The Centre for Army Leadership Podcast

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. 

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