This article explores some critical aspects of leadership in the context of multi-sectoral partnerships. It focuses on leadership in practice and asks the question, “How do managers experience and perceive leadership in such partnerships?’ The study contributes to the debate on whether leadership in a multi-sectoral partnership context differs from that within a single organization. It is based on the accounts of practising managers working in complex partnerships. The article highlights a number of leadership challenges faced by those working in multi-sectoral partnerships. Partnership practitioners were clear that leadership in partnerships was more complex than in single organizations. However, it was more difﬁcult for them to agree a consensus on the essential nature of leadership in partnership. We suggest that a ﬁrst-, second- and third-person approach might be a way of better interpreting leadership in the context of partnerships.
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