Lessons in Leadership from Colonel Lucy Giles

Last week we were fortunate to have Colonel Lucy Giles visit us, as part of the Mercers’ Lecture series. 

Colonel Giles has been a trail blazer for women in the British Army, having influenced female participation in the Armed Forces for three decades.  She was the first female College Commander at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and worked as the President of the Army Officer Selection Board, overseeing the assessment of the Army’s next generation of leaders.

During a pre-lecture dinner, some of us spoke to Colonel Giles about her experiences in the Army and listened to her insightful commentary on the importance of diversity and inclusivity in the Armed Forces. We were able to ask her about the qualities to be found in an effective leader as well as the changes the Ministry of Defence needs to make, discussing the strengths of diversity in such an institution. 

During her lecture, Colonel Giles gave an honest account of her experiences while serving as an officer in the Royal Logistics Corps, through to her current position in the Defence Academy, and how this 30-year career shaped her as a person. 

While explaining the influence a military career can have on your personal and professional life, Colonel Giles stressed the importance of authenticity and not changing to fit a persona that you think people want to see.

The audience was fascinated by her explanations of the Army’s framework for leadership, as well as the skills required to be a valuable leader.  Everyone was impressed by the personal sacrifices and dedication she and her family have made due to an array of operational deployments.

Colonel Giles gave us a fascinating talk and undoubtedly inspired many members of the audience.  We thank her very much for visiting Dauntsey’s.

Report by George, Upper Sixth