The Bottom Line (airing Saturday 26 April at 4:00pm).
Houston joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1970 and since his retirement in 2011 has been a trusted advisor for the Australian Government as Chair of the Gillard Government’s Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers and more recently with the JACC.
“I always say to people if you work tirelessly for the welfare of the people that you are leading and you empower them they’ll follow you to the ends of the earth…It’s all about positive leadership. Negative leadership is usually counter productive.”
Having grown up in a military family, Houston admits it was likely his destiny to be a pilot, describing how his time with the RAAF shaped his personal development and leadership style.
“I learnt the value of professionalism, the importance of being the best that you can be in terms of professional standards… I applied that and of course that’s what the military is all about.”
Well aware of the reputation the military has for bullying, Houston was happy to tackle the topic head on in the revealing Channel Nine interview.
“I think it’s very, very important that you deal with what I call the negative forms of leadership, harassment, intimidation and abuse, bullying as well if you like. There should be zero tolerance to those sorts of behaviours and throughout my career I always stood for that.”
Houston looks back with pride, but also openly admits that the excitement of flying and the accolades of his successful leadership have come at a price – citing the burden of wartime losses as the hardest cross to bear.
“One of the most demanding things that I had to do in my time as Chief of the Defence Force was talk to the families about the loss of a loved one. The bereaved families were always lovely people and it was very difficult for them to reconcile the circumstances where their loved one had been lost,” said Houston.
Angus Houston’s exclusive interview with Alex Malley on The Bottom Line airs on Saturday 26April at 4:00pm on Channel Nine. Alex Houston is Episode 11 in a 24 episode series.]]>