Honest Mistakes and Better Soldiers By Lance Corporal David Griffiths My Company Commander once briefed my company on how to make honest mistakes into positive experiences. He explained how they were, in retrospect, good if not essential things. We can all read about leadership and talk about being better soldiers until the sun goes down…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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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
Sympathy or Empathy? How feeling enhances leadership in training By Oli Wettern Any aspiring leader should be familiar with the maxim that “no one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”. The meaning is clear: those that are in your command will listen to you and follow you only when…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
Lockdown Leadership: A Guardsman’s Perspective By Guardsman David Griffiths As you read these words the lockdown may well be relaxing and almost over. But when I wrote them, I was, as you probably were, in the sixth week of a lockdown that changed all our lives perhaps more than we thought it would. It led…Details
Personal Development: Tips from a Year in the JHub By James Kuht “If you keep learning all the time, you have a wonderful advantage” Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway. The law of compound interest (that a 1% improvement in your knowledge each day would make you doubly smart within 70 days) makes a compelling case for…Details
Leadership: Tips from a Year in the JHub By James Kuht In the previous article on GSD (“Getting Stuff Done”) I talked about the criticality of assembling a small-but-perfectly-formed team – this article explores how you might lead them effectively. Now I am certainly not a born leader, naturally quite introverted in fact, and am…Details
Getting Stuff Done: Tips from a Year in the JHub By James Kuht “Ideas are easy, execution is everything” John Doerr, Billionaire Tech Investor & author of “Measure what Matters” “Getting stuff done” (GSD) sounds so simple but is a skill held by remarkably few. I am not talking about simply being given a task to…Details
Ideation: Tips from a Year in the JHub By James Kuht This is the first article in a series of four on my experiences of innovation at the jHub/jHubMed – UK Strategic Command’s innovation hub. They are intended for anyone who is interested or actively involved in innovation or entrepreneurship. I have attempted to write…Details
LION Culture – A Practical Guide to Unlocking the Potential of Every Soldier. By WO1 (RSM) Joseph Fleming In recent years the Army has spent real time and energy emphasising leadership. The introduction of the Army Leadership Code has been the most obvious example, but the establishment of the Centre for Army Leadership (CAL) and…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
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
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