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October 03, 2023

#282: Rob Metcalfe – Ex Royal Marine Officer & Leadership Coach

Podcast Details

Rob Metcalfe’s guiding principle is that leadership is not just an individual pastime; rather it needs to be embedded at all levels within and across organisations so those closest to the need can meet it in an aligned and autonomous way. This belief stems from his career in the military where alignment between Headquarters, Operations Rooms and the person on the ground is so vital, whether on conventional or alternate activities. The strength of this belief was forged in both peacetime activities and operational theatres that included the Falklands War and various roles in Northern Ireland.

Since then, he has dedicated his career to enabling leadership at every level through consulting, facilitation, training and coaching. He encourages people to think and respond through the lens of self, others and the system, proactively and consciously choosing where their focus should be. This is achieved by creating clear goals alongside simple habits and routines that enable consistency between a person, team or organisation’s inner and outer games.

This experience includes 14 years as CEO of LIW, expanding the organisation from start up to global leadership consultancy, preceded by 14 years as an officer in the Royal Marines Commandos. More recently he spent 3 years as a Partner with Denali Venture Partners and he now operates as an associate and investor to his previous organisations, as well as an independent consultant to a small number of other purposeful organisations across sectors and throughout the world.

He is motivated by organisations that have a positive impact and has recently concentrated on working with the UN World Food Program across Africa and the Middle East including working with leadership teams and operational leaders in Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Syria and Somalia. He also works with the Kids Cancer Project in Australia who are dedicated to saving childrens’ lives though investment in cancer research.

Rob and his team held the world building abseil record in 1992 for scaling to, and abseiling from, the upper deck of the CN Tower in Toronto, alongside a team from the Canadian School of Rescue Training. He was also “Mentioned in Dispatches” during his service, acknowledging that this was due to the efforts of the leaders and the people he had the good fortune to command.

Rob sees how neuroscience is proving what was previously only a belief about good leadership practice. Many of his top tips are based on this truth. His top tip for your reflection is to “do whatever you want but know what you are doing”. He picked this quote up from someone else and has since observed that it is often not the case!

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