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What the Staff are Looking For

Emerging as a Leader

The basic qualities that the observers are looking for are similar to those required for the Command Tasks. However, the main difference with the leaderless tasks is that nobody will be explicitly told that they are in command. Although you will be working as a team, as far as assessment goes it is ‘every man for himself’. Be under no illusion that while you must all work together to achieve the task, you are each being assessed individually and will be in competition with one another.

This potentially provocative arrangement can expose some interesting character traits, as it creates the potential for conflicts of opinion to arise between the candidates. And this is where things get interesting. The staff will be looking at your ability to compromise and work together even when there is a difference of opinion about how to approach the problem. Your interpersonal skills and powers of reasoning will be key to your success.

Get Involved

You will score points by demonstrating your ability to make valuable contributions to the planning and execution of the task. You will be assessed on your ability to exert your will on the group, to bring them round to your way of thinking and dominate the situation. Remember however that if you say or do nothing and you make it impossible for the staff to assess you. A lack of involvement and influence in the task will not get you through this exercise; you must thrust yourself into the limelight and make yourself heard.

Leaderless Tasks

The leaderless tasks take place on the afternoon of the second day of AOSB Main Board immediately after the interviews.   


The purpose of the leaderless tasks is to evaluate your natural command presence, decision making and team working skills. By not nominating who will lead each task provides the observers with the opportunity to identify those who possess natural leadership ability.


You will be split into groups of 8 and attempt a selection of physically and mentally challenging tasks. The observer will brief the group on the objective, constraints and the time limit for each task. As a group you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions to ensure that you understand what is required. You will then have a short period of time to discuss the problem and plan how to go about completing the task. This process of discussion will be observed and forms part of the assessment. The observer will then select individual members of the group to explain parts of the group plan. The group will then be told to proceed and the timer will be started. Typical tasks involve crossing an obstacle (often represented by a mined area of ground) using items such as poles, planks, ropes and ladders. You will often have to carry a sensitive item with you  which normally something heavy and awkward to carry (no surprises there then).

The Team Race

The final task is a team race in which your group work together against all of the other groups on the board. This is your opportunity to demonstrate raw leadership by motivating your group around the course, perhaps by controlling pace and initiating bursts of speed. Your fitness will again be key to your success, you cannot lead if you are struggling to breath. Find out how to improve your fitness in the Getting Fit section.