Royal College of Defence Studies

Event date

The Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) is an internationally-renowned institution and component of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.

Their mission is: "To prepare senior officers and officials of the UK and other countries and future leaders from the private an public sectors for high responsibilities in their respective organisations, by developing their analytical powers, knowlegde of defence and international security, and stategic vision".

David's speech "Leadership, Heroes and Empires" covered the following topics:

  • The 5 Stages of the empire model to better understand the rise and fall of systems
  • The different types of heroes: military, philosophical, political and human heroes
  • Identification of specific types of heroes and their relationship on the empire curve with examples
  • Definition of good leadership
  • Why empires and systems collapse as the quality of leadership declines


“David addressed the Royal College of Defence Studies for the first time in 2013.  His presentation on the impact of Leaders in the historical cycles of empires provided a compelling and thoughtful proposition.  David’s analysis is provocative, challenging and highly persuasive, and his talk generated much interest among the 90 Members who represent over 50 countries. Without doubt, he provided one of the genuine highlights of this high-quality 2013 Course.”

Nick J Caplin CB, Major General, Senior Directing Staff (Army), Royal College of Defence Studies