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Key solutions to improve leaders’ political culture

(LLCT) - As V.I. Lenin said, politics involve millions of people. Professional politicians and political leaders have an immense amount of responsibility to take for the citizens of their states. They must be talented and virtuous, leading their people and improving their societies.

At the 12th National Congress, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) stated: “It is necessary to attach importance to building the environment of organizations of the Central Party, the State and the political system. A crucial element of this is continuing to study and follow Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality and style”(1). Ho Chi Minh’s teachings are a key factor to building a strong and transparent political system. This system requires improving political leadership and the state’s management competency regarding the construction and protection of the country. Leaders have a responsibility to boost morality and promote social development.

Ho Chi Minh’s ideology and expectations combine talent, virtue, practice, and the improvement of political culture. These teachings will help establish prestigious morality as an important asset within political culture, helping leaders win people’s hearts and fulfill their tasks.

Some directions and manual solutions to improve current leaders’ political culture are as follows:

1. Leaders’ political culture can be improved by teaching Marxism - Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology

Ho Chi Minh stated that political officers need theoretical training(2). Theory plays an important role as it is a system of mainstream beliefs founded on knowledge and experience. Marxism - Leninism, and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology are used to train officers and CPV members. These are used to foster leaders’ ideology which directly related to the Partly leadership.

Communists who want to improve the current political culture and fulfill their historic roles need to understand culture and shape it into the working class’s spiritual weapon all over the world in the fight for freedom.

Learning these three ideologies involves studying methodology, morality, style, and lifestyle. Maxism - Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology forms a foundation for the Party leaders to improve their political background, working competency and revolutional virtues. It is a basic criterion to improving political culture.

2. Improving leaders’ political culture is attached to understanding the CPV’s political platform and guidelines

Policies and political decisions are based upon political platforms and guidelines that are relevant to each revolutionary period’s political conditions.

Political culture can only be improved by understanding the CPV’s political platform and guidelines. The political platform defines long-term missions and methods to be used by the working class, Party and revolutionary forces. It also states motives, forms and key means to achieving the strategic revolutionary objectives.

Understanding these guidelines will allow the Party to improve the potential of political leaders. Fluctuations or mistaken calculations in the Party principles could degrade political culture and sabotage the Party’s mission.

In addition to understanding the country’s political guidelines, leaders must also supplement and develop those guidelines.

3. Improving leaders’ political culture relates to basic teachings on political science and leadership science

Politics is a complex object. If political activists are not equipped with the knowledge to better understand politics, they can easily become victims of political deception. In order to solve complex current political problems, “leaders and managers must be equipped with systematic scientific and political knowledge, they cannot be satisfied just with their own experiences, lacking of theoretical basic and systematic knowledge sometimes cause many mistakes”(3).

The study of political science encompasses self-conscious and systematic viewpoints of diverse political conditions over time. Those who study political science will gain a good understanding of political nature, political trends, social movements, and development. Political science gives political activists a system of knowledge that sets comprehensive theory and political experience as a foundation for political solutions. Science-based assessment can help leaders form strategies to address political affairs. The political science provides a scientific background for leaders in making the political guidelines, strategies and policies. Political knowledge raises leaders’ awareness and determination to move toward socialism.

Along with political knowledge, government members should also increase their knowledge of leadership methods. Leadership science can provide leaders with the knowledge and skills to analyze political situations and form appropriate responses. A lack of knowledge and action in this area can lead to confused leaders and poorly resolved situations.

Political leadership science still requires further research in the following areas: the nature and purpose of leadership; basic tenets of relational leadership; functions and uses of leadership; social and psychological problems within leadership; leaders and the formation of key virtues; leadership processes and mechanisms; strategic regulation and implementation; scientific decision making; selection and use of talent; and the use of ideological communication, political dialogue, and labor resources.

4. Improving leaders’ political culture is attached to improving morality and political activism

Revolutionary leaders must practice revolutionary morality and become a source of trust for the people. Leaders must abide by the law. President Ho Chi Minh emphasized that leaders can only function as educators and supervisors if they set a moral example for their subordinates.

Leaders must be self-reliant. They must motivate themselves before they can take charge of others. Although we often characterize leaders by their goals and actions, their internal values are just as important. Leaders must use their inner strength to guide others toward self-reliance, hard work, and education.

Leadership that improves its own competency and morality is the key to fulfilling responsibilities. Some current leaders are too proud, indulging in luxurious lifestyles and promoting their personal connections to high positions. This affects their individual image and the overall impression of the country’s leadership.

Leaders should encourage education by continuing to study and learn. Lazy leaders who only want to follow old customs will negatively affect the cause of innovation. Leaders must study and act upon what they learn. When selecting leaders for promotion, V.I. Lenin was cautious, selecting only the most qualified candidates whose leadership would be based in truth and morality.

5. Improving leaders’ political culture is attached to improving public political culture

One of Ho Chi Minh’s political principles was that politics must be made public(4). Citizens’ approval is a way to measure the productivity and efficiency of working class leaders. Public political culture also makes a good foundation for the improvement of leaders’ political culture. When public political culture improves, so does the culture created by leaders.

Improving the working class’s political culture involves attracting them to engage in socio-political activities and respond promptly to the Party’s and State’s policies. According to Lenin, socialism must inspire people’s political action, inspiring even “the housewives to get involved in state matters”. All people will observe basic rules and work for and contribute to the country’s development.

Improving the public’s political culture will inspire the creativity of social resources as the cause of building the country. The degree of a society’s political comprehension determines how that society implements democracy. That creates stable and sustainable socio-political mechanisms for development. Ho Chi Minh said: “Only an optimized democracy can encourage all people to push the revolution forward”(5).

When political culture is improved, the people will be able to contribute to managing and supervising the leaders’ work. They will hold leaders accountable, and put pressure on authority members if they show they are no longer competent. The people can use their legal understanding to protect citizens’ legal benefits. They can also learn how to use the law to protect themselves against illegal actions such as corruption, bureaucracy, and abuse of power.

Political education increases independent thought and reason, which can improve the current political climate. It can also help citizens stay updated on current events and quickly recognize leaders’ behaviors. As a French political scientist and law researcher posited, it closes the gap between citizens and authority, reduces deception, and in many cases increases citizens’ confidence in their own political influence(6).

6. Improving leaders’ political culture will reform personnel work of the Party

Personnel work is a key element of the Party. The quality of personnel work directly affects multiple aspects of cadres’ and party members’ life and career. Improving leaders’ political culture is closely linked to personnel reform of the Party.

During the renewal period, the contingent of cadres still faces many limitations regarding virtues and competency. There are a number of reasons for this, including inactivity, a lack of a comprehensive personnel strategy, inconsistent policy, and faulty observation of the Party’s rules and regulations.

In order to select key leaders to meet set requirements, the personnel work needs to focus on the following areas:

- Identify criteria for each position, and develop personnel evaluation and assessment. Based on that, the appointment of the cadres should be based on the principle of sustainability. Work efficiency and leadership prestige are two key criteria used to evaluate officials and assign work.

- Key officials must be trained according to their work requirements. Training programs need to be reformed, combining theory with practice, equipping knowledge and morality, legal knowledge and practice skills. Knowledge should be specific and comprehensive.

- Regulations and work procedures related to personnel work must be completed. This should encompass the selection, promotion, mobilization, management, supervision, criticizing, and revoking of officials. It should bring about a standardized, orderly, and systematic process of selecting officials and cadres of the Party.

- Personnel policy should promote officials’ activity, responsibility, and work security. More benefits equals more responsibilities. In the current setting, some key areas need breakthrough innovations such as officials’ salaries, recruitment of talented candidates, and employee retention.

Additionally, improvingleaders’ political cultureis closely attached to the Party’s competency,culture, political mechanism sustainability, democracyandthe fight against corruption, and the establishment of a sustainable and developed economic environment.


(1) CPV:12thNational Congress Document, the Office of Central Party Committee, Hanoi, 2016, p.215.

(2) (4) HoChiMinh: Complete Works, Vol.5, National politicsPublishing House, Hanoi, 2000, p.276, 298

(3) Nguyen Duc Binh: Some issues on theory, ideology and culture,National PoliticsPublishing House, Hanoi, 2001, p.420.

(5) HoChiMinh: Complete Works, vol.9, National politicsPublishing House, Hanoi, 2000, p.592.


(6) Nguyen Xuan Te: Introduction to Politics Science,Ho Chi MinhCity Publishing House, 2002, p.147.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Lam Quoc Tuan

Dr. Nguyen Thang Loi



Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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