Public officials have different profiles for success. What is a strength for one may be a weakness for another, yet both could be very successful. Maximizing strengths and minimizing weaknesses are essential characteristics in any public official. They should be able to communicate well, be committed to public service and possess self-confidence. In addition they must be honest and have integrity to retain the trust of the public.


A good communicator will have the ability to mentally move and motivate his audience. He needs to speak well in public and read body language. Besides communicating his vision to his staff, he needs to be able to convince and inspire others to work toward his vision. A leader’s charm helps him to persuade listeners about his plans and policies and that he has their best interests at heart. Good public speaking skills help gain faith of the people by the ability to impart information about the policies and strategies of his office.


A public official must exude confidence as well as inspire confidence in others. He needs to be physically fit, mentally alert and well-trained in public service. The public will not think of a weak, shabbily dressed and short-tempered person as confident; he is more likely to invite jeers. Often you can tell that a person lacks confidence by his posture, or how he walks or even how he shakes your hand.


Commitment requires courage and defies difficulties and distractions. Commitment breeds competence, and it compels you to suppress your needs and interests for the greater good of the populace. As a public official you dedicate yourself to concerns such as improving the quality of life, addressing social issues, improving opportunities and ensuring equal rights. Issues that affect your constituents are a primary focus of any elected public official.

Code of Ethics

Public officials should guard against clear cases of unethical conduct, such as theft, fraud, treason and bribery. Ethical rules help maintain a positive image of government. The perception of corruption or unethical behavior is just as harmful to society as actual instances. Some believe that good moral character, such as not engaging in drug use or not engaging in certain sexual conduct, should be observed by public officials both in and outside the workplace.

Related Articles