I was given the opportunity to participate in a Leadership Development Course in preparation for my Leading Rates Leadership Course which is in March 2017. The course was based in Plymouth with other of nurses MAs and a writer from different units. We all met on the Thursday morning where we had a mile and a half fitness assessment, on this day we also learned about bergen packing and skills for the exercise we were to go on the following week. We also had a uniform inspection to make sure our ceremonial uniform was in tip-top condition and given advice about what the staff would be looking for when inspectiong us on our Leadership Course- this was very beneficial as we could make any changes to our 1s before our leadership course. During the week we were divided into groups and asked to prepare and give a presentation on a topic. This was all to enhance our confiendence and presentation skills to help us become better leaders and understand the basics of how to give presentations in the military and also improve our own personal confidence. We were given time at the end of the first week to begin this preparation prior to the weekend of preparing for the excersise on Darmoor to begin the following week.
On Monday we headed to Dartmoor for thet main exercise. We learned about NATO sequence of orders, defence writing, navigation (including night navigation) and practical leadership tasks (PLTs) - which everyone got to practice. The staff were very friendly and approachable and allowed the students taking part to ask questions at any time. They continually reminded us of what the leadership school would be looking for. Once we had a day of learning PLTs and practicing NATO sequence of orders, we had a 28 hour exercise consisting of “real” PLTs where scenarios were put to the students and I/C had to lead their team for that particular task. Feedback was then given to the students about how they acted in the situation and how they coped as a leader. I found this very beneficial as I was given positive and constructive feedback, which allowed me to continue doing the things that were good and I could work on the aspects of my feedback, which required development. The exercise was gruelling and very tiring and pushed everyone to their limits but not only was it a great learning experience, it was really fun and allowed us to meet new people and get back onto the field sleeping in a bivvy and eating ration packs.
We arrived back to Plymouth on the Thursday and worked on our presentations and on the Friday we finished off the course with group presentations (again with feedback provided) and had our individual overall feedback.
Personally, for me the course was gruelling, challenging and very tiring however it was so much fun! The staff were very approachable and made it such a great experience. I do not see myself as a “natural” leader however with the skills, feedback and knowledge provided to me during the course, has given me the confidence to pass my leading rates course and enable me to have courage to lead in challenging times.
Thank you LNN Rice from DMG (S) for this article and also your thopughts on the Course, good luck with you LRLC in March! LNN Porter also gave us his feedback stating that he found the week incredibly beneficial as it gave him the opportunity to be put in a position of command and be challenged whilst at all times having constructive feedback of which enhanced his development further! He also stated that one of the fundamental aims of the course is to develop confidence and enhance an individual’s leadership ability. This has been achieved by placing individuals in situations that require mental robustness and a high level of teamwork in order to be successful in completing the evolutions that at times were hugely physically demanding. Thank you again for your feedback and for pictures of there time in Dartmoor please click here.