By RACHAEL ROBERTSON
Last week’s emphatic video statement from Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO, was as striking in its intensity as it was in its clarity.
There was no ambiguity. No grey areas. He was incandescent with anger and it showed.
This was a man who said ‘enough is enough’ and very clearly and rationally laid out his expectations about what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. This is leadership. General Morrison drew a line in the sand. It’s not about his team working together in perfect harmony. It’s about treating each other with respect, like professional adults.
For far too long leaders in the Defence force, among other organisations, have turned a blind eye to poor behaviour, hauling out the usual platitudes of “it’s one bad apple”, “it’s an isolated incident” or my personal favourite, “it’s just boys being boys”. Here’s the thing – they are not boys. They are men. They are grown-ups.
I understand that they work in a highly stressful environment, for months at a time, away from loved ones. I get that.
I did too. I led a team of 18 people for a year in Antarctica. Around the clock, all day, every day, through months of darkness, for an entire year. Not once in that time did I ever have to speak to any of my men about “boys being boys”.