Reflections on Leadership: An Interview with Sean O'Keefe

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This interview with Sean O'Keefe by PAR Associate Editor W. Henry Lambright is a departure from traditional Administrative Profiles. It represents an opportunity to elicit from a man who has held executive positions in government, industry, and the university lessons he has learned about leadership from those experiences. It is his perspective, in his own words, about a host of questions of interest to scholars and practitioners of public administration. These include commonalities and differences in leading organizations in various sectors. O'Keefe discusses how executives can deal with people and get the most from them, how executives use administrative power in achieving organizational goals, and why executives sometimes make the wrong calls in key decisions. He comments on what he learned about leadership from mentors during his formative years. He explains the limits he faced in making controversial decisions, such as his termination of a Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-624
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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