It's critical that only the best warriors get promoted up the ranks in law enforcement. Wearing sergeant's stripes or lieutenant's bars on your uniform has to be about more than just time served or passing a test.
Probably the biggest mistake that leaders make is not properly using the other leadership resources at their disposal. We have a chain of command in law enforcement for a reason.
A recent e-mail from a reader asked me how a leader brings out the highest levels of motivation from police officers. It seems like a great topic to write about.
The implications of football in American life run deep. Football is analogous to many things: warfare, battle, teamwork, discipline, mental toughness, physical courage, strategy, tactics, and of course, leadership.
"Forward then. Forward! Let us go forward without fear into the future and let us dread naught when duty calls." - Sir Winston Churchill
"Let us stop being selfish…to the ideas of the common good and of our existence, everything must be sacrificed." —General Jose de San Martin
"The important thing to recognize is that it takes a team, and the team ought to get credit for the wins and the losses." - Philip Caldwell
Most of us are leaders in some facet of our lives. Any police officer who doesn't think of himself or herself as a leader is just plain wrong. I doubt that a cop who is also a parent could argue being a parent isn't about leadership, because it most certainly is.
"The Leader must himself believe that willing obedience beats forced obedience, and that he can get this only by really knowing what should be done." - Xenophon, 360 BC
"Time is neutral, but it can be made the ally of those who will seize it and use it to the full." — Sir Winston Churchill
"Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it, and then move on." — Bob Newhart
You can't call a relationship "friendship" until it has gone through adversity and you know that the person is really your friend. That can also be applied to leadership.
Only you know your leadership situation. Whether you are the chief of police or an officer on the beat, you should know your area of responsibility and what is required of you when the "big one" hits, whatever that catastrophe may be.
Sgt. Mark Stainbrook was recently interviewed by a fellow officer. Here he shares his answers to questions about leadership.
"It is hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse." - Adlai Stevenson
If jobs were like mental illnesses, the office of sheriff could be said to have multiple personality disorder. On one hand, you're a by-the-book law enforcement officer. On the other, you're a consummate, cunning politician.