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Podcast – Leadership in Focus Episode 1: ‘Authentic Leadership’ with Stu Camac

Leadership in Focus is a new podcast produced by Jason Moriarty.  It is designed to discuss current issues around leadership, as well as to broach relevant and hot topics for leaders throughout Army (and the wider Australian community).

Upcoming episodes will cover topics like ‘PME within Army’, ‘PAR writing’, ‘service writing’, and general discussions on leadership, mentoring, communication skills and more.

Leadership in Focus Episode #1

In this first podcast we discuss ‘Authentic Leadership’ and dive into what it means for junior leaders, how to apply it and tips to improve yourself as a leader. The podcast is a frank open conversation between Jason and Stuart Camac, a WO2 from 2/14 Light Horse Regiment (QMI), on what authentic leadership means in a military environment.

About the host:

Jason Moriarty is the Regimental Sergeant Major of 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers in NSW.

About the speaker:

Stuart Camac is a cavalryman from the Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC) with 21 years experience. He has completed numerous postings throughout the RAAC and has also completed instructional postings to Kapooka, the School of Armour, the Royal Military College Duntroon and the Warrant Officer and Non-Commissioned Officer Academy. He is currently the Operations Warrant Officer at the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (QMI) based at Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane.

5 thoughts on “Podcast – Leadership in Focus Episode 1: ‘Authentic Leadership’ with Stu Camac

  1. I enjoyed this. Thanks for producing and posting it. I’d be interested to see you tease out the divide between junior leadership roles between junior officers and JNCOs in a future episode. I quite liked the fleeting reference to “setting the standard” and “enforcing the standard”. In a future episode I would be interested to hear you have that conversation more fully, perhaps expanding on the officer/NCO leadership dynamic that we enjoy that is quite different from many of our allies. That might also include expanding on when and how to say “no sir” (& when not to), as well as how to take it when you hear it. I expect that across your potential listeners who think we understand the complementary divide but might benefit from having that challenged by listening to a thoughtful discussion between yourself and the right officer. Many people out there get it. Some think they do but don’t, and others fall too easily into the “us and them” divide between the two messes. This is a good informal professional development vehicle that units could use to get that conversation going in their own workplaces.

    1. Good evening Richard.

      Thanks for the feedback. Not sure if it is for both of us or just Jason, but seeing as you made the effort to make a comment, I’ll reply. You’re touching on a couple of really good points there in regards to the relationship between the JNCO and Officers and the divide between the two.

      I personally think the relations between JNCO’s and the Platoon/Troop Commander is just so important for the JNCO’s to understand the importance of their role in the Officers development and future perception of NCO’s as a whole. I often use the analogy that LT’s are like puppies. If you look after a puppy, teach them some house keeping rules, toilet train them and give them firm but fair guidance, they grow into a good dog. But if you don’t teach them properly, you punish without them understanding the why and you kick them around, they will grow into a mongrel that bites kids. If the JNCO’s take a positive approach to the development of their boss, they might just reap the benefits when that LT grows into a Major or LTCOL. Also on this point, JNCO’s aren’t Officers. They might have the practical experience, but they don’t have the formal education in the science of war fighting that our Officers do. I used to say to my CPL’s that if they thought they could do a better job than the boss, put your paper work in to go to Duntroon, get through the selection board and put your money where your mouth is. I didn’t and don’t say that to make JNCO’s feel silly, but sometimes we as NCO’s are far happier to criticise our Officers, rather than having a go in the command role ourselves. Leading and mentoring works up and down the chain of command.


      Stuart Camac.

    1. Good evening Jamie.

      You are right. That time of year is nearly upon us. It’s nearly as emotional as Christmas in my book.

      PAR season is a time I think people can get a bit worked up, start to complain about stuff that ‘might’ happen, relive previous experiences and potentially become combative. To be honest, we should all know what the PAR already says without reading it because we have either done the work that is required of us or we haven’t. We should also have been provided some guidance in the lead up to our annual reports by our assessing officers. That’s something we should be asking for throughout the assessed period in order to make sure we are hitting the mark in regards to expectations. It doesn’t need to be formal. It can just be as simple as “Hey boss. We’ve been pretty busy over the last month. Are you happy with what I’ve done so far this year?” I guess the approach you can try to take is not to be a passenger on the way to your annual report.

      My final piece of advice is simple. Chill out and crack on. Nobody is perfect and having a perfect report demonstrates that your assessing officer either hasn’t done their job properly or they haven’t been paying attention. We all have weak areas that we need to work on. Our annual reports are an opportunity to have them highlighted to us so we can turn them into strengths. We just need to exercise a bit of humility and use the 5 days allocated after issue to process what has been said or prepare our arguments as to why we should be rated higher or have different language used in the word picture. Hot tip. Come prepared.

      Also, make sure that the key descriptors are in the word picture. You need to make sure words such as excellent, outstanding, very good etc are used instead of weaker ones like strong or solid. Also watch out for descriptors that your assessing officer may have used that sound amazing, but when actually understood, mean the same as ‘satisfactory’.


      Stuart Camac

  2. Very informative discusuion.

    I was somewhat relieved to know men of your reputation had experienced the same thoughts of self doubt/shortfall analysis I have regarding the responsibility and expectations of leadership. It was comforting to know it was not just my own overly critical experience but something that others had gone through as well. The tips and advice you discussed, will hopefully see me improve and become the leader I aspire to be, as it has done so for yourselves.

    I look forward to learning more from future podcasts.

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