Articles & Analyses

Leadership In Public Administration and Management

By Ter Manyang Gatwech,Uganda

Opinion – The term ‘leadership’ is difficult to define. The dictionary states that it is the ability to command. People sometimes look at it as the ability to point the way toward success. Both of these points of view however are too limited for the reality of the world of politics. Leadership is the ability of a person to organize and direct human effort toward the attainment of an objective. In its purer state, leadership accomplishes this goal by instilling a high level of motivation and dedication in all people involved in a task.

Public Administration is, broadly speaking, the study and implementation of policy. As a moral Endeavour, public administration is linked to pursuing the public good through the creation of civil society and social justice. The adjective ‘public’ often denotes ‘government’, though it increasingly encompasses non-profit organizations such as those of civil society or entity and its management not especially acting in self-interest.

In 1947 Paul H.Appleby defined public administration as ‘’public leadership of public affairs directly responsible for executive action’’. In a democracy, it has to do with such leadership and executive action in term that respect and contribute to the dignity, the worth, and the potential of the citizens.

In the United States of America, Woodrow Wilson is considered the father of public administration. He first formally recognized public administration in an 1887 article entitled ‘’The study of Administration’’. Wilson was more influential to the science of public administration than Von Stein was, primarily due to an article Wilson wrote in 1887 in which he advocated four concepts:

  • Separation of politics and administration
  • Comparative analysis of political and private organization
  • Improving efficiency with business-like practices and attitudes toward daily operations
  • Improving the effectiveness of public service through management and by training civil servants, merit-based assessment
  • The separation of politics and administration has been the subject of lasting debate.

Management is a Process. It includes four main functions, viz., Planning, Organizing, Directing and Controlling. The manager has to Plan and Organize all the activities. He had to give proper Directions to his subordinates. He also has to Control all the activities. The manager has to perform these functions continuously. Therefore, management is a continuous and never-ending process.

Added to the above definition are certain personal qualities that one must have to be a leader. These traits are as shown below

  1. Courage: It is essential for a person who strives for leadership to be courageous. He cannot be timid or fearful. He must have a strong sense of confidence in himself and in his capability, and he must demonstrate this confidence by his actions. Inherent in the element of courage in leadership is the willingness to take risk. To take risk in politics means to be the first to take action, to lead into the new or unknown. This requires foresight, a feel for the needs and wants of the future generations. Here the depth of the leader is tested because he must often act solely on his own knowledge, feelings, understanding, and beliefs. A leader must have the courage to make decisions and take risk in the decision-making process. Let us look more closely at the nature of his decisions. The leader must make timely predictive and reactive decisions. By predictive decisions, we mean decisions based on future events rather than on present events. Reactive decisions are based on past events and present conditions. The leader must make timely predictive and reactive decisions. The more predictive decisions a leader makes, the better decision-maker he will be for progress and growth. The more reactive decisions he makes, the better he will be for administration, organization monitoring and evaluation, and staff function.

In general, true leaders make predictive decisions, while followers make reactive decisions. Making decisions is simple if no responsibility is attached to those decisions. True leaders always assume the responsibility for their actions, their plans, their programmes, and their decisions. Courage and personal honesty, the marks of leadership, will permit nothing else.

  1. Personal Honesty: Personal honesty means more than “thou shall not steal” It is a deep dedication to truth. Truth to superiors, truth to subordinates, and truth to oneself. The question is, is President Salva Kiir Mayradit is honest to himself or to the public, or to his government? Is the President Kiir a true leader? Let us assume President Salva Kiir has dies today by natural death; will he remembered by the people of South Sudan or the people of Warrap state or the people of Gokrial or the people of Tonj? I will not answer all the above questions and you will answer in your own mother tongue. To a leader, to a professional, it makes no difference if the truth hurts, heals, destroys, or cultivates, it must be found, stated, and implemented. This is the only atmosphere in which a leader can accomplish his own and his organization’s goal or objectives.
  1. Intelligence: Intelligence and common sense are requisites for leadership. Individuals who lack these qualities occasionally find themselves in position of leadership, and the end is almost inevitable. Blunders, insensitivity, and fearful actions generally lead to failure. The tragedy is that many innocent people are often hurt in the process. Government needs intelligent, far-seeing creative people at all levels of its organizational structure. These are people who generate new ideas and who are innovative. Their dissatisfaction with routine and commonplace thinking can make a strong push toward change and growth. The intelligence that we an IQ test attempts to measure. It is intelligence plus human understanding, breadth of capacbility, judgement, reason, imagination, curiosity, and the desire to learn and grow.
  1. Human Understanding: Along with intelligence goes the true leader’s active concern for others his human understanding. This is a most complex and demanding requirement for leadership. Human concern is attained not only through logic and reason but also through the heart. That is, the rights and personal dignity of every man are sacred and cannot be violated or diminished for any purpose no matter how noble, or beneficial that purpose, may be. Do not be how confused. Now it will take me back to the question in number two. Does President Salva Kiir Mayardit understand his people in South Sudan, or is pay attention to the majority of South Sudan people who need to be hear?   “Every man” means any man, woman, or child without regard to clan, creed, status, or age. It is only on this foundation of belief in the rights and dignity of man that a person who wants to be a leader can build a career.
  1. Ability to Communicate: The ability to communicate is essential to whole concept of leadership. The person who would lead must be able to transmit his ideas, convictions, purpose, methods, and approaches to the force will carry them into action. Further, he must communicate quickly and accurately, so there be no confusion or delay in the implementation of his planned actions. Even more importance, a leader must be having ability to communicate to his people the need for their personal dedication to whole organization. Only by communicating enthusiasm can a leader motivate his people to the level of achievement result in a successful operation.  To accomplish this advanced level of communication, the leader must speak from a history of achievement, from the experience of his proven performance, and from his belief in the right and dignity of man in the society. When the person knows that their leader holds their efforts, sacrifices, and dedication as a sacred trust, there is a basic for very effective communication. This is where super achievement is created.

Leadership is practiced in many ways in today’s world of politics. Most differences depend on the capability and the philosophy of the leader himself. In general, there are four methods of leadership, which you should understand. These are command leadership, Consultative leadership, Charismatic leadership, and creative leadership. The question is; which kind of leadership is both President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr.Riek Machar Teny, Chairman of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition and Sudan People Liberation Army used today in the their respective jurisdiction ? May somebody answer me! Consultative leadership differs from command leadership in that the leader still has the power to hire and fire; he tempers his approach to a problem by seeking out the opinions, advice, and recommendations of his staff. He then takes this counsel and decides of the best course to take. I remember, when President Kiir say “am the state and the state is me” in February 2014.  In charismatic and creative leadership the power and authority to hire and fire with in the leader’s scope. However, a charismatic leader has the type of personality that generates feelings of love, respect, and commitment in other people. The creative leader manages his operation through the force of his ability to device unique methods and approaches, to see ideas, and to formulate original concept.

Therefore, in the search for the perfect leader, we are seeking a gifted individual. While the perfect leader may be non- existent, we should sum up the qualities such a person would have. First, he would be a man who can make good, fearless decisions. Second, he would have a deep and knowledgeable. Third, he would have a deep understanding and concern for his people. Fourth, he would be creative and enthusiastic. Finally, he would be fair and just. No man has all these leadership traits.

The author, Ter Manyang, is an administrator and chairman of Gawaar Nuer-Community in Uganda. He worked with South Sudanese Students’ Union in 2011-2012 as a chairman of anti-corruption commission. He become chairman of electoral commission of Naath Universities and Colleges Students’ Union in Uganda from 2014-2015 and he formed an organization called Youth Action Development Network in Uganda, he is executive director of YADN.He hold a Certificate   in Leadership and Management and Public Administration and Management from Makerere University, hold a Diploma in Public Administration and Management from Makerere Institute of Professionals and hold Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Public Administration and Management at Cavendish University

Ter Manyang Gatwech is pursuing his Masters of Public Administration and Management at Cavendish Universityb Uganda and reached me via- termanyang24@gamil.com or twitter, @Ter-Manyang. By 2020, Mr. Ter is plans to enroll in PhD in Leadership and Administration.

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