“You have two ears and one mouth – use them in proportion” says Air Vice Marshall Bob Judson
Top Tip Details
Bob Judson served for 34½ years in the military, rising from front-line fast-jet pilot to being Bob is a member of the Royal Air Force’s Senior Leadership Team and an Air Vice-Marshal. He flew the Jaguar, Phantom, and Typhoon, and had the privilege of displaying the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfires & Hurricanes for 2 years whilst he was the Station Commander of RAF Coningsby.
In a military career that saw him shift from being on Quick Reaction Alert as a 21 year old in the Cold War with an atomic bomb on the bottom of his Jaguar, through serving on a German squadron as an exchange pilot when the Berlin wall fell, to being the Director of Joint Warfare in his final role, Bob saw a vast amount of change in the RAF and across the world more generally. He flew 120 operational missions over Iraq and Bosnia-Herzegovina, served in the Pentagon as the Chief of Defence Staff’s Liaison Officer, commanded the NATO airbase in Kandahar (25,000 people from more than 20 nations, 170 aircraft and lots of hostile incoming rockets!), and led the MOD support to the London Olympic & Paralympic Games in 2012.
Beyond the military, Bob has built a very successful second career in the private sector. Having initially moved to Deloitte as a director in their resilience and crisis management business, he set up his own consulting and leadership development business in 2019.
A qualified coach and neuro-linguistic programming practitioner, Bob now focuses mostly on leadership development for private sector clients and, with his Leading 4 Life brand, he runs workshops, facilitates training courses, and coaches individual senior leaders across a range of industries. His recently launched podcast, Leading 4 Life “Stories”, provides a source of leadership tips and experiences from Bob and his guests.
Bob went to school at Christ’s Hospital, Horsham and has never forgotten the great start in life that the school gave him. For the past 8 years (he finished in July), he has been a non-executive director on the Christ’s Hospital Council, which looks after not only the school but also the multi-million £ charitable endowment that enabled them to fund £21 million in bursaries last year, more than 3 times the amount of the next nearest school.
Away from the world of work, Bob lives in East Sussex with his wife Saab and their 2 dogs (Shadow & Skye). He is a keen motorcyclist, having taken up riding after leaving the RAF to provide an adrenaline replacement! He also enjoys skiing, scuba diving (especially with sharks) and the occasional round of not very good golf!
Bob’s top leadership tip is for leaders to remember that they have 2 ears and one mouth and that they should use them in proportion! Too many leaders talk much more than they listen and, consequently, they too often fail to capitalise on much of the value that they could derive from those around them.