Ian Langford - A diversity of views
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Leadership … is the ability to be able to persuade and convince those who are legally obliged to follow you into supporting your world view with the kind of conviction and perspective that builds cohesion that military fighting power relies so heavily on. T
he other piece, that the establishment of a command centre around the CEO, the senior soldier and the Padre is that you bring a diversity in a pleurisy of views to your decision making. So, you know, the RSM brings the kind of statecraft and trade craft knowledge that 25 years’ experience having lived from private through to senior soldier, as well as having an understanding of the pressures that the commander has upon him or her to that environment.
The Padre, not from necessarily a religious perspective but certainly from a position where they are one degree removed from the chain of command and therefore are able to perhaps discern or nuance some of the views both from, you know, the units, and as well as the leadership, when it comes to maintaining the virtue of what you're doing and being able to provide an all-informed perspective to decision making. And that again builds trust, they're not there to operate outside the chain of command, they're there to reinforce it.
But they do provide an alternative view often, which I think is necessary for effective decision making. And if a unit didn't have a Padre, you might rely on a different form of advice. But in the way our regimental structures have historically worked, I have found the establishment of a really close relationship between those three individuals, in my view, is fundamental to effective leadership. And I just think our history is replete with examples of where that has worked. And it's worked for a reason, and it still has value today.