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Leadership and ethical leadership in Bhutan

Updated on October 2, 2014

Trait theory and election

Trait Theory of Leadership is the leader personality trait which is observable both within and outside the context of work. Leader personality traits are linked for general personality trait and task related personality traits closely assorted with task accomplishment. Some of the general personality traits of effective leaders are self confidence, Humility, Trustworthiness, Extroversion, Assertiveness, Emotional stability, Enthusiasm, sense of humour and warmth.

The task related personality trait of leaders are passion for the work and people, emotional intelligence, flexibility and adaptability, internal locus of control and courage, contributes to the making of effective and successful leader. So the leadership quality can be measured through leaders personality trait and task related personality trait.

The second general election for democratic form of government in July 2013 was seen as voters showing more faith comparing to the first general election. As both the party president have had successfully served the nation for last five years. The opposition party being least member the achievement is un measurable. So the president of ruling party Druk Phuensum Tshogpa party showed the ethical and moral leadership for the nation as well international arena.

The party president along with his members having equal capability brought rapid development within five years term, because of honest and trustworthiness, having integrity in dealing with others in maintaining good relationship with many countries, ethical leader behaviour , pay attention to all the stakeholders to treat fairly all interested groups of people avoiding making winner and losers.

Thereby, he and his party become famous and historic in the world because famous for his self confidence, humility, trust worthiness, extroversion, assertiveness, emotional stability, enthusiasm, strong wroth ethic, cognitive factors, farsightedness in strengthen relation with developed countries and conceptual thinking for the nation as a leader starting from his service career to the establishment of young democracy.

In the second general election, the public are well convinced and gained confidence on party candidates as a whole because of their trust worthiness shown in last five years and the manifesto. While electing the candidates in Dzongkhags and individual constituencies, now the Bhutanese people are well aware of the candidate election and people looked into candidate's in-service record and popularity, confidence in dealing others and tackle issues and brought the development in the locality and family background as well. They judge the candidate right from the party campaign, presenting the manifesto convincing the people in good manner.

Party winning and losing depend on the influenced by the quality of party workers at Dzongkhag and chewog level. Voters judge the candidates, whether they serve the locality with full dedicated and good social status.

Different types of leadership roles

Basically leadership roles are categorized into nine roles as following;

As figure head, he is an effective leader, possessing excellent quality of socialism, inspiration, ceremonial and other responsibilities like escorting official visitors. He represents organization to outsiders and communicates within and external network effectively. The most effective leaders use all levels of communication to reach out to staff, customers or clients and other stakeholders. They proactively encourage the exchange of information within the organization. As a spokesperson, he has a wide spectrum of influence to the professional colleagues, clients, general public and to his superiors in the headquarters.

He actively takes part in negotiations within the team and with other organization, helping to settle dispute and misunderstandings. He has the inborn capability to convince financial institution to secure funds for the better functioning of our organization. Due to the good nature of his inborn qualities he always plays active role in settling the disputes among the staffs with both the parties on the win-win situation.

As a coach and motivator, he guides the organization/subordinates and provides both positive and negative feedback for improvement. He always accepts and supports the ideas and suggestion proposed by subordinates. He also recognized the performance of subordinates and accordingly rewards for their performances.

He is a great team builder and helps in ensuring the recognition of the members through holding monthly staff meeting. He empowers subordinate to excel and provides appropriate support and timely feedback that will support employee initiative, thus help in enhancement of individual and group morals. As a team player he cooperates with other member and supports their ideas and activities. With his experienced as leader, he expert technical adviser in solving the technical problems through consensus with other members.

He is always alert for creative and innovative ideas. He remained informed with the new developments and generates the ideas from existing opportunities for new path. Have the ability to look at events from a unique perspective and develop ideas that have never been thought of. He is a visionary leader and looks beyond the boundaries of the organization for new growth opportunities on long term based on the existing policies.

Direction setting as leadership behavior

Since the adoption of monarchy in 1907, Bhutan has been under leadership of Wangchuk dynasty for almost 100 years. Later the establishment of constitutional democracy in the year 2008 has further enhanced the leadership roles and responsibilities. The agriculture extension sector was started with the institution of Department of Agriculture in 1961. The Royal Government has developed accelerative actions to increase the agriculture products through RNR sector by supplying endowed inputs, extension services and framed policies. Diagnosing the necessity for appropriate value-added technologies, the Ministry of Agriculture had come up with the research to increase the yield from the very minimal. However, this all depends on the development and adoption of improved technologies, and thus it clearly indicates how difficult and perplexing the research is. Improved technologies such as improve breeds, improved crop varieties, better tools, adequate inputs, and more productive or effective resource management were introduced.

Today with the establishment of constitutional monarchy in the country, developing leadership and enhancing leadership efficiency is felt a priority for the Royal Government and started the process of decentralization and empowering the fellow citizens. Since the decentralization of administration, the traceability of human resource was in crucial need in order to control and manage the service delivery in terms of extension services. In the fifth five year plan the central empowerment was decentralized to the Dzongkhag administration which has ultimately enhanced in the development of rural livelihood. The resources, agriculture and livestock materials needed in the rural areas are thereby brought nearer to the village level and thus increase its efficiency in service delivery.

Despite the relational and initiating leadership behavior direction setting is one of the very important leadership comportment in the period of enablement since it creates vision and strategy for achieving the vision. In order to have self-sufficiency, the importance of RNR sector development and their need in the rural level were felt as necessity. The RNR sector plays a very important role in providing extension services for the rural households since more than 70 percentage of our Bhutanese population are farmers. The development of human resources in the Dzongkhag and Geog level has further felt the need of leadership in order to maintain and manage for the proper utilization of the resources. This decentralization policy took the milestone achievements in the development of the RNR sector. Empowering of people was also enshrined in the constitution of Bhutan and it was found more important for the development. Direction setting is still important leadership behavior in an era of empowerment as it brings tremendous changes and development in the society where by the Ministry’s objective of Gross National Happiness (GNH) will be achieved through the achievement of “Poverty Alleviation”.

Fourth King of Bhutan

Ethical leadership in Bhutan

Ethical and moral leadership means leader having a positive trait in terms of self confidence, humility, trustworthy and attitude. Ethical leadership is the manner that respects the rights and dignity of others. Ethical leader demonstrates a level of integration that stimulates a group of followers to accept the vision. Ethical leaders not only differentiate between what is right and wrong, but possess an ethical degree to determine the correct approach to a situation, however, not worrying about the consequences. Ethical leadership always takes responsibility of ensuring the standard moral and ethic conduct. Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Terresa, Aristotle were the some of the example of ethical and moral leaders in the world but however, based on the above ethical leadership, the “Monarch of Bhutan” our benevolent leader, the fourth Druk Gyalpo, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck is the true ethical leader.

His majesty the fourth Druk Gyalpo, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the former King of Bhutan has ruled the country from 1972 until his abdication in 2006. His Majesty is credited with many modern reforms in the country. There were enormous progress and changes during the long reign of His Majesty. As ethical leader his majesty has always prioritized service to the people and brought about several changes in the political and administrative fields. Dzongkhag Tshogdu and Geog Tshogday were established in the year 1981 and 1991 respectively to encourage the democratic platform by delineating responsibilities to involve people from grass-root level in decision making process.

In 2008, Bhutan became the youngest parliamentary democratic country in the world with its transition to parliamentary democracy in the most unique and peaceful manner in which the transition came through not by the will of the people but by the will of the King. His majesty brought the concept of gross national happiness (GNH) and today, his noble philosophy of GNH is appreciated and accepted as an invaluable developmental philosophy globally.

The presence of the insurgents like United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), the National Democratic Front of Bodoland and (NDFB) and the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), across the southern border made difficult for the Bhutanese to travel and became unsafe and some had lost their life. Developmental activities along the border were hampered. It also threatened the Indo-Bhutan relationship. His majesty the king has requested several times to the insurgents to leave the Bhutanese soil but these has no effect on them and left with no choice than to take up military actions. On 15th December 2003, Operation flush out was led by His Majesty the king, to safeguard the sovereignty of the country. The militants were flushed out in a span of three days. His Majesty the fourth king is perhaps the only leader of our times who has led his army into a battlefield and willingly put his life to risk for the sake of national security and future of the Bhutanese people. (Ura, 2010).


Adair, J. (2007). Develop your Leadership skills. Great Britain: Kogan page limited.

Ura, K. (2010). Leadership of the Wise Kings of Bhutan. Thimphu. (2013, 5, August). Retrieved from (n.d.).


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