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Be a high flyer with the RAF’s shared leadership model

Be a high flyer with the RAF’s shared leadership model

NEWS

03 Aug, 2021

To mark the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, which took place between 10 July and 31 October 1940, we take a look at a new book, Rise Above: Leadership Lessons from the RAF

As Quest readers will no doubt be aware, the RAF has a unique leadership model where everyone is empowered and expected to lead at times – and this approach is also uniquely suited to the business concept of ‘dispersed teams’. Author John Jupp set up the prestigious RAF Leadership Centre and is himself a former fighter pilot and squadron commander. His new book, Rise Above: Leadership Lessons from the RAF, describes how the RAF has been practising remote or dispersed leadership for almost a century. Its leadership style is a modern one, where leadership isn’t reserved for the senior few but sees responsibility and authority shared depending on function and role. In any given situation those best qualified are empowered to step up and lead.

Leaders in the RAF often find themselves having to make life-and-death decisions in an instant, and in Rise Above Jupp unpacks the framework of essential skills, resources and attributes that must be in place to enable that to happen safely and effectively. A clear and shared understanding of mission, trust and willingness to ‘constructively dissent’, and even the often under-appreciated skill of ‘followership’ are all vital ingredients for an effective squadron – and equally important for any business or team.

This fascinating book combines practical strategies with real-life examples from the RAF’s 100-year history. Learn about leadership in a crisis from the command structure deployed during the Battle of Britain, or the shared leadership model that means the bomb disposal expert steps up and leads those looking to him/her to defuse a bomb.

Why this book matters

  • Dispersed teams: The RAF has been honing leadership of ‘dispersed teams’ since its early days. Many of the skills and lessons the RAF has developed are uniquely suited to the new working environment where teams are no longer physically together for much of the time.
  • Shared leadership: Everyone within the RAF is empowered to lead – responsibility and authority is shared according to function and role, not just seniority.
  • Tried and tested: As the world becomes increasingly volatile and uncertain, the book will help you to learn how the RAF leadership model works in times of conflict and crisis.
  • Anniversary of the Battle of Britain: The book presents lessons for modern leaders arising from the conflict.

Rise Above is the perfect read for anyone looking to deploy the shared leadership model to get the best results from their team, or who simply wishes to improve their own personal leadership skills.

Rise Above: Leadership Lessons from the RAF by John Jupp is published by Pearson, priced £14.99

 


About the author

John Jupp joined the RAF in 1979. He flew the RAF Phantom and the Tornado F3, and has some 3,500 flying hours under his belt. John commanded 111(F) Squadron, was a Qualified Weapons Instructor and an Instrument Flying Examiner. He investigated aircraft accidents, managed the Tornado F3 aircraft fleet and was senior staff officer for all RAF operations. He was the Officer Commanding the RAF Leadership Centre for 14 years.

John is now a member of 601(Reserve) Squadron and runs his own company offering leadership consultancy.

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