The Centre for Army Leadership Podcast

Episode 20 - Lt Col Langley Sharp MBE

October 7, 2021

In this special episode of the podcast, we are joined by our very own Lt Col Langley Sharp MBE head of 'The Centre for Army Leadership', to discuss his new book 'The Habit of Excellence: Why British Army Leadership Works'. The book is the first endorsed book on British Army leadership and gives an inside and institutional view on what makes its leadership so effective. In the podcast, he talks to us about the evolution of British Army leadership and the books' inception. He speaks with real passion about how he hopes the book dispels the common misconception about British Army leadership being transactional and instead shines a light on the Army's people-centric transformational approach. Notwithstanding this, Lt Col Sharp doesn't shy away from the Army's leadership failures highlighting that the book offers some critical self-reflection on its failures stating that "we have much to teach about leadership, but also plenty to learn". He hopes the book encourages critical thinking, debate and challenge from both the Army and external organisations. Throughout the interview, he continually returns to the Army's culture and the unique nature of British Army leadership. Explicitly discussing the diversity of its leaders and the special relationship officers and soldiers within the British Army have, stating that the symbiotic relationship between the two is an incredible strength. Finally, he summarises it all by echoing a phrase from the book stating "leadership is not about the heroic exception or one-off action, but the habitual practice of doing what is right, difficult and necessary every single day to build a team, look after the people in it, and work towards the next objective."
 
An incredible interview with the author of 'The Habit of Excellence: Why British Army Leadership Works'.

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