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Executive leadership in state government is examined at two levels, both from the perspectives of the heads of state administrative agencies responding to mail question surveys in 1994, 1998, and 2004. At one level, the status and strength of the governor in controlling and leading the executive branch are assessed. At the second (agency) level, state executives (and their agencies) are assessed on four criteria that are connected, directly or indirectly, with the aims of the Winter Commission: leadership, responsiveness, reforms (at the agency level), and performance (through contracting). State administration generally reflects a balance between continuity and change, with more of the former at the gubernatorial (and legislative) level, and more of the latter at the state agency level.