Apr 25 2017| Leadership | Values
Leadership Lessons from Major General Marriott
How to advance
by Phil Eyre Founder
With Guernsey’s first leadership conference fast approaching, 22nd June 2017, Leaders’ Founder Phil Eyre spoke to one of the presenters, Major General Patrick Marriott.
As former Commandant of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, Major General Patrick Marriott is exceptionally well placed to speak on leadership. During his distinguished career in the British Army, he was also Director General for Leadership for the British Army and was responsible for creating ‘Developing Leaders’, the Army’s current leadership doctrine.
Q. What is the focus of your talk?
A. The talk is all about 'where leaders should be'. It's about the importance of leaders being in the right place at the right time so they can make a difference. This is not always as easy as it sounds, as leaders are usually subject to competing demands.
In my talk, I will offer a few clues and have some pithy examples of getting it right and getting it wrong. It should make for some good discussion.
Q.What does good or effective leadership look like to you?
A. Good leadership is fair leadership. It must be based on a moral authority and set clear direction; think and delegate wisely, develop others and inspire. Good leadership is reflected in the team, in how they seek to achieve the best result possible and in how trust is shared by both leader and the led. Good leadership optimises results; it can never wholly guarantee them. Perhaps leaders should, in part, be judged by how they lead, rather than by their results themselves?
Q. What qualities do you look for in a good leader?
A. In good leaders, I see a strong sense of duty, a man or woman whose life is based on a proper moral authority, who can ‘think to the finish’ and who has judgement. A good leader will love new ideas but hold to old standards. He or she should have willpower and be competent enough to lead by example.
Trust must be there too, up and down; some would see trust as a foundation for leadership. There should be a complete understanding of the concept of service; leaders must ‘serve to lead’. Above all else, he or she must be devoted to their charges. We are back to a sense of duty. You ‘do as you ought, not as you want’.
Q. How can we all improve our leadership skills?
A. Perhaps we can best improve our leadership skills by developing ‘character’. That development is best achieved through experience. It is not easy to learn leadership through books (or lectures perhaps) although they have a crucial place too. We must learn to accept our faults and to listen to the wise. We should seek to ‘take time out to think’, to practise ourselves in leadership situations and to engage in more team pursuits (and learn when we lose). We should understand risk better and then be bold. You can develop courage, the greatest of the virtues. I think we learn much by looking through others' eyes.
Leaders’ Founder Phil Eyre explains how and why he chose Patrick Marriott as a speaker and what he is most looking forward to about his talk.
I was looking for someone with military experience for two main reasons. The first is that military operations require a particular approach to agile leadership, exceptionally clear communications, strategic thinking and culture. The second is that the military invests significantly in leadership training and development; some of the best leadership programmes are based at Sandhurst.
When exploring potential speakers, one of our associates - Kaaren Welsby, who is a major in the army working in recruitment to help the right people to advance - recommended Patrick Marriott. On contacting him, it was clear that he will bring a very stimulating, engaging and challenging talk to the conference.
I look forward to hearing Patrick talk about how being in the right place at the right time is critical to achieving phenomenal outcomes. No doubt he will share some fascinating stories that will be both memorable and insightful.
Event: The Guernsey Leadership Conference
Venue: St Pierre Park Hotel
Date: Thursday 22nd June 2017
Time: 4pm - 8pm