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Public administrators need not only practical and intellectual permission to exercise leadership, but also a practical and intellectual understanding of what leadership actually is. Much has emerged in the public administration literature and practice about the need for and legitimacy of public managers exerting leadership in their work, complementing the traditional functions of organizational management and policy implementation. Calling on the experiences and ideas of practitioners, this article offers an empirical understanding—both descriptive and prescriptive—of what leadership actually looks like as it is practiced by public managers. It uncovers five leadership perspectives (ranging from leadership as equivalent to scientific management, to leadership being a whole-soul or spiritual endeavor) held by public managers and discusses their implications for public administration. It legitimizes the notion that leadership is a crucial part of public administration and offers public managers the chance to improve or enhance those legitimate leadership activities.