Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 07:52 (GMT+7)
Solutions to foster leadership and management culture for the officer cadets receiving political commissar training at regiment and division levels at Political Academy

Leadership and management culture is a system of values and standards that make up the leadership style of cadres, especially political cadres who have a great influence on the awareness and actions of soldiers and units. Therefore, fostering leadership and management culture for the officer cadets receiving political commissar training at regimental and divisional levels (hereafter the cadets) is an urgent requirement, contributing to building a contingent of “both red and expert” political commissars at all levels to meet the requirement of building a politically strong Army.

Creatively applying Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s thought on culture and the requirements of quality, ethics, and capacity of cadres and party members in general and leadership cadres in particular, and inheriting the views of the previous National Party Congresses, in the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress, our Party continues to mention the issue of “Building and applying cultural standards in leadership and management”. This shows that leadership and management culture is attached with great importance by our Party.

The officer cadets receiving political commissar training at regiment and division levels at Political Academy (the Academy) are selected from political cadres at grassroots units to get training and become political commissars at regiments and divisions in the future. Reality has shown that the quality, capacity and leadership style, especially leadership and management culture of political commissars directly affect the leadership quality of party committees, party organisations and the level of task completion of their units. Fully aware of this issue, the party committees and commanders at all levels in the Academy have focused their leadership and direction on well implementing the work of fostering leadership and management culture for the cadets. In particular, emphasis has been placed on creating a system of ethical standards, qualities, capabilities and leadership styles, especially the “scientific, democratic, can-do, and responsible” style. As a result, the vast majority of the cadets have proper awareness of leadership and management culture, proactively gain knowledge and experience in leadership and management, and actively improve their qualities and capabilities in line with training objectives. However, after graduation, a number of the cadets have not well brought into play their role as political chairpersons. In specific, they have not really fulfilled their exemplary role at their units, directly affecting the leadership quality of the grassroots party committees and party organisations. Therefore, fostering and improving leadership and management culture to contribute to perfecting the political qualities of future political commissars at the Academy is an urgent matter. In the scope of the article, some solutions are proposed as follows.

First, promote responsibility of the forces directly fostering leadership and management culture for the cadets. This is the solution of top importance because the results of fostering process depend mainly on the awareness and responsibility of the subjects in charge of fostering task. Moreover, the forces undertaking the fostering of leadership and management culture for the cadets at the Academy include political and military lecturers, educational administrators, and cadet management cadres. Therefore, party committees and commanders at all levels need to thoroughly grasp the Party’s viewpoints on training and fostering cadres in general and political cadres in the Army in particular, serving as a basis for the education and management force to fully understand the objectives and requirements of fostering and enhancing the quality of leadership and management culture for the contingent of the cadets. Doing so will create a strong change in the awareness and responsibility of commanders of agencies, faculties, and cadet management units for researching and proposing measures for cultivating leadership and management culture for the cadets so as to meet the high requirements of training objectives and requirements. The contingent of lecturers need to focus on researching and compiling lesson content of cultural standards for political commissars in the Army and putting practical content into lesson plans and lectures in order to make the cadets understand that the decisive role of leadership and management culture in the working capacity of political commissars in the Army. As a result, the cadets’ self-awareness in training and raising political qualities in general, leadership and management culture in particular will be developed. The cadet management cadres must really be exemplary models of leadership and management culture for the cadets to follow, especially in the study and following of Ho Chi Minh’s thought, morality and lifestyle, contributing to encouraging the cadets to improve their moral qualities and working capacity.

Graduation ceremony designed for political cadres at regimental and divisional levels during the 2018-2020 course

Second, closely combine providing knowledge with fostering leadership and management culture for the cadets. Knowledge is the foundation that forms cadets’ capacity, helping them properly perceive objective reality to apply to practical problem settlement. However, the effectiveness of that application depends on the training of the cadets. Therefore, in the process of fostering leadership and management culture for the cadets, party committees, key cadres, and lecturers are required to be fully aware of the relationship between equipping theoretical knowledge and training “working skills” for the cadets with the aim of changing the educational process from mainly providing knowledge to comprehensively developing the cadets’ capabilities and qualities. Accordingly, based on training objectives and firmly grasping training subjects, the agencies, faculties, and cadet management units need to focus on renovating program content, forms and methods of training and fostering. Doing this not only equips the cadets with necessary knowledge but also creates favourable conditions for them to enhance leadership and management culture of future political commissars. Along with that, it is necessary to provide the cadets with professional knowledge, cultural knowledge to help them form leadership thinking and cultural thinking in leadership. The Training Department should cooperate with the faculties in researching, supplementing and perfecting training curricula. In which, attention is paid to increasing the time of practical exercises close to the responsibilities and tasks of the political commissars at regiment and division levels. Furthermore, importance should be attached to closely combine mainstream curriculum with extracurricular activities, well organising the activities of party and political work as a model for the cadets to observe, study, and develop their professional skills, leadership skills, and leadership and management culture in accordance with the training objectives and requirements of the Academy.

Third, promote the positiveness and proactiveness in learning and training of the cadets to transform the training process into “self-training” process. The cadets are the object of the process of acquiring knowledge, but they are also the subject accessing necessary data and information to absorb and transform it into their own knowledge and capacity. All training and fostering activities of the cadets can only become effective in reality through their self-improvement and self-training. In that process, each cadet must be imbued with President Ho Chi Minh’s teaching of taking “self-study” as the core, making efforts to study and acquire knowledge about leadership and management culture. Additionally, significance needs to be attached to actively cultivating moral qualities, lifestyle, and leadership methods and clearly identifying that as a decisive factor for the formation and development of qualities, capacity and leadership style of future political commissars. To that end, the contingent of lecturers need to actively renovate teaching methods in the direction of enhancing the cadets’ initiative, activeness, and creativity in order to improve the quality of self-study in particular and the quality of training in general. In particular, priority is given to fostering the cadets’ self-study, self-research and self-training methods so as to bring into play their subjective factors in learning and accomplish the objective of turning the training process into “self-training” one. In parallel with that, the lecturers should regularly innovate the work of training management and organisation in the direction of regularity and modernity to create the most favourable conditions for the cadets’ self-study to improve their leadership and management culture, meeting the training objectives and requirements. Besides, great weight needs to be added to well organising extracurricular and internship activities for the cadets in order to improve their leadership style and professional skills.

Fourth, build a positive and healthy pedagogical cultural environment. The pedagogical cultural environment includes cultural relations, pedagogical cultural values, military culture, “lecturer-cadet” relationship, Uncle Ho’s cultural qualities, cultural institutions, and cultural behaviours, forming a unified whole that directly affects the personality development of the cadets. This is an important content and solution to foster leadership and management culture for the cadets. Therefore, leaders and commanders at all levels in the Academy need to deeply grasp the viewpoint of “paying attention to building a healthy, democratic, solidarity and humane culture environment at work; eliminate all manifestations of bureaucracy, factions, internal disunity, and opportunism. Focus needs to be placed on building a healthy educational environment, resolutely fighting against the achievement disease, preventing and strictly handling the negatives in education and training. To reach high effectiveness, it is necessary to build military cultural relations and properly deal with basic relationships, such as: leader-commander relationship, superior-subordinate relationship, management cadre- and lecturer-cadet relationship in the spirit of solidarity and mutual support, creating trust for the cadets to study and train at the Academy. At the same time, great value should be attached to building and promoting cultural values and cultural behaviours of both “lecturers” and “cadets” through cultural institutions in order to concretise standards and qualities of “Uncle Ho soldiers” in the new era. In addition, it is essential to promote the vanguard and exemplary role of leaders, cadres and party members in agencies and units. Each cadre as well as each lecturer must really be an exemplary model to spread inspiration, humane messages, and noble values to the cadets. By doing so, the cadets will improve their political commissar personality, capacity, and behavioural methods with culture and leadership and management culture, meeting training objectives and requirements.

Senior Colonel BUI THANH CAO, PhD

Political Academy, Ministry of National Defence

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