A talk of rare quality by General Sir Nick Parker

On Tuesday evening, The Green Ribbon Club was treated to a talk of rare quality by General Sir Nick Parker, Commander UK Land Forces on the topic of Leadership. There can be no-one better qualified since he has been in overall command of International Forces in Afghanistan for the period between General McChrystal and Petraeus in 2010 (where he drew compliments from David Cameron who said that ‘Britain did not miss a beat’ under Nick’s command). He was also in charge of security for The London Olympics. He spoke most effectively of the complex relationship between a soldier and his officer. He spoke of the different styles of leadership needed in the Army, eliciting the qualities of courage ( he had been mentioned in dispatches in Northern Ireland), intelligence, establishing credibility and a quality which surprised members of the audience: sensitivity ( to the culture and traditions in the areas within which the Army found itself operating). He answered complex and difficult questions with an impressive knowledge of geo-political factors. This was a very good talk indeed and widely praised as outstanding by the students. By the end of the talk what was so evident is how considerable were the qualities of Nick himself as a natural leader of men. He had a commanding presence and we all listened intently. It was an absorbing, educational and inspirational address.

By Jonathan Selby, Head of History


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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