Robert has had the pleasure and privilege of over 40 years’ service in the Regular and Reserve Armed Forces of the UK leading young men and women in organisations from around 30 strong to over 10,000. Leadership approaches have varied from the ‘follow me’, through traditional hierarchical command and control to rather more nuanced approaches of ‘nudge’ and influence. The opportunity to observe the approach to leadership of much more senior people at close quarters has proved invaluable. He has no time for those who rant, lack humour and do not possess a thirst to improve their professional competence – no affected dilettantes. His key observation is that leadership is not something that is ‘done’ by one person to a group but rather a complex ecosystem of context, the leader, the led and the mission: John Adair would have recognised this. The prize goes to the leader who is acutely aware and has the flexibility of mind to adjust. This is well described in Stan McChrystal’s latest book, Leaders, Myth and Reality, with some fascinating case studies.
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