UK Civil Service Leadership Statement 2015

… a core concept in Leadership Skills and Atlas 109


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Concept description

The Civil Service Leadership Statement was released by the UK Cabinet Office in February 2015 following a year of consultation and is intended to reflect the positive attributes that civil servants want to see in their leaders and their own approach to leadership.

The intent of the statement was described in a 12 February 2015 blog post by Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service, entitled Better leadership in the Civil Service: a statement of intent (at, accessed 15 February 2016).

One year later, in a blog post entitled The year of the Leadership Statement, Sir Jeremy says:

…the Statement was much more than a list of nice things we wanted our leaders to do. It was a statement of intent, challenging leaders to hold a mirror up to their own behaviours, to be honest about areas they are falling short in, and to take appropriate action to address them. And I and my Permanent Secretary colleagues made a firm commitment to take the steps necessary to make this happen.

Civil Service Leadership Statement

As Civil Service leaders, we take responsibility for the effective delivery of the Government’s programme and Ministers’ priorities, living the Civil Service’s values and serving the public.


about our work
and its future

We will show our pride in and passion for public service, communicating purpose and direction with clarity and enthusiasm

We will value and model professional excellence and expertise

We will reward innovation and initiative, ensuring we learn from what has not worked as well as what has


in our engagement

We will be straightforward, truthful and candid in our communications, surfacing tensions and resolving ambiguities

We will give clear, honest feedback, supporting our teams to succeed

We will be team players, and will not tolerate uncollaborative behaviour which protects silos and departmentalism


our teams to deliver

We will give our teams the space and authority to deliver their clearly set objectives

We will be visible, approachable, and welcome challenge, however uncomfortable

We will champion both difference and external experience, recognising the value they bring

We will invest in the capabilities of our people, to be effective now and in the future


Civil Service (2015), Civil Service Leadership Statement, at, accessed 15 February 2016.

Jeremy Heywood (2016), The year of the Leadership Statement, at, accessed 15 February 2016.

Atlas topic, subject, and course

The Study of Leadership and Communication (core topic) in Leadership Skills and Atlas 109.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 6 January 2016.

Image: From UK Civil Service, at, accessed 15 February 2016.