John Monash WarriorU Podcast

S6 Ep 09: Leader Analysis Series

General Sir John Monash

During this Leadership Analysis Series, Trent and Bram will be pulling apart leadership styles through history and attributing them with a score for different areas of leadership. By doing this, they hope to find skills and attributes that modern leaders may, or may not want to emulate.

This week on the WarriorU Podcast, Bram and Trent are going to delve deep into the leadership style of General Sir John Monash. Monash was born in Melbourne Australia in 1865. He was a German Jew who spoke German as his native language. As an academic, through the 1890s and early 1900s, he worked as a Civil Engineer whilst also being active in the local militia. He became an Australian military commander of the First World War and is recognised by the allies as our most innovative, empathetic, meticulous and successful General, not only from Australia but from the War.

Leadership Analysis

Inspiration and Motivation – Score: 10/10

  • Determination to serve his country despite contemporary prejudices about Jews and Germans.
  • Demonstrated empathy for his own troops and improved cohesiveness when he commanded.
  • Employed the combined arms concept of warfare.
  • Provided inspiration and pioneered many advancements and tactics and was the reason for the deepening of the ANZAC culture.

Providing Purpose and Direction – Score: 7/10

  • His main goal was to secure victory whilst minimising casualties and improving the lives and morale of soldiers.
  • Willing to propose new ideas that were effective with solid tactical planning and strategical effect.
  • Used his engineering knowledge to improve the brigade’s position to withstand the winter.
  • Changed his methods from the battle at Gallipoli showing he was adaptable.
  • The battle of Hamel represented a change in warfare that was then rolled out across the rest of the front.

Effectiveness of Leadership Style – Score: 10/10

  • Adaptive leader and participative with his troops and was collaborative with allied generals.
  • Independently came up with innovative ideas and was able to get others to buy into that vision.
  • Insisted on his own methods, even in the face of pressure and prejudice.
  • Personal Courage and the adoption of innovative ideas.

Enduring Legacy – Score: 9/10

  • Hailed as one of Australia’s finest and most successful, recognisable figures.
  • First Australian to fully command Australian Forces.
  • Trailblazed modern military tactics and strengthened the cohesive culture of leadership.
  • Founding member of the Rotary Club and was one of the principal organisers of the annual observance of ANZAC day.

How it ended for them – Score: 10/10

  • Recognised by the allies as our most innovative, empathetic, meticulous and successful General, not only from Australia but from the War.
  • Paved the way for a more equal footing in the commonwealth, and set us up for success in the next world war.
  • Appointed as a Knights Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael Knight Grand Cross under the order of St Michael, and received numerous other foreign honours.
  • 300,000 Australians attended his state funeral in 1931.

Overall Leadership Summary – Score: 46/ 50

  • Monash’s attitude, determination and independent-minded leadership provided inspiration and direction. One of the key aspects to Monash as a leader, it was the collaborative leadership style as well as being participative with his men, and the ability for him to adapt and change to the circumstances.
  • Understanding the cultural nuances of young Australia men in Gallipoli, was the reason that so many of them returned home. He created the esprit de corps and was one of the principal organisers of the annual observance of ANZAC day.

Tweetable Quotes:

“Monash replaced 1200 supply soldiers that weren’t required in Hamel through his clever use of deception and his innovative use of technology.” –Trent Burnard

“If you want to talk about the ANZAC legend started, look no further than Monash.” – Bram Connolly

Resources Mentioned:

WarriorU Podcast

Hindsight Leadership and Resilience


Podcast Produced by Pretty Podcasts


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