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Journal of Public Affairs Education

Review

Review of The Trusted Leader Though much of the book focuses on how career civil service leaders must or should act to build trust through effective relationships, this how-to is situated within a normative concept called values-based leadership. As such, the notion of values-based leadership may be much more important than the one essay that is its focus—especially if the book is to be used in its entirety in a course in an MPA curriculum. The details of relationship building do not occur in a vacuum. Terry Newell defines values-based leadership in government as “the practice of leading individuals and organizations from a set of shared core values embodied in the leaders’ behavior and in the organization’s processes, products and services” (p. 20). The logical next questions are first, by which moral values; and second, how do I choose among the value claims upon me? Newell posits that our core shared moral values as a nation are those that underpin the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. He does not (and indeed likely could not) “tell” the career civil service leader what specific moral values she or he is to practice on a daily basis, because the solution is not a list. It is clear that multiple, competing values will pull in different directions, and decisions will most often involve value trade-offs. Without saying so explicitly, Newell’s conception of values-based leadership may in fact be about the ethical dimensions of public service leadership as trusted leadership. He writes: “Values-based leaders find ways to transcend the limits of their own thinking—to imagine the values conflicts they face from multiple perspectives and to see multiple moral choices about moving ahead” (p. 30). Newell, Ronanye, and Reeher are clear that This is not a book of theory, although theory underlies every chapter. This is a book of practice, of lessons learned on the front lines of leading government organizations and the perspectives, skills, and tools that the most effective leaders have mastered. (p. 14) Each essay is chock full of examples, and each ends with tips for leadership success. Organization and Content of the Essays Essays in The Trusted Leader are organized into three major sections mirroring the premises outlined earlier. Section I, “Relationships: The missing link in government reform,” contains the introduction and the chapter on the requirement that values-based leadership is the framework for building public trust in government through relationships. Sections II and III examine the how-to’s of building specific, effective, vertical and horizontal relationships within government organizations and across organizational boundaries. The arrangement of the essays is not arbitrary. To build trust within government organizations, the primary relationship is that of self-awareness (an assumption that is—or was?—also a hallmark of the FEI Leadership for a Democratic Society Journal of Public Affairs Education 153

Review of The Trusted Leader curriculum). Knowledge of self is followed by leading for team success and then by building high-performance organizations. Self-awareness is also considered at the global-national level in an essay discussing world trust in the United States and the need for leaders to possess the knowledge and skills to be effective internationally. The imperatives of collaborative leadership across organizational boundaries are examined in relationships between career public servants and political appointees, in working with Congress and state legislatures, in engaging the public in governing, and in engineering citizen experiences that build trust. The book has a conclusion written by Dan Fenn, Jr., who situates the craft and challenge of trusted civil service public leadership within the Founders’ design: “While Madison understood that we have engineered an inefficient performance to keep men free, citizens often view such inefficiencies as examples of poor government performance” (p. 17). Nature and Limits of Knowledge in The Trusted Leader There is a burgeoning contemporary literature on trust, including a new journal titled the Journal of Trust Research (JTR), an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural journal to influence individuals, groups, organizations, and communities in the choice of practical solutions to their trust-related management by providing relevant and rigorous research (http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/RJTR). There is also a well-established and ongoing study of trust in political science, political theory, ethics, philosophy, management, the American National Election Studies, and even public administration. For example, a 1997 review of three books on trust in Public Administration Review observed: Insights into trust hold enormous potential for addressing the historic and contemporary concerns of public administration. Trust lies at the nexus of the practice and theory of public administration and it provides students of public administration a strong link to the other social sciences and political philosophy. (Ruscio, 1997) The 1990s also saw publication of a National Academy of Public Administration panel report, titled Beyond Distrust: Building Bridges between Congress and the Executive, which lamented the breakdown of trust between Congress, the executive, and the public in policy making and oversight and called for new concepts and devices adequate to govern in the new century. Similarly, LaPorte and Metlay (1996) put forward a concept of institutional trustworthiness to respond to a crisis of trust in key public organizations. On the other hand, political scholars such as Hardin (2002) argue that the claim of a crisis of trust in government is misstated; rather, the claim should focus simply on confidence in government’s actions and policies. Newell et al. do not really open a debate about the problem 154 Journal of Public Affairs Education

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