For many, many years I had the honour of being invited to speak with each graduating class at the Royal Military College in Canberra. When it was time for me, regrettably, to say hooroo, I left a final a message with the graduating class of 2016.

First and foremost, my scribbles on leadership are far from original. They were around long before my arrival on Planet Earth and for me simply include personal observations in both training and operations from my soldiering days of what to do and not to do. Mind you, I was trained by the best.

I have a belief that apart from a future society of robots, the basic tenets of leadership will never change, despite the space age aids, charts, sophisticated terminology and trendy slogans.

Furthermore, it is evident such skills are applicable at all levels of leadership within our society at any time in any circumstances. (Politicians should take note)

In our modern age, the fundamentals needed to develop leadership are under immense pressure from sheer stupidity which is demonstrated 24/7 by a new God called Political Correctness.

The very mention of the term, political correctness leaves me bilious. Evidence abounds that “Down Under” our political parties due to lack of leadership are not seeking an effective antidote for such nausea. Perhaps the medicine could be for all potential politicians to serve a short mandatory term in the ranks in our military forces to get an idea of the basics. Like castor oil, unpleasant but it could work

George Mansford January  2017



Junior Leaders (To be or not to be)

“To prevent hysterical outbursts or perhaps even lynching, I do emphasise the following embraces both genders. Further, let it be known I have the highest regard for both men and women in uniform.”      George Mansford January 2017


He wanted to be a leader and strut the halls of fame

Yet ignored the rules so important to be successful in the game

He failed the very first test to identify as part of a team

Its weaknesses and strengths he should have gleaned


Being God, he knew it all with scant interest in the team

No matter past trails where its members had been

Nor care of their personal life or what they dreamed

After all, he was the leader by law or so it seemed


His example to his soldiers was to do as I say and not as I do

If there is a mistake, I’ll blame you

Excuses are my bible and I never err

For I am King, God and Sir


He never understood that soldiers need not an instant hero

Simply a leader who does best to take them where they have to go

Not a fool who raves and rants when he loses the plot

Then finds a scapegoat to blame for what he as leader hasn’t got


He never listened and was as a bull at the gate

Always In a hurry and not a second more would he wait

Often in panic mode to go where he had never been

No thought of sense of purpose for his team


So easy for him to change his mind, time and time again

Thus confusion reigned until the team was back from where it came

Never a thought of recognition for soldiers after a task was done

After all, he was the leader and it was him who had won


There is so much for any young leader to learn

Thus simple rules in the beginning are” watch and listen or burn

“The aim must be that soldiers do not follow because they have too.

They go forward because they trust and want to follow you

George Mansford ©November 2016




  2. Can’y imagine who you’d be referring to George, suble as ever, well done mate…

  3. Garry Muir says

    Good on ya Brig, it bring back a load of memories, both good and not so. Spoken from experience as all your posts are.
    I will see about a pay rise for you HQADF and see what they say. LOL

  4. Ray Gibson says

    Good stuff and wholeheartedly agree. I think many (perhaps all) of us could identify past leaders (all three Services ) who fit the picture so superbly painted by George.

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