Why Tri-Sector Leaders Rise to the Top

By John Kamensky

August 28, 2013

Why are some public sector leaders -- like John Koskinen, Ed DeSeve and Michael Bloomberg, who are icons of government enterprise -- so successful at what they do?

In the September issue of Harvard Business Review, Nick Lovegrove and Matthew Thomas examine the careers of leaders who have been successful in addressing complex challenges requiring collaboration across a wide range of stakeholders. In the article, Harvard Kennedy School professor Joseph Nye says these are people who have the ability to “engage and collaborate across the private, public and social sectors.”

Lovegrove and Thomas call them tri-sector leaders. They are “people who can bridge the chasms of culture, incentives and purpose that separate the three sectors,” the authors say, “distinguished as much by mind-set as by experience.”

Here’s a common set of skills these leaders have developed by working across sectors:

Unlike some who see tri-sector career moves as a pernicious revolving door, the authors advocate lowering the cultural and structural barriers that inhibit cross-sector career moves for early, mid-career and senior people. They conclude: “We believe that as a society we must find ways to help passionate, committed, creative individuals of goodwill in their quest to build extraordinary careers that address the world’s most difficult problems.”

(Image via Sergey Peterman/Shutterstock.com)


By John Kamensky

August 28, 2013

http://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2013/08/why-tri-sector-leaders-rise-top/69569/