A strategic leadership model for policy implementation

07 Nov 2016

South Africa suffers from a doubtful history of its ability to implement policies successfully. The disastrous effect of this legacy is that the apparent lack of expertise and excellence may lead to a complete loss of the institutional memory in terms of effectiveness and client satisfaction. Responsible and competent leadership is needed by managers who understand the complexities of policy implementation. They must weed out outdated practices the public sector is burdened with and do all they can to attract and retain competent managers who are able to put public service delivery on the track of excellence again. In the final analysis, the quality and impact of policy implementation will be given determined expression to by committed and competent leaders and those they lead. In this article an effort will be made to present a model that will show that leadership and performance are influenced by the commitment and competencies of officials. The performances of people are stimulated by the ability of leaders to provide vision and direction and to influence, inspire and empower them to collectively achieve policy goals. Apart from the external impact (leadership) on their performance, successful implementation of policies also requires internally located driving forces, which, for purposes of this model include: • Commitment depends on a person’s self-confidence and motivation. Strong leadership by managers boosts the self-confidence of junior staff and peoples’ motivation is determined by their level of interest in their work and their enthusiasm. • Competencies of employees in South Africa are affected by skills development legislation as well as existing skills development practices. A survey was done among staff members of different provincial government departments and municipalities in the Free State and North-West provinces