This publication codifies the Australian Defence Force thinking on leadership. It provides a foundation for understanding leadership and a guide for leader training and development across the Australian Defence Force. While authoritative, this doctrine—like all other—requires judgement in application.


This publication is intended to be a guide for self-development across all ranks and the principal text for those charged with developing leaders anywhere in the Australian Defence Force.


This publication is a distillation of ideas and principles pertinent to leadership in the military that have endured through history. This publication is not intended to be the sole source of information on leadership but rather a foundation to encourage further study and discussion. Recommended further reading is listed at the end of this publication.


Listen to the audiobook

Developed and written by the Australian Defence Force, narrated by MAJGEN Steve Day





Chapter 1: Our ethos and our obligation


Chapter 2: What is leadership?


Chapter 3: How do you become an effective leader?


Chapter 4: How do you use your leadership skills with a team?


Chapter 5: Getting the job done with mission command


Chapter 6: Australian Defence Force leadership principles


Chapter 7: Last post