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This research discusses and appraises the leadership skills I have learnt right form my
personality, past experiences (as a project assistant manager), from my first unit (Managing
people and Organization), my personal experiences (currently as IGA assistance manager), and
then in this unit (Leadership Management). Even though being leader and leading a team is a
difficult task, some of the great leaders has lead successfully following leadership theory or
theories. Hence, this easy focus on certain leadership theory that I believe in.

There were some arguments during the class that, leaders were born; however, they have to be
trained to be a better leader. Like our dynasty Kings in Bhutan, born as Royals, yet they need
to be trained. Hence, leaders need to develop certain leadership skills and theories for the
betterment of an organisation or a nation. Leadership was defined as ‘the activity of leading;
the body of people who lead a group’ and influential personality in achieving goal(s), by The
World Reference Dictionary in 2003.

Leadership Theories

Leadership theories were not introduced recently. It has been mostly discussed and used in an
organization and in business world for long time. Since better leadership from the theories has
accelerated global market, investment in ‘leadership and management’ development has been
being ‘an international phenomenon’ (Yukl, 2013). There were certain characteristics or
elements of leadership that would last them for long; either from generation or from bravery.
Additionally, (Winkler & Vriens, 2010) wrote in their book that, classical leaders have different
personalities and were more active than the followers, indicating dominancy characteristics.

On the other hand, the time has accelerated the participation of leadership from ‘who is leading
to how leadership is accomplished’ (Bolden, Hawkins, Gosling, & Taylor, 2011). Eventually,
leadership could be ‘complex and interactive process’ (Winkler & Vriens, 2010). With increase
in international competition, globalization, and ‘rapid technological and social change’, many
have shown interest in leadership theories. If a leader is true, honest, fair, kind, altruism,
accountability, and optimism, then a leader would excite interest among employees, would
‘command victorious armies’ or ‘shape the course of nations’ (Yukl, 2013). To sum up, great
leader must be authentic.
Authentic Leadership theory (AL)

‘Authenticity’, which also mean, ‘reality’ or ‘genuine’, focuses on leading from the front and
by showing example. (Martin, 2016) described authentic people as true to self and the
environment. It has ‘transparent behaviour’ which encourages sharing information and
accepting ‘followers’ input’ (Oh & Han, 2017). Authentic leadership (AL) was defined by
recent researchers as, “a process that draws from both positive psychological capacities and
highly developed organizational context, which results in both greater self-awareness and self-
regulated positive behaviours’. In other words, AL would help develop positive ‘self-
development’ in self as well as others (Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson,
2008). So, AL is ‘a pattern of leader behaviour’ which would not only promote psychological
capacities but also ‘positive ethical climate’ to both his employees and to himself. Thereby AL,
consists of great self-awareness; relational transparency; balanced processing of information;
and an internalized moral perspective, characteristics (Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner,
Wernsing, & Peterson, 2008).

1. Self-awareness- A leader must understand themselves and should have greater personal
insight; Should be aware of their own weaknesses and strengths; or ‘being cognizant of
one’s impact on the other people’ (Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson,
2008). They should act according to their values and should be aware of their views and
its impact. At the end, it is a process where individual understand themselves, reflect on
core values, goals, vision, and finally having trust in your own feeling (Northouse,
Leadership: Theory and Practice, 2017).
2. Rational transparency- It is to be honest, genuine to self and others, and then you share
your motives and core feelings (Northouse, Leadership: Theory and Practice, 2017). Their
honesty builds connectedness with the fellow mates and builds a great relationship. Being
real ‘in relationship’ also mean, where you show both your negative as well as positive
characteristics (Oh & Han, 2017). However, AL should have a heart for compassions, and
avoid ‘inappropriate displays of emotions’ (Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, &
Peterson, 2008).
3. Balance processing- No bias and bringing justice to everyone. It is an ability to analyse
every opinion ‘objectively’ before avoiding ‘overstating one’s internal knowledge’ or no
favouritism (Oh & Han, 2017) (Northouse, Leadership Theory and Practice, 2016). AL
should have a heart and compassion, to balance. With balance processing, leaders should
be open with their own standpoints. Hence, as a leader one must analyse relevant
information before making certain decision.
4. Internalized moral perspective- it is a higher level of moral development guided by
standards and values (Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson, 2008). These
values guide the leader to make a right decision without being influenced by the
environment. Their self- discipline guides them to focus on the goal even ‘in the face of
setbacks’ (Northouse, Leadership: Theory and Practice, 2017). Their actions should be
cool, calm and ‘consistent with their expresses beliefs and morals’ (Northouse, Leadership:
Theory and Practice, 2017). A leader must not be influenced by any factor during decision
making. They should have self-discipline, moral perspectives and an ability to focus on
the goal (consistency).

However, (Ford & Harding, 2011) mentioned in their article that, there was no evidence till
now on how authentic leadership results in ‘positive organisational outcomes’. On the
contrary, (Davenport, T.O.; Harding, S.D., 2012) said that, authentic people are with ‘self-
defined set of ‘beliefs’ and standard, they were the highest performing leaders. In addition,
(Heskett, 2009) has mentioned that, authenticity has brought greater positive impact to the
followers while, unauthenticity (fake) leaders either wear authenticity mask or a mask that
would hide their true self. According to (Avolio & Gardner, 2005), the purpose of GLI (Gallup
Leadership Institute) Summit, which was held in Omana on June 2004, focussed on promoting
‘original insights and basic theory regarding the emergence and development of authentic
leadership’. Therefore, due to ‘insecurity in leadership’, more honest leadership or AL theories
were recognised and has become a part of the conversation recently (Martin, 2016). However,
the most complicated part would be what (Rodriguez, Green, Sun, & Baggerly‐Hinojosa,
2017) and (Shamir & Eilamb, 2005) has mentioned in their articles; AL theories are closely
related to transformational, spiritual, charismatic and servant leadership theories.
Additionally, (Banks & E.Guler, 2016) has mentioned in their article that, the discussed
‘literature on transformational leadership’ relates to ‘authentic leadership theory and research’.
They came with the following hypothesis;

AL would ‘reflect incremental validity and/or provide a greater relative contribution than
transformational leadership when predicting important outcomes’

Banks and Guler has also mentioned that the ‘incremental validity of AL’ should be above
transformational leadership and the other theories.
From Great man theory to Servant leadership theory, from Transactional to Transformational,
Situational to Charismatic leadership theory, authentic leadership theory consists of all the
better traits of all these theories. If AL does not demonstrate ‘incremental validity’ and its
importance with relate to constructions of a leadership, then the researchers might ‘be brought
into questions’ (Banks & E.Guler, 2016). In conclusion, the positive characters or the positive
actions of all the leadership theories has AL characteristics.

Personal Reflection 1


We all came across certain leaders, in politics, at work place, or even in business. You must
have felt something missing in them. I have worked with different personalities of leaders,
some were lessons for me, while some were memorable and mesmerizing ones. I have handled
a project in the year 2010, which nearly became a failure. Then, I opened my true heart and
worked towards the goal. I realized that a leadership should work form the heart.


I thought that leaders could do a work in any way they like. I was wrong. I realized that, leaders
are those who could influence large number of people for a betterment or for worst. According
to (Northouse, Leadership Theory and Practice, 2016), leaders influence a group of people so
that they could achieve a ‘common goal’.

While handling my initial project back in 2010, which was a construction of stupa, a symbolic
Buddhist monument. It was a small project with local people volunteered. Working with people
from different level of education, age or personalities was a huge challenge for us. In addition
to that, my partner has a difficult personality. There were unlimited arguments and issues; he
told me ignore. More complaints arose and some even refused to turn up the following day.
Time and workers constraint has led to project delay. I was worried and stressed. I approached
other officials and senior project managers. Everyone wanted me to get in touch with the team.
Hence, after their advice I went ahead with the method.

Learning leadership theories in this unit has now taught me how I should have focused on that
situation. I understood now, how and why we had faced such issue from the beginning.

Since my partner was senior, he has lead the project. To my disappointment, he was not up to
my satisfaction. Initially, I have listened to him and followed him; But, when workers started
leaving the work, I took the lead.

I knew I have a great communication skill. Evidences are shown in Belbin test, Conflict Mode
Assessment, and Myer Briggs Type indicator. I am a great influential leader with values.

My mother, a teacher, taught us values. Respecting other person’s feelings, I went to the union
leader (the person who has initiated the volunteerism) and sought forgiveness. My moral values
have contributed me to socialize with my team. I was not knowledgeable, but not pretentious
too. I sought their suggestions and opinions on the issue. They discussed themselves on how
to cope up with the lost time. After they have informed me their views, the process and progress
has begun. I knew nothing about LT then, yet I have learnt that being genuine and true to self
and the team would bring us near the goal. Now I have realized that, team could be the main
assets for the success of the project (Davenport, T.O.; Harding, S.D., 2012).

Secondly, in a project there are certain areas where we need to take risk. We needed few
numbers of round-shaped stones for the stupa frame. Since we got a permit to collect from the
riverside, I was hoping everyone would be happy to go near the river. I was wrong. May, June
and July (summer) were rainy seasons. Everyone was scared to go near the river (who won’t
be scared to die?). Nevertheless, I have gathered all my courage to go near the river first. Slowly
and steadily the team has joined me. I have learnt that they have valued my initiative and has
respected my lead. Hence, I agree with what (Goleman, 2000) mentioned, that when a leader
becomes more emotional and then democratic, it would allow the team to participate willingly.
After my class lesson, I realized that I have taken the right decision that time.


Those incidents might be my initial experiences, but I am sure it would be repeated. Therefore,
I need to improve on my leadership theories (LT) within this semester. I should not repeat what
we have failed. I would consider this course as my project; where I would identify my weakness
(including strength) and improve it within this semester.
This would generate better leadership qualities and would perform and handle a project
successfully in future. I believe that at the end of this semester, I would have great LT where I
would inspire being a great (true, honest, inspiring, empowering and visionary) leader. Hence,
it would not only benefit me as an individual, but also the organisation I am working for and
the nation as a whole.

Personal Reflection 2


In 2009, I was a team member in a large project, Construction of Bank of Bhutan at Paro. We
were seven of us as Project Management team. Five of us were freshly passed out. There was
a situation once, were a project manager (Leader) got angry and scolded the ‘mistery’, a local
name for the head of the labour. The reason was that the labour union wanted to have cement
supplied from Penden Cement Ptv Ltd., Bhutan, rather than from Tata Cement Company, India.
I listened to the labours representative and did a thorough research. After all the arguments and
evidence, the senior project manager (SPM) accepted the proposal. At the end, we have realized
that the project almost lacked behind in standard quality.


I thought, hardworking itself indicates good leadership; But, feeling genuinely from the heart
and working towards the goal ‘with the team’, is the best amongst the best. Self-awareness,
balance processing or internalized moral perspective was not new to us then, however applying
that knowledge was unaware. My senior project manager (SPM) was a hardworking person,
but he never respected others’ opinion.

On the other hand, I was open, honest, true and enthusiastic person. When I communicated
with the labours on the issue, many mentioned about the cement quality. They said that it
hardens quickly after they open the bag. It was cheap, but the quality was low. Eventually, all
the labours (experienced and skilled) said the same thing. Such ‘affiliation’ as a leader, one
could open and shared everything (Yukl, 2013). I found out where it wrong. It could have led
to a collapse of the building.

After studying leadership theories in this unit, I have realised that SPM was lacking behind
balance processing and internalized moral perspective. He has done a business with the same
supplier and they have decided to reduce the price of the cement. Additionally, they gave ten
free cement bags. This has emotionally influenced him. Great leader should never be
influenced by environmental factors or should be bias (Northouse, Leadership: Theory and
Practice, 2017). Hence, I have realized that lack of LT would fail in leading, fulfilling the goal
and the overall success of a project.


I have known that experiences and professionalism are important factors for a successful
leadership. However, I have never realized that environment could influence a great leader.
Therefore, great leaders would make rational judgement and are not biased with emotions
(Giles, 2016).

Standing from SPM point of view, I clearly understood that he wanted to minimize the budget
expenses and have a good relationship with the suppliers. Nevertheless, he has failed to involve
expertise and study the quality. As a leader, one must understand oneself as well as the other
side (Ford & Harding, 2011). When we have discovered that the quality of the cement was bad,
in fact, worst, I nearly broke down. We have saved many lives. The thought of our building
colliding and killing many lives made me shiver. I thank god that I have listened and trusted
my team and my intuition.

(Northouse, Leadership Theory and Practice, 2016) mentioned Bill George, that authentic
leaders are honest, they inspire and work with the team from their hearts. AL theory states that
we have to be positive, truthful/honest and should ‘promote openness’ with the team
(Northouse, Leadership Theory and Practice, 2016). I have learnt a lesson that time. In addition
to that lesson, after studying LT, I realised it is mandatory for a leader to cooperate with the
team for the success of the organisation.


Firstly, after this incident, I have planned to continue with my openness and frankness
characteristics. Then, I need to lead a team, be it in the class or at work, within this semester
and keep track of my improvement.

Secondly, I have decided to maintain a journal for a year, where I can write the characteristics
of a great leadership and apply them accordingly. One need not need to be a leader to obtain
such action. This would not only help me in present, but also in my future career, as a leader.
If there is a progress in my leading strategies, then I might continue to maintain the journal
after ever research. I need to complete at least five journals within 2018.


Authentic leaders are honest, true to self and others. (Northouse, Leadership: Theory and
Practice, 2017) mentioned that ALT are above all the other theories. Hence, we can conclude
that transformational, charismatic, servant, spiritual or other forms of ‘positive leadership’ can
be incorporated in authentic leadership (Avolio & Gardner, 2005)

Authenticity is in every greatman’s nature and I feel that ‘great leaders’ are honest to self and
others (Rockwell, 2013). I believe, “If you can make your team feel like they belong in a family,
then half of the task is completed”. AL understands the vision, acts with passionate heart and
creates trust-relationship amongst team, (Northouse, Leadership Theory and Practice, 2016).
To put it differently, authentic leaders do not seek position for the sake of status or self-esteem
or not even ‘power’ (Atwijuka & Caldwell, 2017). In conclusion, aa the researchers on different
kinds of LTs might vary from culture to culture. However, it is important to have authentic
Figure. 1 What leadership requires, according to global leaders (Source: Sunnie Giles)
Figure 2. Traits of authentic leadership in other leadership theories. (Source; Sonam Wangmo, 2018)
Figure 3. Self-perception inventory (as a leader). (Source: Sonam Wangmo, 2017)
Figure 4. Leadership and communication traits for AL. (Source: Sonam Wangmo, 2017)
Figure 5. Self-assessment for Authentic Leadership. (Source: Sonam Wangmo, 2018)

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