The latest Inspiring Leadership podcast guest is @David Rutherford-Jones who is Chief Executive of Morden College, a charity that provides homes, care and support for c.300 older people in London. Prior to this he was a soldier for 35 years, commanding at every level up to and including an operational Brigade, and finishing his career in two consecutive senior appointments: Commandant of The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Military Secretary to the Army. He has given a lot of his time to the welfare of serving soldiers, and more recently to retired soldiers., having been Colonel of The Light Dragoons, The Queen’s Own Yeomanry, and of the Corps of Army Music; a Trustee of Blind Veterans UK, and an advisor to Combat Stress. General RJ has also been a School Governor, sat as Trustee on four other Boards, and run a series of leadership seminars in the finance sector.
David’s wife, Sarah, has been a phenomenal support to David; a Trustee of the Charity, SSAFA and in various appointments engaged with the Royal British Legion and the Army Benevolent Fund. Today she is Sponsorship Director for The HPower Group.
As CEO of Morden College, David led the community of staff and residents through the coronavirus pandemic years: 2020 and 2021, during which the Charity sadly lost one, but only one, of its 300 or so older beneficiaries. He puts this comparative success down to the Herculean efforts of his staff, and the enduring patience of the Charity’s beneficiaries. RJ also believes his operational experience as a soldier gave him the planning framework and skill to plan the Charity’s response to the crisis, and the courage and tenacity to lead the community of staff and beneficiaries at Morden College through what was an exceptionally challenging and unique crisis. In his own words “the toughest leadership challenge of my life”.
David RJ’s top leadership tip: Invest in building strong teams. A team that is competent, cohesive and driven by a common purpose, happy and underwritten by a positive culture will be far more effective than the sum of the individual talents within the team. Everyone in the team has to work at it; and no one has to work at it more than the leader.