Leadership tips

Hi there,
After parade today, I was wondering how leadership is assessed, in leadership exercises all i am marked down on is not being authoritive enough. Although all cadets first class and higher have established that the when cdt NCOs are busy they leave me in charge (and/or get me to do something they would normally do), It still takes several orders to get them to do anything. Nevermind the new cadets (who are not enrolled) not listening to anyone (even the NCOs and Officer at any time)

Leadership is not an easy thing to grade as there are several basic leadership styles, see here, and not knowing what criteria that you are being marked against also makes answering this tricky. Have you asked specifically what is being looked for, as many look for sublty different things. That you say that you are left in charge indicates a level of trust placed, if I were you, I would ask what you might do in order to improve.

I did look at the marking criteria with permission from staff. I was told I need to show that I am the one in charge more. So that if you entered the room you could clearly see I was in charge.

To answer your question. I believe I am a sort of team leader, but am not afraid of taking risks to complete a task.

I would like to ask if there are any way to prove the impact you make on others. For example to get them to follow orders. At my sqdrn al cadets think that no slides = we should not listen.

There are many ways - generally the ATC uses PICSIE.

By far the best way to tell though is to ask for a copy of the marking sheet - that way you can tell exactly what you are being marked on. This is my squadron’s:

Thank you. Will do. Good points made in yours.

Some thoughts from a tired brain! - You need to speak confidently; listen to the team when you say that you are giving them an opportunity and then from that say what your course of action is. Tell everyone know what you expect of them, specific tasks/roles/results etc. Avoid geeting drawn into the task, keep out of the weeds yourself so that you can see what is going on, re/directing and encouraging as necessary.

‘Leadership’ in the Corps is far too formulaic and process driven, whereas in the real world it is much more organic and learning from mistakes. Just think about leadership as organising people to do things. You can look at lists all you like but it’s all about doing the day to day things. Being duty NCO is a leadership task, setting up a campsite is a leadership task but you haven’t got someone with a tick list and stopwatch picking holes or doing obtuse things to make life awkward.

Leaders have to gain the confidence of those around them and this largely comes from the leader’s experience / knowledge, ability to apply these and one thing is if you give people something to do let them get on with it rather than constantly meddling. We currently have 2 (or if you are a dreamer 3) people going around trying to convince us they would make a good PM, ie leader of the government. Those of us old enough will all vote on June 8th based on who we think will do the best job and then expect them to do it. Elected positions a are probably the extreme of leadership tasks

I have worked with and for people all my life none of whom have had the supposed benefit of my exposure to formulaic leadership methodology and they get on OK.

You may think that, but it’s hard to argue with any part of PICSIE.

Maybe not, but it is still a formulaic, process tick list.

I find it quite interesting that these have come to the fore in recent years, yet when I was a cadet and going through the ranks, you just got on with it and no one said anything about leadership styles and so on. I don’t regard any of us as being any better or worse than cadet NCOs today. I didn’t come across anything like this until I went to Newton for my WO course and wasn’t overly impressed then.

There is a real problem that rather than just develop completely individually we have youngsters who perform according to a list of instructions.

It’s a tool, a checklist.

The point is that in any given leadership situation if you fail to perform any part of PICSIE then your performance will be sub-standard.

I’ve been on all manner of developmental courses and seminars etc through work and never once heard any mention of this sort of thing except in the Corps.

I’ve been on project teams and never once has anything like this been mentioned and believe me with some of the project leaders if there is a mnemomic or similar, they’re sure to use it, ad infinitum. We get jobs / things to do and crack on, which is how it should be ‘taught’.

How is that a lesson?

And if it turns out that they’re not very good at leading, how are you going to identify where they’re going wrong?

Btw it’s not a Corps thing, it’s an RAF thing that is generally well-received by other forces when they observe what we do.

It’s called taking responsibility for something you are asked to do, without following a non-specific method for just doing something. When in a project team it’s your responsibility to say if you hit problems if it is going to affect delivery. You soon find out if you fail to deliver.

I’ve never used, even subconsciously, any of the ‘leadership’ material I’ve seen in the Corps outside the Corps. It’s definitely not part of my day to day living.

We used to use the mnemonic “SMEAC” all the time in the RAF as well as others. They’re not the be-all and end-all but just a tool to aid leadership.

That’s because you know everything and there’s no room for improvement…


No just never felt the need to use it outside the Corps, as you ask people to do things where it is their field and they get on with it and as said pipe up if they can’t or run into problems. You wouldn’t ask someone to do something they couldn’t because that would be madness.

You use these things in the Corps because if you don’t the cadets will lose out.

What if you have someone who can’t do something yet, and you want to teach them how to do it?

At work you wouldn’t include someone in a project team if they didn’t have a relevant skill / knowledge. Partly why the HQAC projects don’t work, as the people invariably don’t have the day to day working knowledge of the Corps at sqn level and never cost them out, other than sqns can pay for it. These are people who have been through all of the Forces basic leadership training and higher and fail to deliver every time. The same applies to MoD projects as well, ‘blessed’ with a number of senior officers. If they used all the mnemomics should they not get it right every time?

WRT to cadets leading things they should have been doing it under the auspice of a current NCO as a duty cadet and TBH as long as it gets done who cares how they do it. I’ve never placed much store in leadership scenarios as a way teaching people how to be a “leader” or judging how good a “leader” they might be. The question is how many leaders are there in society who do a bloody good job and have never had the benefit of a mnemomic.

[quote=“Teflon, post:18, topic:2914”]At work you wouldn’t include someone in a project team if they didn’t have a relevant skill / knowledge.[/quote]Depends whether you want to develop your staff or not.

[quote=“Teflon, post:18, topic:2914”]The question is how many leaders are there in society who do a bloody good job and have never had the benefit of a mnemomic.[/quote]A much better question is how many more there would be with a bit of instruction, practice and constructive feedback.

Being involved in a project team comes when you have proved yourself capable and with recommendation. You wouldn’t put someone with limited experience of the role (unless it’s a HQAC/ACMB project) into a team or directing / leading the task. I didn’t get involved in projects directly for many years, I attended meetings like many others but that was more for personal interest so if I got dicked I knew what was coming. I have a mate who is a senior construction project manager, who spent years learning the ropes, before getting involved in the leading of projects. He started off just doing the donkey work and was gradually given site responsibilities of increasing complexity. He said he was and still is very much judged on getting things done.

The only thing I can recall in the workplace when it comes to projects is smart.

I don’t think instruction etc would help in business or society as people have a tendency to switch off when presented with another fashionable fad, unless they’re the ones banging on about it. It probably works in the forces because of the general mind set and environment, of compliance with a given instruction.