Bossing or messing around too much?

Institutional cleanliness is the strength of a leader. If the truth is too naked, here it is. Everything depends on the courage of the leaders. That’s why they are the bosses.

For all the efforts that we make towards achieving our hallowed idea of good governance, we dirty our own pants. This is the truth, hard as it is for many to digest. Today, as we try to refine our governance and working systems, we are increasingly becoming so waywardly pervert and dishonest.

That’s why there is the question of leadership. Leadership is not bootlicking. It is not big-talking, being overweening or overly vainglorious. But that is exactly how some of our leaders act today, especially in government and welfare offices. And somehow they are also scandalously the ones that get recognised for their excellent contribution!

Leaders are those who do not let an employee who has misused his or her power or misappropriated office property go scot-free. He/she is a leader who is just and true. But then, what really happens is that our leaders are too sympathetic to corrupt practices, so much so that faults of their favoured colleagues mean nothing at all, even if they have siphoned millions of office revenue.

If any real leader has the courage to effect change it has to come from within, genuinely. Otherwise, the leader has lost all his/her power and prerogatives. To lay it straight in street argot, holding on to the seat still should burn his/her bottom.

One of the greatest faults we have is that we compartmentalise our own people, our own staff. A meeting is called, more than three times a week, for example, to bushwhack their own way ahead. Read the minutes of the meeting and it is so depressing to read that the meetings had been really about the individuals in the quorum and no other else, not about the glorious future of the agency, office or whatever that entity that they belong to.

Sometimes, appallingly, bosses question about one’s nonappearance in certain official functions. Of course they do not tell you directly. It is in the meetings they have that they discus such immaterial things. Professionals do not respect such frowzy little things.

These are small little things that need cleaning up. And this requires real leadership. We talk about national picture, but the lesson is closer home.

Everything depends on good leadership. Are we bossing or messing around too much?

1 reply
  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    Another interesting news post of today’s paper with the title ‘Education System Needs to Foster Entrepreneurship’ has a few good points mentioned even though entrepreneurial skills are not always same as leadership skills. One of speakers of the panel being part of the Global Entrepreneur Week discussion has mentioned the importance of getting our students programmed for entrepreneurship skills and developed for it when they are still at school. I think it’s Sangay Tsheering, founder and CEO of Druk Host who has mentioned that. Another speaker, Thakur Singh Powdyel, the President of Royal Thimphu College, has talked about the importance of entrepreneurial qualities making an individual creative, industrious and an able performer.

    Just like entrepreneurial skills, even leadership skills and qualities either come to one naturally or one needs to be developed and coached for it from an early time in life. It’s difficult to find totally self made entrepreneurs and so is the case with the self made leaders. While it’s much easier to follow a leader to become a leader, it’s a challenge to lead oneself to true leadership in many ways just by following one’s own path.

    Leadership may not be considered just an image that we create being part of a bigger culture of an organisation. It usually involves an individual’s philosophy and that philosophy eventually decides many characteristics of one’s leadership. It’s that leadership philosophy of one that inspires others to realise a vision of the leader. Or we can even expect an organisation’s missions to shape leadership within the organisation. Leaders are either born out of an organisation culture or, they can give birth to a new culture for the organisation.

    It seems that civil services in Bhutan is opting for a new concept called ‘Design Thinking’ which is also mentioned in another news post of this same edition. It’s a concept that emphasises a human centred way of problem solving within an office and the programmes to be undertaken will involve training on design thinking. Something like this can bring changes to the existing culture of problem solving and the system may end up spinning out fresh thinking leaders. And then we expect the leaders to design think solutions.

    As a boss, it’s easy to force new rules or bring existing rules to effective implementation. But it’s usually difficult to create a philosophy that one doesn’t possess. A leader is expected to inspire other’s philosophy, but things are difficult when one only has an administration to lead without any obvious service or product philosophy to develop. In my opinion, leadership is not about creating an image or style that can be traded for benefits like bossing or messing around.

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