Command and Staff Program

ACE Track

It’s Our Ship

Replies
217
Voices
112
Dr. Mitch Javidi
Instructions:  
  1. Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module.  Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
  2. After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them. 
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    Kyle Turner

    I thought the point that collaboration, not competition, makes a team stronger stood out to me. And emphasizing collaboration, and holding people accountable to ensure collaboration is occurring, was interesting. I've always been taught that through competition we push ourselves to be better than the next person. But I have also seen that within an organization, competition can begin as friendly, but inevitably results in hard feelings and potentially even animosity. It also is individualistic and does not promote the team. This is something I will look at integrating into my own leadership approach to the units I oversee. I do strive to make the team better and agree that collaboration is a big part of that.

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      Chris Corbin

      One of my former managers was known for often signing off his e-mails with "TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More". It stuck with me because it seemed common-sensical, but after reading Abrashoff's book, I now have a better understanding as to why teamwork and collaboration are so important and effective. Additionally, your restating of the point that holding people accountable to ensure collaboration is occurring is right on. While we certainly need to explain the many benefits of collaboration, we probably won't get very far with making it a part of our culture if we do not model it ourselves and hold others accountable for doing the same.

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        Brad Strouf

        I agree Chris. While we will always have those in the organization that "push back" against collaboration, we can set examples as leaders by demonstrating collaboration and then making others accountable. The TEAM example is fantastic! That was a new one for me. Thanks for sharing.

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      Frank Acuna

      I truly believe in that statement, a strong team works together, not against each other. All too often, during promotional processes, your peers can see you as competition and withhold training material or fail to work as a team in a study group. The group can be more successful, working together, sharing information and studying together so that everyone can find success. At the end of the day, you are not in control of who is chosen for promotion, but you can control your ability to work as a team and build strong peer relationships.

      Frank

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        Brian Johnson

        Frank, you are right on point! I have preached this for years, you are leading by example. Hopefully, the process allows for the best-qualified person to be promoted, but that doesn't always happen. But those that have taken the team approach while studying for promotional exams, all are better from it!

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        ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

        I agree and I have noticed as well, promotional testing causes strife between co-workers whether its meant to or not. I think all agencies need to examine this and take steps to minimize the competition.

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        Eduardo Palomares

        Hello Frank. I couldn't agree with you more. I have seen great collaboration during promotional testing, which led to the great people promoted. This was a team effort because every brought great studying material to the table. Unfortunately, I also saw the downside to this. Some applicants used this opportunity to step on others to get ahead, which led to animosity and resentment. I believe that information sharing is a key for success. I wish there was a better way for departments to develop and promote applicants in additional to the promotional examination. On my last promotional exam, I was the one that brought the staying materials, coordinated the studying sessions and encouraged others to apply. I was the ONE that did not get promoted. I was upset but I knew it was not my peers' fault. I don't regret helping my peers.

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        Samantha Reps

        No stronger words of have been spoken when it comes the promotional process. One promotional process can destroy your peer group.

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        Travis Linskens

        Frank,

        I can appreciate your comment because like most other places I would assume this type of behavior is also prevalent here when a promotional process comes about. To me its a short sighted position to try an hold people back through failing to work together and share information. I try to relay to my department that its not the few weeks a process takes place that dictates your future, every day you come to work you're in a process for your next career move and you're interviewing through your interactions with everyone you meet.

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      Joey Prevost

      In previous assignments I have seen departments enter into an unspoken "non-collaboration" due to misunderstandings, lack of communication and leaders just not liking each other. The line level troops had to exert considerable effort to work around their bosses and get things accomplished between the departments.

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      Brian Lewis

      I agree Kyle. I am seeing too much competition at the command level and it's hurting any form of collaboration. In most ways we are more a group than a team.

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      Kyle Phillips

      Kyle, I was also under the impression that good competition makes us stronger, but you are spot on regarding the consequences of that over time, having the opposite affect on your team and driving a wedge between members. I have seen first hand the benefit of bringing in team members from different ranks to collaborate on different projects. It does make you feel like you are part of something special and something great.

    • Edit

      I would agree that a lot of people told me in the past that "friendly competition" often makes people work harder. I agree with that as long it actually stays friendly and it doesn't create issues amongst co-workers. I will intentionally create small competitions amongst my team from time to time to help keep motivated and to sometimes make a task that isn't exactly fun and try to make the best out of it for them. This often boosts morale and helps keeps the job light. I think that in a career like law enforcement, if there is an opening to make the work environment more upbeat, I can't pass that up.

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    Chris Corbin

    After reading this book and learning about Abrashoff's staunch commitment to collaboration, it dawned on me that the idea of collaboration is consistent in many ways with Steven Covey's "Think Win-Win" philosophy. Both philosophies promote an approach that seeks an outcome in which everyone benefits. When everyone benefits, no one ends up considering themselves or being considered by others as a loser in the outcome. To me, that seems like exactly the type of outcome that we all should want, and is one that could certainly help us to build a positive, professional culture in our workplace.

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    Frank Acuna

    This lesson delivers a good deal of leadership principles including ensuring your recruiting and hiring the right people, treating people well even when they are new, learning from those around you regardless of rank, and building and maintaining a strong team. Recruitment and hiring are sometimes out of your control, but you can still work to put strong employees in positions where they can be influential and mentor others. This helps build a strong team, including putting the right people in leadership positions. Strong leaders are not afraid of others being successful, in fact they seek the success of their people over their personal success. A strong leader also learns from those around him, even if they are new or are not in a leadership position. This was certainly one of my favorite parts of being a Field Training Officer. I learned from each one of my trainees, and always sought their continued success.

    Frank

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      Monte Potier

      I agree that placing people in the right positions is important to any organization, however there are several obstacles that have to be overcome with some agencies. In my department sometimes the civil service system is sometimes a great hindrance to reaching this objective. With a passing score on the test and seniority you are promoted, which means we are sometimes left with less deserving and less motivated supervisors. With that being said our leaders have to sometimes pick the best available, instead of the best deserving employee.

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        Jarvis Mayfield

        I agree most promotions are given to less deserving employees who become power struck then causes a divide within the company.

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      Jarod Primicerio

      Frank - I completely agree. Strong leaders don't fear other's success, they use their success as continued motivation and a positive reflection of helping others. That is the true teamwork component often lacking. There is so much competition for the next rank or specialty assignment that people are missing this crucial component in the big picture of life.

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    Brian Johnson

    In chapter 2 "Buoy Up Your People" in Captain Abrashoff's second book, It's Our Ship, he has really reinforced the concept of developing other leaders. I think we have all fallen into the trap of trying to motivate and challenge employees that are underperforming within our departments. When we recognize talented employees that are eager to learn and willingly seek opportunities to take on additional duties, we need to recognize that initiative and start to develop those individuals. They are the future leaders within our departments. If we don't recognize their skills, abilities, and desire to take on these added job duties, we may lose them to other agencies. My department has had a recruitment and retention challenge for the last decade. We have been developing ways to engage our employees better and allow them to be more active in the decision making process. This has helped but we still need to do more. We all need to find ways to reward, develop, and provide the guidance necessary to develop all our future leaders. Developing an internal personal and professional development plan, promotional training and education, and career guidance is a great place to start.

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      Nancy Franklin

      Brian, a completely agree with your post and the importance of focusing on developing those within our organizations who are talented and eager to learn. As supervisors, we tent to focus much of our energy on the problem employees leaving little or no time to reward and provide greater learning opportunities for the future leaders of our organizations. Leaders must find ways to consistently work on developing future leaders to be successful in succession planning and moving our organizations forward.

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    Monte Potier

    After watching the video the point that really stood out was the fact about clear communication and making sure your employees received the proper information. Many times an order will be given out to our command staff, however not all information was received by them, thus they are not able to pass all of the information on. When an objective is sent out frequently this miscommunication may be corrected.

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      Lance Leblanc

      I often find that the lack of proper communication to be a major problem in our agency. Frequently in our agency, our leaders aren't in-tune with the subordinates. This something that we need to work on to improve our effectiveness.

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        Jarvis Mayfield

        True, communication is a must. But lack of it will tear away at the department from the inside out. I find where there's accountibility effectiveness occur.

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      Lt. Mark Lyons

      Communication is also a major problem with our agency. Sometimes directives have to go through layers of personnel of various rank, different divisions, and offices, etc. We have made some improvements over the last couple of years, but the communication
      breakdowns still persist.

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    Joey Prevost

    I find it remarkable that after all of his success, Capt. Abrashoff still found an area where he himself fell short. That was with regards to collaboration with others. He realized that he expected this of his crew members, but did not do it himself with his fellow Captains. This caused animosity from other ship's crews as it was perceived the crew of the Benfold was making them look as if they were lacking.

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      Dan Wolff

      Joey Prevost,
      I had similar reactions to the book as well. It also made me think that, as I read the first book and admired his thinking process and the way he accomplished what he did it made sense of what he was saying in the second book. Not communicating laterally and realizing the affects he had on the “other part of the team” (rest of the fleet) that in a sense he may have been creating an animosity with them. Point well taken on the importance of collaboration

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      Drauzin Kinler

      Joey, this just goes to show us that even after finishing our leadership training there is always more learning involved. Me and my son were talking about leadership the other day and because we are from different generations, the thought process was entirely different. His approach was just as relevant to my approach and would have achieved the same goal.

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        Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

        I agree with you Drauzin, the leaders of today have to recognize the new officers thoughts and outlooks are different from theirs. If the leaders who are struggling, start to learn this i believe they will be more successful.

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    Jarod Primicerio

    This module highlights many great takeaways for us as law enforcement leaders. Not only in our profession, but as we navigate through life. Treating people with dignity and respect, regardless of their rank or classification, is key. We often want to blame the individual for a failure rather than look at the process or system that failed. We all have a crucial role in the success of our agency and collaboration, coupled with good leaders, is key.

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      Jason Porter

      Well put, all the things we hear during these modules can easily be utilized in our day to day lives outside of our 9 to 5. These will not only make us better leaders but a better person to our families and friends.

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      Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      Always lead by example and be the best you can be. Someone is always watching. When we fail, we all do at some time we should embrace it and learn from it. It makes us stronger as leaders.

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    Jason Porter

    The teamwork idea is probably one of the toughest issues to overcome. We have four shifts that have to be on the same page working towards the common goal. There are numerous different personalities on each shift. You will always have some that don’t want to share information in the thinking that it may get them a leg up, when in fact it does nothing but bring the team down.

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      chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

      I agree to this response because we also have 4 different shifts that we're trying to get everyone on the same page. When in reality you have some leaders who don't want to be on the same page with everyone else, which en tells it causes a problem for us to utilize teamwork.

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    Mike Brown

    Proper communication along with the right team will hopefully point us to the right goal. When dealing with a team your shortcomings should be explored and ironed out so that they longer hinter you from being successful. Collaboration teaches us to be better therefore we become better.

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    Nancy Franklin

    Abrashoff makes it a point in his second book, "It's Our Ship" to share lessons learned and the importance of continuing to develop not only your own leadership skills, but also to develop future leaders around you. In Chapter Two, "Buoy Up Your People," he reinforces the importance of developing leaders by inspiring everyone to do and be their best. A leader must give his people the freedom to soar, but provide guidance, set expectations, and monitor their progress. It is crucial that leaders invest time in developing their people because that will pay large dividends in the long run. If we lead by example and develop leadership skills in others, we not only improve our employees - but we also improve ourselves and the manner in which our agency operates and serves the community.

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      David Cupit

      I agree with you Nancy especially the leading by example. There is not many things worse than being told don't do what i do, do what i say do. I have always tried to set the example and i know the people i am leading say if he can do it i can.

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    Dan Wolff

    In the book “It’s Our Ship”, Abrashoff reflected on hindsight of the things he missed while leading the USS Benfold. He focused on the things he did right but after hearing the feedback of the crew after his first book he realized the things he could have done better. This is the same thing we need to do as leaders. Don’t only focus on the future and the people you lead, but also reflect on the past subordinates or even feedback from lateral leadership in the organization. Don’t lose focus of the possible lateral affects you could cause others outside of your chain and learn from them as well.

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      Magda Fernandez

      Dan, I agree with you on taking the time to reflect and pay attention to feedback provided. At times, for some, feedback Is hard to accept and some people look at it as criticism and a negative. We must be careful to provide guidance and be aware of how that feedback is being provided. We as leaders need to reflect and look at what we can improve about ourselves and how we do things as leaders. We are always being looked at by our subordinates, peers, and supervisors. How we do things and how we respond is always being analyzed.

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    Drauzin Kinler

    Going through this module and reflecting on several of the topics covered, there are many different approaches as leaders that we can use to build our organizations. Some of the interesting topics are, “Let People Tell the Admiral the Truth,” and, “When There’s a Problem, First Ask How Long People Have Known About It.” A leader can learn a lot of information by following these two simple rules. Most subordinates are afraid of retaliation and, therefore, never speak the truth. If we instill these beliefs within our subordinates that they can be honest, we could fix many of the morale and motivation issues that we all have in our organizations. Asking the question of how long people have known about the issue would sometimes be enlightening as to just how long problems have been festering within our organizations. Allowing issues to not be addressed is another instance of why we create our own demons within our organizations.

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    Magda Fernandez

    I really enjoyed reading this book, I like how he builds on his previous discussed management techniques and ideas. His leadership ideas seem simple but have a real life applicability and success. I found it interesting how he talks about Navy bureaucracy and how he overcame it to achieve what he needed for his sailors. As leaders of our organizations we need to continue to create high performance cultures where everyone takes ownership and responsibility.

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    Lance Leblanc

    In the second book, Abrashoff claimed "Give your people roots and wings to turn them into leadership machines," that's the perfect example of developing your employees. He addressed investing time, giving candid feedback and leading by inspiration. Abrashoff also talked about"Spend time in the sewage system even the lousiest job needs to know he's vita," that extremely important for the employee because it makes him feel appreciated. I have some of the worst jobs with my agency but had a great supervisor that made that it relatively good. I've also had some of the best jobs and horrible supervision that made it unbearable.

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      Chasity Arwood

      I agree with you. A good supervisor can make all of the difference, even if you have one of the worst jobs. bad supervisors are also hard to work around even in a better position.

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      Colby Stewart

      After completing this lecture I have a better view of how good communication and having the trust of your subordinates and your supervisors can make your job better. I learned you need to let your subordinates be part of charges you are making and let them give input on how the changes are going to effect the department.

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    Henry Dominguez

    I really enjoyed this lecture. It was fascinating to see how Captain Abrashoff as a new military member started making leadership decisions from the start. Because he did not get a response to his letter, after writing one to his new ship's captain, he decided when he got to that position to have a "welcoming party" (for lack of a better term). It is the little things like this that can separate those agencies that have an unlimited budget to spend on the department versus those that do not have very much and barely squeak by. If those agencies that barely make it have the little things taken care of, the chances are that the employees will be more loyal and less likely to leave. I find in my agency, we do some of the little things; however, doing more could dramatically change our agency for the better.

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    David Cupit

    This was a good lecture and a good book. Making collaboration a top priority sounds like a fantastic idea. There is to much silly competition in today's workplace, if we are not careful we might end up writing bad citations. I like what he said about earning your peoples trust by trusting them first. I like the way Captain Abrashoff communicated with the crew on his ship and used Lincoln's walk around style of leadership.

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    Chasity Arwood

    I enjoyed the second book , "It's our ship". It shows that communication is important and making sure that the team is aware of the objective. Capt. Abrashoff also listened to feedback after training to ensure everyone's training goals were met. The statement, "Lead by inspiration rather than brute force" rings true. I believe most subordinates will work harder if they feel included.

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      Judith Estorge

      Inclusion is such an important statement. The increase of information flow in both directions would eliminate many trivial issues. Communication is the key to officers feeling included. As simple as a senior officer letting his most subordinate know when he will be out of the office the following day.

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      Laurie Mecum

      Communication is a huge disconnect I feel in most organizations. If we communicate our goals to everyone and make everyone feel part of the same team, I think we will achieve better results.

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    Brian Lewis

    Interesting lecture and good read. What I took away from this lecture was the six tenants. My department is on the verge of mass retirements. We are hiring like crazy , but some of the tenants we are failing at are: Tenant 1, welcoming people aboard. We are not instilling a sense of pride to our new hires that they will be working at a premier law enforcement agency. We allow too much shabbiness and goofing off in my opinion that gives the perception that this is not a serious place. And the other tenant is #6: build a team that can function well after you're gone. I think we are failing in mentoring the future leaders and preparing our department for the impending retirements. I will be taking these tenants to my command team and hopefully have a healthy discussion of planning for the future of our department.

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    Judith Estorge

    The video clip of Capt. Abrashoff discussing an "after action review" something to bring to my leadership skills. Discussing a situation after it happens with everyone involved even on minor situations is a great practice to begin. It will help establish open communication between rank and file while teaching methods of improvement in the future. There is always better or different methods of getting something accomplished.

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    Clint Patterson

    Ahoy, welcoming aboard before we even board the ship or agency is pretty impressive. The fact that Captain Abrashoff mailed all his shipmates a letter before they arrived outlining his expectations, goals, and values, is a trait that we as leaders should practice with a new hire to our division. In our line of work, we have to do this on the tail-end of the promotion process, not to ruin the surprise. Once the interview process is complete for a position in my division, and the selection is made, they are called to the Sheriff’s office to receive their letter of promotion or reassignment. I always want to be present during this time in their career to congratulate them personally and welcome them to our team/division. I like to walk the new person to each coworker's office, introduce them, share that person's start date, and spend time meeting with them. Chief Bob Dooley said to “put yourself in your bosses shoes,” which is why I do this for every new hire into our division. This helps the newcomers to feel welcomed and motivated.

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      Ray Bonillas

      Patterson,

      You are correct, Abrashoff’s actions of mailing out a letter outlining his expectations, goals and values was quite impressive. This allowed his employees to better understand what is expected of them to achieve success. In our organization, we also have a meet and greet, and provide the new hire with a tour of our facility, introducing them to our employees. Maybe we should conduct this walk through for the top two or three candidates so they get a feel for the organization before they are hired. It would give them a taste of our work environment.

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      Roanne Sampson

      Clint, this is a great practice. This will allow your new personnel to feel special and a part of the team.

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      Rocco Dominic, III

      Great Idea Clint, What an awesome way to welcome your new people into your division, It Shows unity.

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    Laurie Mecum

    In this book, he talks about collaboration and making your employees feel included in the decisions and the organization. This is important in every organization and sadly not done enough. People want to feel like they are part of the team at every level. That is also helping develop those people under you as future leaders of the department. Also, helps with retention, which is a huge problem in law enforcement today. It is getting harder and harder to recruit and retain good talent. We need to try and keep the talent we have. When we have someone that may be struggling, instead of saying he is not cutting it, we need to find ways to help them and bring them to their full potential.

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      Samuel Lucia

      Laurie, liked how you brought up recruitment and retention issues. You're right, so much investment and talent is lost when employees don't feel a sense of belonging to the organization, and they leave. We've developed a brand to help with attrition, its Opportunity, Family, and Diversity of Assignments.

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      dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

      good point. by including them in decision making you are developing future leaders and seeing who has what it takes to be a leader.

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    Ray Bonillas

    During this week lecture and through the reading of Abrashoff’s book “It’s Our Ship”, I have learned that it is all about the leaser of any organization that sets the place for all. Leaders must ensure all new employees are welcomed appropriately and feel they are part of the organization’s family environment. We must create that team environment where everyone understands that his or her position is just as important as that of the leaders within the organization, while at the same time giving him or her the tools and training to achieve success. We have to set the example and model the way of what values that are importance and we educate why they are important.

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    Samuel Lucia

    About four times each year, there are a number of promotions and transfers that occur around the department. Usually, each member has at least two weeks notice before the effective date, which gave them time to contact their new commander. The division lieutenant, administrative sergeant, and I would meet with new staff member before their effective date. It was a great time to welcome them, get to know them and provide some expectations. Abrashoff described sending a letter with a welcoming message and what to expect. That is a fantastic idea. Imagine how that made the new folks feel.

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      David Ehrmann

      Yes, this is a great thing that should happen more. Employees are nervous enough to go into a new division or new assignment because of the fear of the unknown. Properly welcoming them and providing them with a roadmap of what the goals, mission, and expectations of them will relieve some of those fears and help foster greater respect for the leader.

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    Amanda Pertuis

    I enjoyed both books by Abrashoff. I am impressed that he admitted his mistakes with the first book and how he corrected them with the second. He has some really good points and suggestions. I really like – Keep recruiting people – even after they’re aboard. We should keep recruiting our people and hopefully keep them from becoming stagnant employees.

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    David Ehrmann

    I enjoyed this module, especially the part in the book where Abrashoff talked about getting out with your people. As leaders, this is something that we should do more of, which will help gain the respect of the people under us. I can recall as I was coming up through the ranks, leaders who made decisions from the “ivory tower” instead of relying on the “boots on the ground.” We tend to get caught up in the day to day operations, paperwork, meetings, etc. and spend less time with our people on the street. If we do this more, we can foster greater respect and loyalty from our people while instilling confidence in us (the leaders) that our people on the ground can and will make sound decisions.

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      Royce Starring

      I also enjoyed this part. This is something that I always try to do is get out with the subordinates. I feel they will open up to you freely out of the office setting.

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      dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      This is something I found myself guilty of not long ago and have recently strived to get out more, not just on major scenes, but just jumping in the car to go look for a witness or suspect. Or volunteering recently to attend a meeting at another agency about a rash of robberies. Not only to keep fresh on what's going on, but also to get some one on one time with the team members felt good.

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      Sergeant James Schueller

      I am in agreement as well, that as leaders we do need to spend time with our people and show that we care about them and the jobs they do. This is especially important in public service when we can't offer monetary rewards for accomplishments. The personal touch of just shaking a hand, looking someone in the eye and saying thank you are exactly what keep people motivated and feel valued. It's easy to make excuses of being too busy or other daily operations, but that personal touch and buy in from staff is invaluable for the long haul.

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    Royce Starring

    I believe that a bad leader lose faith in workers under their supervision. I have worked under at least two different supervisor's that were bad. One supervisor i worked along side of him prior to him being a supervisor had he was a horrible person to work with and was even worse when he was promoted. I never had faith in him. The other supervisor would never own up to his decisions. He would always say"THEY" said to do it this way. Needless to say i lost faith in him very fast.

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    Roanne Sampson

    Abrashoff had a great plan with his new recruits. I liked the idea that he sent a letter prior to their arrival explaining the expectations. It was like a welcome on board package. I remember my first day on the job quite well. It was not pleasant experience. I will have to utilize this concept. Collaboration is the key to success. I also liked build your team and then become their cheerleaders.

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      Lance Landry

      I liked Abrashoff’s plan with new recruits as well. We as leaders can always do better with making sure the right persons are in the position the new members of our teams. In turn we as good leaders should be keeping up with the assimilation of these new persons within our organizations.

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      Donnie

      This was my favorite part of the book. Coming in to a new organization, especially a large one can be a frightful and challenging thing to start. A plan for bringing new people in, showing them around, explaining what is expected, and how to do things is comforting. It blows my mind that an 18 year old had to leave basic training and find their own way to their duty station without any points of contact.

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      Burke

      I agree. Starting your new personnel off on the "right foot" is important. It can really set the tone for how well they will perform.

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      Lieutenant John Champagne

      I like the letter and feel like it gives a personal touch and what's expected from the leader of that team. Also, a meeting with the leader can go a long way for the rookie to feel welcome and know what's expected.

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    Christian Johnson

    I truly enjoyed the module and the book.

    Learn from your people, treat everyone well and let them know what is expected of them and what they can expect from you and collaborate, collaborate, collaborate.

    I especially identify with the importance of his approach of waking around and talking to people. It is easy to do in a Corrections environment, which I am in, but not done often enough by many.

    • Edit

      The lesson learned here is agreed, the ability to meet and get to know your personnel helps to create more personable moments. People come to work often and think they are not noticed or known to the "people" up high. When the leadership in any agency shows they are accessible it smooths things out in the front lines. It allows personnel to know that their admin do want to meet and help them when needed. Planting the seeds or to identify future personnel that may be future peers. Abrashoff learned to adapt when he needed to.

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    Lance Landry

    I really enjoyed the first book “It’s Your Ship.” I found myself relating to Captain Abrashoff’s innate desire to be the best ship in the Navy along with relishing his success. We grow up being a part of a team whether athletic or business striving to be the best. The profound change in his perspective with the sequel “It’s Our Ship” was eye opening. If Captain Abrashoff had shared his methods with his fellow Captains, the entire Battlegroup would have benefited. Further still, had this Battlegroup then shared these methods with the entire Fleet, what a better Navy we would have today. An opportunity was missed by focusing on the short term success of the individuals rather than the long term goal of the group.

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    Donnie

    As I read Captain Abrashoff’s first book I was actually wondering if would ever share his leadership techniques with other captains to build up the whole battle group. I enjoyed the book but was a little disappointed that he wasn’t as concerned about the whole battle group. He seems to redeem himself in the second book having done some reflection, discovering he could have been helping his battle group, fleet, and ultimately, the Navy all along. In law enforcement, the team doesn’t stop at the traffic division, uniform patrol, dispatch, detectives, etc. All divisions must unify to create a successful agency. A leader in any single division must set the example for everyone in the agency.

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      I agree with your assessment. Unfortunately I find that often times in the spirit of competitiveness agencies can inadvertently create an atmosphere where it becomes an us against them. When those in charge can distance themselves from the "competition" they are reminded the agency is one ship and having the different sections at odds with each other ultimately is not efficient and can be counterproductive

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    Burke

    It's Our Ship really ties in what Abrashoff learned from commanding the Benfold and how it relates to the civilian world. I enjoyed this module and this book.

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    McKinney

    In this module, the concept of Unity was incorporated. We in the law enforcement profession have several moving parts from those that serve in the communication division, uniform services command, investigative command, community outreach, and corrections. These are only a few that we are all involved with, which brings me to the following thoughts. I believe it is imperative for us to be engaged with every facet of the organization because of how closely we're all tied together. We must share ideas and find innovative ways to better and or advance the organization we serve collectively.

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      Major Stacy Fortenberry

      I am currently dealing with a couple of Patrol supervisors not playing well with the Traffic supervisors. This module dealing with unity will assist me in communicating with them the benefits of team play.

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    Lieutenant John Champagne

    Another useful module, trust is a better motivator than fear of discipline was something I could reflect on. I have observed both types in action. Supervisors who trust their guys got more from them, and the environment was much nicer to work in. The supervisor that used fear and discipline got work done, but the team was miserable and seemed to plot against him. I also feel that I need to get out of my office more than I currently do and work amongst my team on the streets to build a stronger relationship.

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      Lieutenant Jennifer Hodgman

      I agree with your point about trust being a better motivator that fear of discipline. People will do more for you and work harder if they trust you!

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    When reflecting on Capt. Abrashoff's realization that he had improved his own ship but had not shared with the other Captains I can see where the same has happened in my own agency. I believe this is not done intentionally, but sometimes leaders can loose sight of the true big picture. I remember early in my career when I was in a meeting to discuss how many Cadets my agency would be sending to an upcoming Academy. When I suggested sending one from each shift and then evaluating to see if additional personnel could be spared I was immediately confronted by my supervisor. I was told that my concern was my Academy and that all I should be concerned with was putting as many people in the Academy as possible. If the Jail supervisor have an issue with how many are sent to an Academy it is their responsibility to get with the Executive Staff. My only concern was the Academy and if I didn't understand that then I shouldn't be running the Academy. I had been in charge for about a week. I responded that I understood and requested everyone who was not POST Certified be sent immediately. The supervisor smiled and said I could have ten. I later spoke to the Captain at the Detention Center and have continued to communicate with him before and after any meetings where this question arises. I continue to want to put as many people in the Academy as possible, but I feel I should be reasonable when it comes to working with other divisions. I don't want to look back at the end of my career and wish I had collaborated instead of only looking out for myself.

    Fortunately the collaboration in my own agency has grown. Often times Captains will call each other to work things out before going higher. I don't believe the blame for Capt. Abrashoff's failure to share with the rest of the Navy was all his. The other Captains could have also reached out. I would believe some may not have because of their own ego. Leaders have to be able to work together.

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      cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

      I think my departments Captain's also work well together. Most all of them have come up through the ranks together and support each other. I'm not saying they don't ever disagree but for the most part they help each other out to get the job done.

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        guttuso_fa@jpso.com

        Fortunately, myself and the other district commander are constantly bouncing ideas off of one another. We try to be as consistent as possible among the four district to make sure we don't hear the, "well that district does it that way1" So far it is working out pretty well. For the most part we have a pretty good rapport with the detective bureau commanders. Like you said, we don't always agree but at least we are all trying for the same goal.

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    Major Stacy Fortenberry

    The importance of starting a new employee off right was a wake up call for me. I have not spent enough time on this as I should have. I have relied far to much on their FTO and shift supervision. I will endeavor to place a higher priority on spending some time with new hires in the future. Making sure they understand our unit philosophy and culture. Providing them with a road map to their success should help them get adjusted easier and faster.

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      jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      I too realize now that the welcoming process to my new investigators is something I should change. To be honest there really isn't much of a welcoming process. Its basically here's your desk, here's your log in and resources so get to work. There is a mentoring process of working with a senior investigator, but I need to ask myself how I can make this process better and more welcoming.

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      mtroscla@tulane.edu

      Our department has had this issue in the past and additionally we fail to welcome and train when moving officers between districts.

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      Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      I do believe that this is something that is not just an isolated event in your department, but more of the norm in the law enforcement field. Just this week I had a new employee assigned to my shift, and after reading the book even before listening to this module i have started implementing a little different assimilation period for them on the first "shift".

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    cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    When a new employee arrives to my office I always sit him or her down and go over what we do and how we do things. I now realize that I am doing it all wrong. I must change my way of thinking and spend more time with these future leaders. I know leaders are not supposed to get too close to subordinates but a little more encouraging will go a long way. I also need to do a better job of giving praise to our detectives for doing a good job. I will come up with a better plan ASAP and make it happen.

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    jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    After reading the book and completing the module I found myself even more intrigue by Captain Abrashoff. Having the ability to look inside and understand that there were some things he could have done better to promote the overall success of the Navy was a great example of leadership. He realized that it wasn't just important for him to make sure his ship was performing at a high level, but how was the overall performance of the Navy and specifically his battle group. This is a lesson that I will take to heart when Identifying things that my unit is doing well and passing on these strategies to my entire department.

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      sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

      I agree with you fully. When a leader in any part of an organization tend to work with blinders and only focus on their direct responsibility, like the Captain did (Ship/Shift). We want out Shift to run smooth, problem free and we think out job is done. This module will make me take in the bigger picture, not only how to improve the shift but on ways i can help improve my Department, as well.

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    chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    In Module 4, I've learned that in the book of It's Our Ship, Abrashoff seen good characteristics in his workers which gave him a list of good things for him to look forward to in his workers. Even tho the admiral wanted differently, Abrashoff remembered to provide toward his crew.

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    mtroscla@tulane.edu

    Leading in a manner that bolsters participation is effective only if that leader understands how to create value and buy in from his subordinates. If you don't understand how to build value in an organization then you will never have a team.

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    sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    In Its Our Ship, i liked the idea of writing of letters to your superior and asking what was expected under a new command. I wish letters were in return written to the newly promoted as certain professions doesn't come with instruction manuals. Your given a shiny different colored badge, brass and assigned a shift, next thing you know your their Leader. You know how to do the job of your subordinates, but never trained how truly to lead them. Also with this module ill take away with the 3 R's of decision making: Reflect, Respond and Revise. I'm a huge believer in with understanding mistakes will happen, just make the proper change and don't let it happen again. Its when the same mistake continues to occurs its time to start back with the first "R".

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      michael-beck@lpso.net

      I also thought the idea of writing to the subordinate officers to explain what is expected of them once they take their positions. I think it's a great empowerment tool which will get them off on the right foot, lets them know you support them, and even the goals for your section/ division/ organization.

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      cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

      I liked how you said that newly promoted people are just handed a shift and expected to lead. This happens all the time. I respect the way Abrashoff reached out new people under his command and how he did the same when he was under a new command and reached out to his commanding officer.

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      steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

      revision was very interesting to me also, when we look at so many of use look as if we made a mistake if the solution does not work. I like to look at it from this point of adjusting the solution to create better results. Also, I would like to implement the assigning a coach to a new hire, not just a training officer. Someone that can build a relationship and help with the recruitment of that individual for years to come.

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    michael-beck@lpso.net

    After reading the book and reviewing this section of instruction, the biggest take away I received was collaboration(s) is/are the keys to success. Throughout human existence, we, as a people needed to make certain to form bonds and be part of something in order to survive. What I do think Captain Abrashoff missed was, although he missed the mark on working with his peers to hoist them up, he was not a failure in terms of building collaborative efforts aboard the Benfold. Abrashoff was able to get people from different walks of life with different jobs to work relatively harmoniously in a symbiotic show of unity and strength. He showed his sailors and officers what it was like to be a good leader and therefore he planted the seeds of leadership in those who worked with him. Due to his efforts his legacy will live on in every person he lead.

    In order for a forest to grow, it needs only to start with a single tree willing to share its fruit.

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    It’s our ship, is a great leadership book for the new supervisor. As the focus of this module is about chapter 2, it is hard to pick out and focus on just one of the essential principals. Although Chapter 2 is necessary and vital, Chapter 3, I feel, has some more critical essential points.

    We have to cultivate the truth from our team. But the truth-telling has to start from the top. We must instill that our team can tell us the truth and not just want them to think we want to hear. As a leader, we need to feel like our supervisors and have processes in place for the questions they might ask.

    My supervisor does not like to be blindsided, so telling him upfront about failures or issues is paramount. With this in mind, owning mistakes or shortfalls has made the blow a lot easier when he knows ahead of the curve.

    In Summary, pride and ownership of your agency is a vital part of morale. If you were a citizen, you always want the “pride” to be the employees.

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      anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree, telling the truth does start from the top, doing this will develop a positive culture within the agency, and open many lines of communication between leaders and their followers.

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      mmoscona@floodauthority.org

      Your comment about your supervisor not wanting to be blindsided is exactly what I tell my officers during my get to know meeting. I tell them that if they make a mistake or think they made a mistake to let me know immediately because I don't want to be blindsided by a phone call from the Captain. If I know the facts then we can work on a solution and possibly minimize the damage.

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    guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    One of the main things I took away from this module was to "make truth your choice". I have found that the truth really is the best policy. For example, when you choose not to promote someone, explain the true reasons why, don't try to sugar coat it. That is only going to hurt them in the future. Use it as a course correction. Also, none of us are perfect so I would rather someone have my back and let me know that I made a mistake then just being a yes man just to tell what they think I want to hear.

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      Far to many times people will give the company answer instead of being upfront and honest. I also agree with providing people with the honest truth instead of skirting around the issues and trying to be their friend instead of their supervisor.

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    cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    Once again Abrashoff's book was great. As stated throughout the book, telling the truth needs to be the way an organization is operated from the top down. I find it hard to focus on one critical component of the book and speak about it. The entire book is worth talking about. I have learned may great things from both of his books.

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    Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    In this module and the book " It's our ship" many different aspects were discussed that can correlate to our division/shifts and things we are doing independently that could actually benefit the department as a whole if we collaborate as leaders. Also, the ideas presented on communicating failures, learning from them and leaving them behind in a timely manner is something i believe every individual, team, division and department could learn from. I liked the way is was put to us as- failure is not as important as the corrective measure taken.

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    ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    I was very impressed by this book and this section. There was so much to take away from it, I don't know where to start. I would have to say though the welcoming people aboard really stood out to me. New officers come into the department and go to the academy to learn the basics but are completely lost when they report to their first shift assignment. This is definitely something I will address with our department and try to correct immediately as we have three new officers about to go to the academy.

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      Adam Gonzalez

      Like you, I believe that this vital time in a cadets career, not just sets the tone of their beginning endeavors but models for them our expectations of what we would have them become. If we do not reach out to our newest team members, why would they reach out to us for their challenges and questions, thus continuing the all-too-common cycle of suppressing their needs, wants, desires and energy. If not at the beginning of their career, when best to reach out to them with genuine concern and care?

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    anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    The lesson I learn from this module is that as a leader telling the truth in all situations can benefit an organization in many ways. It can build trust, loyalty, and respect for followers. It also taught me that using trust as a motivator can be better than discipline.

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    steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    I did not realize that assigning a coach can be so beneficial. I recall my first day on the job and how I was expected to just know some general knowledge about the profession. Looking back I realized that I did have a coach, but that person has moved on. I will look to regain a coach for myself and encourage others to "adopt" new hires as a coach or mentor to ensure we are recruiting that employee every day.

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    This module was beneficial in providing techniques for leaders to engage the entire team and not individuals. I found the three "R's" of decision making helpful because often, the third "R" is obsolete. The importance of collaboration and trust is also vital for success.

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      Deputy Mitchell Gahler

      I also found the three "R's" of decision making very interesting. It's sometimes difficult to make decisions when problems occur, but it's what were learn from those problems (Revise) in order to prevent it from happening again. Many times, the correction could be a positive learning experience which could enhance everyone's leadership and skills.

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    As stated, in the lecture and book, Abrashoff only took into account his own ship and crew, and not the Navy and the fleet. This relates directly to a law enforcement agency, and particularly to patrol. While governed by the same rules and policies, many times each shift or watch is run differently. Some times the commander or chief knows this and tolerates, as long as every thing is good. In that small unit environment, the attitude of the shift comes from the commander. The problem, as I have seen it is when a policy comes out and you can tell it is directed to one watch and not the whole department.

    While personalities may be different, we have to make sure that the employees that we have and recruit are treated with the same respect and candor. As the title says, It's Our Ship.

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      blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree, and our department is in the same boat. There is no consistency, and the other patrol shifts are noticing the differences between the shifts. The lack of consistency is bringing down morale and work culture negatively.

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    dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    The ironic part of this training for me was the "no more aye-aye men portion that listed "let people tell you the truth." As some of you may know, a lot of people in our department have been going to Institute for Credible Leadership Development (ICLD) phases I-IV over the past several years. After completing a module, a workshop is set up and in the end there is a question and answer with the sheriff. A couple of months back there was a workshop and a question was asked that the sheriff said he would look into. None of this was a problem, until the answer was brought back by another staff member. When the staff member delivered the message, the take away because of the delivery was, don't ask questions that you don't really want the answer to. I don't think it was intentional, however that's the way the message was perceived, and we all know that perception is reality. A lot of peoples opinion on these Q&A's is now, they (staff) don't really want you to ask any questions, just say that everything is great. This defeats the entire purpose of what was trying to be achieved.

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      dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

      I couldn’t agree more. Another reality is that if a certain member of the department delivers a message, it will be received differently just by how a group feels about that particular department member.

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      cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      I do think we need to allow for more honest discussion and feedback at all levels. I think many times we lose sight of the value in hearing the truth in taking the criticism as a personal assault rather than an opportunity for growth, or as a way to strengthen our mission. I like how Abrashoff advises that we have to be able to put our egos aside and to listen, listen, listen.

      I also like how he stresses that we need to lead by example and that we must give trust in order to earn it. I think these both also play into establishing authenticity as leaders for others to trust us enough to give honest feedback.

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    blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    The part of the module that I took the most out of, "People don't fail, the system failed." If we are not supplying our people with the best resources and training, we can expect them to succeed. As leaders, we need to hold ourselves accountable for the failure of goals. We also need to empower our people so that we collaborate on a positive level.

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      McKinney

      I agree with your statement. Leaders must invest in their members by providing every available resource available to them to ensure their team, and the members will be successful.

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    dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    The best practice of Captain Abrashoff’s book “It’s Our Ship” that stood out the most to me was training people to go full steam ahead. In my position, no actions we take are ever satisfactory. I am well aware that we do the best we can with what we have. My team would enjoy it if we were able to give our personnel better training. But what we can do it provide the best possible training with what we do have. Captain Abrashoff believed that failing to train is preparing to fail. In our business, training is something the public desires us to have more of; when in fact, we train more now that we ever have. This didn’t occur due to recent events in fatal encounters between police and physical combatants. We train because we must remain proficient and excel in our craft. We look ahead after reflecting on an issue and make the best decision possible on what a problem is and correct it. When we do these things, and give our personnel every avenue to success, they are steaming ahead full force.

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    cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    I like how Captain Abrashoff aimed to inspire every sailor on the ship to feel like they were responsible for the success of that ship. I think too many times in law enforcement, we lose sight of of the importance of every person's role in making the agency a success. We sometimes lose sight that we should all be working individually as members of a team; we sometimes lose the camaraderie. It is important to illustrate the value of each person's role in your organization towards the common goal.
    Everyone wants to feel appreciated and to know what they are contributing matters. For example, in one of our meetings someone had tried to insinuate that some of our enforcement divisions were more crucial to the organization than some of our support divisions; my supervisor challenged them by pointing by asking them if they like to get paid, he then explained that they too played a vital role, if one department fails then we as an organization would falter.

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    Adam Gonzalez

    So many lessons to choose from! I believe that what I learned most from this module is the need to welcome aboard, not just those already aboard but those soon coming aboard. Everyone remembers what it's like to be the new person on any given organization. How different our experience would have been had we been welcomed appropriately and not just tolerated as the new person. Additionally, the author stresses the importance to then buoy these people up. If we are to agree that the number one resource behind any entity are the employees, than we as leaders need to agree to the service of buoying up those around us. For every person looks for this very virtue from every leader that they encounter. It is then that we provide for those around us to not become "aye-aye men", another principle espoused by Captain Abrashoff, or people that just tell you what you want to hear and not the simple truth. We as leaders are held back from our full potential when those around us are held back to reach theirs!

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    clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    In this module, building a team with personnel who have the same ultimate goals was discussed and is a concept that is crucial to the unit's mission. I observe certain investigative units that over time have chosen personnel based solely on friendships and personality, not talent, and/or ability. Now, I am trying to unravel the issues that have been built over time, mostly due to some personnel not having a desire to actually do the work and their leader never truly setting the tone of expectations and a solid mission goal of what needs to be accomplished. Since this has occurred, I have since had honest conversations about personnel positions with them and expectations. Some have realized they never truly wanted any part of certain units and were relieved to move on. Now, I make certain that the Lt. understands that he needs to recruit personnel based on honesty, expectations, and people who are devoted to do a job that not everyone is cut out for.

    • Edit

      Unfortunately, that is a common issue. It is important for us as leaders to change and promote people based on their ability and motivation. If individuals are not inspired to help achieve the department's goal, then they should not be promoted. It should be base on what you know, not who you know.

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    This module is the epitome of when you think you know it all, once you realize that you were being "self-centered", or not team oriented to help the whole "organization" win, you learn even more. Thus the meaning of Abrashoff changing and morphing; maturation after leaving the USN. He updated his book to show what lessons he learned, as we can do to show leadership is always fluid and dynamic. He displayed tact and grew from his life experience

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    Abrashoff addressed the importance of welcoming people aboard before they are aboard. I truly believe the first impression sets the tone. In my department, we interview new hires, and we speak to them as if they have the job. They are informed of the department's expectations and the goals of the agency. When they become part of the team, we try to make them feel comfortable and at ease. We welcome them and make them feel like they are part of the team.

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      dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

      Since I started as a shift lieutenant, I try to make it a point to welcome any new member of my shift personally. I call them into my office, welcome them, and then ask what their goals and ambitions are. I like that face to face time because it really lets me get to know them and helps me to gauge what kind of person they are.

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        wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

        I agree with welcoming them to the team, I make it a point to have a face to face conversation to see what their short term, long term goals and what's their background.

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    dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    What i took away from this module was the video about Walt Disney. Find people that were capable and extremely talented then point them towards a goal and get out of their way. This way of thinking for some is hard to achieve because they want to be there every step of the way making all the decision but you need to get out of the way trust your people to make the right decisions. If you have developed your people this will not be a problem.

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    Lt. Mark Lyons

    This training module was very interesting. I am reminded that as a leader, there is always work to be done. As a leader, learning should be continuous. The opportunity to learn and improve is always available. I just need to take time to listen to what others have to say and use the feedback constructively. Its not easy to recognize your own mistakes or identify your weakness. But, it is something that you must do in order to truly grow and improve as a leader.

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      Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

      I agree as a supervisor I'm always looking for ways to improve. I try everyday to over come my ego and work on my weaknesses as a supervisor. Over the years this has improve my will to lead my team.

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    dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    I believe the most impactful thing in the module are the six tenants that were discussed. I particularly like the first tenant, welcoming people aboard before they come. I believe this is probably the most impactful one of all because you are already letting a person know that they are becoming a part of a team. You are showing them that you do care enough to contact them, and they're not just a number.

    • Edit

      I agree. I really liked the idea of that and I wish we did something similar. Often our orientations or more along the lines of disorientation. We throw so much at them and give them no time to process. I think this is an area where we could slow down and make it more personal.

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    wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    After watching the modules what stood out to me was the importance of communication and making it clear that everyone understand the mission or task at had. As a leader we must make sure this communication is passed down from leader to subordinates.

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      Lt. Joseph Flavin

      Effective communication seems to be a common thread in the modules thus far. I like how they continue to stress how important it is. This is something that we as leaders need to do and also like you said, pass it down to subordinates. When communication breaks down, there will be other things that break down as well.

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    mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    My take away from this module is that with trust and credible truthful communication an organization can do great things. If we are honest to our people and always tell them the truth no matter how much it hurts they will be truthful with us as leaders. If we show that we care about them and value them as employees and people then they will trust that you have their best interests in heart. The building blocks of trust begins when a new employee starts or when someone transfers onto my watch. One of the first things I tell a new member of my watch is that right or wrong I will have their back and be there beside them. I tell them that if they make a mistake or think they made a mistake to let me know. That way if there is a solution or a way to minimize the damage then we will work towards that goal. I tell them that I can't help if I don't know. I love both of Abrashoff's books. They provide a great insight into successful leadership.

  • Edit

    The ideas put forth about collaborating and communicating are very exciting. It is a shame we are so low at it in almost everything we do. When it comes to collaborating, how many times have we been brought in but never allowed to be a part of the process? We squash ideas and the people along with it instead of welcoming them and their perspectives. During the Buoy up your people segments, Wellington mentions "oddball" or unique thinkers. These same people are the ones we silence instead of listening to their take on problems. I love how he flat out said we need to embrace them and count yourself lucky if you have a thinker who willing to be different. The communication side of this is also compelling. Telling supervisors what needs to be said instead of what they want to hear can make the difference. Few choose to do it out of fear of retribution, and that isn't very reassuring. People take to many things personally and forget the goal is to better themselves and their agencies.

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      Lt. Marlon J Shuff

      Jeff, reminds me of the quote, "Pity the leader caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers."
      As leaders, we should avoid unloving critics who only criticize and offer no advice. We should also avoid the uncritical lovers, people who blindly praise whatever you do. Instead, we should seek out "loving critics" and be open to their advice or suggestions. This is how we reach our full potential.

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      Robert Schei

      Appropriate collaboration and effective communication can really make a huge impact in an organization. If we focus on each others strengths and check our ego's at the door anything is possible. It is challenging to do but I know that I have taken a back seat on several aspects of different projects to allow a colleague who was better at this aspect to shine - the ultimate goal is producing the best product.

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    Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    The word Teamwork is tossed around in law enforcement agencies but unfortunately it doesn't seem to be practiced very often. I have seen and been involved in inter-agency rivalries between different divisions in my department. It also happens between our four Patrol shifts. If we can get past our own ambitions and recognize our departments are one team, our work relations would be much better and our departments would be even more successful.

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    Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    This module and the book, “It’s your ship“, bring out a lot of great leadership principles that when successfully utilized can strengthen all teams. I strongly believe welcoming new recruits and making the work environment very inviting starts the process of trust. Then always be available to listen, actively listen and mentor all team members. Then it becomes a domino effect, everyone is a leader when you promote success.

    • Edit

      This is an excellent concept. We have been trying to get better at this as an agency. When we bring new people on I now sit down with them and explain the organization and expectations. When I first came into Office, we were not doing that as an organization and we started having a few of our new people get into some trouble. Now I feel they have more respect for the position and understand after our discussion that they not only represent themselves but the whole organization. I feel like they now take more ownership for their actions understanding how their actions could affect the whole organization.

      • Edit

        I am happy to hear/read that other senior leaders are doing this. It excites me because new employees want to know what is expected of them. They should be hearing not only from the CLEO, but then again from their trainers. This is why the onboarding process is vitally important for not just building a successful onboarding and training program, but it will definitely help in retaining staff, as well.

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    Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    It’s Our Ship

    What I learned from this module is that leaders must learn from their subordinates. Treat everyone with dignity, and respect. Let them know what is expected from them. I always observe my subordinates, their strengths, and weaknesses. I place my subordinates in a work environment where they fit. Giving them the opportunities to excel in the workplace. Just as Walt Disney found people that are capable to do the work, point them to their goals, then step aside and allow their subordinates to acquire them.

    • Edit

      The point about learning from subordinates is a huge take away from this presentation. Newly promoted leaders do not want to be perceived as not knowing their job. This generally conflicts with the fact that the new leader is put into a situation they are not familiar with. I learned this as a young lieutenant in the Reserves. There is no value for the subordinate to let their superior fail. When the boss thinks they know everything, it generally makes more work for the junior leader and the people they supervise. New leaders should never let this opportunity pass. They will learn the nuts and bolts of a group from the person who knows it best and in doing so they will gain the respect of the people they lead. I learned pretty quickly that I cold be respected for my rank or respected for the leader that I was. I will take the latter every day of the week.

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    Lt. Marlon J Shuff

    In the section of the book titled Spend Time in the Sewage System, Captain Abrashoff discusses the importance of being visible and showing appreciation to everyone on the team. In this section, Captain Abrashoff describes how each day he would climb down to the bottom of the ship to thank one of the crewmates working in the sewage system for the outstanding job he was doing.

    The takeaway here is that each position or assignment within the agency is essential. Each contributes to the overall success of the agency and accomplishing the mission or objectives. While some roles may be supportive, they are equally as important. As leaders, we should never forget this.

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    I really like the comments made by Captain Michael Abrashoff's in the first video in this module. He stated that "It's your ship, if you see something that needs to be done step up to the plate and take care of it". This is so true, much like moral in that everyone has a part to play in making it better, not just the leader. The ship or organization represents all of us and if each of us does not take responsibility to make it better or work on the issues as they come up, we will never move forward.

    I also like what Sonny Melendrez stated when he said "find people who are capable and extremely talented and then point them towards their goals and get out of their way. Again, so true. Once we define the mission, answer the why's we should get out of our staff's way and let them carry out the mission. This will empower them and provide "buy in."

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      Sergeant Durand Ackman

      I also liked the comments about stepping up and take care of the problem. Far too often things are "not my job" and fall to someone else to pick up. Problem with that is it helps create a terrible culture in the agency. It can lead to people turning against each other and damaged relationships, usually over tasks that only take a few minutes to complete.

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    Deputy Mitchell Gahler

    The information provided in this module was very interesting with excellent concepts to leadership. An area that stood out to me was, "When systems do fail, a leader should look in the mirror and ask themselves, what could I have done better in order to get the job done?" Take command and lead by example. Teach values and attitudes and earn trust from your team by setting good examples by doing the right thing.

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      Ryan Manguson

      I agree with you. Self assessment in failure is key. Understanding were you may have failed as leader and not supported the process that failed will help avoid repeating the mistake in the future. It is also a good point about leading by example and trust is earned not given by your rank. Setting good examples by doing right thing at the right time and for the right reason.

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    Sergeant James Schueller

    The three objectives for the module set clear expectations and the content that followed did a good job of adding the 'Hows' and 'Whys' to achieve them. I found the section on inspiring everyone to be their best the most telling and helpful, although I hope that I am already following most of the examples. I appreciated the words of advice at the end of this particular section: Get over failure quickly, Analyze what went wrong and move on. Too often we can become so obsessed with our mistakes that we dwell on them even when it no longer matters. There is much truth to learning from our mistakes, and some of the best lessons I have learned have come through failing. The key is to not repeat them. And finally, the closing statement of "The quality of our leadership is measured by the example you set". Absolutely and totally correct.

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    Lt. Joseph Flavin

    Do the right thing all the time. It's important as a leader to send clear, concise messages. Always be on your game but be genuine. This was a great lesson that reinforced inspiring people to be their best. I think a lot of us can point out "yes men" that we either know or have encountered in our careers. I like how this module pointed out that you can't make good decisions without all of the facts. This module also reinforced the importance of collaboration.

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    Jarvis Mayfield

    I feel an employee is at his/her best when the climate of trust and communication is transparent. If the employer has good facts he can inspire excellence.

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    The book was an excellent read and I give Captain Abrashoff a lot of credit for coming out on a huge public stage and acknowledging that he should have been a more collaborative leader with his peers. I believe he was, and still is, a great leader. His humility is a quality I truly admire. I think there are times we get so caught up in competition, particularly around promotional exams, that we forget it takes collaboration to succeed. Perhaps collaborative efforts should be weighed more heavily in a promotional process. We want to put people in the right spots for the right reasons. I think this book taught many valuable lessons about empowering others to collaborate and encouraging collaboration amongst peers for the betterment of an organization.

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      Sergeant Chad Blanchette

      I agree. You see it frequently that members of a team lose sight of the big picture and focus on their own accomplishments and goals, while others are struggling. Climbing the proverbial and stepping on others to get to the top.... It was nice to see that he recognized this and hopefully others will learn from his mistake.

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    This module could not be more timely. It ties in perfectly with Therwanger's presentation about empowerment and exceeding possibilities. Several of the tenants from "Welcome Aboard our ship "really hit home for me. The first tenant is the effort Abrashoff put into welcoming new sailors to the Benfold is admirable. This starts the employee development process even before they arrived at the ship. This is a concept I started when I was promoted. I personally call our new officers to welcome them to the department. We talk expectations and the training they can expect their first week. I follow this call up with a welcome letter. The letter identifies their DSN, the name of their supervisor and Field Training Instructor (FTI) and their phone numbers so they can call them if they have a question. I also provide the FTI and the supervisor with the new officers resume and encourage them to call the new officer to introduce themselves before they arrive for their first day of work. The next tenant is the importance of hiring the right people to ensure organizational success. Most departments use the standard interview questions. This is great for finding a police officer. My department changed its second round (Command) interview questions to find the officer that was the best fit for our organization. The second round interview questions now focus on the traits we want our officers to have such as integrity/ accountability, community collaboration/ teamwork, problem solving, diversity/ inclusion, communications skills and customer service based policing. The last tenant is developing a team that supports each other and gets the job done. This should be the goal of every leader. Developing a team that can function at high levels even after the leader leaves (legacy) is the hallmark of a great leader.

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      Maja Donohue

      I'm impressed with your agency's second round of interviews where you focus on determining whether the individual has the traits you're looking for. This is truly where your onboarding begins. When you set high standards right out of the gate it is easier to reinforce them and build on them.

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    Kyle Phillips

    I had not thought about the introductory stage with an organization as being so heavily weighted on developing trust and authenticity, however Abrashoff went out of his way to make this experience better for his new crew members. As an FTO within my agency, I will use this as a tool for success with our new hires. The idea of just doing what is right should be the example we all strive to live by, authenticity and trust should be forthcoming if this is the example we set.

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    Eduardo Palomares

    The principle of "on-boarding" really stood up for me in this lecture. I believe it is imperative for leaders to initiate contact with new hires to set clear expectations of the job but to also welcome them into the institution. Being the new person could be uncomfortable for some people. It is up to the leaders to make the first impression the best possible. When people are welcomed since the beginning, they feel part of the organization, which leads to engagement and motivation. This sets the tone for professionalism and leader engagement as well. I will collaborate with my peers and supervisors to institute an "on-boarding" program for new hires.

    Another aspect of the lecture that made me reflect was collaboration. I had to reflect on my own collaboration approach when I learned that Abrashoff recognized he could have been more collaborative with his peers. This is something we as leaders, sometimes seem to neglect. Peer collaboration is extremely important for success. I also want to point out that collaboration during promotional exams between peers is important to achieve success as a team. A true leader exercises humility and serves others so they achieve success. This book reemphasized my beliefs in peer collaboration for organizational success. Additionally, when Systems fail people, leaders have look at themselves and reevaluate the systems to see what went wrong. It is important for leaders to explore any possible system failures and reflect on what could have been done different for a better outcome.

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    Ryan Manguson

    I really apricated the the statement from this module, "The quality of our leadership is measured by the example you set". That is a very true statement. The example you set, sets the tone for those you lead. From how you handle successes to how you handle failure. Both are equally important in leadership.

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      Marshall Carmouche

      Especially the younger leaders, Ryan. The younger ones watch us closely. We have to be certain to set the right example. A simple rule to follow is "do the right thing".

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    Sergeant Chad Blanchette

    My favorite part of this module was the way that Captain Abrashoff handled after action reviews. The ground rule of checking egos at the door and a culture established that there is no fear of retribution, as long as the message was brought forward with respect. This type of honest dialogue makes us better and prevents us from repeating mistakes.

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      Christopher Lowrie

      Great points Sgt. Checking egos, no fear of retaliation, and free flowing communication from all levels of the leadership ladder is huge. I have witnessed horror stories where open door policies actually produced retaliation. When others learn what occurred you no longer encourage anything other than what you want to hear.

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    Maja Donohue

    I really appreciate the idea of continuous recruitment. It is not enough to invest time and effort into an employee only to brush them aside once they are fully trained and expect them to know everything. Abrashoff said that a “beginning is only a beginning,” which means we need to invest just as much effort into maintaining our existing staff as we do on recruiting new employees.
    I think Abrashoff hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that “many young people don’t even know what excellence is.” And they’re certainly not going to learn what it is in a classroom or from a book. Mentors and training officers are important because they teach basic skills and in a sense help the new hire establish their “roots”. Although leaders can inspire long-term success and encourage people to grow their own wings, organizational success hinges on our ability to collaborate and learn from one another too.
    I could go on and on because this whole book was full of countless nuggets of wisdom. Needless to say, I’ll be referring back to it in the future.

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    Lieutenant Jennifer Hodgman

    In this module, we were given several best practices by Lt. Col Wellington Scott. One those practices that resonated with me was the idea of changing the way crews look at failure. In our department, this is task that we have undertaken as part of our philosophy of continuous improvement. It starts with getting officers to stop looking at "Monday morning quarterbacking" as something negative and instead changing our mindset to looking at how we can improve and what we can learn from situations.

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      Sgt. Ryan Lodermeier

      I completely agree LT. We should be striving for continuous improvement and the only way we can get there is to identify areas where we can improve and address our failures. It can be hard but everyone has to have the maturity to accept constructive criticism as well as be self-reflective on areas where they came up short.

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    Sgt. Ryan Lodermeier

    Chapter 2 of Abrashoff’s book (It’s our ship) was an easy read, I didn’t want to put it down. His portion on “give your people roots and wings to turn them into leadership machines” was very positive. Reading that section I can look back and see how many of my former leaders gave me the power to lead and take initiative. Their actions and this read continue to inspire me to empower my officers to take on new tasks and grow as leaders on our department.

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      Sergeant Paul Gronholz

      Visionary leaders and leaders who "Share the podium" and give credit to the team first empower everyone to want to be like them. I can think of some leaders in my life that have definitely practiced that. They take responsibility for team failures and give credit rather than take it all. I wish more leaders would follow that example. Good news is that we can lead by example and change culture of what it means to be a leader for our departments.

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    Robert Schei

    I really enjoyed chapter 8 of the book on fly your true colors. Abrashoff talks about how each leader leaves a wake behind them some good some bad and that you must be true to yourself. He discusses how leaders should be involved in each aspect and not above the work of others - setting the example and role modeling should not be avoided but celebrated. He then discusses the importance of failure, we need to make mistakes and learn from them. We should also observe other leaders and learn from their mistakes and achievements constantly trying to learn and develop our own skillsets.

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      Sergeant Matt Wieland

      Self reflection is important as a leader, but even harder than that is admitting you are wrong and changing how you operate. Willingness to accept criticism with humility is an important trust building tool. We have all worked for leaders that were not open to constructive criticism of something they were involved in, and those leaders don't gain honest feedback from their staff and ultimately do not gain their trust.

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    Sergeant Durand Ackman

    Part of the book I liked spoke on the importance of the operation. It mentioned making significant changes to the organization/department. The line that really stuck out to me was "...when you decide that the past does not equal the future and you are going to make changes, not everybody is going to make the trip." When I took over the division I am currently in, I made some changes and a long time employee didn't fit as well as they once did. When that employee changed positions, there was some slack that needed to be picked up but we were able to do some things that were never done in the division.

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    Sergeant Paul Gronholz

    I really enjoy Abrashoff's books. They are an easy read for a simple guy like me. What I especially like is his integration of sports figures into the books. You can't go wrong when your quote John Wooden in your book. Also Bill Walsh of the 49ers. I especially liked the story of Bruce Collie and a mistake he made during a football game. Walsh's response to Collie and his team was a classic quote for motivation and resilience. "We all know what Bruce did on that play, but I want you to see what he did on the next one." We can't be defined by our mistakes, we need to be evaluated with how we react to them. As a department, RPD is embarking on several new processes within the department. One of these processes is more frequent tactical debriefs. When first hearing about these debriefs some in the organization are reluctant to understand that sometimes we can do things better. All's well that end's well cannot be our culture in law enforcement. We need to learn from our mistakes and develop better tactics to keep Officers and citizens safe. It's my job to implement these new processes with tact and establish an environment where Officers aren't ashamed of acknowledging they could have done things differently and invite feedback.

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      Andy Opperman

      Walsh's treatment of Collie after his mistake shows true leadership. Often, we agonize over our mistakes or our leaders focus on why we made that mistake. I think for most officers they know if they make a mistake it won't be their last, but if they know they have a leader that will focus on, "ok, you made a mistake, so what are you going to do to fix it and bounce back, " the officer would stay motivated, instead of living in fear of getting in trouble. I believe the fear factor really reduces productivity.

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    Christopher Lowrie

    I enjoy Abrashoff's style of leadership. It is no wonder why he is viewed as being successful. I felt the lesson of welcoming people aboard our ship very meaningful. The longer I have been in law enforcement the more I become disconnected with just how new recruits might feel out of their comfort zone. I try to be welcoming to all new employees of the police department. If people feel welcomed then it is one less thing to worry about and they can focus on learning their new role.

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      Disconnection happens, but we don't have to let it. Empathy is a big player here too. Remember what it was like.....

      We can do better and these lessons are good to hear about.

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    Samantha Reps

    Several amazing things taken out of this lesson. I enjoyed making the efforts to introducing yourself to new staff as soon as possible. This gives you the chance to set expectations and to get to know them. Far too often we don't take the opportunity to do this. Treating new staff like you would want your family to be treated is always a great takeaway.
    Continuous recruiting was a great reminder of why we need to keep staff engaged with the organization and keep the moral up.
    The video from Jeff Canter made the the comment about at the heart of decision makings is the three "R" reflect, respond and revise. Three simple tasks in making better decisions.

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        Major Willie Stewart

        William, I truly agree with it. We always wait for the new employee's to mess up before we engage with them. I believe if we start off engaging with them, it will bring morale up tremendously.

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      Jacqueline Dahms

      I think introducing yourself early to new employees is crucial in starting that relationship. I started doing this a year ago in my new position by calling them the day they get their letter to start. They are always super pumped. We meet before they start to order their uniforms and I give them their training schedule . It makes that first day so much more comfortable for them and starts building that relationship. Before this they were just getting a phone call and told where to go and when to show up. That wasn't very welcoming and I remember my first day and it was really intimidating.

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        Sergeant Kelly Lee

        Totally agree with your assessment of introducing yourself to new employees being crucial. At my old employer I worked there for three years before meeting everyone who worked the night shift. I left like I was (and literally was) missing half the department. I had no idea what they did, who they were or if they even new I existed as their new partner. I am now assigned to the our training division and I will take your idea/lead to start calling people on the day the receive their job offer welcoming them to the department from someone other than administration.

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        Never forget where we came from. I too remember the intimidation of the first day or more so the lead up to the first day. How nice to reach out purposefully and welcome them and give them a sense of belonging upfront. We have to change the way we have done things in these trying times. It's obviously getting harder and harder to find quality candidates, the little things can build a good reputation for us.

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    Sergeant Matt Wieland

    I think the best takeaway from this module is the list of characteristics of a great leader: they are caring, brave, honest, humble, authentic, trusting, a straight shooter, have great skills, and keep the necessary distance. I think working on all of these skills will allow a leader to lead by example and most importantly generate the next generation of leaders. The concept of "do the right thing" is important for leaders. If they always model this behavior they will lead by example and generate trust in their followers. By telling their followers to "do the right thing", the leader is basically telling people that they have faith in their ability to do just that, and that they trust they know exactly what is needed in every situation.

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      Timothy Sandlin

      I agree. I have always felt if in doubt the rule of thumb is just do the right thing. Take the high ground of the battlefield. And from there you can work through most situations.

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    Engaging and empowering your people early on was an interesting concept. Welcoming them to the organization and explaining what is expected of them before their first day seems like such a simple concept however; very little utilized in todays Law Enforcement agencies.

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    Major Willie Stewart

    This video was refreshing to watch. The topic that stood out most to me was about the 3 R's. Reflect, respond, and revise. We all can say that in decision making, we do not do all of these. Revise is surely one that I will make sure my agency is doing, because we skip that step.

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    Jacqueline Dahms

    "The true quality of leadership is measured by the example they set." Isn't that the truth. "Set the example so they have something to emulate." YES!!! I liked this lesson because it comes back to building trust with your people and working on it constantly. Such great stuff, I'm inspired!

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    Sergeant Kelly Lee

    Lots to learn from this module and the biggest take away for me is the concept Abrashoff has about conducting after action reviews. 1) Check your ego at the door 2) No retribution for what is said during the meeting and 3) The least senior person or with lowest rank could respectfully challenge the Captain. A lot to be said and thought about with this concept. It shows that even being the "top dog" we are willing to look at ourselves for fault or ways to improve. We may think we always have the right answers but that is not always the case. It empowers the entire crew when they feel they have had a part in the success or have a say and someone listening to them when things go wrong. Another thought I enjoyed of Abrashoff's was him saying if those questioning him were right that he would change but if they were wrong it was probably because they did not understand the entire situation or have the whole story and rather than getting down on them about it, he would seize the opportunity to use it as a teaching moment. Too often administration is quick to react in a negative manner and fail to use that moment to teach or inspire.

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      Checking egos is a must and probably one of the hardest things to do. Colin Powell says this in his 13 rules, "avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it." In other words, it's ok to disagree and challenge things but we have to be able to let go when the final decision doesn't go our way.

      Good ideas can and do come from all angles, we have to look and listen though.

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    Andy Opperman

    I loved Captain Abrashoff's idea of making sure the new people on the ship felt welcome. Treating people right when they are hired or start a new job position is extremely important. I think when I started there was an old school mentality that you were better seen and not heard as the new person. You needed to wait your turn to have a voice. While I do feel it’s important that new people learn from experience, they should be welcomed. We all remember our first day and I think many of us were nervous enough as it was. The last thing we were looking to do was upset a veteran officer or supervisor. Abrashoff's care package to the new sailors is also a nice touch. It's definitely something I think our department can do for people we know we are about to hire. I also think while welcoming the new hires it is one of the best times to clarify expectations with the new officer/s. As discussed in the module you need to make sure your people understand the mission of the department and let them know where we are going in the short term and long term. Setting this standard day one is important.

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      First impressions are so crucial in relationships. It should be any different with newly hired employees. That new employee is your best recruiting asset. Guaranteed that he talks with one of his/her old buddies in his 1st week at a new agency. As an agency, what would you want him to say?

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    Good book, if not better than his first.

    The part I took most to heart was how to welcome people before they even arrive. In this era of recruitment issues facing law enforcement, we have to find unique ways to make people want to come work for us and that could start at the application or interview process. As Captain Abrashoff writes, sending out a letter so they know what to expect is a great tool. It does take some of the guesswork out of the process. For instance, what is our FTO program like? What are our demographics or training programs like? This could go a long way to make some feel welcome before day 1. It's a win-win.

    I also like how everyone was encouraged to respectfully challenge the status quo. That takes a big person to allow a young officer to ask the tough questions. In my experience it is healthy. The "way we've always done it" doesn't bode well with me. Is there a better way to skin the cat? Let's do it!

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      Sgt. Shawn Wilson

      "the way we have always done it" the quickest way to eliminate creative, initiative-based thought. Leaders who are insecure in their own knowledge and foundation I have found through my experiences are the quickest to denigrate other methods of completing tasks. Respectfully asking tough questions allowing all to have say will lead to greater unit cohesion and in the end organizational success.

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      Gregory Hutchins

      Failing to think about our journey in the hiring process and the first few days in the organization sets a terrible tone for the new hires, especially the newer generations in the workforce. For a group of people who traditionally stay for 3-4 years, setting the tone that they are not valued or treasured only supports their dissatisfaction with the organization. Embracing them from the beginning, in a fashion similar to what the Benfold experienced, may drive these employees to want to stay, to feel as though they are part of a family that purpose and meaning. Unfortunately, those of us in the senior positions, the positions that can make the change, use things like a lack of time as an excuse not to do these simple things. Sadly, how much time would we gain if we stopped the revolving door of new hires?

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    Brad Strouf

    I really enjoyed and appreciated how Abrashoff's two books complimented each other. Some of the material in the second book mirrored the first almost perfectly, but generally I found that the points that were repeated or emphasized were important enough to merit the emphasis. Promoting collaborative leadership and creating a foundation for a strong team are a continual work in progress that must be embraced by strong leaders.

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    I think it was all summed up by "Do the right thing." If you treat other like you would want to be treated, or how you would want a family member to be treated, you can't go wrong. Teamwork and collaboration makes greater sense than to have unnecessary competition or undermining. I think there should still be competitive drive, but set aside the "dumb competition." Most importantly, build trust. Work at maintaining trust and be genuine.. authentic. Again, just do the right thing.

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      Nicole Oakes

      I agree with this way of thinking. It is so important to treat others the way we would want to be treated. This begins to build the feelings of trust and leads to team work.

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    Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    Abrashoff continues breaking down the "how “to be a great leader. We have probably been exposed to some toxic legacies that were left behind in our agencies that have the opportunity to continue. It is up to us as leaders to correct these toxic legacies, empowering our people to take control of their destiny within the parameters that are set for them. Allowing our people to take ownership of their destiny amplifies creative, initiative based thought leading to greater organizational success as supported by Abrashoff’s book.

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    Nicole Oakes

    During this section of training we continue to explore the concepts necessary on how to be a good leader. I believe it is interesting and not very often looked at; the importance of making contact before someone actually joins the team. How important recruiting is to the organization and in particular how recruiting the right people plays a huge role in creating the environment that is necessary for success.

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    My big take away was the story about coach Bill Walsh dealing w/ a lineman that jumped offsides. He looked at failure from a different perspective. Coach Walsh made a culture where correcting and learning from mistakes is more important than punishing mistakes.

    To often times, agencies live the motto: "to err is human, to forgive is not department policy".

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      Ret. Gen. Colin Powell said it very well. Always try and get over failure quickly and learn from it.
      I believe that if you have people that are not willing to fail, they will not be willing to try....
      I know as a leader I don't have all of the answers to questions that are sometimes asked. But it is my responsibility to find the answer and relay it to my staff.
      If I was scared to fail, I wouldn't be willing to try......

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    I enjoyed the part in this lesson about hiring and recruitment. I think that hiring the right people is obviously important, however in my role I rarely have much say in who is chosen. Sometimes is gets frustrating if we have a high turnover rate with employees because it feels like I am always training someone and starting over. But, I have to remember that everyone needs to be treated fairly regardless of my frustration. Keeping that open mindset often allows me to learn from the trainees as well versus always having them learning from me. Everyone has new ideas and outlooks on things but people with more experience or higher rank often come off as they don't want to hear them. I try to avoid doing that and welcome those ideas. Collaboration and teamwork is very important in any work place, but especially important in law enforcement/corrections careers.

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      Ronald Smith

      Kari
      Our turnover rate every year is at a minimum of 20 percent, in a department of just under 100 certified that is a lot of recruiting. The exit intervals are eight to ten after hire date before one year, two to four around three years, one or two between five and 12 years, and one to three retirements per year. So I get the frustration. These new officers are like the new sailors I saw coming aboard ship for the first time, the look in their eyes tells me their age, or whether or not they have been part of Uncle Sam's military. I understand the importance of the meet and greet but no matter what we do some people feel they are misunderstood or their expectations were not met when they walked into the building. Maybe we should try sending a welcome package and give them a heads up on what to expect. The first year in law enforcement is a steep learning curve.

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    The heritage statement - We don't know where we are going if we don't know where we come from.
    This is very true and would help with ownership in the future of our agency. Having veteran officer/deputies with their experience would only help with the newer staff, and making sure that the agency would continue to grow in the right direction in the future.

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      Sergeant Michael Prachel

      Building that lasting legacy is crucial for leaders to make sure the agency continues to move in a positive direction. I agree that the veteran officers need to take every opportunity to lead by example. As veteran leaders, we also need to take every opportunity to learn from those we are assigned to lead and manage. This will encourage those newcomers to take pride in their work and build self-esteem, ultimately building that lasting legacy after we are gone.

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    Timothy Sandlin

    I really like the part of this lecture on make telling the truth your choice. It is incredibly important to have facts. Not information skewed or spun a certain way, but cold hard facts. These cold hard facts are what is needed to better understand the situation and produces more successful decisions. We have to create the atmosphere where just providing facts is the norm. Don't "church" it up or sugar coat or spin to make things look better. Also the part on collaboration. I have too often seen scenarios unfold where employees spent so much energy competing against each other it drains everyone and creates failure. We have to focus on competition to make ourselves better everyday and smarter collaboration as a team to get things done.

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      Matthew Menard

      It also seems people are afraid to have the "hard talk". I have found as a supervisor if you put off addressing issues they only get worse. Very seldom do you feel worse about a situation after you address it - most people appreciate your candor and improve because of it.

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    Gregory Hutchins

    In the development of the team for the Benfold, using the art of empowering to get the most of the crew within a dysfunctional organization is remarkable considering the challenges faced. One thing that Abrashoff touched on but never really expounded on was on letting go of his stars. While he loaned personnel out to show a system or process the Benfold championed, seldom did he let go of his stars until their tenure was complete.

    Understanding the Navy, or any military unit, has constraints on this topic, but there is value in this topic for corporations or this profession. Too often, leadership, especially in this profession, recognizes an individual as a top performer, which is incredibly valuable to the group. A result of this is the leadership's belief that the individual cannot leave, try something else, as they are invaluable to current operations. Issue confronting an organization is when the individual becomes disenfranchised or recognizes they are carrying slackers or problem children? Leaders must continually push their stars to broaden their horizons, taking positions that may be uncomfortable. Through this action, those poor performers will not have the opportunity to ride that individual's coattails, and they will either raise their game or leave.

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    Ronald Smith

    The book reminded me of things I have seen throughout my adult life. I have been that navy Chief Petty Officer with young officers in my charge. I have been asked the question of how long I knew something was not working or when it got broken. I see the point of honesty versus capability. The sonar officer probably could have figured out the issue with the equipment if given the time, but he did not understand the bigger picture and cost the entire ship a chance to train with the fleet. No ill intentions just a junior officer in need of enlightenment. I personally have had the conversation about holding on to information too long before passing it up the chain of command, from both sides of the conversation. In our department water is not an issue but we do say things like stay in your lane. Keeping the task in mind and remain within policy and use discretion wisely is equivalent to keeping it between the buoys. Coaching our best officers to be better than they think they can be is pushing people to improve themself and open opportunities beyond their dreams. People who are in this profession just to get a paycheck and do the minimum for it will either get on board with being great or decide it is too much work and quit.

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    Sergeant Michael Prachel

    One of the topics discussed in the book and module that hit home for me was “building the legacy.” I am fortunate enough to be a part of a department where building a “legacy” is a priority with great upper management leaders. From early on in my career, there has been a precedence in cultivating officers to grow and develop, preparing them for their future. Whether it’s planting those “leadership seeds” in small ways, such as allowing them to become instructors in certain topics, or taking on a responsibility of maintaining certain equipment, it allows the subject to have responsibility. This task will allow the individual to be a part of the team and allow them to provide input in certain areas. Ultimately, this will progress into the development of new leaders. We need to realize that we will only be around for so long, and if we don’t have a plan in place to continue building a strong legacy, we are not helping the team move forward.

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    Matthew Menard

    The team mentality is one we should all strive for. If our organizations are not cohesive and work together, we are destine to fail. This concept was given credence through this module and the concepts in Abrashoff's message. I think one of the most important parts of creating that team atmosphere is making sure all those joining our organizations know the expectations of them from the beginning and working to bring them into the fold from the day they are hired; similar to the way Abrashoff would send letters to all his new crew members before they even arrived. All to often the old school mentality of giving "the boot" a hard time can be present in law enforcement. We should strive to include all employees as part of the team no matter how much experience or time on the job they have.

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    Marshall Carmouche

    This is a very good module, in my humble opinion. True quality of leadership is measured by the example one sets. This is something leaders should remind themselves of everyday. Subordinates, especially young subordinates. watch and observe us intently as leaders. The module touched on the basis that great leaders define excellence. I would also think that great leaders expect and demand excellence. We will have failures, but failures are not what defines us as leaders. Failures help teach us as leaders.

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    Travis Linskens

    This lesson reiterates an important message which is to have clear and redundant communication to ensure a plan can be executed with the intended outcome. If a message is distributed with misinformation or is miscommunicated, it dramatically reduces our chance of success.
    Another take away is the importance of collaborating and working together, which significantly increases the opportunity to succeed.
    In law enforcement, having clear and honest communication and willing to set differences aside to work together to find the best solution is imperative to have a successful department.