Former Commander 3 PARA in Afganistan
Stuart builds a candid and self-effacing portrayal of his experiences to focus on leadership, planning and decision making, team building and succeeding in challenging environments by placing an emphasis on the importance of organisational culture and ethos.
• Unique story of leading challenging environments
• Insights into decision making, team building and organisational culture
• Highly engaging and impactful storyteller
Stuart Tootal biography
The author of the Sunday Times bestseller Danger Close – Leading 3 PARA in Afghanistan, Stuart was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for his outstanding leadership and gallantry for commanding the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) in Afghanistan in 2006.
The first British unit to be sent into Helmand province in southern Afghanistan in 2006, 3 PARA’s mission was heralded as a peace support operation, but the Taliban thought differently. With just 1,200 soldiers, Stuart held a disparate number of isolated locations against relentless attack in an area that two years later was held by ten times the number of NATO troops. Resources were stretched to breaking point and 3 PARA became engaged in an intensity of combat not experienced by the British Army since the Korean War.
The award of 32 gallantry decorations to 3 PARA, including a Victoria Cross and George Cross, are testimony to the ferocity of the fighting, management of extreme risk and the life and death decisions which Stuart had to make on a daily basis, as he led his people in the most challenging of environments.
Promoted on his return from Afghanistan and tipped as a ‘future head of the British Army’, Stuart also talks about the ethics of leadership and his own very personal decision to resign from a highly successful military career, in response to the poor treatment of his wounded soldiers on their return to the UK.
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"Thanks for last nights talk - it really was the best client orientated event that we have run - the response has been excellent."Trafalgar Partnership – Leadership Forum Client Event
"I must tell you how inspiring the guest speaker – Stuart Tootal was, even though I was on dial in his passion, dedication and responsibility for his men was crystal clear. He is the true definition of a leader and how fortunate we are to have him work for our company."Nancy Mathey Senior Financial Controller, Barclays Finance