First Civilian Student for Junior Officer Leadership Course

  • Author: Nichola Winstanley
  • Date: Tuesday 9th February 2016
First Civilian Student for Junior Officer Leadership Course First Civilian Student for Junior Officer Leadership Course

During January a Civil Servant based at Devonport Naval Base has become the first civilian to take part in the Royal Navy's Junior Officer's Leadership Course (JOLC2).

Richard Hoare, the Nuclear Services Support Manager at the base in Plymouth, joined a class of 18 consisting of Naval Officers ranked at Lieutenant and  royal marines Captains, for the two-week course delivered by the Royal Navy Leadership Academy (RNLA). The course took place primarily at BRNC.

Richard joined the Ministry of Defence in 1997 as an apprentice and has risn to become a B2 grade. He is one of four people selected to take part in the Devonport pilot Leadership and Development Programme. The pilot has been designed for nominated Senior Business Managers at Band B and C1 level with leadership potential who are prepared to take on new challengesto further their career development and support the business.

The JOLC2 is designed to give the students a broader understanding of leadership in a range of situations to help individuals develop their own styles. The first week is a combination of lectures, debates and student presentations. The students are also tested physically including a session on BRNC's high ropes training facility, which stands 13 metres high.

Richard said: The Dartmouth high ropes ice-breaker challenge on day one was excellent. This really helped the team to gel and enhance the following two weeks. As team leader in Devonport managing a skills shortage and high age profile the seeion on coaching was superb. It is instantly transferable back to my own work-place working with new recruits. Most aspects of the course were a bit of theory and then straight into role play or discussions groups with feedback sessions to reinforce the message."

Week two saw Richard and his fellow students transferred to the outdoor Leadership Training Centre in the Brecon Beacons for a two-day exercise in the Welsh mountains.

Riachard said: "The physical side of the course was extremely enjoyable, but at the same time reinforced the theoretical aspects of leadership styles learned in week one. Crossing the Brecn Beacons on foot and by bicycle in somewhat arduous conditions allowed us all to demonstrate our leadership styles. We were also required to coach each other on a range of different navigational skills. Setting off at 8.30am when everyone was upbeat and enthused, its quite easy to lead the team. Contrast that to 3.00pm the same day, the team are cold, wet, tired and hungry and that was when our leadership skills were tested a little more.

By the end of the course Richard could see the benefit of training for our Civil servants. He said: "Based on my experience I think civilians from Band D to B1 would get significant benefit from this training. I learnt a lot about myself. The 'Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and '16 Personality Facotrs' tests helped me understand my own personality type much better. Ther course was a real boost to my Emotional Intelligence and has really helped me think about how i interact with others. I thought the class format of facilitated discussion wiorked really well and encouraged everybody to share experiences. My presence also allowed a debate on the differences between civilian and military styles and perspectives. Although there were some differences mainly due to command and hierarchial structure in the military, our xperiences and views of what constitutes a good leader was very similar. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and the team at Dartmouth were extremely accomodating and welcoming."

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