How do the concepts of emotional labor and artful affect translate into our understanding of leadership? Where would one find affective leadership in practice? To address these questions, the workdays of civil servants are examined. Based on interviews and focus groups, the authors set forth in their own words how social workers, 911 operators, corrections officials, detectives, and child guardians experience their work. These interviews reveal the centrality of emotion work in the service exchange and underscore affective leadership in practice. The authors conclude that the most important challenge facing public administrators is not to make work more efficient but to make it more humane and caring. Affective leadership, and recognition of the centrality of emotional labor therein, are the means by which this approach is championed.