What is Leadership

No, I’m looking at it from a strategic versus team leadership perspective, not a leadership versus management perspective.

Strategic leaders lead big, complex organisations. Their core function is to provide and enable a vision for the organisation, provide the means to execute that vision and enunciate it in a way that is persuasive at evety level in the organisation.

Team leaders lead people. They do the Adair’s trinity of team, task and individual. Strategic leaders have to do this too, for the small team, usually the board, that they lead.

I think most people on here are trained and experienced at the team leadership level. As followers they expect strategic leaders to behave like team leaders. Somewhere around I’ve got an article by Stan McChrystal which discusses how important it is for strategic leaders to educate / persuade their followers about what they do.

IMHO strategic leadership across the public sector is pretty dire. It’s patchy across industry too, but not a vacuum. For me, institutional hierarchies are the worst. Those who get to the top rarely have any real vision of what they will do when they get there and when they do they end up getting immersed in political minutiae.

I think Mackey and his ilk fail desperately as strategic leaders. There is no vision, just excuses. If Mackey and the other very senior leaders provided clear strategic leadership, no one would expect them to step in at the tactical level. They’d know and expect him to get to his HQ quickly to provide strategic leadership.
You're overthinking it, certainly in Army terms. The moral component is one of the three elements of fighting power and leadership, not management, is a key element of the moral component. I'm struggling to think of any successful world war two commander who didn't get forward and make himself visible to those he was leading, with Rommel and Patton being the most extreme examples. It also helped that most of them had distinguished records from World War One, with the notable exception of Eisenhower, whose major command fault was that he was more of a manager.

There is actually an historical example of someone who was a successful war leader but who then adopted your approach and failed badly and that's Douglas MacArthur. During World War Two he was renowned for getting forward and respected for it. By Korea, he was in the rear with the gear, thinking great strategic thoughts, and being generally despised as 'Dugout Doug'.

I don't think effective leadership in a risk environment (physical or commercial) is possible unless those being led believe that you will accept a similar level of risk if and when circumstances require it.
 
Why? Would it affect the strength of my argument if I did have one?
Yes, I think it would. I don't have one by the way but have been tested in the fight or flight scenario on a couple of occasions although I have never been ashamed of my reaction I don't think I ever made the Fcuck it I am going to get badly hurt choice either.
My point is in all of this is that none of us will ever know how we would have reacted in that situation on that day, only the people who were there will. What is clear from the evidence is, some dithered or froze and some ran away whereas others were just too late. Of the two that really reacted, one was in PPE and the other armed with a Glock and during that 30 seconds the one in PPE moved to tackle the terrorist and then withdrew when he was spotted (quite sensibly) and the other dealt with the situation.

Those in a position to judge Mackeys actions have come out in support of him, but that's another debate.
 
You're overthinking it, certainly in Army terms. The moral component is one of the three elements of fighting power and leadership, not management, is a key element of the moral component. I'm struggling to think of any successful world war two commander who didn't get forward and make himself visible to those he was leading, with Rommel and Patton being the most extreme examples. It also helped that most of them had distinguished records from World War One, with the notable exception of Eisenhower, whose major command fault was that he was more of a manager.

There is actually an historical example of someone who was a successful war leader but who then adopted your approach and failed badly and that's Douglas MacArthur. During World War Two he was renowned for getting forward and respected for it. By Korea, he was in the rear with the gear, thinking great strategic thoughts, and being generally despised as 'Dugout Doug'.

I don't think effective leadership in a risk environment (physical or commercial) is possible unless those being led believe that you will accept a similar level of risk if and when circumstances require it.
The connection between successful leaders in wartime and the head of the Metropolitan Police is pretty tenuous. Which is why I think you are under thinking the reality of the strategic leadership of modern, large, accountable organisations.

There are precious few examples of successful strategic leaders who would also make good small team leaders and vice versa.

Mackey didn’t get forward. He found himself in the wrong place, with no situational awareness and no idea of the strategic picture. Very different from wartime leaders getting forward.

BTW I’m not defending him. I suspect he’s a seriously poor strategic leader. I happen to think that the mass oppinion that he is a coward is rather ill thought through outrage.
 
Yes, I think it would. I don't have one by the way but have been tested in the fight or flight scenario on a couple of occasions although I have never been ashamed of my reaction I don't think I ever made the Fcuck it I am going to get badly hurt choice either.
My point is in all of this is that none of us will ever know how we would have reacted in that situation on that day, only the people who were there will. What is clear from the evidence is, some dithered or froze and some ran away whereas others were just too late. Of the two that really reacted, one was in PPE and the other armed with a Glock and during that 30 seconds the one in PPE moved to tackle the terrorist and then withdrew when he was spotted (quite sensibly) and the other dealt with the situation.

Those in a position to judge Mackeys actions have come out in support of him, but that's another debate.
I have a thought that anybody can 'train' themselves, to a degree, to be a reactor to hazardous scenarios by dint of imagination.

For example, I've theorised that, in the event of an intruder, my initial reaction should be to fight and that, given my much reduced physical capability, would have to be vicious in the extreme, in order to minimise injury. Punching somebody could cause me to break bones, so I'm talking throat chopping and taking out eyes. There's also an expectation that I'd be injured, probably severely, though if I didn't die, most things can be fixed. For a given value of fixed.
 
The connection between successful leaders in wartime and the head of the Metropolitan Police is pretty tenuous. Which is why I think you are under thinking the reality of the strategic leadership of modern, large, accountable organisations.

There are precious few examples of successful strategic leaders who would also make good small team leaders and vice versa.

Mackey didn’t get forward. He found himself in the wrong place, with no situational awareness and no idea of the strategic picture. Very different from wartime leaders getting forward.
He's a man, who has to look in the mirror when shaving. Are a few seconds enough to have a grand strategic plan?
 
You're overthinking it, certainly in Army terms. The moral component is one of the three elements of fighting power and leadership, not management, is a key element of the moral component. I'm struggling to think of any successful world war two commander who didn't get forward and make himself visible to those he was leading, with Rommel and Patton being the most extreme examples. It also helped that most of them had distinguished records from World War One, with the notable exception of Eisenhower, whose major command fault was that he was more of a manager.

There is actually an historical example of someone who was a successful war leader but who then adopted your approach and failed badly and that's Douglas MacArthur. During World War Two he was renowned for getting forward and respected for it. By Korea, he was in the rear with the gear, thinking great strategic thoughts, and being generally despised as 'Dugout Doug'.

I don't think effective leadership in a risk environment (physical or commercial) is possible unless those being led believe that you will accept a similar level of risk if and when circumstances require it.
During WW2 MacArthur was also renowned (like the Australian General Gordon Bennett I mentioned earlier) for shooting through and leaving his troops to become PW of the Japs. "I'll be back" indeed.
 
I have a thought that anybody can 'train' themselves, to a degree, to be a reactor to hazardous scenarios by dint of imagination.

For example, I've theorised that, in the event of an intruder, my initial reaction should be to fight and that, given my much reduced physical capability, would have to be vicious in the extreme, in order to minimise injury. Punching somebody could cause me to break bones, so I'm talking throat chopping and taking out eyes. There's also an expectation that I'd be injured, probably severely, though if I didn't die, most things can be fixed. For a given value of fixed.
Not really, we can fantasize, we can wish we will react the right way but when push comes to shove we haven't really a clue
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
My point is in all of this is that none of us will ever know how we would have reacted in that situation on that day, only the people who were there will.
I think this is true but I also don't think it's really relevant.

Almost nobody on here has said they would definitely tackle Massoud. However, lots of us (including, I suspect, you) know that attempting to tackle Massoud was the right thing to do. Whether someone is brave or a coward isn't a 'reasonable man test' - it's not about what most people would do, it's about what should have been done by that person at that time.

There are plenty of situations where the choices for the individual are either cowardice or a gallantry medal (and possibly a gravestone), just as there are many situations in normal life where doing the right thing requires moral courage and significant personal risk to your career. The fact that the correct thing to do often takes serious balls doesn't stop it being correct - it's why we give people decorations, name buildings after VC winners, and why the army spends considerable time and effort in reinforcing courage as a discipline.

Can I say that I would definitely have got out of the car and run towards Massoud? Of course not. Nobody can say that for sure and it's probably true that most people wouldn't, but I do know it was the right thing to do and I know for sure that I would have resigned in shame if I didn't.
 
I think this is true but I also don't think it's really relevant.

Almost nobody on here has said they would definitely tackle Massoud. However, lots of us (including, I suspect, you) know that attempting to tackle Massoud was the right thing to do. Whether someone is brave or a coward isn't a 'reasonable man test' - it's not about what most people would do, it's about what should have been done by that person at that time.

There are plenty of situations where the choices for the individual are either cowardice or a gallantry medal (and possibly a gravestone), just as there are many situations in normal life where doing the right thing requires moral courage and significant personal risk to your career. The fact that the correct thing to do often takes serious balls doesn't stop it being correct - it's why we give people decorations, name buildings after VC winners, and why the army spends considerable time and effort in reinforcing courage as a discipline.

Can I say that I would definitely have got out of the car and run towards Massoud? Of course not. Nobody can say that for sure and it's probably true that most people wouldn't, but I do know it was the right thing to do and I know for sure that I would have resigned in shame if I didn't.
Ignoring the emotion in that, I don't totally disagree with you but the car door was locked for what, 5 - 10 seconds then he got out. All of the police in PPE were making off in the opposite direction, ONLY the armed officers were in a position to deal. If a man in PPE wasn't a coward how can a man in his shirt sleeves be?
 
The connection between successful leaders in wartime and the head of the Metropolitan Police is pretty tenuous. Which is why I think you are under thinking the reality of the strategic leadership of modern, large, accountable organisations.

There are precious few examples of successful strategic leaders who would also make good small team leaders and vice versa.

Mackey didn’t get forward. He found himself in the wrong place, with no situational awareness and no idea of the strategic picture. Very different from wartime leaders getting forward.

BTW I’m not defending him. I suspect he’s a seriously poor strategic leader. I happen to think that the mass oppinion that he is a coward is rather ill thought through outrage.
It isn't tenuous at all.

You're asking people to face a threat that is credible, immediate, visible and personal. The psychological reinforcement required to do this doesn't vary with the uniform and there's clear evidence in Mackey's behaviour that the mechanisms for providing that psychological reinforcement are institutionally lacking in bits of the Met, particularly at the senior level.

There's also the psychological avoidance issue in that training for something implicitly means accepting that it might happen. That's fine if you're of a certain mindset but perhaps less so if you lack confidence in your physical ability to cope with violence and are senior enough to create a corporate culture where uncomfortable reminders of certain professional realities can be minimised. The change from 'Force' to 'Service' being a case in point.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
So PC Nick Carlisle was a coward? You may wish to rethink that one.
I didn't say he was. You talked about someone who ran away. I didn't realise you were talking about Carlisle because you failed to mention that the bloke you were describing tried to rugby tackle Massoud in an attempt to save Palmer. Why that oversight? Did you hit a character limit that nobody else on arrse seems to have a problem with?

If you're going to be deliberately disingenuous and misrepresent what happened then I don't see much point in continuing.
 
I think this is true but I also don't think it's really relevant.

Almost nobody on here has said they would definitely tackle Massoud. However, lots of us (including, I suspect, you) know that attempting to tackle Massoud was the right thing to do. Whether someone is brave or a coward isn't a 'reasonable man test' - it's not about what most people would do, it's about what should have been done by that person at that time.

There are plenty of situations where the choices for the individual are either cowardice or a gallantry medal (and possibly a gravestone), just as there are many situations in normal life where doing the right thing requires moral courage and significant personal risk to your career. The fact that the correct thing to do often takes serious balls doesn't stop it being correct - it's why we give people decorations, name buildings after VC winners, and why the army spends considerable time and effort in reinforcing courage as a discipline.

Can I say that I would definitely have got out of the car and run towards Massoud? Of course not. Nobody can say that for sure and it's probably true that most people wouldn't, but I do know it was the right thing to do and I know for sure that I would have resigned in shame if I didn't.

My bold... further to that, many of this cowards supporters on this site seem to conveniently forget that he took a deliberate decision some 30 years ago to join a Police FORCE, it wasn't just an ordinary office job, it would, or at least should, have dawned on him that such a move would expose him to be in potentially dangerous/lethal situations. As many on here who joined the armed forces realised hopefully before they joined. I know I did when I joined the Colonial Police many years ago, indeed that was part of the attraction of the job. But again I was trained in self defence and in ways of defending myself as no doubt he was and encouraged to think quickly on ones feet to best respond to developing situations. As for his physical fitness, I took a pride in keeping fit and continued to do so to a lesser extent into my '60's, if he didn't have that self interest as a SPO then it further shows the calibre of the man.
Like others I am not saying I would have been able to stop the situation but at least I would have tried to rally the other police in the area and at the same time distract the offender, giving others the opportunity to arrive with lethal force, to sit in a car whilst locking the door for getting on for 2 minutes whilst the nutter runs amok was not what he had joined the police & been trained for!!
 
When is his job to become the next victim for no reason, your life might not be worth anything, maybe he values his.
Nothing to do with "no reason". The reason is that it's his job, amongst other things, to save life even if that means sometimes risking his own.

... and very obviously he valued his ... above anyone else's even if the risk to him was minimal.
Minimal? He's a fairly high ranking cop who probably would have been the next target, do you think he capable of avoiding the killer?
Yes, "minimal". He could have easily stayed behind the car door, some distance away, been a distraction, and hopped back in the car if necessary.

... and if he'd made himself "the next target" instead of someone else who had no such protection, he could have potentially saved lives at no risk to himself.

Than God none of those I ever served with, or whom I firmly believe make up the Army now as much as they always have, had the same jack attitude you're displaying here.
 

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