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date: 19 September 2018

Abstract and Keywords

A public executive should be accountable for producing results. Indeed, public executives who think strategically will accept their responsibility for establishing performance targets that can provide the basis for their organization’s accountability for results. Creating such targets is, however, politically dangerous—particularly if the executive lacks a strategy for achieving these targets. There does exist, however, a leadership strategy for doing precisely this: PerformanceStat (Behn 2014), which includes a focus on public purposes, the analysis of current data, the identification of performance deficits, and a series of regular, frequent, integrated meetings with follow-up, feedback, and learning. A wide variety of public agencies and governmental jurisdictions have employed adaptations of PerformanceStat’s core leadership principals concepts and key operational components to ratchet up their own performance and thus to achieve their own self-established targets.

Keywords: accountability, adaptation, leadership, performance, performance deficit, PerformanceStat, results, strategy, targets

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