Weber wrote that politics, and more broadly, public administration, should be viewed as a vocation rather than a job. A vocation something that you feel very passionate about, some people might even say it is what you were born to do. A vocation allows you to use your skills in combination with your interest in a work situation where you feel you are most able to effect change. Deep-seated and personal factors are prominent in someone’s choice of vocation, rather than the practical matters that drive people to be employed – namely economic stability. Weber discusses vocation as a commitment to a specialized area of work that the employee engages wholeheartedly.
I agree with Weber’s distinction between job and vocation. Public service is challenging, and I do not believe you can stay in it unless you are called. Politics can be especially nasty and disheartening, but you’re there because you believe you can make a difference. It can be truly honorable work, if you can manage to stick to the principles that brought you into the arena in the first place. I know firsthand that many politicians choose to run for office in order to advance their own ego, but I also know that there are individuals who live and die by their principles. Those beliefs drive them to hold public office. They are often not the most successful politicians, but they are estimable. For those working at nonprofit organizations, the same thought applies. It is so much more than exchanging work for compe...
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...nger or the issuing of drivers licenses. A leader must motivate their employees to pursue the mission, even during hard times personally or on a broad organizational level.
Public Administration is so broad, and I think that Gulick analysis does not take into account the nuances of different organizations, or even departments within organizations. Every work situation, organization, and human being is unique. A real leader will take into account the individuality of an employee and place them in an area where they can excel with and grow the skill set that they already posses. No blanket solution will ever be effective in every public organization. The “human” element is too important to overlook. At the end of the day it is the employees that will determine if an organization is a success or a failure. A good leader accounts for humanness and organizes accordingly.
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