Lieutenant General James Bashall CB CBE brings a huge amount of leadership experience to this programme. He has spent much of his Army career on operations – 12 tours in all; and over 5 years overseas on operational service. Following 9/11 he took command of 2 PARA and led them on 3 successive operational tours to Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and Iraq in the space of 2.5 years. He then commanded a Mechanised Brigade in Basra during the most dangerous and violent period of the Iraq campaign. He also led a Joint Task Force into Libya in the early days of the Spring Uprising in order to extract UK citizens trapped by the civil war.
He lives by the code of empowerment, trust and delegation. And his principal leadership tip is to know your people; and to understand what makes them tick as human beings, recognising that we are all different. He believes deeply in leading by example and being seen by those you command. He worries too many senior leaders over use social media; and have lost the touch of visiting in person to communicate directly.
His social media profile describes him:
An experienced and resourceful leader with Chairman and Director-level experience in strategic policy formulation, human resource optimisation and performance management. Excellent leadership skills based on a strong empathy, considerable experience, and an ability to relate to people at all levels and to draw out their strongest performance. Extensive expertise in operations, training and development, personnel, infrastructure and resource management. Accustomed to working in high pressure environments, and adept at operating within tight budgets, time and resource constraints. High level representational skills, and comfortable with Government ministers, senior officials and the media.
My history with James goes back to when he and I became friends during airborne selection in the infamous P company. We supported each other kept a sense of humour and both succeeded in successfully passing through. We came across each other again later at staff college. I very much admire the fact that James did one of the tough legs in the clipper round the world sailing race. That would be a challenge for anybody especially as you approach 60 years of age.