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Dorset SpeaXs: How to Become a Great Leader

In this series of talks called Dorset SpeaXs, we were honoured with the presence of Marie Gleeson who spoke about her inspiring military career history in the Irish Army through more than 20 years. A rich challenging experience beginning as a Cadet to her designation as Lieutenant Commander of the LÉ Aoife.

Undoubtedly a pioneer who was an inspiration for many other women in her role as Lieutenant Commander in 1998. Despite her success in the sailing world, the beginning wasn´t easy. In her words, even nowadays, the participation of women in the armed forces is growing but it is still low and “sometimes it is difficult to find your place in a man´s world”

Among one of his greatest feats was when she was second-in-command onboard the LÉ Niamh as they carried out an operation that was the second-largest anti-drugs haul in Irish history. The crew intercepted a yacht smuggling € 750m worth of cocaine, 120km off the Kerry coast in November 2008. But it´s not only work, on a personal level, the LÉ Aoife gave Marie also great satisfaction, as she met her husband whom she would marry years later.

Marie Gleeson honed her leadership style over many years in the course of a military career in the Irish coasts. The cornerstone of a military career is that service comes before self and this was the reality for Marie in her career. Marie's personal story highlights the importance of support and resilience in the face of adversity. Leadership is something that develops over time. Through learning and experience we should consider the leadership style that we would like to develop and become that person we want to be. Based on her experience leading teams, Marie believes that teamwork and trust are essential for achieving objectives. She also indicated the importance of actively encouraging and motivating staff so that each one of them does their best. A true story that inspires us and invites us to dream and fight for our dreams no matter the difficulties.

Article: Pablo Müller (Dorset International Business Student)

August 4, 2020
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