Published 04/30/14

JOB ONE: LEADERSHIP initiative includes Bryant's Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership

Contact: Dyana Koelsch, DK Communications
(401) 415-0370

JOB ONE: LEADERSHIP is an initiative by the Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership at Bryant University, The Providence Journal and Rhode Island PBS.  The program is designed to focus on the central issue facing the state - public leadership.  JOB ONE: LEADERSHIP will assist voters as they consider which candidates have the potential to provide visionary, critical and effective leadership for the next four years.

 “Voters need to focus like a laser on the ability of office seekers to be effective and visionary leaders,” said Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership Founder Gary Sasse. “Rhode Island’s major challenge is not financial or economic, though those are important, but rather the lack of effective leadership at the state level that has the political will to connect the dots. On the city and town level, public officials are seen as more effective – but there is still much work to be done to restore faith and confidence.”

“Voters need to focus like a laser on the ability of office seekers to be effective and visionary leaders.”

"There is no doubt that Rhode Island has some public servants whose priority is the public good, but that is not enough," said Howard G. Sutton, publisher, president and CEO of The Providence Journal. "We must elect leaders who are guided by a moral compass, not by personal gain or partisan interests. We must elect leaders who have a vision, who can articulate that vision, and who can compel citizens to help achieve that vision. That's the goal of this partnership."

 “Rhode Island PBS is pleased to be part of this important project. We take seriously our mission to be a valuable community resource, to present relevant and timely information to the public,” said David W. Piccerelli, president WSBE Rhode Island PBS. “During this election cycle especially, it’s essential that voters have the information they need to properly evaluate the candidates’ qualifications, and choose the leaders who will provide the right direction for our state.”

Throughout the election cycle JOB ONE: LEADERSHIP will focus on the characteristics and abilities of effective leaders or potential leaders. The elements of the JOB ONE: LEADERSHIP project include:

  • A baseline poll conducted in March 2014 measured the public opinion on state and local elected officials. It asked 438 registered voters to rate their leaders (82% said state leaders are poor or fair, 54% said local leaders were fair or poor).
  • Leadership questions posed to candidates for governor with the answers made available for voter consideration in both written and video taped formats. (Here is the video series schedule.)
  • A JOB ONE: LEADERSHIP “Voters' Guide for Effective Leadership” which can be used as a tool for voters to measure the leadership skills of candidates across the central issues of problem solving, communication, responsiveness, fiscal management, conflict management, accessibility, ability to lead and integrity.
  • A month before the general elections, JOB ONE: LEADERSHIP will convene a public discussion on what it means to be an effective leader.

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