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
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
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
Team of Teams: A Leadership Model for a Complex World By Dan Snelson The 21st century is a time unlike any other. Modern technology allows instant global communication for everyone, making the world no longer just highly complicated, but increasingly complex. It is this complexity, argues General Stanley McChrystal in his 2015 book Team of…Details
Honesty and Inspiration – An Interview with Maj Gen Paul Nanson By The Army Leader Since 2015 Major General Paul Nanson has been the Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the British Army’s Director Leadership. During his tenure he launched the Army Leadership Code, oversaw the publication of the Army’s first leadership doctrine…Details
The ‘Adding Value’ Dilemma: An Interview with Lt Gen Richard Nugee By The Army Leader People are at the heart of a leader’s business. This is something every junior leader gets – you need to understand your people, put their needs before your own, motivate and develop them. It is at the centre of leading…Details
Start With Another Narrative: Leadership for the Information Age By Matt Offord At the end of my presentation, I looked over the rows of young military officers and I realised that I had failed to convince them that I could offer them anything new on the subject of leadership. I had failed to create that…Details
Leadership in The Specialised Infantry: An Interview with Brigadier James Roddis The British Army has been training, advising, mentoring and fighting alongside indigenous armies since at least the 18th century. Whether formal or informal, these roles have tended to attract soldiers and officers of a particular temperament and character. Brigadier Ian Gardiner thought so. A…Details
Christmas Book List 2018 By The Army Leader With Christmas approaching, The Army Leader has reached out to some respected army leaders, scholars, authors and role models to ask them for a recommendation for our Christmas book list. It includes suggestions from Lieutenant Generals Tye Urch and Richard Nugee, and WO1 Glenn Haughton, the new…Details
Leaders: Myth and Reality by Stan McChrystal, Jeff Eggers and Jason Mangone By The Army Leader Team “Leadership is not what you think it is – and it never was” Last week the Army Leader team went to the Emmanuel Centre in London to listen to General McChrystal talk about his latest best-selling book, Leaders: Myth…Details
Change and Leadership By The Army Leader Change is coming – and leaders had better be ready. This was the message from the 2018 Army Leadership Conference, where 850 delegates from across the services (and civil service) heard from four speakers on the subject of leading through change. The speakers painted a compelling vision of change…Details
Don’t Manage Your Time, Manage Your Tasks By The Army Leader In my early career I was often told I would need improve my time management. “Getting everything done is about managing your time better” was a common response when I asked how others got all their jobs done. I was recently told the same…Details
Will your leadership strengths derail you? By The Army Leader There is a leader that I think we all know. They are intelligent; much more so than their peers and subordinates. They are an action person and get things done; in fact, they are the unit’s highest performer. And they are a detail person; nothing…Details