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System Leadership Behaviours Framework

System Leadership Behaviours Framework

  • Current Introduction
  • Being
  • Relating & Communicating
  • Leading & Visioning
  • Delivering
  • Results
  • Complete

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Why System Leadership Behaviours are Important

The shift towards a system wide approach to address population health requires leaders to work in a different way. Foundations in System Leadership online programme provides a learning opportunity to explore what is system leadership, why it is important and how do you do it?

The System Leadership Behaviours Framework

A significant system wide piece of research was undertaken and tested with a wide range of cross sector colleagues resulting in a deeper understanding of the kinds of behaviours needed to enable effective system leadership across the public sector.

The approach enabled the exploration of what this kind of leadership might look like, acknowledging the scale, diversity and complexity of the system and the importance of collaboration and co-creation. The research identified four overarching themes, each underpinned by a series of supporting behaviours in a System Leadership Behaviours Framework.

The research identified four overarching themes:

  • Being


  • Listening cans

    Relating & Communicating

  • Compass

    Leading & Visioning

  • Boxes



The behaviours within the framework are brought to life by a set of indicators demonstrating the kinds of behaviours that enable, and obstruct, effective system leadership. The indicators are designed to provoke insights around the leadership behaviours required to lead and work effectively across the system.

To support leaders to engage with the framework the self-assessment has been developed as a multi-functional development tool for self-reflection and assessment. Designed for any leader working across systems to support exploration of key strengths and development areas as a starter for development and/or coaching and mentoring conversations as well as wider system leadership development activity.

The Self-Assessment

The scoring explained:

Giving yourself a score of 1: Means that you think that you never do this, have no experience of this yet or perhaps it is not something currently part of your role.

Giving yourself a score of 5: Means that you think that you always do this, are highly experienced in this and it is part of your current day-to-day role.

  • 1Never
  • 2Rarely
  • 3Sometimes
  • 4Often
  • 5Always

Completing the self-assessment

This self-assessment should take approximately 35 minutes to complete, and your results will then be sent to you via email. Your results are confidential and are not shared with anyone other than you; however, you may choose to discuss the results with your line manager, mentor or coach. You should also consider retaking the self-assessment every 12 months to monitor your own ongoing progress as a system leader.

Take some time to pause and reflect on what you feel you currently do as a system leader. When responding to the questions, bear in mind that it might be that you have not yet had an opportunity to show all of the behaviours but this tool will give you insight into what knowledge, experience and exposure you might want to add to your development plan.

The indicator questions are examples of how you might display system leadership under each behaviour and will give you suggestions on your strength and development areas and the actions you could take. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list.