Lhakpa Quendren

Leaders in both elected and civil service positions in recent times have faced criticism for lacking essential leadership qualities. Many say this criticism stems from an outdated mindset focusing more on power than responsibilities.

Efforts for transformation aimed at bringing forth leaders capable of managing challenges, adapting to change, and inspiring positive shifts have been underway at various levels.

Despite these transformational initiatives, the big question remains: will the Royal Civil Service Commission’s (RCSC) leadership assessment foster effective leaders capable of addressing critical issues?

The leadership assessment in the civil service, introduced by RCSC more than a year and a half ago, has yet to show significant effects on individuals, organisations, or public service delivery.

Opinions on transformational leadership vary. Some believe it can bring capable leaders to the forefront, while others argue that existing rules and regulations have failed to produce effective leaders over the years.

Some critics said that the common practice of some leaders was merely signing papers without proper engagement or awareness of their organisations’ happenings. This lack of involvement hampers their ability to pave the way for the next generation of leaders.

There has been a lack of interaction between leaders and their subordinates or youths to understand expectations and concerns, hindering the prospects of nurturing better leaders.

The RCSC assured that transformational impacts will not happen immediately but gradually over time. The objective is to produce competent leaders capable of propelling development and ensuring a better future for children.

An RCSC official said that there were changes at an individual level due to the ongoing transformation. There was a decrease in civil servants engaging in leisure activities during work hours and a reduction in incidents involving inebriated employees due to a focus on assigned tasks.

Introducing a service evaluation tool (SET) is one of the RCSC’s efforts to engage people in improving service delivery. Monthly reports based on feedback and ratings contribute to understanding how services are delivered.

The RCSC also intends to create more spaces for leaders and young individuals to have meaningful conversations. This engagement will allow leaders to comprehend the diverse opinions of young people, referred to as the future, and to inspire and motivate them to surpass expectations.

Acknowledging the possibility of mistakes among supervisors at various levels, the RCSC aims to address these challenges to enhance civil service.

However, owing to practical constraints, weekly or monthly follow-ups for every case might not be feasible, the official said. Executive heads within agencies are responsible for overseeing ethical standards, as monitoring every individual is challenging.