Dr. Win Thein: Leadership Codes of a Leader Who Inspired a Shared Vision


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There are many leaders in the world I have been read and heard. Some are leaders from politician, some are business men and some are social sectors or administrators. I have been studied and read some of them and some habits of them are imitated and took lessons. But they are very far from me to take role model for me. By studying and learning the past, I have been met many authorized person who give instructions to us at the workplace of both public sector and private sector. While I was working as company staff, I met many supervisors and manager. They are no rather than Boss. Like that, when I have been working as a public servant for over ten years, I have been met some leaders. The persons who I was thought as leaders, actually they are manager or not more than boss. Because, most of them did not have shared vision, they only gave instructions their followers or employees under the control of the current policy and minister as well as president. For this why, I choose Dr. Win Thein, the current Chairman of Union Civil Service Board as my role model. I present him as a Leader by using the five levels of Leadership Code such as Strategist, Executor, Talent manager, Human Capital developer and Personal proficiency. He implement the Civil Service Reform during he take office.

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Inspired a Shared Vision

Strategist – Leaders shape the future.

In this code, leader should be asked himself the question “Where we are going”. He needs to have Vision for the future. Sharing the vision is an essential feature of great leadership. Our Chairman has inspired shared vision. In his tenure, Civil Service Reform Action Plan for the period 2017-2020 was developed so as to introduce a new ethos and culture to Myanmar Civil Service. For this CSR, there has a vision, “ethical, merit-based, inclusive and responsive Civil Service public promoting public participation and strengthening the trust of the people of Myanmar”. He tried the establishment of the Civil Service Academy, review of training approach, effective methods in the process of redefining our training and capacity building paradigm. He shared common vision for the organization to the civil servants who under serving UCSB as well as other civil servants of the various ministries and organization. He also listen the voice of the civil servants and his people for understanding them and run organization.

Executor – Leaders make things happen.

In this code, leader needs to translate strategy into action and asked by “How can we ensure we’ll reach our goals?” Vision for CSR is translated into strategic as four focus areas by him cooperating with interested parties of his stakeholders, the following;

  1. New Civil Service Governance
  2. Towards a merit-based and performance-driven culture and systems
  3. Effective and Efficient Civil Service
  4. Promoting Transparency and Accountability in the Civil Service

Each focus area includes actions. As the CSR process, he defined the ways to meet the visions such as the civil service training and capacity development require an uplift to meet international standards so as to become more effective and responsive to the needs of staff. He made the reform to meet the inspired shared vision by changing Aims, Objectives, Logos and Motto, establishing Civil Service Academy, changing Staff Uniform, changing Trainees Uniform, changing Course Duration, changing curriculum and syllabus, reviewing and revising training and teaching method, developing Evaluation system and restructuring the academic methods. By doing so he defined way to get the vision definitely.

Talent manager—Leaders engage today’s talent

In this code, Leader need to engage and select the right people and ask the questions like “Who goes with us on our business journey?” “How can we bring out the best in people?” And “Do we know which skills are required and where to find talent in our organization?” If we look the current Chairman of UCSB, Dr. Win Thein, he found the partners and stakeholders to implement the CSR together, amended the Organization Chart and placed the persons by Qualified Sheet (Q-sheet) to align the job specifications and also invited the professionals at both internal and external to success his shared vision. There are the major development partners in civil service system, including United Nation Development Program (UNDP), World Bank and OECD countries.

Human-capital developer—Leaders build the next generation.

In this leadership code, the question, “Who stays and sustains the organization for the next generation?” is required to ask. As a leader, must to consider the next generation for handing the responsibilities of current generation. He needs to give education and training who take his responsibilities. The Chairman, Dr. Win Thein, planned for development of the human capital. He found learning and studying opportunities for his people to develop their capacity and ability. He arranged more scholarship opportunities and capacity enhanced training for the UCSB staff and trainers. Especially, he made the arrangement MPA class for his trainers and civil servants by selecting the suitable civil servants. In the selecting, he considers the persons on meritocracy, mature age (neither old nor young) and mid-level position who can take the responsibilities and share the experiences and knowledge to the next. He keeps a person to hand his responsibilities.

Personal proficiency—Leaders invest in their own development

Finally, leaders must model what they want others to master. Leading others ultimately begins with themselves. Leaders are learners, and their classroom is everywhere. We learn from our mistakes, successes, books, coworkers, bosses, friends and life itself. He occasionally shared his habits of life-long learning and reading for his personal proficiency. He built his personal ability and he never stops his reading habits. He read 3 hours a day and he developed his English language skill step by step. Now, he encourages his staff to improve English language (four skills) and also give instructions to make the learning environment.

Common obstacles to inspiring a Shared Vision

There are many obstacles for UCSB to inspiring a shared vision. He, Chairman Dr. Win Thein, on behave of UCSB has launched two approaches, the “Competency/Training Approach” and “Education/Academic Approach” as a new training strategy since 2016. As a leader, there are the challenges of Technology, Globalization and resources he must face. These challenges may burden the operational level. There are also several challenges in UCSB’s sponsored training activities. Among them, the three most critical challenges are 1) formulation of training policy guidelines, 2) linkage of training and research/consulting activities, and 3) presence of high motivated and competent trainers. Due to these challenges, major training activities such as curriculum development, resource persons and Training of Trainers (TOT) are excessively dependent on donors and external organizations. He is criticized by other ministries, public servants and people of the Myanmar. But he never gives up his decided decision to implement Civil Service Reform.

He as UCSB has faced the difficult task of enforcing the civil service system. Since the mandate and authority of the UCSB are not always clear, ministries, agencies and departments have to some extent developed their own personnel management systems. As a result, the civil service personnel management system is not operated consistently. In addition, nepotism and bribery are common practices in recruitment, transfers and promotions in civil service while lacking people-centered public services and culture; and this has remained a challenge.

The Leadership Behaviors connected with Shared Vision

Many theories and authors present various Leadership Behaviors connected with Shared Vision by theory. As the Chairman of UCSB, he is visionary with clarity of purpose. He is also a strong leader. He is never okay with the status qTuo. He is always pressing forward and encouraging his people to do the same. He has ability to share the vision as excellence communicator. He can see people’s strengths, often hidden, and help them develop. He offers their people challenges and opportunities to grow and excel. He loves to read, study, explore new opportunities, and glean lessons from life’s experiences.

Action taken to meet the challenge

As a result of the above challenges, UCSB/CICS has to rely heavily on donors and external agencies for resource persons, curriculum development and TOT. For example, the curriculum development and the selection and dispatch of resource person for the Master’s course are handled IV by Akamai University and the EDS Business School. In the case of the two types of short-term training courses and undergraduate courses, the pool for resource persons are expected to rely on professors of domestic and foreign universities, executives of ministries and agencies, and as well as donors at least for the time being. TOT at CICSs has also been conducted by a donor.

The Union Civil Service Board is expanding its momentum to conduct managerial and administrative training programmes for civil servants. The Union Civil Service Board (UCSB) is collaborating to design Senior and Executive Leadership System for Myanmar through discussion with international experts and responsible persons from ministries and agencies based on the results of draft scheme through two workshops. Moreover, UCSB is working reviewing the Civil Service Regulations and Procedural Review in cooperation with international and local expertise and responsible officials from UCSB. All these initiatives fall under the umbrella of the Civil Service Reform. Moreover, He decided to prepare for the challenges as three actions (1) Promotion of Self-reliant Training Activities, (2) Coordination with Other Donors and (3) Utilizing experience of Asian countries.

Moreover, for above remained challenges CSR Strategic Action Plan for 2017-2020 had launched to improve merit-based, fairness, efficiency, transparency, and accountability in civil service so as to solve the negative perception of nepotism and bribery in recruitment, transfers and promotions in civil service while lacking people-centered public services and culture. It consists of four components: 1) new civil service governance, 2) merit-based and performance-driven culture and systems, 3) people centered civil service leadership and capacity development, and 4) transparency and accountability in the civil service. He also try to develop the National Training Policies so as to cover the guideline for training needs assessment, planning of training programs, and for monitoring and evaluation. As the enhancement of the Research department of CICSs, he asks updated and creative report from those departments.

The shortage of senior lecturers is one of the biggest challenges at CICS. Due to this, CICS is unable to provide advanced courses for senior level officials without highly depending on resource persons from external organizations such as universities and international donors. Under such circumstance, it is also difficult for UCSB/CICS to develop a comprehensive training guideline including curriculum and monitoring and evaluation framework. For this challenges, he develop the new generation by facilitating Scholarships for trainers, TOT, Diploma, Master Degree and PhD program so as to get higher qualifications for trainers or internal resource persons.

How I learn from my Role Model

Firstly, I learn how he develops his Personal proficiency. He dedicated his life on the constant learning. He got many qualifications and much knowledge when I read his profile. I learnt that we also need to seek much knowledge in various subjects and disciplines. I know that well-educated will bring the community or society to the brighter future. He already built up his Personal Proficiency in the past but he don not stop it and continue learning. He often give his people briefly to learn constantly and build English language in four skills. And he share us how to improve our English skills. I especially learn reading habit of him. Reading and learning are only a way to build Personal proficiency.

Secondly, I learn, he has shared vision, he is imaginative and creative person. He is a decisive thinker and a confident expert in his field. He is really great leader. Because he has common vision and he communicate his people and his partners this common vision to clear the vision. He organizes leaders who can lead to implement his vision and discuss how to translate the vision and ask them by arranging workshops. As I am a mid-level manager, I have to lead the department, I will define department vision to align the common vision of the UCSB. I encourage the people who work under my department to have a private vision. Their private vision need to align department vision, and from that lead to our ministry common vision which defined by Dr. Win Thein, Chairman of UCSB.

Thirdly, he makes decision based on the facts and advice of leaders. After he listening his people or leaders suggestions during the meeting, he make decisive decision as a decision maker. And then he explains why he makes this decision. He have many knowledge, he know everything and think reasonable. I admire his behavior of decision making. I try to organize the followers and they are allowed to discuss openly on problems. After listening of their opinion, I consider which opinion have advantages and disadvantages or risk. At last I choose and decide one that take less risk.

Finally, I learnt from him relative he is the best Talent manager, he can choose who is right for the place. He find sub-leaders who can lead and implement his vision. He know how do he bring out the best people or leaders. In addition, I take lesson of his behaviors of speech. He is very attractive speaker. When he explains the vision of CSR and gives instructions, he speaks clearly and softly.

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