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Centre for Army Leadership

Leadership Excellence Awards 2023

Results of the Leadership Excellence Awards 2023

The Leadership Excellence Awards were created to shine a light on those individuals in our organisation that exemplify the character, knowledge, and actions that we expect from our leaders.

Notably, a lot of the characteristics of excellent followership were also evident in the citations that nominated the prize winners standing here today. The award was split into two categories, a senior category for Sgts to Captains, and a junior category for Private soldiers to Corporals. We received over 160 nominations.

Senior Category

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The winner of the senior category of the Leadership Excellence Awards is Staff Sergeant Clair Timson (4 Military Intelligence Battalion, Intelligence Corps).

Staff Sergeant Timson is the epitome of values-based leadership in that she consistently lives and works by the values and standards of the British Army and inspires others to do so. Her integrity and professional conduct make her a highly approachable leader, trusted by her soldiers. Her leadership is pivotal to the effectiveness of her team, the Company and wider unit.

Her efforts to develop her tactical understanding of combat intelligence has made her a role-model to her subordinates and her performance on deployed armoured Brigade exercises is consistently excellent. Beyond this, she relentlessly seeks opportunity to improve her awareness of policy and training for the benefit of others and the Army, recently conducting a suicide awareness course. She is also a diversity and inclusion practitioner and lead for several individuals Care Action Plans.

Staff Sergeant Timson has routinely proven her ability to develop herself and those around her over and above her significant routine workload. After her own tour in Estonia she personally developed and prepared several LCpls who were deploying after her, which was so positive it resulted in some of them receiving commendations. She has supported her Commander in building a team with a clear purpose and identity, and routinely covered leading the team for weeks at a time, always performing to the highest standard. She is an exceptional soldier and thoroughly deserving of this leadership award.

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The runner-up of the Leadership Excellence Awards senior category is Lieutentant Will Hayward from 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

Throughout his short time in the Battalion, Lieutenant Hayward has exemplified the V&S of the British Army, often giving up much of his free time to ensure the success of his soldiers. His primary concern is the well-being of his team and his commitment to their development has been impressive. He is always positive, with an indomitable spirit and humour which inspires those he leads. He is inclusive and influential; seeing potential in unlikely places and working hard to ensure those on his team realise it.

He is brutally honest both with himself and others and this transparency and clarity of thought gives him the ability to communicate clearly, which is highly respected by his subordinates. As well as his impressive self-awareness he also demonstrates empathy and emotional intelligence.

He has an ability to strike the right balance between task, team and individual. Everything he has been asked to do he has completed to an extremely high standard and has been praised from all those he has worked with, from junior soldier to senior officer. He has also demonstrated a talent for identifying potential in individuals and encouraging and helping them to achieve it.

Junior Category

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The winner of the Leadership Excellence Awards junior category is Lance Corporal Jemma Dickinson of the Household Cavalry Regiment.

Lance Corporal Dickinson exemplifies the Army's Values and Standards. She has a naturally inspirational character that encourages those around her to do their best and sets an example that guarantees people follow her. She is loyal beyond measure, and extremely humble. She volunteered to become a physical training instructor and organised a unit competition entirely in her own time, showing her selfless commitment.

She is confident, physically and mentally robust, always has a smile on her face, and forever goes above and beyond for anyone, any time. She is without doubt an influential and positive person who thrives on challenge but uses her emotional intelligence to inspire others to work on their weaknesses.

On operations she stepped up to be a section commander who immediately earnt the confidence of her team and demonstrated the highest levels of personal discipline in a physical confrontation while there. She always sets and example in every way, encourages others to do this same and demands the best of people. She can also be a 'follower' and understands when this is needed. She never fails to appreciate the broader context and is known for her natural ability to shine in any environment. She always works for the greater benefit of all and often does so in her own time. A transformational leader, she applies reward and discipline with moral courage. Above all, LCpl Dickinson is simply an outstanding soldier.

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The runner-up of the junior category of the Leadership Excellence awards is Lance Corporal Kieran Hesketh of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Lance Corporal Hesketh exemplifies junior leadership on all levels. On recent operations in Kosovo, he identified newer members of the Pl were fazed by some demands of the deployment but quickly set about putting his team at ease by demonstrating an understanding of the operating environment far beyond his years would suggest. He often conducted mentoring and education of those more junior to him, in time reserved for his own rest. He focused his efforts on maintaining morale and several soldiers who had previously submitted notices to terminate service withdrew it due to Hesketh’s management and leadership.

He has an innate ability to deliver across the spectrum of transactional and transformational leadership and his subordinates follow his personal example. He routinely steps up to cover more senior roles, and fulfils them effortlessly, all whilst continuing to assist others within the platoon.

He epitomises servant leadership and has technical proficiency which others lack. He approaches this with a humility that feeds his teams thirst for his knowledge. He is utterly selfless and does everything in his power to train, motivate and develop his soldiers. He is extremely robust, fit and motivated to do well. Hesketh has proved to be a model JNCO who fully enhances all components of Fighting Power in all he does.