Bram Connolly is a 20-year veteran of the Australian Defence Force, serving more than 15 years in the Special Forces during which he earned the Distinguished Services Medal for leadership in battle. Bram’s wealth of experience has driven his post-Army career transformation into a published author, keynote speaker, leadership consultant and host of the popular WarriorU podcast. He explores key moments from his life and career in The Commando Way, providing a handbook on leadership, character, personal development and resilience.
Joining the Army as a 17 year old, Recruit Connolly faced a harsh reality check as to the rigours of military life at the Army Recruit Training Centre. Life in the Army was by no means that of a Hollywood hero, but rather a tale of hard work and discipline. Bram’s determination to meet his goals and willingness to put in the work enabled him to pass numerous training milestones, culminating in deployments to Somalia, East Timor and Afghanistan.
Bram’s stories are unsurprisingly extreme – situations of life and death unlikely to be faced by the average white-collar worker – yet the lessons ring true for us all. For instance, taking a lazy option at work may not mean you end up injured or dead, but will inevitably impact performance as each lazy decision builds up to create habits which can be hard to break. Similarly, Bram’s views on leadership are pertinent for modern managers to understand the power of investing in the professional development of subordinates and significantly in relationships with them. As Bram puts it, “if you don’t know your people, you’ll miss the cues that reveal their wellbeing”.
One of the most pleasing aspects of the book is that Bram does not ram his message down the reader’s throat, instead using the power of storytelling to engage the reader and impart powerful lessons.