Please note: This material has been archived. For current information see our Leadership and Talent pages.

Senior Leader Profile

Meet Chris
Senior leader profile

We’re continuing to improve the way we develop senior leaders, focusing on people in tier 2 roles and larger tier 3 roles. We will collaborate with chief executives through the Career Board process to actively develop our best people.

We‘re committed to providing opportunities for individuals to develop their career and leadership capability across multiple agencies so that senior leaders develop both breadth and depth of experience in multiple roles. These may include any key positions identified as developmental roles in the future. It is also expected that every person will take responsibility to do the best for themselves in advancing their career.

This targeted approach will prepare high performers to succeed in system-critical and future chief executive roles and ensure a deep, wide pool of viable candidates. It will better position the State Services to deliver on government priorities and achieve outstanding results.

We will develop senior leaders in a transparent manner that is consistent with the State Sector Amendment Act (2013). The new legislation moves the Public Service towards a leadership development approach where chief executives and the State Services Commissioner jointly manage talent within the whole State Services system for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

Required competencies

The State Services Leadership Success Profile (LSP) specifies the competencies needed by our leaders to deliver results in today’s challenging and complex environment. The competencies we’re looking for in senior leaders fit with these.

  •     Deliver results through self
  •     Deliver results through people
  •     Deliver results through vision
  •     Deliver results through execution


Leadership Success Profile competencies Senior leader competencies
  • Demonstrate political nous and navigate complex political situations effectively
  • Take the lead on controversial issues and prepare to defend views
  • Adapt and thrive in challenging environment
  • Model Public Service standards of integrity and trust at a personal, agency, sector and system level
  • Inspire respect, trust, loyalty and confidence of staff and stakeholders
  • Actively encourage, listen and act on feedback
  • Demonstrate persistence and ongoing commitment following setbacks
  • Remain calm and objective in the face of conflict and criticism
  • Be willing to celebrate success and to learn from setbacks and view them as opportunities
Build strategic partnerships
  • Identify key stakeholders through the system to gain clarity on outcomes at an agency and sector level
  • Develop collaborative partnerships across and outside the system, to broker deals with and to deliver on transformation and integration
  • Develop influential communication and engagement, negotiating with strategic partners to overcome obstacles to effective joint working
Ignite passion, pace and positivity
  • Create and sustain a unifying culture and set of values and behaviours which promote energy, enthusiasm and pride in the agency and its vision
  • Display passion about achieving ambitious results, focusing on impact and outcomes and celebrating achievement
Design and develop people capacity and capability
  • Ensure the workforce has the capacity and diversity to deliver on its vision and strategy, proactively recognise and remedy any diversity and capability gaps
  • Identify, nurture and mobilise leadership and management talent in individuals, planning effectively for succession in key posts and sharing talent across the system
  • Recognise and reward results and manage non-performance consistently
Imagine an inspirational future; make it happen
  • Communicate a compelling and sustainable vision for the future
  • Set a coherent and achievable strategy, aligned with system and sector priorities with challenging objectives and success measures
  • Works with Ministers, draw out their agendas, pick up plans and ensure appropriate trade-offs are made between priority outcomes
Create opportunities through foresight and insight
  • With a system and sector view, extract key issues from complex, ambiguous, rapidly changing contexts
  • Develop deeper engagement with customers and leverage their involvement and insight to ensure policies and programmes are customer focused and provide efficiency and value for money
  • Anticipate sector and agency emerging issues/changing context and discern appropriate points of intervention, developing strategies quickly to solve problems or seize opportunities
Collaborate to build and share a common purpose and direction
  • Encourage debate and ideas from across the system, sector and beyond to develop strategy and policy collectively to address cost cutting issues
  • Develop and generate common ownership of the strategy with sector ministers, sector and agency leadership and delivery partners
  • Engage in leadership and followership as mutual activities of influence and counter influence
Innovate and integrate
  • Thrive when working with complexity
  • Synthesise disparate ideas to make meaningful connections and generate fresh approaches
  • Plan and prioritise to support innovation and improvement
Plan and prioritise
  • Review own work performance and identify opportunities for improvement
  • Make effective use of individual and team capabilities
  • Responsive to changes in requirements
Ensure operational excellence
  • Take responsibility for meeting personal and team objectives and progressing work
  • Show initiative and do what is required
  • Commit energy and drive to see that goals are achieved.

Key resources and tools


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