Cpl leadership

Hi there,

I was recently speaking to my staff and they said that they think that i am close to a promotion (to cpl). They said they want to see me start leading cadets and telling them what they are doing wrong, instead of doing the job myself. We also have bull night (cleaning night) coming up. Any ideas how i could devolp my leadership at cadets?

Leading is not telling people what they are doing wrong.

I’m not sure if that’s what your staff think, or just how you’ve phrased it, but that’s absolutely not what leadership is about.

Leadership is physical: you have to show your people what to do, and they have to see you achieving the same standards that you demand from them.

Leadership is moral. You have to, through your actions and words, get your people to want to follow you, to do as you ask. They have to believe that they/their experience will be better if they follow you than if they don’t.

Leaders lead, tyrants stand at the back with cattle prods.

Your starting point is to get a list of exactly what your staff want to be achieved, then you can help your people achieve it. Without a clear objective you’re going to get nowhere, either in cleanliness or leadership terms.


I agree with angus - the main thing for you now is to ensure that you develop the skill of leading now, rather than prodding people to do things differently.
As a cadet and Cpl. especially, it’s best (and easiest) to lead by example. Show your cadets how to do things, and that way they won’t feel that you’re bossing them around either - this is often how some cadets react when one of their fellow cadets starts to lead in the incorrect manner.
Good luck!


If you have a chance, do a Bronze leadership course. The PowerPoint bit of it is actually quite good on leadership styles.

But absolutely, absolutely, lead by example. And, call out examples of good behaviour/dress etc from your cadets, rather than focussing on the negative. Reward good turnout, and helpful or well prepared cadets; give bad/unprepared/scruffy/disruptive ones some quiet, individual words of advice, away from others, not a dressing down in front of them; just ‘Fred, can we chat at the end, please’ is enough.

Some staff don’t get this either, but it’s the only effective way.

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