Leadership building

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by schoolboy, Jan 15, 2007.

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  1. Evening all.

    Right so I went down the the London OCLC in Bloomsbury last week and spoke to a bloody nice chap about being a pilot/observer/EO(Info Systems). He liked my interview manner and thought I had a good knowledge of current affairs and the of the RN and its roles and abilities. He did say I should be a little more assertive and "louder" though.

    All well and good I thought so I've filled out and returned the forms and the next stages are the flight aptitude and then the AIB. F.A. sounds great fun, cant wait to try these tests, and think I will be A.OK. But I always seem to have something eating away at me, and this time its whether or not I have enough past experience of leadership related things to put me in good stead for the AIB.

    So I would like to ask everyone if they have any ideas of activities I can get involved in over the next 6 months to boost my chances and build my character. My first idea was to go back to scouts and help out as a leader - my past experience with teaching kids has shown me this can help. Plus i really enjoy scout related activities.

    Next I thought of learning to become a instructor in some sort of sport i.e. kayaking etc or doing some training on walking leader etc - the YHA offer lots of possibilities.

    Lastly I thought of asking to go to the 4-day taster course the RN offers up in scotland. Should help me understand whats expected of me!

    Any advice or thoughts about my ideas would be great! Thanks guys and gals
  2. Getting involved in team sports is always a winner.
  3. Well I will look around my local area by boy am I sh1t at most team sport, I am god awful at footy and rugby, I've never played in the last 22 years see, too busy doing athletics/climbing/cycling etc. Do have an eye for rugby tho, would make a great winger and I dont mind the rough and tumble I just dont know if there is a team out there willing to take on someone entering the sport at such a late stage.....

    What about softball...? would this meet your classification as a worthy team sport??
  4. Scouts and sport instructor would seem like good calls, if you are not already into team sports now you are not going to really change your position in 6 months, where as with the scouts and instructing you can build on some experience you already have. It may also be worth seeing if there is some debating or public speaking club in your area to deal with the delivery of your argument which seems to have been highlighted.

    ps Debating societies can be good places to meet the opposite sex as well.
  5. Scouts and sport instructor would seem like good calls, if you are not already into team sports now you are not going to really change your position in 6 months, where as with the scouts and instructing you can build on some experience you already have. It may also be worth seeing if there is some debating or public speaking club in your area to deal with the delivery of your argument which seems to have been highlighted.

    ps Debating societies can be good places to meet the opposite sex as well.
  6. Ha Ha, I had not thought of that one, but you make a good arguement yourself so I might look into that one! Cheers
  7. Not being funny mate but you posted about seeing "a bloody nice chap" about being an Officer in the RN yet you then post on here asking for help on basically being a leader!!

    Jeez, times HAVE changed haven't they. Oh well.

    Organisation is the key.
    If you can quickly organise others into strong elements of a team working for the same goal (could be doing the ironing for you, it doesn't matter what the goal is) then you are sorted.

    Listen to other plans of execution and if required, merge them with your own for a better overall strategy on achieving the goal.

    But ALWAYS be the one IN CHARGE of whats happening.
    Don't let others take control of your actions. Be assertive, but not to the point where someone will say "oh **** this" and smack you!

    Leadership is a VERY big subject, and could take pages and pages of writing yet you still wouldn't get it unless you practised it. Its difficult, because everybody has a different style of leadership. Some are loud, others are quiet but with forceful personalities.
    You have to find your own way.

    Personally, I don't think ordering a bunch of kids around is going to help you at your age, but thats only an opinion, its up to you.
    Leadership should already be part of your make-up. You should already be saying to yourself "If we did it THIS way, it would be a lot better" etc in certain situations.

    I don't think you should be posting on here, as a potential Officer, saying things like "I thought about this, then I thought about that" in a "I don't know what to do" type of way.

    You KNOW what you need to do, so do it!
    Go on the 4 day thing up in that foreign country North of New Jerusalem, be at the front, take on resposibilities while you are there, never say NO to an instructor, no matter how stupid the order (request?) and enjoy it.
  8. Have you thought about joining a youth organistaion, i,e Scouts, Sea Cadets is a good one im in it and got AIB in less than a month it has given me good leadership skills and team work.
  9. Not quite sure what you were getting at in the first paragraph, but the rest of it made sense!

    I have quite an assertive streak, I like to try it my way first, and then incorporate other ideas into mine if I realise mines not working! I realise most problems quite clearly too so maybe I'll be ok. I went on a charity banger rally last year to Italy, and I was always first to jump out of the car and get to fixing whatever engine problem it was this time and didn't mind asking people to do things to help hold that and screw that in while I do this. I got a few funny looks but people seemed to appreciate my efforts. Especially since the weather was sh1t whenever we broke down!

    I understand you say I should know what my personality is like already, and I guess I do, just never put it up against a situation like a RN AIB! I seem to revere the AIB more than any interview I've had before. And theres been a few! Still, can't wait to do it, 9 odd weeks to go! Bring it on!
  10. You are putting too much pressure on yourself over this AIB.
    Put it THIS way, if you go into the AIB putting on a show THE MASK WILL SLIP!!
    The people who run the AIB know EXACTLY what they are doing and they will know if you are being fake in any way. All you have to do is be yourself, if you then pass the AIB you will know that it was because they liked the way you are. If not, then its just not for you and you can move on.
    Either way, worrying about it isn't going to help you.
  11. As Lamri says, AIB is long enough, and intense enough, that you can't sustain a ''front'' for the whole time.

    In terms of effective leadership, the point about tone and delivery is a good one to take on board, other than that you just need to be yourself.

    What they're looking for is someone who is both a team player and a potential leader, you don't have to be fully formed yet.

    In the leadership tasks, take charge of the team, tell them the problem, tell them your proposed solution and ask for their thoughts. If one comes up with something clearly better than your thoughts then it might not be prudent to try your way first just to see if it fails. Listen out for suggestions all the way through, but you take the decision about whether to use the suggestion or not. Don't let someone else take over. When you get input, thank them for it.

    Equally, don't take over someone elses task. That was most difficult for me, and still is ''several'' years later. Give them suggestions and if they don't take them on board accept it and get on.

    For the group argument then make your voice heard but don't become domineering. Everyone needs a chance to speak. If you can get in a position to ''manage'' the discussion then that's useful so you need to be firm and audible.

    Scouts is quite useful, and getting the CRB disclosure is handy. If you're used to managing young adults then Dartmouth will be a doddle. If you're not already instructor qualified then it's probably a bit late to start now, unless you do want to keep it going in the mob. Walking leadership is handy and pretty extensible, kayaking also and both will give you the opportunity to pick up additional things at Dartmouth and later in training which all helps the old training reports.

    But to some extent I see where Lamri is coming from on this. If you're still dithering about now then I'm not sure what you'll get out of any of these things, except perhaps the scouting, in six months.
  12. Above all, be yourself. If you put on an act, you are doomed. And you are not expected to join with great leadership ability; the potential is what "they" are looking for.
  13. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Schoolboy, don't worry about it too much!

    I have read all the replies and to be honest had a bit of a laugh, what the hell is leadership? Well for starters it's not something you are born with, and it's not really something that can be taught, despite what Dartmouth may tell you, or the Officer Corps as a whole to be honest!

    Leadership is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do, lots of other posh descriptions but a crusty old mountaineer told me that, he had climbed Everest so I think he knew what he was talking about! Leadership is about knowing people, when they are down, seeing their strengths and weaknesses, using their skills, but above all knowing yourself.

    Without doubt the best way to begin gathering these skills, whilst building upon your own strengths is mountaineering. As you are a climber why don't you register with the Mountain Leader Training Board and sit a mountain training course then a Mountain Leaders assessment. You will learn about yourself and others, people will follow you if you are a good leader, there is no need to order them about!!!!!

    Oh and there is a comment somewhere above which says always do as the instructor says or never say 'no', I was laughing too much to remember who said it! but my advice is consider that utter bollocks! Don't say no to be obstructive, but always use it to be constructive! Just make sure you can back it up.

    CT (ML Summer)

    Edited to add: If you want to learn about poor leadership read 'Into the Void' It's about a couple of climbers who ended up in deep shit because they didn't know when to say no, not even to themselves! Don't bother with the film it's a poor representation of the book.

    Edited again to add: Lamri that wasn't a dig at you, not questioning instructors is a common misconception, when coaching leadership I often push students to say no, when the pressure is on it is sometimes the hardest thing to do! It's amazing how often an otherwise confident and able leader refuses to accept what is obvious. Anyone can climb Everest but not everyone is still around to boast about it, the task is to climb Everest and bring your team back, sometimes failure isn't an option.
  14. No dig taken mate ;)
    When I said about not saying NO to the instructors, I didn't make myself clear there at all (after rereading it).
    I didn't mean on the PLT site, I meant generally on the AIB. If you look like something is too much bother etc for you to do then they won't bother with you, if you get my meaning :)
    As a leader, you NEED to have the balls to say NO to those higher up, if they aren't seeing the full picture correctly for instance.
  15. Lot of good stuff there, but as ever a few comments. Yes I agree great leaders tend to happen rather than be created, and in charatcer they range from the mild mannered to the loud mouthed. On the other hand good man management is about understanding the aspects of leadership and using them to your best ability so I would suggest that 'every day leaders' can be made by good training which is in fact what the forces and enlightened businesses asre about. I agree that almost any of the outdoor activity leader/trainer courses are good for this (you don't have to be able to hang of the edge of a cliff with your finger nails to be a good leader) and equally working as a leader in the scouts will help as well.

    Finally perhaps the most important word in all of this is 'why' why does the job need done helps you understand the importanece and thuis the priority, why it cant be done lets you undestand your peoples problems and find solutions. Why helps you to understand which is often vital. Mind you asking the AIB why you have to get your group to the other side of the bottomless chasm may not be a good move.
  16. A couple of top tips:

    1) Appoint a time keeper (often you'll get so into the task you'll forget the time aspect)

    2) Try not to do the manual stuff yourself when leading. It'll distract you from watching the big picture and organising others' work towards the common goal
  17. As an old WO1 once said to me "the people reading about leadership generally aren't the ones doing it".
  18. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I like that, pity my ML assessor didn't know your WO1.
  19. To that I think may be added people writing about leadership.................
  20. schoolboy??

    what date is your AIB? I am there from the 24th March :S

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