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
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.
If you wanted the latest Senior NCO leadership advice, written by other Army leaders, then subscribe to The Army Leader and you’ll get it straight into your inbox.
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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
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
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
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
Role Models and Vulnerability By Richard Clark If you read any book on military leadership then you will quickly realise the importance of relationships; trying and exert authority without the approval or consent of your subordinates is destined to failure. No one will work for a prick, it’s as simple as that. The importance of…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
Don’t Be Defined By Failure By Noel When a few mouse clicks on Amazon returns over 100,000 titles on leadership it is clear to see that leadership writing is big business. The articles published on forums such as the Wavell Room, the Military Leader and the Cove all feed a hungry market of professionals desperate…Details
Orders and Disorder By Des Fitzgerald ‘Never give orders to your NCOs!’ was the advice a former CO of mine received from his father as he was commissioned. His father had served as a wartime infantry officer, fighting in such delightful battles as El Alamein and Anzio. Now at face value that appears a…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
The Three Ks of Leadership – Part 2 By Richard Clark MC In Part 1 I talked about the need to occasionally Kiss your subordinates. Woo them. Make them feel special and valued. To follow on I want to give my take on the second of the 3 Ks – Kuddle. Kuddle is not about…Details
The Three Ks of Leadership – Part 1 By Richard Clark MC For 12 years I served with 3 SCOTS – the Black Watch. In my time I served in both Iraq and Afghanistan a couple of times. I decided to leave in 2012 as the Platoon Sergeant of a highly capable platoon, one I was…Details
Spinning a Dit: Leadership and Storytelling By The Army Leader I remember the afternoon pretty well. Sat in my OC’s office with a brew and a plate of sandwiches. The OC was a military history enthusiast – as we all should be – and we were spending the afternoon examining the battles for Monte Cassino…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