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Cycling’s Lessons for Government Leaders

A political career is often as unpredictable as it is exciting. Politicians, program managers, lobbyists and other public servants face unique challenges and often must find innovative solutions to complex social issues. Like the rough terrain that experienced cyclists see each day, the political landscape is often unbalanced; therefore, there are a number of lessons for government leaders in the world of cycling that are particularly relevant to those pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree.

There Will Be Hills and Valleys, Highs and Lows

Like a cyclist encountering a steep hill or pedaling into a stiff headwind, the challenges of meeting diverse social needs can be exhausting. It takes expert training and sustained momentum to tackle the policy issues of our day. An important lesson for government leaders is to keep going even when the road gets bumpy or the hill too high. An online MPA program provides the tools leaders need to reach new professional peaks in the public sector.

Know the Terrain and Prepare Accordingly

No cyclist would use a utility bicycle on a mountain or a mountain bike on the open road. Similarly, public servants must adapt to the needs of the diverse environments in which they work and tailor their approaches accordingly. Pursuing a degree in public administration is a great way to better understand how to assess the needs of specific segments of the population as well as appreciate the community you serve. Managers who work in urban communities, for example, often face special challenges. Training, preparation and the right tools are needed to address these challenges.

Enjoy the Scenery, but Plan a Route

Many bikers love being in the thick of the elements, immersed in the beauty of the natural world. At the same time, they do not meander aimlessly, and they always have a plan to reach their destination. Likewise, managers are often drawn to the stimulating and complex dynamics of the field of public administration, but they know that they need a specific plan for success. A targeted approach to problem-solving is essential in all segments of public affairs; a good master's program will prepare you to target your approach, analyze needs, implement services, track progress and use resources efficiently.

Today’s increasingly globalized, interconnected world creates ideal opportunities for careers in the public sector. A political career can be a rewarding way to create lasting, meaningful change in a rapidly changing landscape.

Learn more about the UT Arlington online MPA program.


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