Friday, 7 January 2011

Authentic Leadership within the military

After all the data analysis, I've got some fantastic results for my PhD with my RAF military sample and I'm currently working with some major UK organisations to generate a secondary business sample so I can compare the two, which really makes me feel as if my PhD is progressing in the right direction!

(In case you don't know, at the time of writing, I'm currently 5 years into a part-time PhD which will probably take me 7 in total by the time I've written it up, as I have to fit my studies around a full-time job as a Managing Director and business psychologist and I also have to be a 'mum').

As well as designing and writing the UK's first Authentic Leadership 360 questionnaire, I've also written a feedback report. Each participant’s personal Authentic Leadership 360 report includes feedback on the the following elements:

• Self-awareness and Self-regulation
• Ethical Virtue and Ethical Actions
• Multiple perspectives on leadership

Are you interested in some of the results that my research has found?

Well, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that on a scale of 1-5 where 1 is Strongly Disagree and 5 is Strongly Agree, overall, the RAF officers who participated in the PhD research study scored most highly in the areas of Ethics and Self-regulation.

It will be interesting to see how the participants in the business sample score against the same questionnaire.

But what do these RAF results tell us? Well, they suggest a number of things to me.

Firstly, that our RAF officers are recognised by subordinates and colleagues as being ‘in control’ of their day-to-day behaviours. Because of the military context, we can take this self-discipline to relate to diet and exercise as well as having a disciplined and controlled approach to their working practices such as the hours they work, the tasks they achieve and their equilibrium regarding their mood and temper.

Secondly, they suggest to me that the military ethos of pro-social leadership and service to others, which is one of the RAF core values, is very much lived within the RAF via their day-to-day leadership activities, and it’s impressive to see that translated into, and measured by, our new Authentic Leadership 360.

Now, more than ever before, leaders are having their thoughts and behaviours examined under a microscope and are being expected to be either a Superman or a Superwoman. It’s much easier to just be yourself. That’s where the new Authentic Leadership 360 can help. I just hope that you get a chance to use it within your organisation.

My best wishes as always,

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