Public policy entails the government’s concerted attempt to address certain issues that affect the public within a given nation (Beckman, 1996). A government in terms of law, actions, decisions, and regulations develops public policies. We have three components of public policy making and these include the actual players, problems, and the policy itself. Policy is therefore the final course of action arrived at by the management (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2000). On the other hand, leadership is the ability of an individual to encourage other to follow and implement the organizations objectives or goals.
A good leader needs certain qualities to be able to implement outlined policies effectively and efficiently. Firstly, trust is an important element in all types of relationships including leadership (Ridley, 2003). A healthy and productive working environment cannot be successfully implemented when there is no trust in an organization. With trust, everyone in the organization will be willing to give his or her best. Additionally, a good leader should also be emotionally stable (Stogdill, 1974). This is the ability to tolerate stress and frustrations hence psychological maturity. Moreover, leaders are widely seen as competitive, decisive, assertive, and normally enjoy overcoming obstacles. It is therefore important to note that leaders build excellence, they do not command for excellence. To achieve excellence, one must therefore be a leader of good character and carry out their duties with zeal and passion.
A good leader must also have values (Stogdill, 1974). This is ones attitude towards concepts, things, and people. In addition, skill is another major element in leadership (George, 1992). Skill comes through devotion to study and practice in a particular field. When a manager is skillful and equipped with enough information, he/she will know what to expect in a certain area. The U.S. military academies encompass a prosperous principle of producing powerful leaders for the armed forces service and, consequently, control industry and commerce. Nonetheless, investigations concerning factors or personalities that are associated with effective military leadership emphasizes on the importance of scholarly literature in making effective leadership (Dixon, 1995). Traits are important in a leadership and some of the traits observed are honesty, competence, vision, courage, imaginative, and broad mindedness.
As much as traits such as persistence, high energy level, self-confidence, task-competence, frustration and tolerance are very important in good leadership, other factors like experience are also very important (Beckman, 1996). This enhances the ability to be patient hence able to undertake a clear direction in most tasks and chores. Experience allows an army commander to provide relevant military instructions to men under him, as was the case with Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Ridley, 2003). Experience also allows a leader to be resourceful, careful, hardy and quick in wit (George, 1992). Winston Churchill also learnt to be both cruel and gentle. He was able to demonstrate traits such as surprise and caution, mean and generous, rapacious and lavish, skillful in attack and defense. These qualities were very essential for him to succeed as the president.
In addition to experience and skill, moral character is also very important in a leader because decisions made by the leader directly affect the all his subjects or individuals who rely on him for leadership. The pillars of moral character are therefore respect, selfless service, integrity, personal courage, duty, and loyalty (George, 1992). Experience results to expertise and/or professionalism in the specific field. In the military, this means leading from the front hence a leader should be a expert in marksmanship
and small unit strategy as was the case with Ronald Reagan. Leaders need to know the rules applicable front to back, so they are not astounded when circumstances take a certain direction.