Kokoda Diggers tell you how to be a good leader PART 3

20 Feb 2018 4:38 PMKokoda Diggers tell you how to be a good leader PART 3

The Diggers of Kokoda when interviewed about leadership, offered their well thought out views as to what are the key components of great Leadership. Having risked their all in so many theatres of war they offered some good old fashioned down to earth advice on how to be good leader

Leadership is more than text book stuff- “when LT Col Owen came over to us we were on the perimeter of Kokoda.. he was another one similar to Sam Templeton, that wanted to show his leadership, and he walked around the top of the perimeter where we were all lying down: naturally you would .. and I said .. “sir, I think you’re taking an unnecessary risk walking around the troops like that, “well” he said, “I’ve got to do it”, half an hour later he got shot through the forehead”.

After answers to part 1 and 2 specific questions, the Diggers went on to offer further thoughts on Leadership:

Some of our Leaders were very astute and had nerves of steel – thank God!

You’d follow leaders because you didn’t want to be seen as frightened

I would follow a good leader anywhere, a poor leader does not inspire discipline and the men were not behind him.

We knew if the japs got to Port Moresby, Australia would be in a lot of trouble. We had to hold them up as best we could.

I saw poor parade ground soldiers top men in battle and the reverse for big mouths and crawlers.

After the Kokoda Campaign we were reinforced with a quite a few AIF Officers. Some were good but most looked down on us as Chokos! And treated us badly. And that was hard to take after the magnificent display of courage on the Track.

I always had a respect for my leaders. Apart from parade or action he became a brother.

We had hate for the japs because of their record we had heard about, especially the atrocities, this caused us to think of protection of our loved ones and our country.

God bless, good luck, and I hope this helps. I am honoured to help but probably wont sleep well for a week – Douglas McClean MM.

Language is the Dress of Thought – everytime you talk your mind you are “on parade”.