The Centre for Army Leadership Podcast
Episode 17 - Professor Jamie Shea CMG

Episode 17 - Professor Jamie Shea CMG

July 29, 2021

In the latest episode of the Centre for Army Leadership Podcast, we have the privilege to speak with Professor Jamie Shea, former Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Emerging Security Challenges at NATO. Jamie's NATO career spanned an incredible 38 years, in which time he worked his way from Assistance Committee Secretary and Minute Writer to Deputy Assistant Secretary-General. As one would expect, Jamie speaks passionately about the importance and strength of coalitions and interoperability, highlighting the benefits of diversity and of having a unifying purpose at the strategic level. He talks about the challenges of leading without authority and unpacks the concept of 'leading through diplomacy'. Jamie looks to the future in highlighting the future challenge's leaders will face in an ever-changing and increasingly complex world, highlighting the issues that NATO leaders will face, specifically in dealing with sub-threshold Article 5 activity. Finally, he speaks to us about leading in a crisis, highlighting how good leaders are comfortable making decisions with incomplete information and being comfortable with taking risks. 

An energetic and reverting interview with a man who has had a front row seat to history. 

Episode 16 - WO1 Gavin Paton & SMA Michael Grinston

Episode 16 - WO1 Gavin Paton & SMA Michael Grinston

July 8, 2021

In this special joint podcast, we are honoured to be joined by the two senior soldiers of the US and UK Armies, SMA Michael Grinston and WO1 Gavin Paton. With nearly 60 years of service between them, they share insights from their times as junior leaders and the challenges they now face in their current roles. They speak openly and passionately about the issues they face in tackling mental health stigma and the need for people to maintain mental, physical, and social fitness. Both Army Sergeant Majors highlight the importance of professional and personal education in their young leaders and how engendering a challenge culture at every level ensures young leaders "feel empowered to make the complex decisions that deliver victory on the battlefield". In addition, they both speak with absolute candour about the love they have for their people, Mr Patton describing how "we must love and lead our people through our problems, but to love our people we've got to know our people". Finally, and, as one would expect, they highlight the requirement for all leaders to set the example for their followers and how "people must use their rank as an opportunity to do more for their people". 

An extraordinary insight from the senior soldiers of the US and UK Armies. 

Episode 15 - Leena Nair

Episode 15 - Leena Nair

June 24, 2021

This week we are honoured to be joined by a global trailblazer of the human resources world, Leena Nair. As the first female, first Asian, and youngest ever Chief Human Resource Officer at Unilever, Leena supports the 150,000-strong Unilever workforce across 190 countries. In this insightful episode, she talks passionately about her leadership journey within the company, discussing her time as a young trainee on the factory floor in India, and highlighting the challenges she has faced in breaking glass ceilings throughout her career. Talking with great honesty and sincerity, Leena conveys the importance of finding your purpose in life and pursuing it even if those around you doubt you. She unpacks the Unilever leadership philosophy, sharing with us the importance of working on your own “inner game” and the need to use “failure as a stepping-stone to success”. Leena also gives us an intimate insight into her modern leadership approach, emphasising the importance of personal resilience, creating psychological safety within your team, and the need for “team think” in tackling contemporary complex problems. Finally, Leena gives an optimistic view of the new generation of leaders, highlighting their drive and desire to make the world a better place.

A privileged insight from one of the world leaders in human resources. 

Episode 14 - Lt Gen Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE

Episode 14 - Lt Gen Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE

May 27, 2021

As the UK prepares to host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) later this year, Lieutenant General Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE joins the podcast to discuss leadership, sustainability and climate change. As the 'Climate Change and Sustainability Lead' for the MOD, General Nugee unpacks the MODs aspirations to reduce emissions and his role in leading this change. He discusses his climate change strategy and the three fundamental ambitions he has for the MOD: to act and be recognised as global leaders in climate change, to reduce emissions and to adapt to a climate change world. General Nugee acknowledges the scale of the challenge in reducing emissions but passionately dispels the myth that you can either have a green military or a capable one. Finally, he discusses the central role leaders have in driving behaviour change in the battle against climate change. 

A brilliant perspective on leading the fight against climate change.  

Episode 13 - Imam Asim Hafiz OBE

Episode 13 - Imam Asim Hafiz OBE

May 13, 2021

As Muslim communities around the world celebrate the end of Ramadan with Eid-al-Fitr, we are honoured to be joined by Imam Asim Hafiz OBE, Islamic Religious Advisor to Chief of the Defence Staff and Service Chiefs. Imam Asim became an Islamic Scholar in 1999, a process which lasted ten years during which time he also memorised the entire Qur’an. He has held positions in a range of religious and secular organisations and was awarded an OBE in 2014 for services to Defence. In the podcast, Imam Asim addresses the misconceptions from certain corners of society that service life is incompatible with the Muslim faith and draws symmetries between Islamic values and the RMAS motto ‘Serve to Lead’. He speaks passionately about the need for leaders to have spiritual and emotional competence and how one must know themselves before they can successfully lead others. Imam Asim also speaks openly about the importance of military leaders having cultural competence and how they must show openness, transparency, and candour.  Finally, Imam Asim discusses the prevalence of judgement within our culture and how a lack of trust will cause a breakdown of societal systems.  

 

Episode 11 - Archbishop Justin Welby

Episode 11 - Archbishop Justin Welby

May 12, 2021

In our Easter episode, we are privileged to be joined by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Following a successful career in the oil industry, he was ordained into the Church of England in 1992 and was enthroned as the 105th Archbishop of the See of Canterbury in 2012. In one of our most insightful episodes yet, the Archbishop talks to us about the importance of ethical leadership and the erosion of trust and forgiveness in the modern world. He passionately tells us how the best leaders espouse servant leadership and "surround themselves with people who are cleverer than them". Moreover, the Archbishop conveys the importance of knowing and caring for your people, the need for modern leaders to be accountable and discusses the importance of military chaplains within the Armed Forces. Archbishop Welby also talks with real candour about the difficulties of cultural change and the challenges the Church of England have faced in their cultural evolution. 

A brilliant interview from one of the worlds most iconic leaders. 

This episode is dedicated to the memory of Lieutenant Colonel Jane Hunter, a friend and ally of the Centre for Army Leadership.  

Episode 12 - Dr Tara Swart

Episode 12 - Dr Tara Swart

April 22, 2021

This week we are joined by Dr Tara Swart, neuroscientist, leadership coach and author. In this insightful episode, Dr Swart skilfully translates complex neuroscience concepts into simple leadership advice. She discusses her theory of 'Organisational Neuroplasicity' and the importance of organisational culture, highlighting the need for organisations to understand the impact their work has on the people and world around them. Dr Swart discusses her book 'The Source' and unpacks the six key concepts: mastering your emotions, brain and body connection, trust in yourself, logic, motivation and creativity. She also speaks passionately about personal health and mindfulness, highlighting the impact poor physical and mental health can have on a leaders performance. 

A fascinating insight into a subject that sits at the heart of leadership

Episode 10 - General Stanley McChrystal

Episode 10 - General Stanley McChrystal

March 18, 2021

We are honoured to be joined by General Stanley McChrystal in this week's episode. The former US four star general and JSOC Commander, General Stan was described as “one of America’s greatest warriors” by Secretary of Defence Robert Gates. In this episode he talks openly to us about some of the mistakes he has made throughout his career and what he learnt from them. He discusses the necessity for leaders to have humility and the concept of followership, specifically highlighting the strength of the British Non-Commissioned Officer. General Stan also unpacks his 'team of teams' approach and shares with us the need for 'shared consciousness', which he outlines can break down hierarchies and create more adaptable and resilient teams. Finally, he speaks fondly about the importance of making personal connections and to over-communicate with your people at every opportunity. 

An incredible episode from “one of America’s greatest warriors”.

 

Episode 9 - Eddie Jones

Episode 9 - Eddie Jones

March 4, 2021

In this episode we are joined by Eddie Jones, Head Coach of England Rugby. He is the most successful England coach in history for win percentages and has over 20 years of experience coaching and leading high-performance teams. Eddie speaks openly about the importance of honesty and how this is essential in building trust. He talks to us about the need for resilience within any team and how learning from failure and having a growth mindset is at the very heart of high-performance.  Eddie also discusses the significance of 'mental welfare', the differing needs of the younger generation and how leaders must prepare their people for 'the hardest moments of the game'. 

 

A fascinating insight into high-performance from one of the world's leading experts. 

Episode 8 - WO1 Sarah Cox

Episode 8 - WO1 Sarah Cox

February 18, 2021

This week we are joined by WO1 Sarah Cox, the Command Sergeant Major of the Army Recruiting and Initial Training Command. Sarah has over 24 years of experience as a soldier and is the first female Command Sergeant Major in the British Army.  She gives a soldier's perspective on leadership, talks about the importance of education, and shares her views on the importance of role modelling and coaching. Sarah also talks about some of the mistakes she has made in her career, highlighting the importance of creating a fail-safe culture which allows people to 'Fail. Learn. Win.'

A brilliant perspective on leadership from one of the British Army's senior soldiers. 

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