32 years in the British Army: Parachute Regiment and Special Forces; commanding on operations at every rank up to Major General (i.e. from tens to thousands of people); strategic leadership in Whitehall.
Leadership is about getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. Having the right idea is the easy part; its persuading your team (and sometimes your boss) that it is the right idea that is the hard part. Key to this is trust between leaders and led. A good way to build this is to know (and show you know) your people, by exploiting their strengths and protecting them from their weaknesses. No-one is perfect and people thrive when you believe in them.
Another way of building trust is by sharing the problem with the team, and asking for their ideas; ideas have value not rank. Never forgetting that, as was forcibly brought home to me in the Falklands, when the pressure is on, it is still up to the leader to shoulder the responsibility of making the decisions. But the more the team own the plan, and the more they trust you, the more committed to it they will be.
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