The Chief of Army on Leadership

By Vicky Osborn August 3, 2020


In this 40 minute, free podcast our Chief provides his pretty unique perspective on leadership, communication and teamwork.  At the Cove we call this a 'long listen' ... a resource that is over 10 mins but is well worth the time.

Reflecting on his experiences as a commander while on deployment and at home, LT GEN Campbell discusses the importance of building trust, unity of purpose and empowering individuals when leading troops.  The conversation goes right from the start of his career as a para-battalion platoon commander through to becoming a General Officer.

This interview is part of a series on leadership from Monash University. It takes a look at how high profile leaders from a range of industries deal with the difficult task of welding together teams and communities.

Once you've listened to the podcast, it might be worth thinking about or discussing the following questions:

  1. The Chief says he doesn't believe in the natural born leader.  What do you think?  Is leadership an inherent quality or can great leaders be grown?  It's probably a bit of both, but can you learn to be a great leader without that built in character?
  2. Can Army do better to prepare leaders for war?  Have a think about your unit.  How is its training and education program designed to develop leadership?
  3. Think back to those who have led you in your career.  Which one's were great leaders, and why?  How has your own leadership style changed after you worked with a great leader?
  4. How important is it to be a good follower as well as a good leader?  Does the Team rely on both?  If you want to think about this a bit more, take a look at this 3 min TED talk on followership.
  5. Technology is changing the way we fight.  Does this mean we need to change the way we lead?



Vicky Osborn

Vicky Osborn is an Education Officer posted to Headquarters Forces Command, Directorate of Professional Military Education. Previous postings include the Army Knowledge Centre (ALPC) and Army Logistics Training Centre.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Australian Army, the Department of Defence or the Australian Government.

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