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Five Years Ago

Old 16th Apr 2012, 18:31
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Southampton
Posts: 689
I too wouldn't have missed it. I left because of a total lack of prospects in 1988 (just before they first paid people to leave).

I do remember lots of people who had a higher rank than me being totally useless and having to suffer under them. The only reason they were there was because they had done the time and they had been promoted as the easy option of getting rid of them.

Met one or two idiots in civvy street too, but at least I had the advantage of being able to tell them where to go if I wished and the option of leaving for another job should I care to.

I do miss the airforce at times, but its a different world these days. Saddly not the same animal anymore.
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Old 17th Apr 2012, 01:55
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Scotland
Posts: 237
Skeleton,

Oct 78, did that make you 330 OMC, Henlow? If so, which flight?
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Old 17th Apr 2012, 05:08
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: ACT, Australia
Age: 59
Posts: 492
Nope i was a Swinditz victim
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Old 17th Apr 2012, 08:00
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 1,519
Did 12 years, learnt a lot, couldn't wait to get out.... Job prospects far better in the real world, the grass really is greener, the difference is that in the real world you make your own promotions.
Spot on.

Lot of discussion on leadership/management. They are two entirely different concepts and assessing them jointly (and often without context) is nonsense.

Pure leadership in the private sector is rare, simply because it is not required. In a large corporate, even at board level, leadership, as the military would understand it, is limited to the one or two of the most senior execs. Below that, what the corporation needs is tons and tons of effective managers. In a modern company those managers (think project managers for example) don't have a leadership function because (as an early poster astutely noted) they don't have a team of followers (what the military call suboordinates). They are resource managers, and people are (like it or not) simply resources.

It is no surprise some military (and other public sector) workers cannot get their heads round this ethos.

Shortly after I left the RAF I was working for a very talented, capable and effective manager. This is (more or less verbatim) an email he sent round.

Some of you have complained about the unpaid overtime you put in last Saturday. Those of you who want to help this company grow, shut up and get on with your job. The rest of you please **** off, and work for our competitors.

That's how leadership is often done in the commercial world. Management is all about making sure the resources (people) have the tools to complete the task.
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Old 17th Apr 2012, 09:13
  #25 (permalink)  

Inter Arma Enim Silentius Lex Legis
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: England
Posts: 733
TOFO

Exactly!! Sometimes you have to be blunt to get your message across!

A very good post to which I agree/have experience of daily.

TG
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Old 18th Apr 2012, 06:31
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: ACT, Australia
Age: 59
Posts: 492
Have to say i was told more than once by the mighty Tesco, your a manager and u need to stay on, if you dont like it leave - so i did!
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Old 18th Apr 2012, 07:43
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Surrey
Posts: 360
One enjoyable definition of leadership is: "Getting someone to do what they don't want to do, whilst thinking it was their idea in the first place".

TOFO, you are right that this is pretty rare in the commercial world. But the issue for former Service people is whether they should abandon the skills and qualities they have acquired in their first careers and become the common denominator, or hang in there and bring refreshing change to whoever is lucky enough to employ them.

In the right firm, the latter pays off. I know at least three former RAF people who left the Service at 38 and became CEOs of large companies, and they didn't do it by bullying, they did it by being different, and better. In half a career. At least one of those companies I believe now actively seeks ex-Service people. Hang on to your principles, people, they can pay off!
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 20:11
  #28 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: South Wales
Age: 59
Posts: 729
Just like to say thanks for all the replies and some pretty good discussions on the subject of leadership; two different worlds between military leadership and the civvy version. Just glad that I had the honour and privilege to spend 30 years of my life in an environment where leadership actually existed.

Ironically and quite unexpectedly, I spent the night and the next two days of my 5th anniversary of leaving the RAF at a NATO base in Brunssum, right next to Geilenkirchen (different country) and a mere 25 miles ish from Roermond and Bruggen. How sweet was that for me
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