Tiny Leadership Tales

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Be grounded by what we are good at – exceptional leadership and passing on these leadership skills to Army’s next generation.”

– Lieutenant General Rick Burr, Good Soldiering Statement

We all practice and experience leadership in our profession, and we all have stories we tell about times in our career where we’ve learned something new about leadership. Grounded Curiosity is seeking reader-submitted stories of no more than 100 words which share that leadership lesson. 

We’re not looking for quotes from authors or famous people which have resonated with you or informed your leadership style (unless you can tell us about a time you put that into practice), but anecdotes about formative leadership experiences that helped make you the leader you are today. You might share the lesson a high school teacher or parent taught you which you’ve carried for years, or something you’ve learned recently while managing a team who are working from home. The story might be about responding to bushfires, EX Hamel, career courses or deploying overseas. They should be about as long as this paragraph. 

We encourage your tiny leadership tale to be creative and emotive- tell a (short) story- but they must be true and unpublished. This is an opportunity to share a gem of wisdom and do something interesting while many of us around the country are in lockdown. 

The intent is to draw the wealth of leadership experience out of the profession of arms in short vignettes, and the results will be a resource to supplement formal training and experiential learning, and may help kickstart conversations in messes and PME sessions. There’s already a wealth of leadership books available- many of which are captured by the the Centre for Australian Army Leadership reading list (ppt)- but these snapshots will be easily digestible, readily accessible, and capture leadership lessons that resonate because they are the contemporary, lived experience of a range of practitioners. Currency relates directly to relevancy in an environment of Accelerated Warfare.

We are seeking submissions from all ranks, trades and services, even from FVEY partners and defence civilians, but especially from junior leaders. Think of an anecdote that captures a leadership lesson you’ve always carried with you and share your story. 

Tiny Leadership Tales owes its origin to Daniel Jones and Miya Lee who launched a similar initiative for the New York Times in 2018. Likewise, we’ve been inspired by the success of our friends at The Cove, who crowd sourced ideas about The 2030 Australian Army and Army’s Future FORGEN in 100 words. 

We’ll collate responses in a series of posts and release them in November 2021. Selected submissions will be posted on our social media sites (TwitterFacebook and Instagram).

To submit a response to Tiny Leadership Tales, please email groundedcuriosity@gmail.com with ‘Tiny Leadership Tales’ in the subject field. 

Responses open Monday 04 October 2021 and will close Monday 01 November 2021. 

About the Author: Samuel J. Cox is the editor of Grounded Curiosity. Find him on Twitter.