Stand Up Straight by Paul Nanson

Published August 3, 2021

Stand Up Straight by Paul Nanson

Book info

  • Title Stand Up Straight
  • Author Paul Nanson
  • Year 2019
  • Genre Non-fiction

Winston Churchill never surrendered. Prince Harry has fought for mental health around the world. Tobias Ellwood risked his life to save others during the Westminster terrorist attack. Tim Peake became Britain's first astronaut on the International Space Station. Nicola Wetherill led the first all-female expedition across the Antarctic ice. Ed Withey even organized his wedding with military precision. The one thing all of these individuals have in common? Their world-class Sandhurst training. Stand Up Straight applies 10 simple but transformative lessons that every officer is taught during their time at the world-famous military academy. Modern and counter-intuitive, with its lessons ranging from making your bed and ironing your shirt to achieving discipline, emotional intelligence, resilience and fast decision-making under pressure, the book draws on first-hand experiences from war as well as the leadership lessons taught at Sandhurst.


This is an odd little book, a guide to leadership and being your best self from a Major in the army. I’m always fascinated by what day to day life is like in the various armed forces, all that discipline and organisation amongst such a huge undertaking.

This book, if I’m honest, didn’t really have anything new in terms of leadership lessons, but where it shines is in having something to hang them on. There are some incredible practical examples of the common sense lessons actually working, putting them in context in a useful way. And with the additional insight into military life, it was a fascinating read.

Rating: 4 / 5

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