The challenges for public leaders have only just begun

By Pat Ritchie and Stephen Crookbain | 19 July 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything, including the relationship between public services, citizens and communities. We’ve all talked for years about ‘systems thinking’, and often in the abstract. In 2020 we saw what it really meant. To support the country during this time of immense challenge, public servants responded, adapted, and worked together to achieve some exceptional things.

To mark this, the National Leadership Centre (NLC) has launched the Public Leaders Report 2021 on It illustrates what worked and how during the pandemic, and the lessons we learned from both successes and challenges. Its aim is to celebrate the people and organisations on whom we all depended. We want to prompt discussions about what we must all do now, to support them and others in similar roles in making 2020 achievements an enduring feature of post-COVID life.

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