Effective change leadership is important to any organisation undergoing fundamental transformation. In particular, the ability of senior public sector leaders to successfully drive strategic change is crucial to meeting the developmental and service delivery challenges faced in ensuring the effective, efficient and innovative government demanded by all its various stakeholders. This work is a case study that probes the phenomenon of effective change leadership by means of an examination of the successful creation of a shared legal advisory service to a provincial government in South Africa. It provides useful insights into the many and varied challenges faced by public sector leaders in driving strategic transformation in the administration of government institutions. It offers an example of successful change leadership and demonstrates the need for change agents within the public service to harness more emotionally resonant and relational forms of leadership if they are to soar to new heights in meeting the service delivery expectations of all who look to government to deliver the fruits of democracy.