water District; the State Water Resources Control Board, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Water Resources, Water Management Group, Public Health Officials, Water Utility Company in Riverside County, and local land management and recreation agencies. Specific needs may include discussion and formal agreements on jurisdiction and other legal formalities. They need ample time for discussions and decisions to go through each agency governing body.
  • Private sector – Water study groups; Underwood Engineers, local business and landowners; energy companies; and agricultural land groups; and legal counsel and experts. Specific needs may includeinput on policy deficiencies and potential impact on local business.
  • Non-profit sector – environmental organizations, preservation and advocacy groups. Specific needs may includeadequate time to conduct environmental impact studies.
  • Citizens – Specific needs may include input and feedback during planning and public comment periods; monthly/annually water quality report.

Overall, general stakeholders will need data that is accurate, timely, and unbiased in terms of water quality. They will need clear communication and transparency. Also, progress reports such as fiscal (e.g., expense, efficiency analysis, etc.).


The resources will include but limited to:

  • Research (Existing policies with the water and environment. Knowing the laws to be complaint.
  • Consulting services such as water and environmental experts
  • Communication (internal and external), awareness campaign – newspaper, flyers, social media, website, town hall meetings.
  • Training
  • Monitoring and enforcement
  • Time, Capital, and Human Resources
  • Budget (allocation of funds and funding plan)
  • Staffing (personnel)

Leadership Theories that helped guide the effort –

  • New Public Service – accountability of officials; primary role of public servant is to help uplift the voice and increase engagement of citizens. Helps to offset issues of individualism and low citizen engagement.
  • Rational Choice Theory – Concept that administrators should base their decisions on economic principles which factor opportunity costs between choices.Public managers can, and should, rely on finding from scientifically based studies which can then be used to shape equitable, informed, cost-effective and operationalizable decisions. Rational choice theory may also be used to help mitigate the impact of the politics administration dichotomy as the approach reduces the level of personal bias and ensures decisions are made through an informed and cost-saving lens. Reality is there is never enough time and resources to review all possible options, as a result the actual becomes more of a bounded rational approach, which administrators factor in as much information as possible prior to making decisions.

Lead and manage ability in public governance paper outline


Water is essential and is a human right: On September 25, 2012, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed Assembly Bill (AB) 685, making California the first state in the nation to legislatively recognize the human right to water.

California has water courts: https://www.waterboards.ca.gov


Define Policy Process:

The Policy process is similar at all levels of government in the United States, but there are differences in issues, in stakeholders and in political and legal dynamics.

Convening with experts and stakeholders to solve a problem.

  1. How will you go about this task?
  • 8 fold path (to help develop the process)
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Resources (7) B.C.C.M.R.S.T
  • Leadership – (M.T.T)

8 Fold path: D.A.C.S.P.C.N.C

  1. Define the problem (Managing the water resources in the public interest)
  2. Assemble evidence

iii. Construct alternatives

  1. Select criteria
  2. Project outcomes
  3. Confront trade-offs

vii. Narrow and decide

viii. Communicate and disseminate

** Example of Eightfold Path (Put your own ex)

  1. Who are the stakeholders and what are their needs?


-When policies are proposed to legislators

—interest groups will lobby their positions.

-If we have not consulted and worked with all parties, they may block progress in the legislative arena.

-In democracy there are many interest groups who are affected differently by public policy.

-Public manager/leader- have to navigate different stakeholder groups and be aware of their interests and perspectives.

Intergovernmental Relations – Compliance & communication among all levels of govt.

  • Policies are not just internal & mechanical (like the 8 steps above) THEY ARE POLITiCAL & PERSONAL!
  • Stakeholders may or may not agree with the policy.
  • Run the risk of stakeholders not agreeing w policy and in turn vote that elected official out of office.
  • For example, currently water in the Compton area that is coming from the Sativa Water District is coming out discolored and residents do not want to use it. Los Angeles County Public Works took over management of the water district stating “as the Interim Administrator, the County will assess the condition of Sativa’s existing water facilities and identify improvements to deliver safe drinking water. Based on this assessment, the County will make critical operational changes and infrastructure improvements working closely with the State to ensure that water quality meets all regulatory standards” (Director Mark Pestrella Los Angeles County Public Works).
  • Water bond –
  • Flint Michigan – water crisis

Video —



  1. What resources will be needed? (B.C.C.M.R.S.T)
  2. Budget
  • Allocation of funds
  • Funding plan (C.F.O)
  1. Communication (internal & external)
  • Awareness Campaign- Newspaper, flyers, social media, website, town hall meetings
  • Transparency
  • Feedback
  1. Consulting Services
  • Water and environmental experts
  1. Monitoring and Enforcement
  • Compliance
  • Assessment
  • Accountability
  1. Research
  • Existing policies- water/ Environment
  • Laws – Compliance
  • Successful water policy implementations
  1. Staff (personnel)
  • Task force
  1. Training
  • Compliance
  • Staff development
  1. How do leadership theories help guide your effort? Serving the public for the greater good.

(M.T.T.) – Moral/Transactional/Transformational

  • Moral Management:“Duty Approach”

Define: Choosing the moral and most ethical decisions to solve an issue.

Emphasis: Ethical compliance with organizational or legal mandates

  • Laws
  • Codes
  • Policies

Concerns: for organizational and social standards

How does it help guide your effort?

Serving the greater good requires you to be moral and ethical

  • Transactional Leadership:

Define: Focuses on the transactions between the leaders and its subordinates

Emphasis: Improve productivity, clarify tasks, and initiate structure

Concerns: Planning and execution

How does it help guide your effort?

Implementing a new policy requires you to be task-oriented

  • Transformational Leadership:“Adaptive leadership”

Define: Leaders who inspire followers to transcend their own self interest and who are capable of having a profound effect on followers.

Emphasis– Shared organizational or community vision; organizational or community adaptation

Concerns– making wholesome change/ social equity

ASPA: Strengthen social equity

How does it help guide your effort?

Meaningful change requires a shared vision

Transformational “Adaptive” Transactional “Task Oriented” Moral “Duty Approach”
Define: Leaders who inspire followers to transcend their own self interests & are capable of having a profound impact on followers.

Emphasis: Org & Community Vision

Concerns: Strengthening social equity. Making wholesome change.

Define: Transaction between leader and subordinate.

Emphasis: Improve productivity, clarify tasks and initiate structure.

Concerns: Planning and execution

Define: Choosing the moral and most ethical decision to solve an issue.

Emphasis: Ethical compliance with organizational and legal mandates

Concerns: Meeting organizational and social standards

Characteristics: (I.I.A)

· Inspirational

· Innovative

· Adaptable

Characteristics: (D.T.P)

· Directive

· Task Oriented

· Practical

Characteristics: (L.E.D)

· Lead by example

· Ethical

· Duty oriented

Example: Gandhi

Encouraged & created change in their country.

Example: Bill Gates

Micro Manager


Example: Sandra Day O’ Conner

Being the swing vote, her vote held a lot of power. Despite that she had to abide by the constitution.


A company needing change from old processes.


New leaders to a corrupt & under performing organization. A very hands on leader that provides structure to each dept assigned.


Working at the VA office you are bound by organizational compliance.


Last Updated on May 11, 2020 by Essay Pro