The Habit of Excellence

The Habit of Excellence

Why British Army Leadership Works


The official British Army book on what makes its leadership so successful, and how to become a better leader yourself - whatever your field.

'If you want to become a better leader, read this book' Eddie Jones

'An extraordinary read for any leader. Truly brilliant' General Stanley McChrystal, author of Team of Teams

'Excellent. Offers proven tools and strategies' Matthew Syed

The Habit of Excellence is a unique insight into British Army leadership, explaining what makes it unique, what makes it so effective and what civilians can take from it to become better leaders themselves. Drawing on the latest research in military history, business, sociology, psychology and behavioural science, and with compelling illustration from British Army operations across the centuries, Lt Col Langley Sharp MBE goes beyond the latest leadership fads to distil into one peerlessly authoritative work the essence of leading and leadership from one of the world's most revered institutions.

'Excellent. It's hard to see how any leader, whatever their field, wouldn't benefit from reading and rereading it' New Statesman

'Offers lessons for all managers' Financial Times

'Valuable in any walk of life' General Sir Mike Jackson, former Chief of the General Staff

'Very readable. I could not recommend this exceptional book more' General The Lord David Richards, former Chief of the Defence Staff

'Comprehensive and clearly written' Karin von Hippel, Director-General of RUSI

'Terrific. Full of insights and lessons' General David Petraeus, former Director of the CIA


  • An extraordinary read for any leader. Truly brilliant
    General Stanley McChrystal, author of Team of Teams

About the author

Lt Col Langley Sharp

Lieutenant Colonel Langley Sharp MBE is head of the Centre for Army Leadership, part of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and is responsible for championing leadership excellence across the British Army. Having himself graduated from Sandhurst two decades ago, his career in the Parachute Regiment has seen him deployed to Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Among his many varied roles, he has led a counter-insurgency Task Force operation, commanded a Parachute Regiment Battalion, and delivered the Ministry of Defence's training programme for the London 2012 Olympics, for which he was awarded an MBE. This is his first book.
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