Command and Staff Program

Leadership in Practice: Adaptive Leadership

Replies
275
Voices
140
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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    Monte Potier

    As I viewed the lecture I noticed an assortment of my current leaders in regards to the "Ladder Principle". Some matched the description of the "shake-down style" and the "Pragmatic Bureaucrat". I believe that some of the leaders are like the way they are due to never doing in "self-reflection" of themselves. Of course some don't care, however I believe that if other leaders would take the time to speak to them they would have a better understanding of how others see them and possibly change.

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      Brian Johnson

      Monte, you are absolutely correct. Many of the Baby Boomer generation in law enforcement have grown up in a very authoritative style of management (not leadership), so many of those leaders just don't know any other management style. Our job is to model the behavior of an adaptive leader, work to develop those leaders and create a deep appreciation for change within the organization to foster a positive growth environment for our organizations. This is a critical leadership challenge for all of us. Brian

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        Drauzin Kinler

        I agree with you, Brian. All of my previous supervisors were Baby Boomers, and they had no idea of what the true meaning of leadership meant. I previously posted that until my agency implemented this leadership program, we all have different ideas as to what a leader was supposed to represent. This training has enlightened me, and I'm sure that many of the Baby Boomers would feel the same way. They simply lead in the same manner in which they were lead.

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      Kyle Turner

      I too have noticed many of the older generation of leaders who have retired over the past 10 years in my organization as following the ladder principle. Unfortunately, many of them were successful in climbing the ranks and left a wake of destruction behind them with bitter people who blamed them for their ruined careers. We stress integrity as law enforcement leaders, but so often we fail to require it in those we promote. Ultimately, the ladder principle worked for people because those at the top either did not pay close enough attention or did not care enough to ensure those being promoted were respected up and down the change of command.

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        Lance Landry

        I also thought about the same thing. The old-timers definitely used the ladder principal and I like your “wake of destruction” comment. This was a spot on assessment.

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      Chris Corbin

      Monte, as you have touched on, honest and constructive feedback from others is so important to personal development. While self-reflection and self-awareness are also important, they by themselves are generally not enough to complete the feedback loop about our performance. We almost always will still have some blind spots, and it is the caring, honest and constructive feedback of others that can help us to fill in the blanks and continue our personal development.

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      ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

      You are absolutely right and I think you are very correct about they don't care. The ones I've known like that, could care less about anything other than feeling important

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      I completely agree that a lot of people don't take the time to do a self reflection. A lot of people are under the impression that there isn't anything wrong with they way they are doing things or think things are running smoothly. Others think that the way they are doing things is the only right way to do them and it the way they have been doing them for years. A lot of leaders learn things from previous leaders that they don't realize and continue those same things while they are in a authoritative position.

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        Scott Crawford

        I think a lot of people refuse the self- reflection because they don`t really want to know the truth. That or they know it and don`t want to admit it. I relay feel as progressive leaders, we need to not only challenge our subordinates daily, we must challenge our self as well. As they said Change is hard, but we must learn to adapt .

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      I agree that a big issue is leaders not doing a self reflection or assessment. I also agree that some people just don't care about others that follow them and they are only worried about themselves. Sometimes all it takes is a tough and awkward discussion with that leader to make them realize how much they really are impacting others and the organization.

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        Paul Brignac III

        I too believe self reflection is needed on a regular basis to improve as a leader. I have observed leaders that associate their rank, or not being demoted as their only method of self reflection. A leader that is allowed to stay in a position of authority is not necessarily doing a good job just because they have not been removed from their position.

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      Monte,
      I sincerely believe that leaders need to look at themselves first and know their true strengths and weaknesses before they can actually be a true leader.

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        Jarvis Mayfield

        Self reflection is a good step to identifying one's strengths but if you cant understand who you are it can be hard lead anyone. As a good leader we must mentor and try to develop the workers into the type of employee we are looking for,

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      Travis Linskens

      I agree. Sometimes I wonder if leaders choose to lead from a pragmatic bureaucrat or shake-down style because it's easier for them.

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      Miranda Rogers

      I also believe the mentality related to the "Ladder Principle" exists due to many departments continuing to promote based on the next in line based on senority.

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    Brian Johnson

    It is unfortunate that we have all worked for or have been around those individuals that practice the Ladder Principle. The good news is that they generally have no self-awareness so everyone recognizes them for who they are. The leadership challenge is to get them to see themselves the way others do. This takes courage and the ability to confront the individual from a position of love and support. As leaders, we must always try to support, develop, mentor so others can grow and change. I also realize that some people will not change, so our job as adaptive leaders is to hold them accountable. Lead, set and always be the example of an adaptive leader.

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      Frank Acuna

      Brian,

      I agree we have all worked for "leaders" who practiced the ladder principle. Thankfully we no longer have leaders in our organization in place who utilize this principle, they have all retired or left our agency. As a young man, at my former agency, I had a mentor give me a sound piece of advice that I have carried with me my entire career, and it has been proven true time and time again. The advice given is "you should be aware of the toes you step on today, because they may be attached to the butt you will be kissing tomorrow." I have used this throughout my career as a reminder that someone may be my peer or I may supervise them today, but they may be my boss tomorrow.

      Frank

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        Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

        Frank, I agree with you about the "leader" we have all worked for in regards to practicing the ladder principle. I give the advice about the toes you step on today may be connected the A** you kiss tomorrow.

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          Chad Blanchette

          Agreed. I am not sure how a person could ever trust a leader that is self-serving with no regard for their teammates.

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          Ha! And its funny how that advise REALLY applies to those with that mindset. Especially the ones who have no shame. Unfortunately there are still some lurking around, but that's the way they were brought up and their whole goal was to be high enough up the ladder that the work was minimal. I was always told a promotion is you volunteering to do more, not less.

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        Eduardo Palomares

        That is absolutely correct Frank. It is very important to be aware that those peers today could be our bosses tomorrow. I have been on both spectrums while in law enforcement and in the private industry. I had to work for one of those “ladder leaders” who lacked self-awareness to realize his shortcomings. This individual by no means was an adaptive leader at all. His style was rigid and authoritarian, which left many good officers with a bad taste of mouth. It took a couple of years to restore the damage he created. I truly believe adaptive leadership is also a critical skill to be success in this profession that constantly changes and evolves.

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      Joey Prevost

      Yes, and that is not how you develop other leaders. I have seen such leaders and found them to be so thinly veiled and easy to see through.

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      Nancy Franklin

      Brian, I agree that we have all been exposed to someone who practiced the Ladder Principle. They were challenging to work with and had to ability to negatively influence others by their selfish actions. It is worth the challenge of working with these types of individuals to change their perspective.

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        chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

        I agree as well, the ladder principle. The ladder can make things negative for someone trying to move up the ladder. I agree we have to do things to try and change the perspectives of ones views.

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    Frank Acuna

    This lesson discussed how to identify characteristics of and how to become and an adaptive leader. There are many characteristics that are associated with an adaptive leader. An adaptive leader will demonstrate proficiency, manage resources, make informed decisions, maintain their guard during tense situations, maximize strengths of their team, adjust their style when needed, create teams, implement change, lead with confidence and be sensitive to cultural and ideological differences.

    An adaptive leader makes the necessary changes during each situation and is willing to take calculated risks. They do not make decisions based only upon standardized rules and procedures but instead, look at the big picture. They are open-minded and accept opinions from their subordinates and seek information to make well-informed decisions.

    Frank

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      Monte Potier

      I agree, only the leaders that look at the big picture can be truly effective. Very few leaders are able to accept the opinions of others.

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      Chasity Arwood

      I agree with you, a true leader must be able to look at the big picture and also listen to the input given by their subordinates.

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    Joey Prevost

    "Flexibility is the key to longevity" I can definitely see that. we have to constantly adapt to the factors around us in order to survive our careers. I have seen individuals that only cared about those above them on the ladder and not care about those below them. They were not well though of.

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      Lt. Mark Lyons

      I agree. Leaders have to look out for their team. They must recognize that the quality of the team is related to the teams cohesiveness, and that both have a direct impact on the reputation and potential success of the leader.

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      Andy Opperman

      Flexibility is the key, although I think as we get older flexibility becomes more difficult for us. We must constantly push ourselves to evolve and educate ourselves. When learning stops, I think our ability to be adaptive becomes more difficult.

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    Chris Corbin

    One of the key takeaways from this module for me was the need to remain vigilant in our ever-changing environment. It is so easy to get caught up in the mindset that a given situation, or a given interaction, while turn out the same because it looks just like another you experienced in your past. I particularly liked that reference to Murphy's Law, and that adaptive leaders work hard to prove it wrong. As we often say, no plan survives first contact.

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      Dan Wolff

      Chris Corbin,
      Your comments resonate with what we are dealing within our organization, particularly with the shift I work. As a Lieutenant with two senior Sergeants we are constantly trying to educate our deputies. Our second senior deputy only has 9 months of patrol experience if that gives you any indication. By utilizing an after-action review, regardless of the call and teaching them to be adaptive enhances their self-awareness. We must develop them and at the same time our leadership well encourage them, remain open minded, and “bring calm to chaos”.
      Dan

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    Dan Wolff

    Being an adaptive leader takes many characteristics that need to be practiced and thought of every day. As we relate to the to everyday situations and adaptive style is always needed. With our agency, manning shortages is an everyday occurrence and how we react to pressure situations, utilizing the manpower we have, being open minded using tactics and techniques is always being accomplished. So what do we see positive in all this? Creating subordinates to be adaptive as well and our shift always has an after-action review to learn. Especially since the second most senior patrol deputy on our night shift only has 9 months patrol experience.

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    Drauzin Kinler

    In law enforcement, it is essential to be an adaptive leader if you want to be an effective leader. Leaders must be able to adapt to situations constantly in order to keep agencies functioning. The personnel and the community that we serve require us to be able to adapt. Many of us face the same challenges with personnel shortages, inexperienced personnel training new employees, etc. These challenges require us to adapt appropriately to the situations we face and hopefully make the right decisions along the way.

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      Judith Estorge

      I agree that effective leaders must be good at adapting and overcome challenges. Leaders must not be okay with the status quo but must always be learning and achieving new heights.

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      dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree, especially in this line of work. Being adaptive is necessary as each call, incident, disaster is alike may be as far a "signal" is dispatched, but completely different in its own unique way. Being able to adapt to each scenario is imperative.

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    Mike Brown

    The ladder principle which in my case has a different name, I called it being on your high horse. This type of leadership worked for people because those at the top felt that they were above everyone else and they needed to lookout for themselves. Those individuals are the same people that when they retire they are forgotten about.

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      Jarod Primicerio

      This principle has many names but the root is the same. So many just care about the next step and will do anything it takes to get there.

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      Lance Leblanc

      Mike, you and I have both worked for leaders that have fit into the ladder principle and some are still with us. Hopefully, some will retire once our new administration takes office and we as an agency can move forward.

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      Samantha Reps

      I agree, I think we all have a leader that falls into this category, they are never missed and only talked about once they leave from all the damaged they caused while they were with the organization.

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    Nancy Franklin

    Being an adaptive leader means that you must remain flexible and aware of your environment, inclusive of the people and situations that affect the outcome of your mission. Adaptive leaders are those who work well under pressure and have the ability to be fluid and flexible in their decision-making process. Adaptive leaders also work to bring calm to chaos and thereby, set an example for others to follow. Those who practice the Ladder Principle discussed in this module are self-serving and do not care about the needs and wants of others, nor the values and achievement of the team or organization's mission.

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    Jarod Primicerio

    Adaptive leadership seems to align with my style and assists me as the waves seem to change daily. I have had to tackle some major components within my agency and then quickly shift gears. Building the right team is crucial as I learned they are the reason for my success. Reviewing the skills and traits of an adaptive leader often and sharing with my team so they can also build upon them will ensure long-term success for all.

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      Jason Porter

      That sounds all too familiar. Being able to switch gears to something completely different in order to get the task accomplished I feel is a sign of an adaptive leader.

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      Brian Lewis

      With the COVID-19 pandemic, we've all had to be very adaptive. You are spot on with building the right team is crucial.

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    Jason Porter

    Being able to be an adaptive leader is something that I have to do every day in my position. The area in which I work is never the same. New obstacles arise every day. I would like to think that I adapt to those and also encourage my staff to adapt to those ever changing circumstances as well.

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      Marshall Carmouche

      Me too, Jason. No two days are alike and situations change rapidly. I adjust and adapt accordingly. One thing i have learned also is never let the subordinates see you frantic. Stay adaptive and stay strong.

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    Lance Leblanc

    Adaptive leaders are good under pressure and tactically flexible. I have worked for several leaders that I would categorize as this. They could airways adjust to whatever the situation was and rarely made a bad call. I have also worked leaders that followed the ladder principle and sadly most have already forgotten their names.

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    Chasity Arwood

    In law enforcement, leaders must be able to adapt to changes circumstances very quickly. They must also work great under pressure. I have worked for a few supervisors who were able to adapt very easily and keep both the officers under their command and the public happy.

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      Donnie

      You said it! There’s a lot of day to day pressure for law enforcement to constantly switch roles, make decisions, restructure, etc. This is especially true for “knee jerk” reactions from superiors. For the most part my superiors make good decisions though. Our department has high standards that we operate under. Meeting those standards can be emotionally draining but striving to exceed them creates the success we have.

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    Judith Estorge

    The ladder principle was an interesting presentation. There are definitely officers willing to step on fingers to rise to the top of the ladder. Fortunately, with Civil Service protection they can only do so much damage. Becoming an adaptive leader is a direction everyone should aspire to. There is much to learn with continual training.

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      David Cupit

      I agree with your comments Judith. I have seen officers step on others to get to the top. It is very discouraging to see people in the organization behave this way.

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      Clint Patterson

      The ladder principle is a way of police life in agencies. There will always be people willing to step on others fingers, shoulders, and heads to get ahead on the ladder. The problem is the leaders above on the ladder don’t see this issue and want a “yes sir” type of personality below them.

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        dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

        I would have to agree with you, Clint. I have seen it many times in my career, those willing to stab and step on the backs of other people just so they can get ahead. Moreover, it is disheartening when you have those above who don't see the malice actions of those people looking to get ahead, or how those actions make the ones they have hurt in their climb suffer.

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        Stan Felts

        You are correct! Most of my years have been fighting a system of "Get in line and wait your turn", instead of a business mindset of who has the skills and ability to best fill this position.

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      Laurie Mecum

      This is true. The days of getting to the top because someone has been here longer or your someone's buddy should be over. If should be based on skill and ability.

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    Brian Lewis

    This module was heavily weighted on adaptive leadership. Being adaptive in a fluid environment like law enforcement is a must for our leaders. We had a saying in my unit in Afghanistan, "Mission First, People Always." Basically, you have to be able to handle any mission while still taking care of your people. This is the crux of adaptive leadership.

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      David Ehrmann

      Absolutely. People will respond better to a leader to takes their welfare into account before both themselves and the mission. A person who respects their leader will work harder and smarter for that leader.

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    David Cupit

    I found it interesting that an adaptive leader needs to anticipate the situation, be proactive, and most importantly keep learning. It will be important to remember the different dimensions of adaptability in the process of becoming an adaptive leader.

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    Clint Patterson

    Adaptive leadership is a skill that all patrol officers possess. Most probably, they don’t know they possess this skill and utilize it daily. When a patrol officer responds to a call, they are arriving at a location where there is an obvious problem, and they must adapt to the environment. The ability to adapt quickly, efficiently, and overcome the rapidly changing environmental conditions while being able to make decisions effectively is an adaptive leadership skill. But as is relates to the present-day leadership, the current leaders who have generational differences can make this a difficult task. They believe in their management style of “we always have done it that way” and choose not to learn new skills.

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    Laurie Mecum

    Adaptive leadership is being able to be flexible and listen to others above and below you. Being proactive to a situation so you can anticipate the outcome. An adaptive leader is well respected and wants to take care of their subordinates…..these are the type of leaders we need to see more of! Being able to adapt and being an Adaptive Leader should not be confused.

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      Christian Johnson

      Well said, Laurie.

      As you pointed out, it is important to readily adapt to changes coming up and down.

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    Roanne Sampson

    Adaptive leadership is the ability to change to fit the situation and to take care of your followers while doing so. The most important aspect of leadership is listening. Adaptive leaders are proactive, leads very well, use their intelligence, learn new skills, and debrief on things that went wrong. They want new information, encourage and develop their team, and are flexible. The adaptive leaders must be mindful of the Ladder Principle. I know many leaders who fit into this style of leadership.

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      Agreed , using the ladder system can be an obvious up or down approach to agency structure. However, the ladder is just one set of directions of movement we have. Being able to manage your personnel, assist coworkers in their ascent in the agency is important too. Using your EI, confidence, and creating an after action plan for change is important. The 8 dimension listed for AWALP were really good to review.

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    David Ehrmann

    Adaptive leadership is a must in law enforcement. Law enforcement officers are tasked with adapting every day. They have to adapt their responses differently, being that no one situation is the same. This is the same with leadership. Leaders have to be able to adapt to their subordinates, peers, and supervisors. A leader cannot treat each person the same. Adaptive leaders need to always, always keep the welfare of the subordinates as their top priority.

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      Rocco Dominic, III

      Well said, David.
      Adaptive leaders have to constantly adapt to the person or situation they are dealing with.

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      Kevin Balser

      I agree that every day is different and almost every hour is different. Being able to adapt and change not only to our environments but also with the people we work with is vital to our leadership within the organization.

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    Christian Johnson

    Adaptive leadership embodies a must have skill set for law enforcement leaders. Not only is the environment we work in constantly changing, but so is our in-house environment. The type of people that joined us 10 years ago are very different than those joining us today.

    Adaptability is necessary to keep pace with these changes and essential to maintain order in-house and in the community.

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    Amanda Pertuis

    Adaptive Leadership is how you approach a situation. It is all about mission accomplishment while taking care of your subordinates.

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    Rocco Dominic, III

    Adaptive leaders are constantly adapting to their environment. They can not just be technically and tactfully proficient, but also culturally proficient. Adaptive leaders should strive for constant learning.

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    McKinney

    Being an adaptive leader is imperative within this profession because we're subjected to an ever-changing social environment. As a leader, we are afforded opportunities to learn from past experiences, whether positive or negative, which enables us to anticipate a challenge. These exposures allow us to learn even more so that we can continue to evolve.

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      Burke

      It does. adapting to situations is crucial to what we do in law enforcement. Whether it's the types of calls we go on or how we lead throughout the years. Being a fluid type person is crucial to being a good leader.

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      Royce Starring

      I agree. you have be an adaptive leader in this profession because it is constantly changing everyday.

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      I've often said that if any supervisor should get top marks for adaptability, it should be a Patrol Sgt. Whatever plan I have for the day, is usually worthless after the first 30 mins. From there on, I'm flying by the seat of my pants.

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    Burke

    Too often I have been witness to the ladder principle in law enforcement. I have never liked that type of leadership and how it precipitates future bad leaders. This module is very important in how we recognize this system so we don't fall prey to it.

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      Lieutenant John Champagne

      I agree and feel if we genuinely do self-assessments, we will be able to course-correct our leadership style.

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    Donnie

    This has been one of my favorite modules so far. Becoming an adaptive leader is a priority when trying to gain trust of subordinates, peers, and superiors. Proving you can comply and react to different people in different environments is worth following. “Adapt” has been a staple word throughout my career in the military and law enforcement. In both careers technology and cultures have been the two biggest adaptations that I’ve had to adjust. I can relate to many of the characteristics described in this lecture but have also learned a few new ones.

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    Lance Landry

    As the Colonel mentioned in the lecture, the ladder principal, shakedown style, and the pragmatic principals were not attractive styles leaders used while leading me. I learned quickly how to navigate around and through leaders with these type characters. However, the leaders that I worked for that mastered the real manager perspective were the ones that could get me to storm the gates of hell with them. I have tried to mimic this style of leadership.

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      jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      I have also been around the shakedown style leader and the pragmatic bureaucrat. Even though my experience with these types was negative. I feel I still learned something from them, mostly what not to do. I always gravitated towards the real manager and feel similarly. I would follow them anywhere. Hopefully my style fits in line more with the real manager.

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        cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

        I experienced the shakedown style leaders and Pragmatic bureaucrat leaders too. Thankfully we also had real manager style leaders that taught us how to lead.

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      McKinney

      Mr. Landry, it becomes evident when we are surrounded by leadership profiles of the ladder principle, shakedown style, or the pragmatic principle. It is unfortunate that these types of behaviors or mindsets introduce themselves in our profession, especially because of all the other obstacles that we are faced with.

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      Brent Olson

      Lance,

      I also have worked for leaders in the past that utilized the ladder principal in all of their interactions. It is amazing how quickly we can learn to navigate around these types of leaders, and find ways to be successful while minimizing interactions with them. I have also worked for leaders, and currently work for one, that adopt the real manager style. I can honestly say that I would do just about anything he asked of me, while being able to trust that what he was asking me to do was the right thing to do.

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    Royce Starring

    The five characteristic of an adaptive leader was very interesting. An adaptive leader have to perform under pressure, use Intel, develop new skills, conduct action reviews, and constantly seek out new information to be an adaptive leadership.

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      Major Stacy Fortenberry

      The part of conducting a AAR that is inclusive was short but that is a great reminder of its importance. Mistakes always happen and an honest AAR points out areas of improvement.

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    jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    As a leader it is important for me to understand the concepts and characteristics behind being an adaptive leader. We must all be able to adapt to every changing situations and make the best and most informed decisions. Having a plan is great, but being able to adapt if the plan goes to hell is something I learned early in my military career. Like the old adage goes "adapt and overcome."

    The ladder principle also made sense to me and shed some light on how some past leaders have acted in my organization. Some have been shakedown style and some have been pragmatic. By having the knowledge of these type of leaders will better prepare me not to follow that path and learn what not to do.

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      michael-beck@lpso.net

      I think we have all been subjected to the ladder principle in our careers. By recognizing these bad traits you are certainly correct to know that we will avoid this type of leadership in the future.

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        Henry Dominguez

        I so agree with you on that. Knowledge is power and recognizing the ladder principle can and will only help you to better prepare yourself in avoiding these pit falls of bad leadership.

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    chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    The learning in area 3, module 9, learning the ladder principle and the shake down style are things that was very eventful information. The shake down style isn't a style that we want our organization to adapt to. We want to treat everyone as equals we don't want to treat them unfairly because they are our subordinates.

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    I feel this is an important module because adaptability is not a luxury it is a necessity. Nothing stays the same and being able to think critically outside the box is an attribute that has to be understood. I felt it important that Col. Spain allowed his subordinate leaders to make mistakes and also to be adaptive leaders. He also set the parameters by which that was acceptable. When telling the story of his leader he allowed to fail, he was clear that should the decision have put a person in jeopardy, cost training time or money he would have intervened. The concept of allowing people to make mistakes is important. A mistake is only a learning opportunity unless you don't learn from it. I also appreciated the explanations and condemnation of the "Ladder Principle" and "Shake Down" theory. I have seen both of these in action and feel neither has a functional us in law enforcement.

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    mtroscla@tulane.edu

    I have been in law enforcement for almost 15 years now, one thing I am sure of is I have not had the same workday twice. That being said, It is difficult to be a police officer if you are not flexible and adaptive, and to supervise police you need the skills even more so.

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      guttuso_fa@jpso.com

      I agree. I think we are all adaptable everyday in our career and we are all capable of becoming an adaptive leader. I think what the difference is in being an adaptive officer and an adaptive leader is to become an adaptive leader you focus must be much more of a laser focus than a broad focus.

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    Lieutenant John Champagne

    I observed the shakedown style of leadership more than the real manager. The shakedown style is especially true in older officers earlier in my career. I feel as though this was the style that was passed down, and leaders were not doing any self-assessments.

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    michael-beck@lpso.net

    There are too many times that leaders forget the need to help the people behind them succeed and strictly use the Ladder Principle. These people always seem to be the ones who get ahead only by making the people under them accountable to issues and never accept the blame themselves so they can get ahead. These managers are so rigid and inflexible to a point where the only thing you respect about them is their rank, and sometimes that’s a stretch. This module showed me that being an adaptive leader can help quell this issue. Flexibility is the name of the game. The United States Marine Corps webpage displays, “Marines are trained to improvise, adapt, and overcome any obstacle in whatever situation they are needed.” These abilities spill over to good leadership – the capacity to improvise, adapt and overcome. We must all be able to use them if we are to become or continue to be the leaders our people want and need.

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    Major Stacy Fortenberry

    Some think adaptive leader is being able to react to a changing environment. Its a little more than that. Simply changing when the environment changes around you is reacting to the change. That is part of adapting but not all of it. Anticipate the next change and become proactive to produce the outcome you want rather than just being reactive. Act with the best information you have as time can be critical.

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      anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree because the anticipation and thinking ahead will lighten the stress of when the issue occurs.

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    cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    I can remember a time when there were no adaptive leaders at all. It was every man for him/her self attitude and it was evident. We had mostly Shakedown and Pragmatic bureaucrat leaders. They always focused on making their boss happy and did not care about the people they were supervising. They were set in their ways and refused to see things different or listen to anyone. I don’t think they were trying to be this way. I think it was years of always being taught to do it this way.

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    ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    Adaptive leadership is a must in law enforcement. Law enforcement is constant change, sometimes on a minute by minute basis. If a leader is not adaptable and able to keep up with the fast paced environment, they will never have true followers and will surely fail the department.

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    guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    I definitely agree with Col. Spain's comments that you need to move around leadership from time to time. I have seen it first had where after a long period of time in one position a leader can just stick to the status quo of what he/she has always done. At some point everything becomes stagnant.

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    dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    We, as officers, develop a unique style of adapting to situations as they present themselves. When the environment changes, a good leader is already ahead of the change.

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      Jennifer Hodgman

      I agree with you, good leaders should always attempt to be looking ahead and ready for the change. Adaptive leadership requires us to anticipate the situation as much as possible and then be proactive and influence the outcome, the way we want it vs just reacting to it.

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    dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    Being an adaptive leader is imperative in this day and time of police work, Dealing with different generations of people, dealing with many different cultures makes being an adaptive leader imperative. I agree and with Col. Spain on the story of allowing his subordinates plan not to work. I thought it was a good time for constructive criticism and that is something that I always look for and feel is necessary.

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      Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      I also agree that we learn a great deal from our failures, and very rarely will make the same mistake twice when allowed to learn in this fashion. If you can allow your subordinates to fail without causing harm to another or undue lost time or money what's the harm in letting them become more adaptable leaders.

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    Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    Having the ability to be an adaptive leader in the law enforcement profession is necessary with the highly fluid situations we deal with daily. As stated in this lesson er must be able to look at each situation and identify if the environment or factors surrounding the situation have changed since the last similar incident, if not you run the risk of mission failure. The article by Irwin and Normore on the ladder principle was also interesting and I can pick out leaders who have climbed the ladder with no regard for the "fingers" stepped on along the way...sometimes it can be perceived as much more than fingers stepped on.

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      blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree with you, Dustin, the situations we find ourselves in sometimes are ever-changing, and we have to be able to adapt to them. I think we all ran across the people who used the ladder principle but stabbed you in the back rather than stepping on your fingers.

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      cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

      Yes. As leaders we should be focused on the people under us and not the next promotion. If we take care of the our people the promotions will take care of themselves.

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      mmoscona@floodauthority.org

      I agree that in law enforcement and as a law enforcement leader we must be able to adapt to the everchanging enviroment that we work in. If a leader can't adapt to the changing times then he or she may not be a leader for long.

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        Nicole Oakes

        I believe this way of thinking was mentioned again and again in this module because that is the very definition of adaptive.

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    blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    In law enforcement, a supervisor must be adaptive. We are always performing under stress, and we have to be proficient because someone life is usually on the line. The thing that I took the most from the module was prioritizing resources. I find that I sometimes put too much on my plate at one time instead of focusing and prioritizing one task at a time.

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      sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

      I find that is my fault at as well. Trying to lead while having too many problems on plate in the first plate. Thats why its important to have adaptive subordinates to help constantly scenes.

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      cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree Beau, that sometimes our enthusiasm to accept responsibility can be overwhelming and can hinder our ability to prioritize tasks. This is one of my biggest weaknesses.... I try to do as much as I can and sometimes loose sight of the most important things.

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    cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    Being able to adapt as a leader to the situations that we deal with is important. It is also important that leaders adapt to their people and the different types and cultures of people that work with us.

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    I understand the "Ladder Leadership" as it relates to leadership styles and other intentions. However, we must make sure, as leaders, we are always looking at the full spectrum of the ladder. As we grow, we need to bring up the proper people to surround ourselves with to form the right team.

    Even though we may be standing in line, on our ladder, we do have to be conscious of the people below us, as they can still try to cut in line and take our leadership spot. The more natural part of those folks usually fall the ladder or get pushed off the ladder while they are passing others in an attempt for greed.

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      steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

      Sometimes we can expect that its our turn to make the next step just because we are next in line. We must keep working to keep that earned spot in our reach. If someone does gain a "cut" in line through dishonest reasons, then let things happen in the wash.

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      Scott, I do not agree with your second paragraph. If someone cuts in line or is promoted before me, then I have to assume they were more qualified than I was. We are not guaranteed promotions but I do understand where your thinking comes from. Our ladder is personal to us and it is upsetting when we get picked over for promotions and if as you say, "they fall off their ladder" because of greed then so much the better for everyone.

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    anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    This lecture has thought me that all great leaders are adaptive, because of the ever-changing way of society. this lecture has also brought awareness to the facet of the different principles of leadership, which is helpful in determining the wrong type of leaders.

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    sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    I liked the idea of the leader getting buy in from his subordinates while making the plan, that way when he didn't have the time to consult then , he knew he had his groups trust.

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    steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    Being an adaptive leader is essential part of being an officer and leader. Often as an officer, I would have to adapt my way of policing to what supervisor was working that night. Also, knowing the culture difference when responding to different districts while working patrol was very helpful in accomplishing missions. But finally as a Leader as this module focuses on, we must adapt to the ever changing or adjusting times. I am curious to see what changes will result from the current civil unrest. With governmental jurisdictions demanding changes, I foresee changes across the nation on the horizon, just not to what extent.

    Regardless, we will have to adapt to those changes to survive and assist others in surviving. The last thing we want as a law enforcement community to to reduce our enforcement capacity due to budget constraints or voluntary departure from officers.

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    cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    Adaptive Leadership seems share many of the same qualities of other types of leadership that we've learned about so about so far. They build trust, respect, and credibility with subordinates, train and develop them in order to empower them with the autonomy to operate in the way they see best.

    Conversely, shake down style leaders and pragmatic bureaucrat leaders don't have their subordinate or peer's best interest in mind. They use their legitimate authority to intimidate, coerce and/or control their subordinates which can inhibit operations, effectiveness, trust, respect, credibility and two-way communication.

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    Henry Dominguez

    The shakedown style of leadership is an old style of leadership in law enforcement that is very demoralizing to a department. The shake down style and ladder principle style leaders are ineffective using a bully mentality to control subordinates. They completely have no interest in a team concept and only care about themselves and where they want to get to moving up .

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      dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

      Many times new supervisor start with this mindset. People are going to listen and do as i say because i am the supervisor. This is especially true if their is no type of leadership program or training for the supervisors. They will have to go through hardship in order to learn that this is not the best course of action.

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      I have t agree with you. I remember getting to work and going to roll call, awaiting an interrogation from my boss about; why did you, what did you...

      Luckily for me and my fellow officers, this type of leader was phasing out of the picture.

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      Adam Gonzalez

      Amen to what you posted. Even though these styles are reportedly "the old styles", unfortunately they are still very much utilized by some agencies archaic today. We must be above this, learn from our own negative experiences involving this and rise to better, greater, and inspiring heights. In so doing this, we will either usher in or continue on the best practices approach to lifting others and leading!

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    dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    I think more supervisors need to learn the adaptive leadership method. I have seen far too many leaders approach every situation the same. Especially when dealing with subordinates, their style does not change and their message gets lost on someone who can not relate to the leader's style.

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    I think it is necessary for all leaders to be adaptive. It is important for a leader to be flexible and be willing to take risks.
    A leader should be willing to take care of subordinates. Unfortunately, I still see individuals in leadership that use the shakedown style. A leader that uses the shakedown styles is ineffective.

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    clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    I am sure all departments have commanders and supervisors leading by the three styles. In my early years, I definitely observed more of the Shakedwon and Pragmatic. There were certainly good leaders, but at that time the environment was fed off politics to get promoted. Quite a few saw the Ladder Principle as a way to move up, and would actually make it a point to step on the toes of people to move up, all the while sucking up to those ahead of him. They were the worst kind of supervisor, as everyone could see straight through them. They were terrible for the department because the hard working personnel were rarely taken care of or received what they needed. Over time, our agency changed, and has seen drastic immprovement with the promotional process.

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    dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    All leaders need to learn to be adaptive. How you manage and lead each person is different. Each require something different from you, you have to know your people and adapt to their changing needs as well as the changing needs of the agency.

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    As a leader in law enforcement, we must be adaptive due to the ever-changing circumstances surrounding the issues we are called to address. When you can process information and make quick and precise decisions, your subordinates will trust and respect you. Leaders must adapt to the needs of their subordinates when it's for the greater good. The Shakedown Style is more of an old school rule with an iron fist mentality that is extremely outdated. We must adapt to be effective leaders.

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      wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

      I agree we must be flexible and open minded because of the ever changing situations of the job, having to stay current on tactics, techniques, and procedures, giving subordinate leaders the authority to make the necessary decisions and the tools to be successful, while building trust.

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    mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    When I started my career in law enforcement many years ago, I was being trained by a Sgt. who gave me two words of advise that have stuck with me for my entire career. BE FLEXIBLE ! He told me that no two incidents will be the same and that they way you handle one situation may not work for the next. It was a great piece of advise. Be adaptable is a prerequisite to being a police officer today. Personnel change, laws change, policies change all of which force us to adapt and change the way we operate.

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    This module reminds me to keep current in modern police tactics and how to change "on the fly" to make sure we serve our personnel well. It also helps to serve as a guide to follow for the structure and skills to become an maintain adaptive leader qualities. Not using negative traits to better your self "or to drag" someone in order to move up is essential. Being able to move up in rank or status should be done in support of the mission and with the help of your fellow coworkers.

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    Lt. Mark Lyons

    This was a very good and informative training module. I recognize the value of being an adaptive leader and understand that as a leader, there is always room for improvement and growth for me and my subordinates.

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    There are a couple of different ways that I could respond to this. First, this is a good refresher for the skills that we have been taught over the years, either in law enforcement or the armed services. This is the way that we have been trained, with a few small exceptions, to be supervisors and leaders, in our chosen professions.

    Second, considering the environment that we currently operate in, this could be the most valuable training that is available. Whether it be from the pandemic. protests, changing court stances, internal and exterior culture, we have to be able to change rapidly to accomplish the mission, while retaining our core values and commitment to our fellow officers and the public, as a whole.

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      Lt. Marlon J Shuff

      I agree; the ability to adjust to a changing environment is a critical task. Being adaptable, quick decision making, formulating a plan of action, and continually adjusting as new information is received are all perishable skills and must be practiced often.

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    Adam Gonzalez

    I love the fact explained, that adaptive leaders try to see what could go wrong and beat it. Col. Spain did a great job going into depth about adaptive leadership and I also especially enjoyed his own hostage crisis example that he shared. Truly, adaptive leaders have to look ahead, they do well under pressure for this reason as well and adaptive leaders conduct after-action reviews. Perhaps this is the most pertinent point. If we, as leaders, are not doing thorough incident debriefings coupled with after-action reviews, we are arguably missing the greatest opportunities for both accountability and growth from the situations that mean the most.

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      Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      I agree Adam, inviting our team to meet after incidents to review the actions taken and brain storm to improve ourselves is great leadership.

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    wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    This module was very informative. I recognized adaptive leader listens and respects the opinion of his colleagues and is continually gathering information and learning. listening to and respecting the views of subordinates, peers, and superiors is also an important role of the adaptive leader.

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    The leadership ladder principle certainly found a home in law enforcement, as many of the comments seem to affirm. That thought process was told to me a few years back during an election cycle. I was issuing a ticket to a "big name" and was told doing so would hinder my career. I wrote the ticket, and none of the projected consequences remotely came true, but to that person, I was playing with fire. They had come up through the shakedown supervisor system and thought that was how the world worked. Thankfully we as a department have moved far away from that thought process.

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      Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

      Still today I hear people throwing names out in order to get out of tickets. I am glad to hear that we have officers who still are willing to do his/ her job regardless.

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      Gregory Hutchins

      Writing tickets to “big names” is similar to instantly reacting to the influence of politicians attempting to use the arm of the law to promote a political agenda or issue between constituents. Even with laws about home rule, it is incredible to see how quickly one flushes their ethics and morals at the beaconing call of an elected official. Advancement somehow becomes attached to appeasing these officials. The challenge is to slow down and check into the issue to ignore and counter this selective enforcement or lie perpetrated by the elected official.
      Too many in the past willingly did everything asked, which started a terrible precedent. Many of these leaders claimed it was to ensure favor for positions; the issue is that as officials change office, the officers who willingly subjugated themselves to becoming a puppet become aligned to the official that is now out of favor. Often it is best to hold the line, universally apply enforcement actions, and ride out the challenges. Time usually solves most issues.

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    Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    I believe adaptability is an integral factor of being a successful leader. If we are unable to adapt to situations, we may make poor decisions, which will affect the entire agency. We must be flexible, use our intel to make good decisions, and create an action review after incidents.

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      Mitchell Gahler

      I agree that the adaption process can be difficult, but is very important in order to make good decisions. There are many situations that we get into that we think we have the answer or tactics for, but then things change in a blink of an eye disrupting our decisions. This was a very informative module to gather more skills and tools in the tool bag when put in these situations.

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      Kyle Phillips

      I agree with what you have said here, making the best decision , with the best information available and review the outcome, remaining flexible throughout the process.

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      Durand Ackman

      So true. Our decisions, especially poor ones, can impact the entire agency. I also like that you included the after action review. I feel these are not utilized often enough.

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    Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    What does it mean to be an adaptive leader? The definition that comes to mind it is knowing how to deal with different situations. Because every subordinate you supervise will not be the same, everyone is different. I try being conscious of my deputies and what I need to polish up on when circumstances occur. Every subordinate requires something different from us.

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      Joseph Flavin

      That's a great way of looking at adaptive leadership from a supervisory level. It's important that supervisors understand that their subordinates are unique and respond differently to various types of leadership. There is not a "one size fits all" when it comes to supervision.

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    Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    An adaptive leader must be able to make the necessary changes as events and circumstances change. The adaptive leader must remain vigilant in an ever-changing environment. An adaptive leader is someone who sees the big picture.

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    Lt. Marlon J Shuff

    Law enforcement leaders' success depends on their ability to adapt daily to situations involving those they lead, their supervisors, criminals, citizens, etc. We personalize our interactions with people based on the situation and what we know about them. We have to be continually shifting gears in response to the situation and our environment.

    Concerning the ladder principle, sadly enough, it is prevalent in many law enforcement agencies. I have witnessed firsthand a few officers do some very despicable things to get promoted or simply because they wanted to be in someone else's position. This type of thinking and behavior should not be promoted or allowed in any organization, much less law enforcement.

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    Mitchell Gahler

    In the module, adaptive leadership, Spain discussed the objectives of an adaptive leader: how to identify characteristics of an adaptive leader, and the understanding of how to become an adaptive leader. One of the key points I took from the module was, "Adapt to a situation as you see it, because it was different than what was initially planned." We are in a profession of constant change where we have to learn to adapt in many situations. Decisions are tougher, the evolvement of technology can be sometimes overwhelming, and dealing with the general public has become difficult at times. Sometimes, we have to adjust our style and adapt to change in order to be effective and lead our subordinates in confidence in order to accomplish the mission. This was a very informative module which explained adaption and proficiencies in order to be effective as a leader.

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      I like this response and comments and I very much agree. We need to be able to adapt as things are thrown at us especially in this day and age. Much like you mention, technology is changing every day, tactics are constantly evolving, employees coming into this field come with different challenges. If we cannot adapt we will stay stagnant and we will not survive. I am constantly thinking of what the next obstacle that will be thrown at us will be so we can get out ahead of it but it remains a constant forward-thinking mentality.

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    Joseph Flavin

    Module #9 was all about adaptive leadership. Adaptive leadership stresses the importance of being able to anticipate a situation as much as you can and being able to influence the outcome in the way you want it to go. Spain likened it to a quarterback calling an audible at the line of scrimmage. We understand that no two calls for service are the same and thus they may require two separate responses. Being an adaptive is understanding there are constant changes, recognizing them/anticipating them, and being to adjust your response accordingly.

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      James Schueller

      I really liked the quarterback calling an audible analogy as well. That really describes every traffic stop we make, every time we go through a doorway, every interview we conduct- have a plan but anticipate the different possibilities and be ready to change at a moments notice depending on the variables. I do like your referencing the modules "Influencing the outcome" take on adaptive leadership. Often we may not directly make things happen, but we can influence the way they go.

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        Good reply demonstrating how adaptive management plays a huge part in every aspect of law enforcement (with your traffic stop example). Being able to adapt to our environment/situation is critical from a tactical standpoint as well as from a customer service standpoint.

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    Adaptive leadership is such an important concept. According to the module adaptive leadership is reacting to a situation and being proactive. It involves taking risks, mission accomplishment, requires adaptability to the times, and finally, the adaptive leader has to determine what will go and prevent it. These concepts are so important in today's society. Law enforcement is ever-evolving in so many different ways, the employees we hire, technology, what our society expects out of us, tactical changes, and equipment changes to name a few. An adaptive leader has to be able to adapt to all of these changes and has to encourage their subordinates to do the same. As we have discussed before change is hard for organizations and so I feel it is once again very important that the vision and expectations are constantly communicated so employees can try to align with the mission and move forward.

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      Paul Gronholz

      The tactical changes can be especially challenging for many officers and leaders to accept. The tactic of slowing things down when we're able goes completely against the old mindset and training. Officers were trained for decades to respond as quickly as they could to calls, immediately take control, and hustle on to the next call for service. That thinking and training has changed and it's difficult for some to accept that.

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    James Schueller

    This module dealt with something that is a core part of our everyday work as a Law Enforcement Officer- adaptation. Our jobs are constantly changing from incident to incident, day to day, minute to minute, and this module discussed the importance of being able to make these adaptations. The characteristics of an Adaptive Leader was interesting, and I liked the point of knowing combat- bringing calm to chaos. That is much of what we do every day, and the point being we never know when and how that chaos will come. I really enjoyed the quote from the U.S. Army and ADP 6-22: Leadership is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization." That one quote sums up not only the module but also what our jobs are as supervisors in Public Safety .

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      Ryan Lodermeier

      I agree Jim. This module again reinforced the need for continuous training and improvement. Law enforcement is constantly having to make decisions during times that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving. It is critical that agencies have competent and adaptive leaders to make these decisions. The most valuable asset we have at the PD is not just people, but good people. Good people that are able and willing to make those decisions. Even further we need people that are willing and able to learn from those leaders

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    This module was excellent in regards to law enforcement and adaptability. Being able to adapt to the situation is essential to effective law enforcement. From a tactical perspective, the officer must be able to escalate and deescalate use of force options depending on how the situation unfolds. From a community policing perspective, adaptability is key as we must consider multiple variables in the community we are dealing with at a particular time (cultural, educational, fiscal, etc.). What an urban inner-city community views as concerns is very different from what a hospital administration staff does. The offer must be able to adapt to the audience/community.

    The law enforcement occupation has one of the most constantly changing environments of any job. An officer could be handling a sensitive child interview one minute and wrestling with a violent suspect the next. Additionally, our entire occupation is constantly adapting with new equipment (computers, body cameras, etc.), ever changing laws and policies and changes in our leadership (often influenced by politics, public opinion and the media). Adaptability is the key to effective law enforcement.

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    Kyle Phillips

    Being able to adapt as a leader is critical to long term success of the individual and organization. In our industry, we are constantly performing different tasks that may require a completely different set of skills than the previous. Without the ability to adapt to the situation, we will fail. when mistakes are made, learn from them, but have the courage to take the risk instead of sitting idle. Lee Ellis described pain as purifying as it relates to change, as pain causes growth, growth then allows change, change is required to become better and grow as an individual.

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      Maja Donohue

      I agree that being adaptive is critical to our success. What works today may not work tomorrow and it is our job to stay ahead of the curve to learn and teach new skills. Pain is only purifying if we put it to use. We have to understand that pain has a purpose and that learning from mistakes is what makes us better.

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    Eduardo Palomares

    The “ladder leaders” impact institutions in a very negative way. It could take years to build up the morale they destroyed. After reviewing this module, I came to realize that l have been practicing adaptive leadership skills to effectively manage the demands of my new roles.

    Currently, l was tasked with running three team assignments including equipment, contraband interdiction and Sally Port Operations. Additionally, I am currently mentoring a new sergeant while also developing an officer wellness program. Wow! I don’t know even how l have adapted to all of the demands from these assignments. Thankfully l have been successful but all my accomplishments are because of my high performance teams.

    As law enforcement leaders we must adapt and be flexible. From working in the implementation of new policies to dealing with personnel problems. adaptive leadership skills assist us to effectively carry out the tasks.

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    Chad Blanchette

    I would like to think as a progressive organization that the “ladder principle” is no longer a mindset that is encouraged or accepted. Unfortunately, I think we all know the people that are self-serving with little regard for their team.

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      Ryan Manguson

      You're probably right Chad. We've all, at some point in our career, Been on the receiving end of a self-serving leader who had little regard for those under them.

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    Ryan Lodermeier

    Previous NTOA classes and trainings come to mind when the discussion of adaptive leadership comes up. In a recent NTOA class that focused on leadership they made mention that many problems that tactical officers face are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving. Adaptive leadership relates directly to these types of problems and encourages acting before having to react. A good point that i took away from this module is to surround yourself with people that can maximize areas where i am not as strong, thus encouraging us to be a more effective and cohesive unit.
    I also appreciated the sentiment of always explaining your decision making process when appropriate, this would ultimately encourage trust from subordinates when the time for explaining your decision was not available i.e. during situations that were tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving.

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    Durand Ackman

    Being adaptive is essential in law enforcement, especially at the leadership level. As a football fan I really appreciated the analogy of a QB calling an audible at the line after reading the defense. The instructor mentioned several characteristics including flexibility. This characteristic really stood out for me. We never know what is coming around the corner so we need to remain flexible and prepare for whatever comes our way. Being an adaptive leader sends a positive message to subordinates and strengthens that relationship.

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      Kelly Lee

      Absolutely agree Durand, we at all levels in law enforcement need to be adaptable and be able to "call an audible" at anytime. We see that on both sides of our department whether it be the law enforcement side or the adult detention center side. I think that is part of the reason I enjoy my job so much is that nothing is ever the same, nothing is as it seems and more often than not we need to have multiple solutions to fix a problem.

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        I think both Sgt. Lee and Sgt. Ackman hit on a good point. Law enforcement leaders need to be able to "call an audible" at anytime. We mention that this has to be done at all levels but I don't think some leaders give it the respect that it's due. It requires delegation and trust that some traditional leaders find extremely uncomfortable. Additionally, organizations where ladder climbers abound, tend to limit the authority of their subordinates and stifle adaptability. As a senior leader, I rest easy at night knowing that the supervisor on duty will make decisions that are in keeping with the best interests of our community, their team members, and the agency.

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    Ryan Manguson

    This was a great module on adaptive leadership. Having the ability to adapt as a leader to the changing times is ever so important to being successful. Especially in todays landscape of law enforcement. Working in a agency that is becoming more progressive and attempting to stay on the leading edge of change in law enforcement. Adaptability as a leader is more important than ever.

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      Magda Fernandez

      Ryan, i couldn't agree more! In todays world of the pandemic that feels as if it will never go away and constant changes surrounding it compounded by riots and anti police rhetoric and normal police work makes it ever so important to remain adaptive and flexible. We have to be able to project what may be coming down the road and adjust to be able to handle it, otherwise we are going to be left behind.

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    Samantha Reps

    Adaptive leadership, a critical piece of a successful career of leadership. This lesson expressed that adaptive leadership is way more than just reacting to a situation you are faced with, you must try to anticipate to the situation and be proactive and influence the outcome the way you want it.
    "Flexibility is the key to longevity" If you are unable to adapt to the constant changing situations you wont be around long.

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      Timothy Sandlin

      I agree that flexibility is crucial in achieving success. Proactively work with the mindset of ready to adapt to the ever changing environment and circumstances. Just as a limb of a tree that is green and flexible is hard to break. The limb that is dead and more rigid snaps easily.

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    Paul Gronholz

    Too often the ladder principle has been utilized by leaders in law enforcement. They are concerned only with those that are above them on the ladder. Adaptive leaders are chiefly concerned with those that they lead and put their success before their own. I can point to several leaders that have utilized the ladder principle in their pursuit of promotion. It's sad, but its up to us to change that way of thinking and put our subordinates first.

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      I agree. The ability to adapt is the key to any organization's success. The gateway to adaptability is communication with subordinates. Listening to ideas and gathering feedback enables adaptability to begin and slowly permeate the organization, creating adaptive leaders on every level; slowing weeding out the "Ladder Principle" leaders.

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      Christopher Lowrie

      The ladder principle has been around law enforcement for a long time. It is going to take tips learned in this module so we can be the adaptive leaders to change it.

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      Andy Opperman

      You are correct it is up to us; the great thing is I believe our department is seeing that change from ladder principle leadership to adaptable leadership. I believe it’s mainly because of training like this that has helped change leadership philosophies. We must look to build teams of subordinates that can become adaptable themselves.

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    Kelly Lee

    Enjoyed this module and listening to Ret. Col. Ted Spain. Col. Spain speaks with meaning and authority. Although dangerous, I think it would have been enjoyable to follow into battle behind Col. Spain and his leadership style. I appreciated how he said, he always took the time to explain the thought process behind his decisions when he had time so that when he didn't have time the people trusted in him because they had been in this position before and believed in him and his ideas. The point was made again that as leaders we need to LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN. This is the most powerful thing a leader can do and it doesn't cost anything to do it.

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      True fact. We need to inquire and listen to people. But we have to listen to understand not to respond. I fail at that part too often. I gain knowledge when I truly tune into what someone is saying, it can be anyone too not just a subordinate.

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    As a former Adjunct Instructor for the the US Army Command and General Staff College and 34 year veteran of the Army Reserves, this presentation was music to my ears. Col Spain hit on three traits that serve the adaptive leader well. The first is the importance of the After Action Review (AAR). My agency "sorta" did these after events but nothing was ever done or changed as a result of them. When I got promoted to lieutenant at my agency, my first command involved operational support. I conducted future planning and coordinated special events. Upon the completion of an event, I conducted an AAR. This was a formal process where I ensured I got feedback from a large cross section of the staff involved. Based on the feedback, I made it a point to highlight how we listened the last time and adjusted our future plan to improve. When our subordinates saw that we cared about what they said and actually improved things, they became more open and provided more feedback. The second point is the importance of learning new skills. Adaptive leaders doe not rest on their laurels and are constantly seeking opportunities to learn to approaches and techniques. These same leaders then teach their subordinates what they have learned. lastly, I believe its important to be able to adjust leadership styles. I have seen some pretty smooth adaptable leaders that make these on the spot transitions appear seamless. These three attributes when combined with the others presented by Col. Spain all work in concert to give the leader and his team mates the ability to be successful no matter what situation they find themselves in.

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    Maja Donohue

    This module really summarized a lot of the things that make good leaders great. Being able to adapt means overcoming fear of the unknown by preparing ourselves to be in the best position possible when a challenge presents itself. It means leaning on others to learn new skills and likewise taking the time to develop others. Being proactive and paying attention to new developments gives us the edge to make good decisions in critical incidents and to have the confidence to take calculated risks when necessary. Adaptive leaders are successful because they are proactive, understand that professional development never ends, and see value in learning from mistakes.

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    Magda Fernandez

    Adaptive leadership is essential in today's world. With the changes we constantly face, like the pandemic, legislative changes, etc. being adaptive, flexible, and being willing helps embrace the process and change. It also creates the lasting impacts in the organization. This module is a good reminder that in order to stay adaptive we must constantly be assessing what is going on and planning for what that adaptation is going to look like. After Action reports are a great tool to help determine where gaps, weaknesses, strengths and areas of improvement within the agency. The results help keep that agency adaptive and moving forward.

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      Major Willie Stewart

      Magda Fernandez,
      I'd take the chance to say law enforcement is one of the most ever changing profession. We are often forced to change. Especially with everything that surrounds the law enforcement profession. So yes, in order to be affective we must be able to adapt and embrace change. Police officers tend to be creatures of habit, so change doesn't always seem to be a good thing. After Action reports or some form of evaluations should be apart of every agency/department. Overall, the leaders at the top do need to see what's going on at the bottom and what needs improving. Often it is be better seeing things on paper and have documentation to implement changes.

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      The after-action debrief is a must. If you don't do them, you're really missing out on a learning opportunity. Tabletop exercises are good too but real-life examples are invaluable to the long-term success of a law enforcement organization. Ask questions and listen, then ask more questions.

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        Sgt. Shawn Wilson

        I like the emphasis on "listen". A leader has to actively listen to his people and place his own ego in check.

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      Brad Strouf

      I agree with your assessment of this module. The AAR is such a vital tool in this day and age. We have implemented this tool for a number of different reasons and the information and insight gained from it has been valuable.

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    The Adaptive Leadership model shines a light on the necessity for a leader to rely on subordinate's information and feedback. I particularly enjoyed the topic of allowing subordinates' failures/mistakes; because this is key to learning adaptability. Mistakes open the door for action review and change. It enables the team to maximize its strengths and minimize weaknesses.

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    Christopher Lowrie

    I enjoyed the quote from the US Army Special Operations Command video, "Leadership is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization." This pretty much sums it up and provides what is meant by leadership. A successful adaptive leader will follow this quote and avoid the "Ladder Principle"

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    Jennifer Hodgman

    The ladder principle can be very limiting to the success of ones entire organization. When one focuses soley on the top, they lose sight of what is happening below and therefore become out of touch with subordinates. A successful adaptive leader focuses on the mission and takes care of their subordinates in an oftentimes fluid environment that we can not control.

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      Major Willie Stewart

      Lt. Hodgman,
      You are absolutely right. Sometimes leaders get so caught up they lose sight of those below and what changes are needed. Those below make the team, they are the players and as leaders we are the coaches. Great points, we have to stay in touch with our subordinates.

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    Major Willie Stewart

    One thing that stood out to me was the quote "pain purifies." To be a good leader you have to grow. Growing is change and that's often painful. Pain purifies and there is a lot of truth in that in leadership development. The fact that being an adaptive leader you must learn to listen. Listen with the willingness to make change and being open to what others have to say. Also taking care of your subordinates. That's been a key factor in my leadership style. Your subordinates are a reflection of you and your agency. When your subordinates do good, they make you as a leader look good. It makes your job as a leader much easier. A leader must be able to adapt because change is inevitable. If we look at law enforcement 10 years ago, we can see that as law enforcement officers we are being forced to change. Overall this module gives you a lot of pointers when looking at your rank structure and those we have in our department ladder.

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    Being adaptive is certainly a necessary trait. Everyday you can come in with a plan and almost guarantee that’s not how the day will go. From my personal experience, the most adaptive supervisors in our agency are the shift sergeants. They usually come up with the creative ways for solving problems on the fly and have the closest and greatest direct influence with other officers. They also seem to be the most forgiving when they supervise in other divisions, because they haven’t forgotten what working a shift or running a shift is like. However, I don’t think there is anyone as adaptive as a good dispatcher.

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    To be successful in an agency leaders primarily need to focus on the individuals that are following them or are on their team. Worrying about issues and people above them or in more authoritative positions could potentially feel like a losing battle. A majority of the people in an organization are made up of people that are in positions of less power and do a lot of work for the organization. Making sure they know that they are valued and that they have a purpose will encourage them to stay motivated with the help of you as a leader.

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    Timothy Sandlin

    Adaptive leadership is more then simply adapting to the situation. It involves being aware of your circumstance and attempt to anticipate the future of the situation as much as possible thereby making changes well before you get to the point where you foresee the issue developing. This proactive approach in leadership to be adaptive works in advance to mitigate negative outcomes by calling an "audible".

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    To me adaptive leadership can be as much about changing your leadership style and delivery based on who you are leading as much as it is changing styles based on the environment that you a operating in. I think awareness of the strengths/weaknesses of the people on your team and how to creatively use them to solve problems is the hard part.

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      Getting to KNOW your people is crucial. What makes them tick, what are their strengths and weaknesses? By assessing these things ahead of time we can draw upon that knowledge when it really counts. Too often I've seen leaders not try and understand who their followers are. This isn't just about them personally but what skills do they possess and what assets to they bring to the table in the time of need. It also includes understanding their personality and learning styles. A lot of info but it matters in the end.

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        Robert Schei

        Completely agree, we need to know and understand our staff. Even more reason why listening is so crucial.

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      Matthew Menard

      I agree. Taking a leadership stance of treating everyone and every situation the same will most certainly lead to failure.

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      Justin Payer

      Jed, I agree. I know from my experience that I have to adapt my style when dealing with different people. As leaders, we are trying to inspire and influence others and we have to adapt or ways sometimes to get the effect we want.

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    Adaptive leadership makes sense, we have to evolve to the situations we're in now or in the future. This job isn't like putting circuit boards together, every call is different in many ways. Leadership is different in similar ways. I have to approach different supervisors differently based on what I know about them. Some need more direction, others are autonomous. Some need redirection in a toned-down manner while others need the direct approach. If we approach this job as a "one size fits all" mentality, we're going to fail. The constant study of leadership and understanding people is necessary to be effective.

    The other point that really stuck out to me was the fact it is ok to let people (and ourselves) fail. Take calculated risks. As long as safety, time, and money aren't affected by a decision there is learning to be had. We learn to ride a bike by falling down and getting back on. Let our followers and peers learn and grow.

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      I couldn’t agree more with your statement about allowing others (and ourselves) to fail. When we can eliminate the risks of safety, time and money, there is plenty of room for error. I, for one, only truly learn by doing. I can watch people do things all day long but I know I will not be as effective at it until I do it. I know I need that space, so I try my best to afford others that space, too. There is no one true leadership method that is proven to work in any case and will all people. So, I agree with you again, that continued education is so important. And not just the books either…we need to study the people that we serve in our positions so we can do our best to understand them.

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    Nicole Oakes

    I really solidified it for me when he Retired Colonel Ted Spain said that adaptive leaders disprove Murphy's Law. The leader works to predict what can go wrong and works to prevent it. Fluid and changing no matter the situation. We continue to build on the principles and skills of leadership.

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      Steve Mahoney

      I liked that part as well. so often we just accept things as the way they are and will happen. If we anticipate and be proactive we can break free from this ideology

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    Robert Schei

    When you are thinking about your police career and promotion keep your eyes on those above you on the ladder and stay in line. Remember, anyone who is above you on the ladder can step on your fingers and slow down your career or even end it. You don’t need to concern yourself of those below you on the ladder. They are below you and they can’t do you any harm. These people are dangerous.
    I have heard this before from older officers in the department but never really believed it to be true. It was interesting to hear Colonel Spain discuss this and his emotion with "they are dangerous" couldn't agree more. This is not what adaptive leadership is all about.

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    Andy Opperman

    I really enjoyed Colonel Spain’s incorporation of real-world scenarios from his military career that describe adaptive leadership. These types of real-life examples combine the philosophical with action. Many of the lessons taken from this module are reoccurring themes of great leadership. As leaders to be adaptive we must be open minded, allow our people to make mistakes that are reasonable and help them to climb the ladder. Our goal as leaders is to develop people, and the Army seems to have a real understanding of that. Many of the leadership programs for NCO’s have existed for decades. I think law enforcement could learn a thing or two about developing leadership training and programs for their officers from the Army.

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      Ronald Smith

      The recurring theme, I have been seeing that throughout the course, it is on purpose. The adaptive leadership was a good lecture, and the colonel did a good job illustrating his points with real stories.

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    It has been my experience that some young up and coming leaders feel as though just because they have been placed in the position of leadership they assume they have all the answers, and forget to self assess. This can cause a major problem especially if this person has been promoted ahead of his/her peers. It is my recommendation to new leaders that they need to look at themselves first and know their strengths and weaknesses, and be honest with themselves. Prior to them expecting to lead anyone.

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      Eric Sathers

      I very much agree. Just because you were promoted doesn't mean you are ready to truly lead. An internalization process definitely needs to take place where you understand and come to grips with what you do and do not know.

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    Brad Strouf

    Being adaptable, being open to suggestion and differing viewpoints, and avoiding the pitfalls of the "ladder principle" are critical to becoming an Adaptable Leader. This module focused on key points to avoid and other critical steps to take to ensure that we become this leader.

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    Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    Adaptability is key to success; I work for a large agency that has multiple patrol areas. Each area brings its own set of issues and a one size fits all approach would not be successful. Challenging our subordinates opens them up to failure but in the end will make them stronger with proper coaching and teaching on our end. As leaders we should always be striving to make our people better avoiding the ladder principle. When we make those below us better our legacy and the legacy of the organization, is set up for greater success.

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    Jarvis Mayfield

    As a leader you have to be focus on the goal but still not be narrow minded to know when to broaden the mind for more insight. As the leader you have to adapt to various situations in order to lead anyone,

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    Matthew Menard

    I think we have all worked with someone who believes in the ladder principle. That type of mentality can be very harmful to those "lower on the ladder" and builds distrust within an organization. We as strong leaders must do our best to make sure to lift those below us up and never lose sight of the fact that the betterment of the organization should always be our primary goal.

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      Thomas Martin

      Matthew I can tell you for sure that I have. These individuals are self-centered and only seem to be concerned with those above them. It is a shame that organizations and business don’t weed these people out, or at minimum, help them see the error of their ways and its consequences. To further our organizations, and the people within them should always be a high priority for our leader.

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    Gregory Hutchins

    While the term “ladder principle” is a unique term, from the military side, a term often used was “shut up and color.” As one sees, to create success for the organization, one must be willing to let go of the concern for themselves. It is difficult in a profession that does not compensate one to be comfortable, to meet their obligations, especially in the long term when things such as health and pensions are continually a line item in a budget. Compound the fact that some work in right-to-work states without contracts and termination without cause is a concern. The culture of getting as high on the ladder as quickly as possible is not about doing more for the community but getting everything possible before the well goes dry. Also, there is some level of increased comfort with rank as it is increasingly difficult to remove poor performers closer to the top.

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    Marshall Carmouche

    Law enforcement is ever changing. I think Colonel Spain's explanation of an adaptive leader was spot on. We have to be able to remain strong and keep moving forward, but also have to be able to adapt with law enforcement. I agree that "pain purifies". Pain also changes people and opens people's eyes to things they could not see before. I guess this goes back to being an adaptive leader. We can either let the pain break us or adapt to it, learn from it and move forward.

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    Col. Ted Spain not only laid out the qualities of an adaptive leader but gave some great tips on how to become one. I think any leader should be able to readily adapt, with confidence and purpose, to any given situation, but also be able to trust others decision-making ability so they, too, can build their leadership skills. As is true with so many business models, being able to change and stay current is necessary to stay relevant, otherwise we can become obsolete. His five points of a “real manager” serves as a great checklist for building not only a strong leadership team, but making sure there is succession planning to continue to produce high quality leaders in an organization.

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    Ronald Smith

    A hot spot today in the United States is culture, policing is being challenged and threatened with the culture war. Our communities are made up of ethnic and cultural differences, our police leaders want to maintain a level of control, to keep following procedures, but the reality of the day is control is an illusion. There were several great points in this adaptive leadership that if utilized police officers could thrive on the streets and in the leadership roles.

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    Thomas Martin

    Flexibility is the key to being an adaptive leader, and we must learn how to incorporate it into our professional and personal lives. We are capable of so much more when we shed our ridged ways and embrace the skill of being flexible. Our subordinates will be more willing to open to us when we me make the effort to accommodate them with their particular needs, especially if they understand it places us in a state of inconvenience. Adaptive leadership also requires us to work with an open mindset. Using an open mindset and flexibility will help us change with the changing environment and set us up for success.

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      Sergeant Michael Prachel

      Keeping an open mind is so important in today’s policing. Staying current on tactics, techniques, and procedures is crucial. The old school saying of, “But that’s how we always did it,” should not be a part of our language anymore. Striving to always be better and looking for ways to improve will prove that flexibility is the key to longevity.

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    Sergeant Michael Prachel

    This module hit on many aspects of adaptive leadership. One of the most important, and possibly most obvious, is flexibility. We as adaptive leaders need to be flexible. In public safety, there is no play book for every scenario we encounter. Being flexible is necessary on a daily basis, whether dealing with the community you serve, or working on a problem within the agency. Additionally, encouraging others and developing leaders are also mentioned in the module. It is extremely important to pave the way for others and develop the next wave of adaptive subordinate leaders. We need to set a good example, showing others how to adapt to our situation.

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    Paul Brignac III

    An adaptive leader must always remain flexible is something that stood out to me during this lesson. I recently was faced with the challenge of completely altering the way I taught a certain course. For reasons beyond my control, a new system was adopted, and I had to adapt. I will confess that I was less than exited, but having accepted the change and adapted to the new system, I believe the class is as well received by students as it was before it was changed.

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    Travis Linskens

    This is an essential module because I think it's critical to understand these leadership styles. When it comes to employee retention, from my experience, younger generations are less likely to continue employment with the ladder or shakedown approach. They want a voice in the direction the department is going and how things are being done. If they don't feel like they have a voice most of them will find employment elsewhere.

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    Steve Mahoney

    I liked the concept of bringing people up the ladder with me. I do understand that there might not be room for everyone. Our jobs as leaders is to bring as many people up as high as they want to go. We also need to check our egos and realize that people that we have helped move up the chain of command could and should eventually pass us. To me that is a sign of an great and adaptive leader

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      Sgt. Samantha Koscher

      I agree! I liked how Col. Spain talked about surrounding himself with people who were strong in areas where he was weak. An adaptive leader recognizes the importance of having input from multiple people and perspectives when making decisions.

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      I agree totally. If we are moving us the ladder, we should always be looking back and making sure that others are following. I think this is part of servant leadership where we don't advance at the cost of others. I firmly believe that people should advance on their own merits, not because they're stepping on other along the way.

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        Derek Champagne

        Your right. I've seen too many people step on others to advance their career and ultimately catch "amnesia" and forget where they've come from.

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      Zach Roberts

      Steve,

      Although I understand the concept and have mixed feelings on it, I think bringing people up the ladder with you can be dangerous. Sometimes people who you bring with feel as if you owe them something or they are entitled to something because they came up with you. I unfortunately have seen this first hand.

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    Scott Crawford

    The Adaptive style of leadership is an interesting style of leadership in law enforcement. As leaders we must make sure we aren`t jaded by the “salty” veterans who resist any change. The ones who don`t like change, but also don`t like the way things are now. We as leaders need to really follow the ladder concept to bring those under us up. I`ve seen many leaders who refuse to do this simply because they don`t want anyone around them that might challenge them in the future.

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    Eric Sathers

    I feel that being an adaptive leader is an essential component of authentic leadership. We must be willing to change and adapt in a fluid environment. In law enforcement, I see many leaders who are inflexible and do not like change. A core feature of adaptive leadership is being able to grow, change and do something different based on the situation. Adaptive leadership does come with risk, but it is essential to keep up with changing times and younger generations of subordinates.

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      Burt Hazeltine

      I agree. If we cannot change and adapt as leaders in law enforcement, people can get hurt or killed. We must remain flexible. Continuous learning and skill development are often left behind as people climb the ranks.

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      Andrew Peyton

      This is 100% correct Eric. Law enforcement is a fluid environment and ever changing. We must be willing to adapt our styles in order to stay ahead of the trends, to remain proactive in our efforts and not reactive. Additionally, we must recognize that not every situation is exactly the same each time. If we go into a situation set on how to accomplish the result we want, we risk the chance of getting someone seriously hurt. These situations are affected by outside factors and we must adapt our approach in order to be successful.

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    Sgt. Samantha Koscher

    It is important for leaders to be adaptable to changing situations and in their interactions with others. Being adaptable allows for flexibility and growth of an organization. In dealing with personnel , a leader may need to adapt their style of management to best motivate their team. Adaptable leaders are able to perform under pressure, make informed decisions based on the information available to them at the time, and remain open minded. Adaptable leaders recognize that taking risk is sometimes necessary in finding a solution to a problem.

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      Buck Wilkins

      I agree because every case is different and if you don't have the ability to adapt then you need to step away and let someone else handle the situation.

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      Robert Vinson

      This is a good point. I've been working on being more adaptable and avoiding a cookie cutter/one size fits all approach to handling different situations or different team members. This was a good reminder that it's important to recognize the need for different approaches.

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      Darryl Richardson

      Samantha, I agree with you. It is important that leaders be able to change the way they handle their personnel. You cannot treat everyone the same. You need to be able to adapt and find the best way to motivate them to do better.

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    Buck Wilkins

    The problem we have today is that most leaders have no idea how to be an Adaptive leader. Most leaders are so use to the ladder effect of leadership that they lack the abilities to become adaptive. I have seen where leaders only look out for themselves and do not take into account the effect that it has to the people under them.

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    I guess the biggest take away from this was that this ladder principal still exists in modern police forces. It's at direct conflict with a servant style of leadership and seems to encourage group think and very little adaptability in anything. How can any organization hope to achieve greatness if they're taught to mimic poor leadership from day one and to "stay in line"?

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      Kenneth Davis

      Captain- I completely concur- this style is unfortunately alive and well. I have seen it in my middle managers under my command and it sets me on fire. Re-establishing a culture of Authentic Leadership in our department is underway...but it certainly has been no cake walk.

      Best and stay safe-

      Ken

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    Brent Olson

    One of my biggest takeaways from this lesson was the various characteristics that were provided for an adaptive leader. One of the biggest concepts discussed was the adaptive leader must always remain flexible. If an adaptive leader is unable to be flexible in constantly changing situations, they likely will not last as a leader. Adaptive leaders must lead well under pressure, must make a decision with the best time and information available, and must constantly learn new skills. Adaptive leaders conduct after action reviews in order to improve for the future. An adaptive leader must encourage others, be open-minded and work to develop additional adaptive leaders. Many of the attributes and characteristics provided for adaptive leaders are very similar to the positive leadership characteristics we've learned about so far in this course. While I already knew this about my position, this lesson will continue to help me be a flexible and active leader in the many different situations that I face on a daily basis in my position.

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    Robert Vinson

    I had never heard the term "ladder principle" but the explanation made a lot of sense. Definitely something to try and avoid. I liked the qualities listed regarding being an adaptive leader, and think "understanding yourself" is one of the most important. Some honest self reflection can go a long way in identifying, targeting, and correcting sub par leadership qualities.

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      Kaiana Knight

      Robert, I never heard of that term either and I agree the explanation did help me understand what it meant. It's definitely something to avoid for many reasons.

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      Chris Crawford

      I had never heard of this principle either. Or at least by that definition. I've certainly worked for a few of these though.

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    Jay Callaghan

    Great concepts on adaptive leadership. I agree with everything Ted Spain suggested. The Ladder Principle was something I have never heard of and the 3 parts of it: shakedown, pragmatic and real manager. I have seen the shakedown principle play out at the during my career. I was fortunate to have some real managers along the way to balance out the shakedown and pragmatist leaders.

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    Derek Champagne

    One thing I’ve learned early in my career in the Marine Corps was to “improvise, adapt, and overcome”. I continue to live by this in order to be the type of leader my Officers need me to be.

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    Kenneth Davis

    There are so many relevant aspects of this module with regard to practices I have witnessed in law enforcement in the past. What is disturbing is that I have witnessed some of these practices even most recently. The Ladder Leadership principles I have experienced firsthand came first as a new police officer and later as a new shift sergeant. It still leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It is so refreshing to see that this style has been recognized for what it is...DANGEROUS.

    I have always sought to be better and an antithesis of some of the poor leaders I have experienced. I am sure I have fallen short on occasion, but I have tried to use those failures as learning moments to get better. That is why the constant learning piece is so vital to all of us today.

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      Ronald Springer

      Kenneth,
      I can relate that as a new deputy I was privy to someone practicing the ladder principle as well. I have no good things to say about that first Corporal I worked for while I was undergoing training and assigned to my first shift. Him and I could not see eye to eye on almost anything and even though I was very young and inexperienced I still recognized that he was missing the morals required to be a law enforcement officer. He was eventually demoted and resigned in disgrace when his actions caught up to him. I recovered and went on to become the man and officer I am today. I am not grateful for the experience but I certainly learned from it and will never put one of my people through the treatment he put me through.

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    Ronald Springer

    Changing your style and reactions based on the different situations you face is the base of being adaptive. I enjoy the army leadership videos and recognized the statement, “Leadership is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization,” ADP 6-22. That statement is a good representation of the lessons so far. It includes adaptive leadership, vision, coaching, and esprit de corps all in one. So it is up to us as leaders to be positive role and servant leaders to help grow our subordinates. We are supposed to be growing and grooming our replacements so the next generation will be better than our own. Which seems to be the opposite of the ladder principle and I am glad that it is not one to be practiced anymore.

    Spain, T. (2017). Adaptive leadership. Module 9, Weeks 5 & 6. National Command and Staff College.

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    Kaiana Knight

    This was a great lecture on adaptive leadership. I think great leaders quickly adapt to any change in their environment almost immediately. As stated in the lecture, adaptive leaders must be flexible, proactive, and influence others. The lesson described in detail the characteristics of an adaptive leader. A few that stuck out the most to me was that an adaptive leader leads well under pressure and they are constantly learning new skills. I can honestly say that I am not good at working under pressure all the time, but I am not bad either. I see room for improvement in several of the characteristics mentioned in the lesson. Overall, this was a very informative lecture and I look forward to improve on becoming an adaptive leader.

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    Chris Crawford

    Prior to this module I had never heard of this principle, however I have certainly worked for and have encountered many of these. I particularly like the idea of an adaptable leader as it relates to "Understanding yourself." If you are self aware and honest with yourself, your people will pick up on that.

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    Burt Hazeltine

    The ladder principle is not a term that I had heard of before but it is a mindset I have definitely seen. The need to be able to adapt is vitally important, especially in police work. We deal with rapidly changing situations and need to be able to adapt quickly. I have seen several occasions where a sergeant on the scene was not able to adapt as quickly as the situation evolved and a corporal would take over command of the scene to make sure it was handled effectively and safely.

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    Kevin Balser

    The ladder principle is indicative of very poor leadership which is counterproductive to the overall organization's development. The type of manager that takes on the ladder principle, promotes only himself, meaning that these individuals are in the profession for themselves and they are loyal to only themselves. The ladder principle is used by those managers to "climb the ladder", rewarding themselves at any cost for a promotion or an opportunity to look good for their bosses. These managers are typically the ones that are identified by their colleagues as the individuals that take credit for achieving a goal but had little to no involvement in that task. They are the managers that have no respect amongst the teams and are very open and brash about the way they perform and stop at nothing to achieve their promotion. They do not care if they offend others on the way to the top, because they are focused on their needs only.

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      David Mascaro

      This type of ladder principle thinking has ruing several officers careers, those being the potential ladder climbers who aligned themselves with the wrong "leaders" and did so simply for advancement and those at the bottom of the ladder who grew frustrated with the design. It is an unfortunate path to the top.

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    Darryl Richardson

    Law enforcement officers must adapt to new things every day. As leaders, we need to be able to keep up with the things that change to keep everything in order. Not only is things changing in the outside world but also things are changing within our Agency. As a leader, you must be able to adapt to the way you handle your subordinates, as you cannot treat every person the same Adaptive leaders will be able to thrive during challenging times.

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      Jose Alvarenga

      I agree. I also think that keeping ourselves informed and also having an open honest communication with our team will create trust and help us guide our team and accomplish the mission in a successful manner.

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    Andrew Peyton

    It has been my experience that leaders who are not willing to change have vastly by put into the positions they are in due to the ladder system. This leaders feel that change or adapting the way do things will negatively affect the position they are in. These people negatively influence an agency and have a negative impact on those under their command. The people are typically responsible for the turnover rate of new officers.

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    David Mascaro

    Being an adaptive leader is extremely important in law enforcement, just as in the military. We have seen this when the execution of a search warrant /arrest warrant leads to a barricaded gunman style situation. The leader in that situation, regardless of their rank, is now in a position were they must adapt to a different mindset, and make accurate decisive decisions. Same being said for the SWAT roll in which the intelligence is not on point and what was thought to be a barricaded gunman turned into a hostage taker who just gave a deadline to when they were going to take action. That significantly ups the anti , so to speak and the entire dynamics of the operation change.

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    Jose Alvarenga

    Col. Spain made a comment that Adaptive leadership is how you approach a situation and accomplish the mission while taking care of your subordinates. This must be true with law enforcement as well. Taking care of the team while adapting to a changing agency is critical in completing your mission successfully. Adaptive leaders must multi task by caring for others and completing the job. Both are important alone can not be successful without accomplishing both of those goals.

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      We have to take care of those who take care of us. If have to remember, our subordinates are the foundation of our agency and divisions. In turn we have to make sure; change is implemented and the transition is smooth and effortless.

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      Great point! I have seen too many instances when leaders knee-jerk react to a crisis, and in doing so, fail to consider the impact their reaction has on the employees. When addressed, I’ve heard many leaders basically say to suck it up or leave. That hurts morale.

      I was fortunate one year to have leaders that were adaptive and willing to listen. They created a new schedule mid-year, after a homicide, which gave no consideration for my team’s personal lives. Our team got together and worked to propose an alternative schedule that would meet the needs of the department, community, and our personal lives. We presented the alternative to our leaders and they approved it with a big thank you for thinking of a solution.

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    the ladder principle seems as though it may and has the potential to cause animosity or problems in a work place. It can cause or be the root of the IN group and OUT group. Causing team members to choose sides and form alliances. The whole concept of individuals below you cannot help you and people above you can help you is not totally true. Your subordinates or individuals that do not hold rank can be a key part in your career or advancement. The whole ladder principle mat take away from the team concept.

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      Jacqueline Dahms

      Agreed Kevin. It's a narrow aspect that is outdated. Unfortunately I still have some peers that fell that way...little do they know how much effect others do have. I like working together with my subordinates in teams and projects, having only been a sergeant for 5 years now I have lost some perspective, even though I have a "behind the scenes" view.

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    The ladder principle seems as though it may and has the potential to cause animosity or problems in a work place. It can cause or be the root of the IN group and OUT group. Causing team members to choose sides and form alliances. Your subordinates or individuals that do not hold rank can be a key part in your career or advancement. The whole ladder principle mat take away from the team concept. As leaders we have to make sure the bond and morale of our members are strong. We cannot aid in division / separation in anyway.

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      Jeff Byrne

      Well said, Kevin. Employing the ladder principle as described in this lecture has so many negative consequences that come with it. Not only for the staff, but the agency as a whole and the community as well.

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    I’m not sure why a leader in our business would not be adaptive. Our careers are filled with ever-changing circumstances and much ambiguity. The ability to adapt and overcome are constant characteristics of this career. Yet, I find myself shaking my head at my leader. We have a multi-million dollar facility being built that will attract thousands upon thousands of visitors to our community. When asked what our PD was doing in preparation for this, the answer was pathetic. We are going to rely on their private security to handle everything. He is failing to recognize the traffic, the crime, and the quality of life issues we will be continually dealing with in the future. He is not fully anticipating the situation nor working to proactively influence its outcome.

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    Jeff Byrne

    Having adaptive leadership in your toolbox of leadership styles is critical. You must be able to adapt to a fluid scene as it is unfolding and decisions are needing to be made. You also need to be able to adapt to the ever changing world of policing and its environment and what community expectations are.

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      Donald Vigil

      Well said Jeff. The same hold true with all the different generations that are now in law enforcement. As a Gen X'er I learned long ago how to adapt to baby boomers, then it was the millennials and now the Gen Z'ers are coming into the law enforcement arena. Adaptability seems to be more important than ever for a leader to thrive, or at the very least, survive.

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    Zach Roberts

    Adaptive leadership is important in any career but especially in law enforcement as it is ever changing. Flexibility in any leader is extremely important. You need to be able to adapt and show those you lead that accepting change is something that is inevitable in this career. I was recently faced with a change in leadership myself as election time brought in a new Sheriff. This caused lots of new changes, some I agreed with and others I did not. I had to be an adaptive leader for the people I lead and implement these changes.

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    Jacqueline Dahms

    We have seen first-hand what happens to leaders that cannot adapt. In the several characteristic brought up I think constantly learning new skills is one of the more important skills to have to be adaptive. In this day and age, most people are pretty adaptive because of technology. I find it almost embarrassing when a leader is unwilling and unable to learn new things. I find their ability to problem solve and see the bigger picture is very narrow.

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      Jared Paul

      Jacqueline,

      I agree that learning new skills is a very good way to enhance adapting skills. Your point is good that adapting in todays age has been led by technology. I know a few officers that are very resistant to learning new skills and adapting to their new environments.

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      Andrew Ashton

      Jaqueline you are right in that adaptation is needed. Sadly some agencies allow the Dinosaur to stick around long beyond their usefulness and fail to move them into a position with maybe less influence over the troops. Being open minded to what is happening currently and adapting will only continue to make you indispensable to the agency. It also shows that you are willing to make the changes needed to serve the command better by putting yourself second.

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    Donald Vigil

    The ladder principle reminded me of leaders I had when I first started in law enforcement-tough, rigid and having the "swim or sink" type attitude. Thankfully this way of thinking seems to be fading out as (in my opinion) the baby boomers are retiring. That style of leadership or lack there of, would not work well in today's environment.

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    Jared Paul

    I feel that being adaptive is a skill that is needed for any law enforcement officer. Being able to read a situation and adapt appropriately is an every day occurrence in law enforcement. So, the benefit of having this skill already being in a supervisor position is that you should be able to adapt. The problems are different, but I fell that the fundamentals of adapting are the same. A part of becoming a supervisor is adapting to those new problems and challenges. It is less dealing with the publics problems and more of handling problems within the organization and taking care of your officers.

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    Andrew Ashton

    If we want those we lead to adapt to changing environments we need to as well. Supervisors should be willing to model change for their people. No situation stays stagnant ever and things routinely become more dynamic as soon begin to move forward. Murphy's law is ever present in life and the ability to not only adapt but explain to our people, in way they truly understand, why we are changing will only build stronger teams.