Leadership Lessons from the past: Operation Market Garden, 1944 By Neil McLennan This week marks the 76th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, a bold plan by British military leader, Field Marshall Bernard Law Montgomery. The military operation could have brought the Second War to an end a year early. The plan was to advance at…Details
Field Officer Leadership
Field Officer leadership is an important step. Up until now you’ve been a team leader. You’ve been leading a group of under 150 or so, able to recognise the face of every person you are responsible for. Now (apart from sub-unit command) you’re an organisational leader. The influence you wield over those at the bottom of your organisation is through others. Field Officer leadership is exercised much more frequently through writing, policy, planning and creating organisational culture. As a result your influence is wider but can be less satisfying. It also requires some different skills.
This is the Field Officer’s leadership problem: To have the most effect you need to be capable at organisational leadership. To have a happy immediate team you need to use the team leadership skills that your displayed as a junior leader. To go back to John Adair, you need to think about the three circle (task, team and individual) at two levels at once. Organisational leadership will deliver the organisation’s task. But you still have to think about your immediate team’s task, team and individual needs.
If you are tasked to run some leadership development for your subordinates, you’ll find some leadership development videos you can use here and some articles and advice on leadership development here. You’ll also find it useful to subscribe to HBR – their business leadership articles are normally focused at the organisational level.
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Media Credit: Image © Crown Copyright under Open Government Licence v3.0
Do Not Take Leadership for Granted: An Interview with Major General Charlie Collins By The Army Leader Team Major General Charlie Collins commissioned into the Royal Green Jackets in 1995, beginning career that has seen him deploy around the world for over 25 years, preparing and deploying light combat forces on operations. Between 2012 and…Details
Leading Through Crisis: An Interview with Lt Col Langley Sharp By The Army Leader In June 2020, as part of its mission to develop leadership across the British Army and to work in concert with other parts for the public sector, the Centre for Army Leadership published Leading Through Crisis; A Practitioner’s Guide. The new…Details
Jazz and the Orchestra: The Problem with Planning By Des FitzGerald On 15th May 1944, at St Paul’s School in London, General Bernard Montgomery gave a briefing for the upcoming Normandy campaign and how he anticipated the battle developing. On the large-scale briefing map there were a series of phase lines. These nested within some…Details
The Future of Command and Control: Four Models to Provoke Thought By Will Meddings In 2019’s second Agile Warrior Quarterly an article considered the idea of the Conceptual Force (Land) 35, the ‘CF(L)35’. This capstone concept proposes new capabilities, a new way of operating, and a new force design for the period 2030-2035. The same…Details
Names Matter: The US Military Must Take a Strong Stance on Bases Named after Confederate Leaders By Dave Hansen, US Army. The opinions in this article are his own and not an official representation of the US Army, DoD or the US Government. On Monday the 8th of June US Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy stated…Details
The Reimagining Defence Interview By The Army Leader What are the most important ideas and trends that every military leader must understand? Grey Zone conflict? Information warfare? The evolution of urban conflict in megacities? Right now there are plenty of contenders for ‘most important trend in defence’. Last week I spoke to two military officers…Details
Biff! A Personal Reflection on Supporting the Wounded, Injured and Sick By Andrew Dodson Biff. Let’s face it. It is a word we have all used at some time in our career in the Army. Usually disparaging in nature and frequently preceded by four letter expletives. A word used to describe those on light duties…Details
A Call for the Reluctant Leader: How Do You Address Complex Organisational Problems? By Miles Hayman I am a fan of the British Army. I think it is an awesome organisation. I also think it is full of outstanding leaders practising their craft admirably, often in exceptionally difficult conditions. Confront us with crises, especially on…Details
Christmas Leadership Book List 2019 By Tim Heck, Book Reviews Editor Each year, with Christmas around the corner and High Street full of holiday sales, The Army Leader reaches out to respected military leaders, scholars, and authors to ask them for a recommendation for our Christmas leadership book list. This year we sought a more…Details
A Breath of Fresh Air: Project Oxygen and the British Army By Will Meddings It’s a simple question; an often-asked question that seems to have a million answers: what makes a good leader? It is worth asking this simple question, not because there is a simple answer but because asking it might just force you…Details
We Happy Few: A Call for Inclusion By The Army Leader The 25th of October is St Crispin’s day, a festival that celebrates the martyrdom of Saints Crispin and Crispinian around 286 AD. It is also (and perhaps better) remembered as the anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, part of the Hundred Years’ War between…Details
The Strength of the Clan is in The Clansman: Reflections on Company Command By Al Phillips The rotation of Sub-Unit Commanders across the British Army is well and truly under way with many new Officers Commanding (OC) now in appointment, and the next batch churning over the coming weeks. I was asked by a friend…Details
A Veteran’s Perspective on Training and Development By Richard Clark Jocks, NCOs and officers are now far more transparent about their successes and failures than they were in my day (All those years ago!). It is a good thing, too. When I left the Army several years ago it was rare to talk about the…Details
Staff Ninja or Staff Monkey? By David Crosbie The British Army, like many other armies, talks openly about being a learning organisation. Review and reflection are actively encouraged, with a view to making the institution and its people better in the long run. We even have an Army Command Standing Order for it (ACSO 1118,…Details
Failure: A Practioner’s View By Lt Col Fernando Garetto, Some authors say that failure is a key element of learning. Others suggest that leaders should share their failures in order to make their people feel more comfortable with their own mistakes, contributing to the generation of a creative culture. Ed Catmul dedicated a whole chapter…Details
Leading Civilian Staff – A Medic’s View By Dr Stephen Carey Life appears to be increasingly complex and Defence is not immune from the challenges this presents. Recruiting and training those with the required skills can be difficult, and drawing upon the capabilities and emotional perspectives of civilians may prove beneficial, especially in niche areas.…Details
Summer Book List 2019 Last Christmas we asked a group of senior leaders what books they would recommend a leader has on their Christmas list. Well Christmas is now far behind us. The cold is a distant memory and most of us are looking forward to relaxing in the sun over the summer. And if…Details
Exclusion and Inclusion: The Inner Ring CS Lewis is probably best known for his books: the Narnia children’s series, his science fiction novels and his Christian allegories. But he was also the Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University and a keen observer of human nature. One piece of his work is not…Details
Mutual Respect and the Modern Army By WO1 JJ Fraser Recently I observed US Army Command Sergeant Major Crosby asking a few UK soldiers what their achievements were. Almost every reply was based on promotion. As I walked away, I asked myself the same question and found that I could not answer it. Over a…Details