This episode has been 28 years in the making and an opportunity to dig into what leadership really means in today’s complex and demanding environment. As fresh-faced Officer Cadets, Neil Jurd and I embarked on a lifelong journey of discovery and passion for leadership which we discuss in this episode; one of my favourites so far!
A mix of military anecdote and contemporary thinking on leadership in the modern age, this episode is more than just two old chums having a catch up. Neil explains how his ideas and thoughts on leadership have been forged, honed and challenged by his experiences on operations and latterly as a coach and consultant to the public and private sectors.
Leadership is a simple concept, but often poorly executed and it is Neil’s passion to spread best practice that has driven him to write his first book on the subject and in the hope that more people see leadership as a force for good, rather than self-interest.
“Leadership. It’s about knowing where you’re going and connecting with people.”Neil Jurd
- Neil was fascinated with leadership and he has always had a type of leadership role. He believes leadership is a massive force to get things done and he believes in its power. With this curiosity, he finally decided to write a book about his thoughts and put pen to paper with all his findings in the subject of leadership.
- The most fundamental principle is knowing where you are going and taking people with you. If you know your purpose and are good to people, others will follow and want to be led by you. There needs to be an alignment of where you are going and what you are trying to achieve. You need to throw yourself into what you believe in because that passion will bring an excitement to the work. The passion will be more compelling, and people will be more connected to the work.
- In politics, you rarely see leadership being for the greater good. You often see selfishness, dominance, and manipulate in politics to be in charge. These styles of leadership will have an impact because people often mimic what they see. If they only see a toxic leader, they will be encouraged to act the same. Instead, you should try breaking the cycle and providing a leadership style that is for the greater good.
- The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. These deep moral values can shape you as a leader and this type of thinking can reveal what you accept in your moral values. It was all about how to react when things go wrong and taking time to think.
- Leadership is really just about understanding, revisiting, and applying the basics. It does not require a mastery or a strategic knowledge. Instead, it just about doing the basic things beautifully and wonderfully. You constantly revisit and relearn until you are a master of the basics. Leadership is not about higher knowledge, but instead digging deeper into the basic fundamentals to understand the core of it. Treat people well and know the basics; and repeat!
- [3:52] Neil’s British Citizenship Award.
- [5:14] Neil’s leadership book and why now?
- [7:35] How Neil’s beliefs on leadership have evolved.
- [11:21] Leadership in politics.
- [17:05] The different styles of leading in training.
- [20:06] The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.
- [24:35] Understanding people’s strengths and weaknesses as a leader.
- [29:15] Neil’s two biggest leadership influences.
- [31:44] Mastery is not necessity, but understanding the basics is.
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