James Mattis’s Leadership Philosophy You’d have to have been living in a hole to not have heard of James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis. The current Secretary of Defense and former United States Marine Corps General has a legendary reputation in the US armed forces. It’s a reputation built on stories of his no-nonsense combat and peacetime leadership. Several years…Details
Senior NCO Leadership
“Senior NCOs run the Army”. Even if that’s not true, Senior NCO leadership is certainly making the British Army’s companies, units and administration run. As a Senior NCO you’re an experienced leader but you are moving from leading at the front to making everything work behind the scenes.
Officers value your opinion, NCOs see you as a role model. But the chain of command also expects you to have a wider view. Everyone knows you could run the troop or platoon. You need to prove you can make the company, unit, stores or training team run. That’s a much bigger ask.
Good NCOs are not just born. They are groomed and grown through a lot of hard work and strong leadership by Senior NCOs.
William Connelly, sixth Sergeant Major of the US Army
You’re also a role model to your Junior NCOs, developing their leadership and helping them see the bigger picture as well. If you need some inspiration, check out these videos with some training suggestions. If you’ve been tasked to run a leadership development session then check out these leadership resources, books and some leadership quotes to spice up your presentations.
Great Senior NCO leadership is thinking of the bigger picture, being a first class role model and bringing the maturity and experience that junior officers can’t deliver. The articles below are for you.
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Counting the Costs of Winning: Doing the Right Thing, on a Difficult Day… When the Whole World is Watching
Counting the Costs of Winning: Doing the Right Thing, on a Difficult Day… When the Whole World is Watching By Martyn Cook. Leaders under pressure must keep themselves absolutely clean morally. The relativism of the social sciences will never do. They must lead by example, must be able to implant high-mindedness to their followers, and…Details
The Lord Down Here. Discipline Lessons from RSM John C Lord MVO MBE RSM John Lord MVO MBE is a legendary character but one that is less recognised these days than he should be. He achieved two notable firsts: the first RSM of 3 PARA (on its formation) and the first Academy Sergeant Major at…Details
JP Morgan’s Guaranteed Formula For Success Sometimes, in the Army and in our lives, we find ourselves confusing working long hours with working hard. And then we confuse working hard with achieving results. There’s no simple way to avoid this mistake. It requires us to constantly assess which task(s) will best deliver our aims, and…Details
Advising and Inspiring: What I Learned from ‘Bottom-Up Blogging’ I recently instigated an internal monthly blog within my Army Reserve RMP company. It began with me writing an example and publishing it. I then press-ganged others to follow suit. To begin, each month we covered a different aspect of the British Army’s ‘LEADERS’ model from the…Details
High Morale: Lessons from D-Day to the House of Lords …Remember Monty’s pep talks to us on the eve of the invasion? Then the emotional feeling as we threaded our way through the English countryside, heading for our embarkation points. I can recall some barracking dockers as we approached Southampton, shouting to us ‘are you…Details
Breaking the Mould – How to Change, Develop and Improve Instruction Recently I witnessed, with a heavy heart, a group of trainees being disciplined by their Corporal instructor. Swearing, derogatory language and general de-motivation – it really was sad to listen to. And thankfully, it’s very rare to see these days. When I took the Platoon Commander, who was watching, aside and explained to…Details
Crossing the Stress Point In the 2003 film Falling Down Bill Foster, Michael Douglas’s divorced and unemployed engineer, descends in a stress induced downward spiral, angrily fighting and shooting his way across LA to make it to his daughter’s birthday. “I’ve passed the point of no return. Do you know what that is, Beth? That’s…Details
Never Off Duty – Are You A Social Role Model Too? Today I watched Padre Johanna Jepson and Lt Col Nick MacKenzie talk at the Centre for Army Leadership. The talk was livestreamed over Facebook. They talked about the inmate rehabilitation programme at Louisiana State Penitentiary in a talk titled ‘Unexpected Leaders: Lessons from Louisiana…Details
Nail Your Meetings! We’ve all sat through horrible meetings. In the Army and in civvie street, no one looks forward to meetings. In the US the average employee spends 37% of their time in meetings and 47% complain that meetings are the number one waste of time in their job. A recent U.K. study showed that the…Details
Trusting Us and Trusting Them – A Leader’s Role – Part 2 In the first part of this article I mentioned the theory that trust is made up of integrity, intent, capability and proven results. In this part I’ll cover the next three ways to build trust between teams. The first, to be honest, is…Details
Trusting Us and Trusting Them – A Leader’s Role – Part 1 In 2015 the NATO Kabul Security Force created a joint UK-US integrated command battalion to provide security in Kabul. With a UK commander and a US Command Sergeant Major, it was the first integrated unit like this since the Korean war. The unit…Details
The Five ‘Universals’ of Great Leaders? “You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle I left the Army in 2013 having had an incredible twenty year career. During that time I had the opportunity to lead soldiers in a variety of environments including the most demanding of…Details
Drive The Power Train One of the seven Leadership Code behaviours is ‘Encourage Confidence in the Team’. The guide to the Code says that leaders should inspire and motivate their team by showing confidence in their abilities and talking enthusiastically about success. Inspirational motivation. Fine words. But what does that actually mean? ‘Encourage Confidence in…Details
RSM Common Sense It’s 2002. I’m a newly promoted Cpl in the Vikings waiting to go in front of the CO and be read my Section Commanders’ Battle Course report. I am arrogant, overzealous and thirsty to fight any enemy that comes my way. The only thing that matters in my bubble is the 10…Details
Clive Woodward’s Teamship 22nd of November 2003. In the Telstra stadium the Australian Rugby team faced off England in the Rugby World Cup final. Australia, the hosts, took an early lead in a physically brutal match but England gradually pulled ahead towards the end of the first half. There then followed a nail-biting second half.…Details
Dealing with the Power/Truth Imbalance “All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” Sophocles, Antigone The topic of speaking up and getting your voice heard has been a hot one recently, with two articles written in the Wavell…Details
Don’t Airbrush Leadership On 15th and 16th of May 2017, 13 members of the Brigade of Gurkhas stood on the summit of Mount Everest, the first serving Gurkhas ever to do so. The Gurkha Everest Expedition 2017 was the culmination of a 5 year journey. It was the most successful mountaineering expedition on Everest in…Details
Five Reflections on Building a Mission Command Culture – Part 2 In Part 1 I gave what I think are the first two rules of thumb for a mission command culture. Rules based on establishing your intent and communicating it. The next three rules are about creating a culture of trust and the freedom to…Details
Five Reflections on Building a Mission Command Culture – Part 1 Mission command is more than just the British and US Armys’ philosophy of command – it’s more or less the NATO philosophy of command. It’s founded on the clear expression of intent by commanders, and the freedom of subordinates to act to achieve that…Details