Command and Staff Program

Making Vision Statements Intentional

Replies
269
Voices
138
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

    Having an organizational "vision" statement is important, however what is more important is having the employees understand it and act on it. Too many times agencies hang it on the wall without making sure that the employees follow it. When the "vision" statement is "acting on" that is when an agency will "succeed".

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      Brian Johnson

      Monte, you are right. I would add that how we get our employees to make our vision, mission, and values as part of their personal DNA is equally important. Brian

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      Frank Acuna

      Very well said Monte. An agency with a "Vision Statement" without aligning it with organizational priorities or establishing a culture of understanding on each employee's role in the vision is sure to find challenges. Success can be achieved when a vision is clearly communicated and each employee knows their role in the success of the vision, while supervisors reinforce these expectations.

      Frank

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      Joey Prevost

      i think new recruits may be taught the mission statement. Beyond that I doubt I could walk the main station and find an employee that could tell me about it without having it in front of them. Each employee should at least know what the goals of the department are.

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          Without fulling understanding the agency's vision statement, and using it daily throughout everyone's duties simply makes the vision statement a thing hanging on the wall in the lobby of our agencies.

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        Paul Brignac III

        I would say the same about my department Joey. I think that a "paraphrased" version could be repeated from time to time in shift meetings etc. Perhaps this would serve as a reminder. As far a reciting goes, I believe a person can recite something and still not put it into effect.

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      Drauzin Kinler

      Monte, the mission and vision statement at one point, was important enough to create. It is incumbent that we, as leaders, teach the meaning of them to all new employees. We forgot what is truly important and neglect to communicate the essential information of all, the reason why we exist.

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      Nancy Franklin

      Monte, I agree that it is more important for agencies to ensure the vision statement is understood, rather than just displaying it like a trophy on the wall just to show you have a vision statement.

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        chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

        I agree, because the vision statement is symbolic and represents the department as a whole. It speaks about what vision the department is reaching toward and what's set in place.

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      Lt. Mark Lyons

      I agree. Any agency can have a mission/ vision statement, but it does no good if its not promoted or reinforced by leadership.

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      Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      That is when credible leadership takes place and we become involved with our officers. We intentionally meet and communicate how “we” as a whole “act” out our vision and mission. Creating clarity if it is needed to better understand.

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      My agency is completely guilty of having a vision statement that is hanging on the wall and no one reads it or really thinks about it after they are hired or promoted in their agency. There really is meaning behind it that a lot of people that I work with overlook and simply just forget about. Our administrators have recently been bringing it to everyone's attention at different trainings and reminding them what it even says. That way people can look at it and start thinking about how it applies to them or what they are doing to live up to it.

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        Justin Payer

        Kari, It is the same way at my agency. We definitely need to start reminding everyone what the vision statement is and what it really means.

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      Miranda Rogers

      I agree it goes hand in hand, there must be a vision statement and employees must have clarity and understanding of it. It is our responsibility as leaders to communicate effectively the expectations of our agency's vision.

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    Brian Johnson

    The challenge to have our Vision, Mission, and Values become a part of the organizational DNA is something that leaders struggle with because they often mean something a little different to each employee. This module give some good ideas on how we can make them just words on the wall into the hearts and minds of our employees. Clarity and simplicity is the starting point to getting everyone to understand our Vision, Mission and Values. More importantly, the continues discussion about why they are important, how they must be congruent with your personal values needs to be topics of discussion during roll call, squad meetings, etc. Our actions and words must be consistent too. If we talk about values, but demonstrate a lack of integrity than our actions are not in alignment and credibility has been compromised. We mus model the way, lead by example, and display the human side of why our Code of Ethics, Vision, Mission, and Values make law enforcement the noblest profession. The foundation of trust, honest, character, and compassion keep us in alignment with our department values, which creates a positive culture.

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      Chris Corbin

      As you explained, while clarity and simplicity are important to creating a shared understanding, the continuous discussion of vision, mission, and values is critical. Even a somewhat complex and ambiguous vision or mission would likely provide some value if we committed to discussing it regularly. While it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking 'we just discussed that' or 'my employees will probably revolt if I mention one more time', we must not allow ourselves to do so. Finally, I also strongly agree with your point that we MUST walk the talk. Failure to do so results in our becoming low credibility leaders, and leads to us failing those that depend on us to do better.

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    Frank Acuna

    When leaders try to instill a vision for the organization, the vision must be aligned with organizational priorities. The vision must also be clearly communicated to the organization. If the vision is not aligned with organizational priorities, the employees may be confused and may not understand what is expected of them. There must be an intentional process of aligning the organizational priorities with the vision and the employees must understand their role in accomplishing the vision. It is important that leaders are on the same page and deliver the message in the same manner at every level. Supervisors should also understand the value of face to face interactions with their staff, especially when delivering expectations and helping to align them with the vision and organizational priorities.

    Frank

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    Joey Prevost

    I think being successful in making vision statements is a lack of clarity. We must build clarity in the mission. I can see how technology actually hurts us in this world of email and text messages. Frequent face to face interaction is needed to make sure everyone is on the same page.

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    Chris Corbin

    While technology aids us in so many ways, it simply cannot replace the effectiveness and value of face-to-face communication. This is especially true when the subject matter leaves a lot of room for personal interpretation and requires feedback as to whether a shared understanding has been attained, such as in the case of reviewing and discussing vision statements, mission statements, values, and expectations. Emails may work fine when it comes to sharing step-by-step or technical information but are woefully inadequate on subjects that relate to the direction and path of the agency and its employees.

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      Lance Landry

      I have been victim of misinterpretation through the use of technology. Although it is easier to send an email or a text, rarely is face to face communication interpreted incorrectly.

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      Stan Felts

      Yes! Technology has helped us tremendously, but misinterpretation of meaning through text and email is a real problem. Certain things to be conveyed can only be done properly face to face.

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    Drauzin Kinler

    It has been stated several times in the post that we need to align our mission and vision statements with our personnel so that they understand the meaning. It should be a requirement during new employee orientation that the mission and vision statements are photocopied into their brain and that they have no question regarding the meaning. I know that this isn’t done at many organizations, and mission and vision statements are just wall hangers. I mission and vision statement was created 24 years ago when our Sheriff was elected. It is posted everywhere in the agency, but only a few can inform you what it reads by memory.

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      Dan Wolff

      Drauzin Kinler,
      Most agencies I have seen usually have the same mission and vision statement in one. They say the same thing that there mission is to protect the public in a courteous and professional manner …etc. How we interpret those statements and ensure every officer/deputy has the tools to complete this is dependent on supervisors to add clarity to this statement. It needs to be clarified from the top down. So yes, I agree most have become wall hangers and we as supervisors need to focus on giving it a purposeful meaning.
      Dan

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      Clint Patterson

      Drauzin, I agree that our recruits understand the meaning of our vision statement. This is usually a wall hanger, but to strive as a department, we must inscribe in their head, because the older generations are can only partially remember the mission statement.

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    Nancy Franklin

    Organizations must have a Vision Statement that is in alignment with their core values and mission. A vision statement must be one that is intentional in order to allow employees the opportunity to understand it and the ability to apply their technical and tactical expertise appropriately to advance to organizational vision. It is incumbent upon the leadership to frequently and continually communicate the vision from the top down and encourage communication from the bottom up to ensure clarity has been achieved. With new employees joining our organizations it remains important to ensure their understanding of our agency vision and culture. Leadership must be consistently work to connect with others, as this is a powerful tool for creating bonds and encouraging a culture of connection.

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    Mike Brown

    Having a mission or vision statement is pretty common and every organization is supposed to have one. But just because your organization has one does not mean everyone understand what it means. How often does anyone explain to the employees what the vision was behind creating the mission statement.

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      Jarod Primicerio

      In our agency, not very often. It seems to be just some words that they memorize for a promotional exam. The delivery to rank and file doesn't occur often or at all.

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        Jason Porter

        To add to that, if the statement isn't explained and understood down the rank and file, the statement will have no meaning. If the top makes the statement and doesn't explain it to someone that just got hired, the new hire can't be expected to live that statement for what it's meaning is.

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      Judith Estorge

      Mike,
      I agree. Also, who was responsible for creating the mission statement that we have posted all over the walls within our agency? It is another opportunity of input and buy-in that was missed.

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      Lance Leblanc

      Mike, I agree we never explain to subordinates what our mission statement is. We as leaders should educate our employees about it at least during training.

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      I would agree that it is not often explained or talked about specifically. However, we have a committee comprised of employees that review, assess and make suggestions for revision to the sheriff for our vision, mission and core values. This module reminds me that its time to have another meeting and address somethings I failed to follow through on.

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    Jarod Primicerio

    This topic of understanding the vision and mission for our department was discussed internally last week. We have created a specific vision and mission statement for our office collaboratively, to ensure everyone has buy-in. It must be completely known and understood for us to be successful. Our strategic plan is another component I believe needs work and better explained to the patrol officers. Not truly understanding why they are doing what they do everyday is a big problem. Definitely has lost the momentum as it roles down to rank and file.

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    Jason Porter

    I learned in this module that for a vision to be understood, there has to be clarity and focus on that vision. The information has to be passed down the line and understood along the way in order for the vision to be carried out as a whole. The lack of this clarity and focus will only have the vision as a bunch of words that no one gets.

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      Henry Dominguez

      I agree Jason, its all in the delivery and making sure people understand the vision and not interpret the way they want. Establishing or creating a connection with everyone will definitely help in making sure the correct interpretation gets delivered.

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      ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

      I agree and I believe it is sometimes hard to communicate because some agencies try to put too much into their mission statements and makes it confusing.

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    Dan Wolff

    In our organization our mission and vision statement are created as one. The mission statement is ambiguous and says how we should complete our mission and in what manner. However, each supervisor needs to add clarity, feedback and generate value on this statement. By adding value this drives commitment and credibility so feedback from supervisors on mission statements and vision is very important. It is our job as supervisors to ensure we communicate these statements for clarity from all levels of supervision.

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    Judith Estorge

    Ambiguity in the workplace is an area of interest to me. Clarifying tasks at hand and obtaining input is important. A lack of productivity seems to be due in part to lack of clarity. Conversation with individuals in a group + one-one-one meetings would help eliminate this problem.

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      Chasity Arwood

      I agree with you, i clear mission should be stated and explained to subordinates in order for them to reach the goals set by the supervisor.

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    Lance Leblanc

    Mission statements are important and should provide clarity on what our jobs are and our vision. I believe it is incumbent upon us as leaders to educate other employees about our mission statements. I have it hanging in my, so employees can see and read it.

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      David Cupit

      I agree Lance, it does no good to have a mission statement, vision and goals if everyone is not clear about what they are and how to reach them.

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      Nicole Oakes

      You are correct and not only do you have it hanging on your wall but you also follow it as an example to your subordinates. That is impressive,

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    Kyle Turner

    Digging deep to determine what drives behavior is an essential part of this module. Often, departments develop their mission statement then hope that everyone falls in line. However, this module suggests that we determine what motivates people then develop a mission statement that aligns this motivation with the work that must be performed. In doing so, there is less need to push people to buy-in to the vision statement because it is already aligned with their motivation. The key, however, is leadership taking the time to get to know their subordinates personally. A superficial examination of their subordinate's motivation would result in a vision statement that doesn't resonate well with the employees.

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      Brian Lewis

      Good points Kyle. I know I need to do a better job not only getting to know my subordinates, but making sure my subordinates are doing the same with their people.

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    Chasity Arwood

    Having a clear vision or mission statement is very important for any organization. It should align with the leaders values and philosophy. The entire department must also understand the vision statement

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      Agreed, being able to have all your employees understand what the mission and values of your department goes along way towards accomplishing those goals. The ability to move up and down (ladder) and left to right (horizontal) allows people to be on same page. Having common interest and goals empowers your department.

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    David Cupit

    This was a good lecture, having a clear understanding of the mission statement, vision and goals are crucial for all employees
    .

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    Brian Lewis

    It seems like with every new Chief, we have to reinvent out vision statement. In all my years, I have only had one Chief that truly embodied his vision/mission statement. It was straight to the point, easy to understand, and it was aligned with the department's overarching goals. But where this Chief excelled, he found ways to reiterate the vision/mission statement in E-mails, one on ones, and state of the department messages. Pretty soon everyone was restating the vision/mission statement in their Atta boys and evaluations of officers. My big take away is keep the vision/mission statement simple, but meaningful. That way individuals can understand it and get behind it.

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    Clint Patterson

    This is the vision of our police agency, the members of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office are dedicated to providing the highest quality law enforcement service to enhance community safety, protect life and property while reducing crime. We pledge individually and collectively to develop a partnership with the entire community, striving to resolve problems and improve the quality of life that is unique to our parish. This sounds and reads great, but what most incredible part is that our officers believe in this vision, and every day they come to work with the intention to uphold this vision.

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      dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree that our officers for the most part believe in the vision and mission statement here at our agency. No, most cannot read it verbatim from memory, but I think it is instilled in them through how we do things here, the "St. Charles Way" as I like to call it.

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    Laurie Mecum

    I think as most do every agency has a vision statement hanging on their wall, but do their employees really know the meaning. It is never communicated over time through out the agency at any point other than when people are initially hired.

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      David Ehrmann

      If you recall, during the first phases of leadership, the vision and mission statements were gone over. But you are right, except for during leadership training, when someone is hired (I was never told the vision statement when I was hired), and on the revolving messages on the televisions around the department, it is never verbally communicated.

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    Roanne Sampson

    Vision and mission statements are very important in every organization. They need to have clarity and everyone should understand them. Leaders have to communicated the vision and mission "both up and down" in an organization. When these statements mean different things to people, it decreases alignment. We also must realize that technology is great, but we cannot get away from face to face contact.

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      Amanda Pertuis

      I am guilty of communicating a lot by text and email. It is something that I have been working on. I was getting more face-to-face with employees, but since working from home it's back to electronic communication.

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    David Ehrmann

    Every agency has a vision statement, but how many employees know what that statement is? For agencies to accomplish their mission/vision, employees have to know the meaning of the statement. Employees need clarity of what that mission/vision means and what is asked of them. Leaders need to provide that clarity to their employees and, to ensure the mission/vision is understood, need to have conversations from both the top-down and bottom-up.

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      Christian Johnson

      I agree wholeheartedly.

      I've been with the Sheriff's Office since 2010 and had no idea what our vision statement was until I began this course and asked about it.

      How can personnel work toward a goal they are unaware of?

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        Rocco Dominic, III

        I am with you. we have the vision and mission statements hanging on the walls at office. How many people stop to read them. I did not until this module.

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      Samantha Reps

      I agree, I feel like I should be asking my staff if they know our vision statement and ask them how they interpret it. I can't help if I don't understand their thought process of it.

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    Amanda Pertuis

    This module gave some great suggestions on how to ensure values/missions/goals are clear and understood. I agree that an agency needs to have a culture that embraces connection.

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    Christian Johnson

    While it is important for every Agency to have a vision statement, it is more important to communicate what it is and ensure personnel are performing their duties in a way that supports it.

    As was pointed out in this module, the key is communication.

    Communication should not be something that hinders an Agency, but it often does. Anyone else have this issue? It drives me insane on a regular basis.

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    Rocco Dominic, III

    While it is important for an organization to have a vision and mission statement, if the people in the organization do not understand it or know it, there is a breakdown in how the organization operates. Some of this failure can be attributed to the lack of personal communication and dependence on technology.

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      Donnie

      I concur. Employees will work hard but won’t produce the desired results without understand the organizational intent. It should be relayed personally as it is something special to be retained rather than just technology. Technology is created to make things more efficient and easier to live and work from day to day. Sometimes is can be a social impairment though making us lazy and impersonal.

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      Royce Starring

      I agree the mission and vision statement is important and should be understood by all employees in the organization.
      The Lack of personal communication is because in most organizations communication goes up but never come back down.

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    McKinney

    This session was interesting because it is assumed that organizational members to include myself, are aware and work towards the agency and division mission. After listening to the lecture, I am confident that the information presented during this lecture will enable me to seek out clarity when there is a possible misunderstanding and to communicate that information forward to prevent misdirection in working towards objectives

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    Lance Landry

    Mission or Vision statements are common place in most organizations. However, very few within an organization can recite them. The key is to align all members of the organization in the same direction to accomplish that Mission or Vision.

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      Burke

      You are correct. I find it hard myself to recite my own agencies vision or mission statement. Even though I work under the same principles in it.

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    Donnie

    A vision statement shouldn’t be over complicated or placated with fancy words. It should be understood by all and communicated often so that it is retained. Just being posted on a wall doesn’t mean it will even be read. Leaders need to relay this in team meetings every now and then to remind subordinates and junior leaders what the department intent is. I have done this before but am certainly guilty of not doing it as often as I should. Make sure you as a leader understands it before you challenge your subordinates to know and understand it.

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      jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      I also believe that a vision should not be over complicated with fancy words. Often times the message gets lost in translation when you use this approach. Leaders at every level must be able to clearly articulate what the vision is and each officers role within the confines of the overall objective. These must come from every leader including at the top.

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      I agree with your point that mission statements are often lost on a wall as decor instead of shared with employees as clear statements. I plan to revisit my own mission statement and review it periodically with my staff.

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      McKinney

      Here is another module that sparked a recent conversation with my unit. Our unit commander recently asked for input into a Mission Statement. This was interesting because those that provided feedback provided identical thoughts but in different words. The commander took our information and simplified our objectives that made it clear for others to understand. With this said, I was proud to know that a majority of the team was already clear to our purpose, but having additional clarity is reassuring for the future (succession plan).

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    Burke

    This module made me think more about clarity when it came to our agencies vision and mission statement. It was always clear to me but made me rethink if I am making it clear to the people I lead.

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    jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    Having a vision or vision statement is important within any law enforcement agency. This module helped me understand the need for clarity within the vision. Ensuring that it is understood from the top down and the bottom up. I thought about this and my own agency. I asked myself if I could really explain what our vision is and if my understanding of it aligned with the true purpose of the vision. I think I could better serve as a leader within my organization if I ensure a proper understanding.

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      cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

      I can honestly say that I know my agency's vision statement. We constantly recite and work towards it. Our staff does a good job of getting it out to our subordinates and giving them clarity on what the vision means.

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      Adam Gonzalez

      I to wrote about the need for buy in, as I put it, reflecting the need for all to be on board, to have a true agency-wide embrace. As you mentioned, this would exactly need to be the top down, just as well as the so-called bottom up. And, like you, we will be better leaders if we are able to easily understand and explain our own agency's vision statement to any that may inquire.

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    Royce Starring

    In this lesson it focused on loss of or lack of clarity. It is important for clarity to exist both up and down for goals to be achieved.

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    chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    In learning area 3, module 12, understanding that making a vision statement impacts the opportunities and relationships within the department. It aligns the employees and gives them goals to work toward. A vision statement is something that we all as commanders have to implement within our department.

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    I agree that many vision or mission statements are written to sound good but lack actual application in the agency. The deliberations and wording are more about hot topic buzz words than the actual function of the agency. The mission statement is then put on a wall or stuffed in a policy manual but lacks the actual translation to the employees. Training is focused on technical and tactical skills and less on how to live up to the mission statement of the agency. I especially believe in the advise to get out and have personal contact with those who are doing the work. Too often e get so caught up in the administration we lose sight of the actual function. I feel this module is important in reminding leaders to communicate wtih their employees face-to-face and not behind a keyboard or with fancy words that lack in clarity and focus.

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      Major Stacy Fortenberry

      I agree on the need for us to get out of our office and spend time actively listening to the troops. All to often our communication is electronic and or superficial.

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    Lieutenant John Champagne

    Having that vision statement is excellent, but the critical aspect is making sure each employee understands the statement and lives it. This is from the top down; it is hard to have rookie officers buy-in when the older officers do not.

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      mtroscla@tulane.edu

      The statement is the easy part, the buy in has always been the challenge. Its all about building value for individuals, because not everyone likes the same carrots.

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    cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    Every agency must have a vision or mission statement displayed at their respective agencies. More importantly there must be clarity in the statement and it should be filtered from the top down. The statement should be read before every meeting or gathering of employees to insure they are reminded of the agency's vision and mission.

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    mtroscla@tulane.edu

    Having goals is important, but having articulable goals and the ability to create value for the individuals in the department isn't always an easy road. The leaders need to "read the room" and make sure that the message is understandable and that everyone "gets it".

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    Major Stacy Fortenberry

    Our vision statement is 24 years old. While it is posted throughout our offices at this point no one pays it any homage. It was probably a flawed vision statement to begin with having the word perceive in every bullet point. Another thing that we need to work on is our one on one communication with every member of the department. Admin ride a longs have went by the way side.

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      michael-beck@lpso.net

      Maybe by knowing that no one pays the vision statement homage is a starting point. Either it needs to change or the people need to be reminded of how important it is. The best possibility may be to have the department gather their ideas into a new mission statement that way there's buy-in from everyone and it's not just words on a wall.

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      Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      With agencies blessed with a tenured sheriff as many of us have been, I believe it is a good practice to possibly revisit the mission and vision statement periodically, if not just each term. It could be beneficial to have department-wide "training" to review the understanding and clarify what is expected of our employees.

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    michael-beck@lpso.net

    The vision and philosophy of my agency has not changed since I have been here for 22 years and I’m certain it is the same since 1992. Our credo or motto, if you will, is “We will do whatever it takes to properly serve the public;” usually shortened to “Whatever it Takes…” It’s a very open concept in that it does not corral you into only achieving a singular goal. This mission is on our webpage and in almost every office in our agency as a reminder that we are here to serve the public in any manner we can for the common good.

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    Henry Dominguez

    Everyone in the organization needs to understand the vision or mission statement in your definition and not interpreted in another way. I like the creating a connection part where you go to briefings and discuss one on one the statement defining it for them in your words. Providing clarity through proper training and understanding is key.

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      guttuso_fa@jpso.com

      One on one or face to face meetings with small groups is definitely the way to go. electronic communication is so impersonal and lend to being misunderstood because your feelings and intentions can't be conveyed in the same manner as human communication does.

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      wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

      I agree it is important for me as a Commander of my agency leaders to look deep into my organization, the vision and mission and develop and system that will help me to determine what drives behaviors of my employees.

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    ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    This is something we need to focus on in our agency. I would be willing to bet more than half of our officers do not know or have not even read our mission statement. Having moved into a new building and a department wide meeting coming up, this will be addressed. I think we will hang the mission statement in the new lobby while we are all together and discuss it to make sure everyone knows it and understands it.

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    guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    When our vision and mission statements first came out everyone learned them and understood them. posters were made, framed and put up in every division. However, with time I believe many of our employees probably could not recite them although they are short. I need to do a better job at reminding everyone what our mission and vision statements are. I believe many of our deputies do follow the basic principles of the mission and vision statements daily but it can't hurt to remind them every now and then of the wording as a reminder.

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    dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    When a new employee arrives at our agency, part of the Training Division's responsibilities are to ensure the new employee understands the department core values, vision, and mission statements. We allow them to interpret what it means, then we explain it to them. This rolls into a policy and procedure presentation. Depending on their assignment, their FTO will go over the same material, but while it's in action.

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    dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    I believe that in my agency, the mission and vision statement is not memorized by most people. However, I think the track record of this agency shows that the mission and vision statement are instilled into each person in more than just words. It's instilled to them through the training we provide to them, the opportunities that this agency presents to them, and the leaders in this organization show it to them through leadership every day. I think it is more than just words printed on a banner, hanging in a hallway, we show it every day in the way we perform our duties.

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      blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree that most people do not know the mission and vision statement because of the length of the statement. I think that our department does a good job representing the department, due to the constant positive feedback that we get from the public.

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      dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree with you, Derek. I believe that the majority of our agency, from the supervisors on down, embodies our vision statement. I think this apparent just from our relationship with the public.

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    blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    Our departments' mission and vision statement is very long. I know most people do not have it memorized word for word, but I believe that our officers have an excellent clarity of what the department stands for and how to accomplish the statement. Most of our supervisors lead by example, are they are out with the person for support and guidance. Our department also provides numerous training opportunities to the officers to ensure that they know how to perform their job duties.

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      cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

      Training, support, and guidance is important in helping the people we lead understand what the agencies mission and vision are.

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    Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    This lecture brought up some great points in regards to mission and vision statements. It is something that we all have read at least once in our career, but how often do we make sure that everyone's understanding and perception of what is expected of them is fully aligned with that statement. I like the solutions offered to truly connect with our staff and make sure the context of our mission and vision is not lost in the technological gaps present.

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      anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree everyone should be held accountable to learn both the Mission and vision statement their agency, this can detour a lot of officer complainants.

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      Luckily our mission statement is visible in my office building that I can read it on a regular basis. This lesson provided valuable insight on how important that everyone clearly understand the messages to ensure we are all in alignment with our agencies values.

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      Brad Strouf

      I agree. Team meetings, staff meetings, annual meetings, etc. They can all help with the communication issues we all face every day. Ensuring understanding and alignment is critical.

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      Brent Olson

      Dustin,

      Absolutely! It is many times overlooked in one-way communication to make sure the message is not lost when it is received. It is our responsibility to make sure the message is received appropriately and understood. I have seen too many times the detrimental effects of one-way communication with a message and how it was actually meant to be received.

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    anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    Having a vision and a mission statement is important, but i feel it made mandatory to learn the mission statement and the vision, can better all agencies

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    Three years ago, when our school district received a new leader, we went through this change and worked on our mission, vision, and values. I agree with Brian Ellis's article, as it explains how we need to align ourselves as a whole. As the Chief, if we do not tell the vision and mission, the troops can not carry out the task.

    I also support celebrating little victories in the agency. These small events make life memorable.

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    cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    It is important for an agency to have a mission and vision statement. Without one the agency and its employees will not know its culture and what it represents. The mission and vision statement can be made known by the agencies leaders teaching it through expectations, training, and leading by example.

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    dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    I think far too many agencies use their vision statement as a decoration and do not convey the meaning to their people. I am thankful that my agency instills its vision statement into every person they hire.

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      sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

      I have to admit i haven't read ours in years.. I do my job by the law, morals and ethics i follow. I need to get a copy, laminate and hand out to the shift, especially the veterans.

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      cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree Devin! I definitely believe that our values strongly align with our vision statement. i truly believe in what we do as an agency and our responsibility to help carry out our mission.

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      steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

      This is a very nice thing to have. A clear vision with the 'team' on the same page and training everyone to understand and practice this is the best way to support a positive culture for an organization. Hope to see how your agency implemented this.

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    sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    I admit that i haven't read our mission statement since my hire date, over 11 years ago. This module actually made me think about and want to read it again. Also make copies laminated and handed out to the shift so its readily available.

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    cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    Lack of clarity can definitely hinder progress and results. Perhaps instead of just emailing out a new policy, we should also discuss it with the members of our agency to ensure they are truly understanding it and allow them to ask questions.

    I like how Dr. Long emphasized the importance of using one-on-one communication to help overcome the "Fear of Feeling Inferior" and while we have increasing technology, as leaders it is up to us to use it responsibly. I have been in various training seminars and hesitated to ask questions because everyone else seemed to understand what was being communicated...I didn't want to lose face or stand out by asking too many questions.

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      clouatre_kj@jpso.com

      It is so important to have one on one communnication. It is an easy to just send an email and lose that personal connection with people but it is not as effective.

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      mmoscona@floodauthority.org

      I used to tell my guys that an E-mail or text was not proper notification. That I needed to speak to them. Well this got blown out of the water when command started E-mailing or texting everything. I still believe one-on-one communication is by far the best.

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    steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    This is a very important goal that I will attempt to implement at my agency. It is evident that great organizations have clarity in their mission and vision statements. This is also trained and used at every attempt to promote a positive culture of success and improvement to serve the organizations needs. I can see the benefit of being positive at all times in order to receive positive results.

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    I think it is beneficial when we work with employees at different levels to work on plans, mission, and vision statement. When this is done, it brings clarity. They would also work hard to fulfill the agency's goal. It will create buy-in and commitment.

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    clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    The topic that Dr. Long mentioned related to many people's fear of not asking questions made a lot of sense to me. I have seen the "fear of inferiority" in action throughout my career and it typically causes a lot of confusion and misinterpretation across the organization.
    The advice of not overusing technology was great as well. As a supervisor I spend so much of my time behind a desk and even though it would be easier to just shoot out emails I know the importance of face to face communication. If that is not possible than a phone call is better that just sending an email. Two way communication is necessary.

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    This module by Dr. Long does well to show how having clear mission and values gives your leaders and followers the ability to complete their tasks. It shows what is expected of them and allows them to ask for what they need or to clarify if any confusion exists. Making sure that all parties are on the "same page" keeps your agency, unit, etc from having a chance to fail instead of success. It is paramount to keep clear lines of communications in our profession

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      Eric Sathers

      I agree that communication is key to success and keeping all employees on the same page. This needs to happen daily and not just as a reaction to some sort of communication failure.

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    mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    To be honest, I had never given much thought to what our mission/ vision statement is. I think it's time for me to go back and read it. Then read it to my watch and give them copies of it. Then work on aligning out work with the mission statement.

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    dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    I can not remember the last time i saw or read our mission statement. I believe that we need to incorporate the values in our mission in our training and point out this is the why we train this way, in order to uphold this value in our mission statement. It needs to be incorporated and instilled in our everyday work. In high school we had a strict set of guidelines and values that my high school held every person to. Every morning we said a prayer, the pledge and read our mission statement. 20 years later and i can still tell you what the mission statement is.

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    It is vital to understand our agencies' mission statement, so we can effectively lead our subordinates in a way that reflects the department's principle. We must also ensure that our subordinates have a clear understanding of the mission statement so we can all be on the same page to ensure our success.

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      Eduardo Palomares

      I agree Lt. Dean. As we leaders it is our job to clearly understand our mission and vision statement to illustrate it to our people. We also need to embrace and believe in it. If we embrace and believe in our mission, our vision as an agency will be fulfilled. Spot on sir.

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    Lt. Mark Lyons

    I agree with the overall message of this training module. Every agency has a mission/ vision statement to express their philosophy and values as they serve their local communities. However, its up to leadership within the organization to instill the agency's values in their subordinates and to incorporate those values in to their every day activities.
    It's not enough that the agency has a well worded mission statement or fancy “motto” that implies high moral, ethical, and professional values. It’s how we as administrators, supervisors and mentors live up to those values and encourage others within the organization to do the same.

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    Many times people are confused, by what a mission or vision statement is. Some people will say that their agency does not have one. Usually these are the people that may be highly competent but are mainly concerned about their day to day operational tasks. There is also those agencies that have a "motto" fo their missions statement. Sometimes your mission statement is basically the law.

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    Adam Gonzalez

    Having received some training with regards to this module and the necessity of creating a meaningful vision statement with buy in from each of your share holders, I thoroughly enjoyed this training and was reminded of just how foundational creating a vision statement is. I love the part where Dr. Long describes how by so doing a vision statement, one rids the agency of ambiguity, as long as this vision statement is done correctly, narrows the focus of the organization and embraces a connection culture.

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    wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    Dr. Long describes in this module leaders must be able to communicate up the ladder and down the ladder to get people thinking about these values often. Lack of effective communication for the leader can lead to a level of ambiguity in the workplace.

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    Vision and mission statements are important, but how often are they checked to see if they still hold up? As times have changed, so has methods in policing along with community relationships and standards. Having employees understand the departments' goals, while we as leaders ensure those same employees goals align with the departments is crucial. From this concurrence, one should see the vision and mission statements are being fulfilled.

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      Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

      Agreed after watching this module I looked up our mission statement on our sheriff office website. I haven't looked at it in over 13 plus years.

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        Joseph Flavin

        I found myself looking up ours as well. I looked it up when I applied but haven't since then. I think it's important that we remember what our office's mission statement is and ensure that the vision and mission statements are being fulfilled. I am going to encourage the deputies I work with to look up or office's mission statement.

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          It is a good idea once they look it up to go over it regularly until employees start to think of it. I know in our organization we just changed ours because it hadn't been updated for several years. Now that we have updated we go over it regularly at command staff meetings and ask what different parts of the mission and vision statement mean to get everyone on the same page.

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      Mitchell Gahler

      I agree that the vision and mission statements of each agency is important in order to create clarity and understanding of what is expected by everyone involved in the agency. Although we are in an ever-changing dynamic of what is expected of us as law enforcement officer's, we must never stray away from our mission by leading with integrity, honor, and trust in order to be effective leaders within our communities. Policing dynamics, technology, and trainings regarding certain areas may change, but the true mission of integrity, honor, and trust should not.

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      James Schueller

      I like that comment/question- how often are the mission statements checked to see if they still hold up? If they don't, who to get involved in updating them? Especially now with how policing- and the focus on it- has changed so drastically. Our job as leaders is to make sure these questions are answered.

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    Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    While it is important for every agency to have a vision statement. A mission statement is the purpose of your work and to better understand the goals of your company. It ensures that personnel are performing their duties in every way. As it was pointed out in this module, the key is communication.

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    Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    I am sure every law enforcement agency in the country have their mission and vision statements hanging on the wall. The agencies go through a lot of effort to create these statements, but I feel they need to go through a lot of effort to make sure their employees understand them.

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    Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    Leadership challenges up and supports down, by using two way communication on a regular basis and meeting with our officers we build a strong foundation. We need clarity, breaking down a vision/mission statement to align our officers would create a better future.

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      Chad Blanchette

      I have seen over the years where the Chief relies on his command staff to relay a message and by the time the message reaches the troops, it has personal opinions built into the message and is no longer received as it was intended.

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    Joseph Flavin

    Module 12 was about making vision statements intentional. Making sure that the department's values line up with it's vision is a key element. It's important as leaders that we help provide clarity cohesiveness to the people we lead. Effective communication is a key element to making sure that everyone is on the same page.

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    Mitchell Gahler

    This module described the importance of making vision statements intentional. It is important that each individual understands the mission of their agency and how they represent their organization. Long discussed that, "We as officer's need to be effective at carrying out the organizational directives to the best of our abilities, even if the mission is viewed differently by each individual." Long also discussed that lack of clarity in the mission could create, "decreased alignment, coactivity, and understanding on what the organization is trying to accomplishment." It is important for everyone to be on the same page in order to reach the same plans, missions, and vision in order to have effective results as a whole.

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    I believe Larry Long's information on not overusing technology and to try and do face to face one on one contact is extremely important. There have been a handful of times where I have sent out e-mails and some employees have taken them out of context. If there is no follow-up to the message it can begin to cause bad morale amongst some What I have noticed is if I send out a string of e-mails I need to follow them up at an upcoming meeting so the employees understand the tone and to get us all on the same page. In addition, having one on one face to face contact with your employees is extremely important so they don't just see you as a desk warrior and to really build those personal bonds and allow questions back to you. There is nothing that can take the place of a face to face contact.

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      Great response. As my department is small (17 sworn) I can find time to meet with each officer one on one at least once per month. I find this especially useful in sharing my vision and expectations without it being misinterpreted. It also allows me an opportunity to hear from each officer as their observations may be pertinent to the vision.

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      Great response. As my department is small (17 sworn) I can find time to meet with each officer one on one at least once per month. I find this especially useful in sharing my vision and expectations without it being misinterpreted. It also allows me an opportunity to hear from each officer as their observations may be pertinent to the vision.

      Reply

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      Kyle Phillips

      well said, your own experience with miss information has provided experience with what the lesson referenced. By taking the time to meet with your own employees and asking follow-up questions, you have ensured that your organization is receiving the correct information as you intended it.

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      Durand Ackman

      I too have noticed when I send an email out it can be misunderstood. If I send it to two people it can be interpreted two completely different ways and neither is how I intended it to be. Like you said, nothing takes the place of a face to face conversation. There is so much meaning behind tone of voice, facial expression and body language that cannot come across in emails.

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      Major Willie Stewart

      Sheriff Jahner,
      I agree with you. Technology can be a hindrance to our relationships and communication. To build on the vision, one on one relationships give more solid, trusting relationships.

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    James Schueller

    I think it was important to note that there must be clarity in all of the discussions on the visions, missions, and plans at all levels of the organization. Sometimes the mission statements can be nebulous, and when the top leaders don't make it clear what they mean it brings confusion all the way through the chain of command. The module did a good job of speaking on the vital role of what intentional leadership is. That, combined with the core concept of being on the same page, can really make an organization "whole."

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      Ryan Lodermeier

      I agree Jim. Agencies create mission statements and values that are designed to encompass everything we do as law enforcement officers but we still have to narrow down the true meaning of what these things mean. I thought it was an interesting point that this module brought up when they said a group can be very productive but yet have little to show for it, mainly due to a lack of cohesiveness in understanding of what these values and mission statement really mean.

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    Eduardo Palomares

    This module really illustrated the basics of mission and vision statements. Every public organization has a mission and vision statement but it all boils down to the same principles. Mission and vision statements set the stage and provide value to our operations. It is important for everyone in the organization to understand why we do what we do. It is also important to constantly remind our people the vision of the agency. With continuous discussions and briefing training on both, we make sure our people embrace and believe in the noble cause. Most importantly, we as leaders must set the example and have constant self-reflections about our performance and if we are living up to the mission of our current positions (supervisors). If we set the example and walk the walk, we are credible leaders. With credibility we can influence our followers to live by and embrace the mission and vision statements of our agencies. The leadership within our organizations we need to instill values our people subordinates and to make sure they follow through. A mission and vision statement framed and hung on the wall without a clear understanding of everyone it is just a worthless quote.

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    Kyle Phillips

    This module spoke about the importance of all staff being on the same page, and how to get staff motivated towards the vision of the organization. What I took away from this module was the importance of leaders being present in the organization from the top down. The relationships built by face to face interactions are crucial towards building understanding and commitment within the organization. This traditionally is challenging given the shift work in law enforcement, with the highest levels of administration working traditional hours. I believe as a leader, making yourself available when it isn't necessarily convenient is important to show those within that you are willing to sacrifice convenience for them, this shows staff that you value them and are willing to make time for them.

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      Kyle hit on key point. I cannot stress how important it is to be on the same page. When I was promoted to lieutenant, myself and the two other bureau commanders were not on the same page. overtime, we started to speak with one voice, but it was not without its bumps and hiccups along the way. Once I got promoted to captain, that changed.. The chief and I made it a point to meet and communicate with the command staff at every opportunity. This worked out so well even our officers commented on how all the commanders seemed to speak with one voice. Then COVID hit. In many ways COVID forced us to communicate through email and Zoom. We did not use this technology because it was convenient or the best way to communicate. We did it because it was for our health and safety. Now my command team is starting to see the end results of this. Little things falling through the cracks, a lack of situational understanding, and more pessimism. We acknowledge this and are continually working to make the way we do communicate count.

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      Lead by wandering around. Make it a point to touch base with as many people as possible in a day, week, or even a month. Find out what makes people tick, personally and professionally.

      Don't forget, personal time with "the boss" is more valuable than we probably realize. Try and remember where we came from is the best bet.

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    Chad Blanchette

    I think it is important that we reevaluate how we do business on a regular basis. Especially in today’s anti-police climate, we need to think through the processes and consider the outcomes and consider if there is a better way going forward.

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      Paul Gronholz

      I agree, we should everything that we do and how it aligns with the mission and vision of RPD. If it's not inline we need to re-evaluate or stop doing it.

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        Jennifer Hodgman

        I agree with you Paul, we need to be intentional with the mission and vision. This is something our Chief does well.

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    Ryan Lodermeier

    I appreciate this module touching on the use of electronics (email/text) to communicate information. It made me realize further what the appropriate use for these items are (email to send documents, texts to convey less essential communication). Trying to convey things as critical as mission, core values, and standards can be very difficult, if not impossible, with the use of electronic means. Personal communication is far more effective, tone of voice, body language, eye contact all make up so much of communication and it's impossible to convey that via email.

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      Ryan Manguson

      Agreed. Technology is great and there is a place for it. Nothing will form great relationship and bond of understanding than one one and team in person interactions.

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    Durand Ackman

    This module brought up some interesting points. An agency should be making decisions based on their mission/vision statements but how frequently do we truly review those to ensure our decisions are following those statements. I can only recall a couple of times I remember someone referencing the mission/vision statements. I am sure there were more than I recall but still not frequent enough. Also a good reminder in here about the use of technology vs in person, face to face conversations.

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      Gregory Hutchins

      Most commonly noted within agencies is the lack of a true vision statement. Often one will see the mission statement hanging on the wall has not seen an update, or at least a reprinting when Chiefs/Sheriffs change. It is sad to know they must do some level of "protect and serve," but getting deeper into the why is concerning.
      With no eye on the future, an agency will continue to react to the changes, which is terrible. It like ducking after the ball goes by in the game of dodgeball. One should try to see from where the next ball is coming.

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    Samantha Reps

    This lesson brought up understanding the mission and vision statements of your organization and making sure that people understand it. How often do we ask staff their thoughts on it? I know I haven't but I sure will now.
    Technology can hinder communication so easily, I see it a lot when I send an email to staff. Face to face communication is needed for multiple reasons.

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      Kelly Lee

      Interesting time for this module to come up, I know you too recently tested for a Captain's position just as I did and a question was posed to me about how do we get back in touch with the public after COVID is over. I immediately responded by saying, "get back to the basics, stop and see people and actually talk face to face is the only way to rebuild the lost time" Contacting people via the telephone or computer isn't going to work. We all need that face to face time.

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      I'm also going to have talks with my deputies about our agency's vision & mission statements. it's a great way to see what their understanding is and how they can apply it to daily interactions.

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    Paul Gronholz

    I appreciated how frequent communication was highlighted as a way to reinforce the mission/values of the organization. In addition to in person meetings, one on one meetings are essential as well. Organizations need to work towards clarity in mission and values..

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      Maja Donohue

      I completely agree with you. In order to make a vague statement meaningful you have to give it context. If we’re all working on our own interpretation of a vision statement then we are not working together. We may have the best of intentions, but we’re not maximizing our potential. If these are the guiding principles of an organization, then they should be discussed often to give us consistency, clarity, and purpose no matter what our job description is.

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    Ryan Manguson

    Having a mission and vision statement is not enough. Making sure that all from commands down to the line level understand the mission and vision is essential. Connecting through team meeting one one on one engagement is critical. Also creating a positive culture through establishing small victories and recognizing them.

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      Andy Opperman

      I liked the idea of celebrating small victories, it creates momentum driving our people to want more success.

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      Zach Roberts

      Love the idea of this! The importance of effective communication on all levers make the operation much smoother. Having a culture of positivity through celebrating small victories is a fantastic idea.

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    Kelly Lee

    Interesting module, I just recently had an interview for a Captain's position within our office. One question the panel asked was, "how do we get back in touch with the public after COVID", immediately I replied back saying we need to first get away from technology (Facebook, Instragram and Twitter to name a few) and get back to the basics, stopping to actually meet with people and conducting foot patrols. We have gotten out of touch with the public whom we serve and that was reiterated here by Dr. Long. The other piece of advice most organizations can benefit the most from is that we need to be better communicators, needing to have more conversations both up and down the chain of command so everyone is on the same page about their roles, contributions, and the organizations vision.

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      Sgt. Shawn Wilson

      Agree. Walking a beat. Get our people out of the cars and stations and begin interacting with the community by putting down the phones and tablets.

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      Kaiana Knight

      I agree Kelly. We have become so comfortable with notifying the public via Facebook and twitter, that we forgot first hand about good communication. I think that we need to talk to the public and get to know them by having conversations with them.

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    Maja Donohue

    Vision, mission, and values act like guard rails for an organization. Every decision should complement all three components and should support strategic objectives. These concepts have to be injected intentionally into every-day conversations, training topics, change implementation, promotional process, FTO program, scheduling, disciplinary process, leadership development and many more topics. Although I believe that executives should encourage and model effective face-to-face communication as often as possible I also understand that they cannot do that full time. But this doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t make it a daily priority. Formal and casual conversations about the vision and values should be commonplace in every organization because officers need to hear this information as often as possible if we truly believe in these principles.

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    The topic of Vision Statements and intentional actions has spurred some interesting conversations between my chief and I. This started several modules back when Sinek was discussing his WHAT, WHY, HOW theory. After seeing that presentation and several others in this course, I asked the chief one day how we as a command team emphasized/ actioned our vision statement? It's easy to say they are hanging on the wall in Roll Call, but when it's said and done, it's all about leaders taking action. Here, the battle between clarity and ambiguity takes place. There is a lot of truth to the idea that a good sounding long winded vision statement is just words if no one really knows what it means, or how it affects them. Additionally, Dr. Long was on target when he said buy-in and support is developed through interpersonal communication and one on one contact. Technology is not our friend when it comes to communications. I have seen leaders spend copious amounts of time to draft the perfect email to someone when they could have walked down the hall and spoken to their counterpart in person. As Dr. Long stated, leaders must take every opportunity to connect with the organization at every level. I will be the first to admit that COVID has made it tough to communicate in person sometimes. That said, I still try to speak to people first and then follow up that conversation with an email recapping the conversation.

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    Great lesson on how important communication is even with something written out. How many of us really understand the mission/vision statements of our organization the way the author intended? One on one communication is key to pure understanding.

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      Robert Schei

      I agree, I try to go out of my way to have a face to face meeting with each of my staff every day. I use this time to ask questions and have a better idea of their needs but to also communicate the organizations purpose and how we can use our mission and vision to focus on greater results.

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      Andy Opperman

      One on one communication is key. Tech is making it too easy to avoid each other. I think there is a lot missed by not talking to our people face to face, not to mention sitting down with your people to really understand their view of the mission or vision statement. I see that as a missing component to expectations with employees. How can they understand our expectations if their view of the mission is different than ours as leaders?

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    Jennifer Hodgman

    I appreciate Larry Long's information on not overusing technology and driving home the importance of face-to-face contact.
    While we are currently in the middle of the COVID pandemic, we have been forced to use Teams for roll-call's and meetings. There is so much that is lost in technology and I find officers crave the in person contact and being on the same page.

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      Steve Mahoney

      I agree with you. TO me so much is lost when you don't have the one one one interaction with people in person not over the phone of zoom meeting. I think that covid will have made us lazy and too dependent on this. I can't wait for the day on in person communication as more is communicated and in a highly more effective way when you are sitting in same room with that person

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    Christopher Lowrie

    Narrowing the focus of a mission and value can help people understand it. Leaders who take the time to meet in person can help drive home how the mission/value should be interpreted. The one on one contacts builds a connection that leads to commitment and collaboration.

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    Major Willie Stewart

    Values drive commitment and credibility. It is paramount that Mission statements and visions are understood at a basic level. Most police departments' "Vision" states the departments' purpose and value. But many officers don't know what their department's vision is, nor do they know the meaning of the mission statement. I think visions are good, however it is important that we don’t let those statements become fictitious writings on the wall. Department head should make sure clarity is a part of these visions and assuring employees have the knowledge of what is being asked of them.

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    I wouldn’t say we as law enforcement fail at ensuring the vision in understood, but the words posted in most vision statements can rarely be recited. At least in our Office the direction of the vision seems very clear and most work towards a common goal, even though no one could recite it like it was the pledge (unless a promotional interview is insight). Our office actually has a committee assigned to review, assess and make recommendations to the sheriff regarding our Vision Statement, Mission Statement and Core Values. We are past due a meeting and the last part of recommendation has been drastically delayed. That recommendation was approved, but just has not been completed. It was to print each statement on current and historical photos showing sheriff’s office employees, locations and equipment as well as some local attraction specific to the location of each satellite office. The hope was to draw attention and a connection to each statement. Part of the proposal was to change the photos every so often to re-attract attention. The fact is, it is incumbent on all leaders to make sure they understand what the boss wants and then ensure those in and around them have the same understanding.

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    Timothy Sandlin

    This was a brief module but to the point. Focus and clarity in a vision statement. We must make sure that our values align with our vision and mission statement and that true understanding of expectations takes place. We have to make sure these statements aren't simply displayed but rather lived.

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    I'm getting the idea that most organizations have mission statements, but it seems as if it is common that a lot of them have really old ones that haven't been updated in years. If you want them to be meaningful and beneficial, they may have to change once in awhile. The administration, deputies/officers, generations, and many other factors often change and they should reflect something that the new people can actually achieve or work towards. It is also important to remind everyone often of the mission statement because it's one of things that is easily forgotten and hung on the wall to collect dust.

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    I agreed 100% with Dr. Long's point about face-to-face connections and meetings. Personal interaction with the "brass" helps alleviate miscommunication and allows the rank & file employees see the "brass" as people, not just some impersonal entity that sends out policies and punishments.

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      Well stated. We have to remember, SGTs on up, that we're looked at by followers to lead and make them feel safe. We wield a lot of power and it has to be used for the good. This doesn't mean we're push-overs, it just means we deal with problems and setbacks effectively and efficiently. Consistency is the key in my opinion. Too often though, people shy away from conflict as leaders. Have the good and the tough conversations.

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      Matthew Menard

      For many agencies it is difficult to have any sort of regular meeting between the top people of an agency and the lower ranks, however having the message be clearly convey down the chain of command should be a priority all the time.

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        Thomas Martin

        Having regular meetings is tough, but it must be done. Our executive staff meets once a month, supervisors once a month, and department wide meetings take place four times a year. Even with 300 total in enforcement, we still make these meetings happen. Our Sheriff makes it clear what his vision is, and what actions we need to take to achieve them.

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    Nicole Oakes

    I really enjoyed this module. I really like that they talk about being positive. Create the positive environment with the small wins and celebrate them publicly! I believe all too often, especially in law enforcement, that we do not want to bring that kind of attention to ourselves, but when someone else recognizes us for our hard work it is important. Clarity in defining task at hand and then communicating that mission in person. WOW! Should happen more often.

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    Robert Schei

    The importance of mission and vison statements in an organization should provide clarity and direction for staff to succeed. Without focus and clarity organizations can work hard and still not meet their objectives. I enjoyed this module and some of the quick insights provided.

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      Travis Linskens

      Robert,
      I agree with you comment. Having a mission statement without clarity truly takes away from its value.

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    I believe that a mission and vision statement is very important to the overall success of our agencies. However, if it is just words on paper, that is never explain or modeled by leaders, it isn't worth much. Some mission statements get too wordy and ambiguous as suggested in the lecture. Straightforward, plain English is best in my opinion.

    The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing public service that is beneficial to all members of the community through leadership, experience, and compassion.

    We strive to lead the way, via time-tested examples while always showing empathy to our customer base.

    The other thing I learned and believe is spot on was the discussion on overusing technology. Guilty. There should be a 3 email quota per day and then your email stops working. Communication breakdown happens every day because of written vs. spoken word.

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    Andy Opperman

    Mission statements can have great value but as the module states they mean different things to different people. I think one of the most important thinks a leader can do is have an understanding of what the mission means to the different divisions and officers within their department. For any leader this means boots on the ground. Meeting with your people can give clarity and even help modify the statement if necessary. It again comes down to setting expectations for employees. We all must be on the same page. If the front line and administration, see their mission and expectations differently the lack of clarity is going to create misunderstanding and morale issues.

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    Brad Strouf

    While most agencies have vision statements or mission statements or both, there is generally not enough work put into making the connection. The ambiguity of these statements can lead to confusion. This module provided some clarity on making these statements have meaning for all members of the team.

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      Marshall Carmouche

      Narrowing the flow of what is presented in the agency's vision by building clarity will help clear some of the ambiguity and confusion. I agree with you that the module provided ways to clear up some confusion. Supervisors first need to make sure they're understanding the mission of their agency to keep clear the mission.

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    The vision statement should be the ethos of your agency. This will provide the expectations that each employee knows they have to follow. It can also provide the expectations that the public can expect when being provided with the service from your agency,

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      Ronald Smith

      Troy
      Since when is logic understood to be necessary for police work? Don't we just blindly strap up and go out intending to do good in the world? You make a good point about setting expectations and using the vision statement along with the mission statement is a good starting point.

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    Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    The vision and mission statements within an organization need to be conveyed to all at the first line supervision level. When a new employee is hired they should be required to understand the vision and mission of an organization. As leaders I believe we need to be solution focused and if our agencies vision and mission statement is collecting dust on a wall then we should be developing an action plan to correct that deficiency. Positive change and understanding of an agencies mission and vision statements is imperative as it provides a clear path on what is expected.

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    Matthew Menard

    Having a clear mission or vision for your organization is not only a good PR decision, however it give employees a basis from which to work. If members of the organization don't fully understand what is expected of them and what the executive members of the agency what from them, it becomes very difficult to hold them to a high standard.

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    Gregory Hutchins

    Like the poor leadership comment of we must do more with less, the lesson's "ethic of more" illustrates the importance of creating value in getting the most out of our resources. Learning to lead with intention and destroying the carrot and stick approach is about changing behaviors.
    Behaviors that become a culture of minimalism, narrow and focused on the short-term, ruins an agency's ability to get ahead of its challenges. Understanding the themes behind establishing a true vision statement creates a mechanism to align our subordinates' diverse group. To unify their work for a single goal or mission needs a vision. Seldom do we set off on a trip without knowing where we want to go and why. Yet, we do this daily to execute one of the most treasured professions in the country.

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    Jarvis Mayfield

    Having a clear vision statement shows the employees the goals of the business as well as gives the expectations

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    Marshall Carmouche

    An agency having a vision (mission statement) is great. Having an organization collectively understand, practice and live the their vision is phenomenal! As leaders or potential leaders we bear part of the responsibility to assist in that understanding, practice and living the agency's vision. Making the vision of the agency part of our vision is vital.

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      Sergeant Michael Prachel

      Part of stepping up as leaders is to direct others in the right direction and remind them from time to time what we stand for. We need to understand completely our vision statement, what it means, and how we can use it to benefit the people we serve.

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    Ronald Smith

    Having a vision statement hanging on the walls seems like a way to communicate the vision of the department, but people do not read what is on the walls. Since clarity is the key to understanding, we need to ensure people don't just look at the mission and vision statements we want them to ask questions about their meaning. What they mean to the department and to the community we serve. Fluff pieces are hard to remember but vision statements clearly defined and well written are easy to follow.

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    Paul Brignac III

    I think that as with previous lessons, a "checks and balances" type of meeting is an optimal time to remind employees of the vision statement. I am not implying that all the members of the group recite the words. I believe that a supervisor or leader could simply remind the division in his or her own words.

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    Thomas Martin

    I think Doctor Long summed it up by saying vision, and mission plans are important, but how leadership carries them out is a complex operation. New staff members have exposure to their agencies mission and vision statements. They can base their future off the mission and vision statements, and the everyday actions and attitudes of their administrators. If we want to set them up for success, we must be mindful of our values as they design our actions.

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    Sergeant Michael Prachel

    Dr. Long argued that values drive commitment and clarity. We, as leaders, need to get people thinking of this often. This goes along with being on the same page and effective communication. Like everything else discussed in this course, communication is a key component of leadership. Expressing the values of the agency, whether it’s through a mission or vision statement, or through other means of communication, is crucial.

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      Scott Crawford

      As you said it seems the one common factor of this entire course is communication. I believe that is one area I need to improve on myself. It`s easy enough to say the words of the statement, but we have to communicate the meaning as well. If not it`s still just words.

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    Overall, I think that Dr. Larry Long provides an excellent roadmap showing us all how to be intentional with our vision in leadership. Every agency has mission and vision statements, but the staff do not clearly understand what it is supposed to mean. Although well intentioned, their version of the mission or vision may not be aligned with the leaders of the agency. What I see often is there is limited meaningful interaction between staff and senior leaders whereby understanding is clear throughout, and the mission and vision are in sync with the demands of the job. There is also usually too little communication when it comes to course correcting on the mission. Frequent contacts with staff are the key to ensure success at any mission.

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    Steve Mahoney

    I liked how Dr Long stressed in person communication. I remember back when I was first promoted. I was reviewing reports and I needed an officer to fix something in his report. I knew the office was in the officers room about 20 ft away from me. I got up to go walk and talk to him. The LT that was training me asked what I was doing. I said I needed to talk to the officer about his report. The LT said just send him an email about it. That blew me away. I did as I was told then but made a point to myself never to do that again in the future. I believe the face to face dialog would have helped the officer more and we both would understand where the other person was coming from

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      Darryl Richardson

      Steve, I agree that face-to-face communication is much more effective. By meeting and talking face-to-face, you gain so much more information just from someone’s body language. In addition, using email can sometimes leave things open for the readers interpretation.

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    Eric Sathers

    Too often, agencies create a vision and mission statement but fail to live up to those standards. Other than seeing it written in a policy manual, or possibly on a plaque on the wall, most officers never hear about it during their career. I think that if an agency is going to "live" their vision, they need to repeat it often and demonstrate it through action. This module was helpful in outlining several steps we can take to better align our employees with the vision, mission, and values of the organization. I am a big believer in creating a "connection culture" where everyone gets out of their office (or squad cars) to communicate, face-to-face with others often.

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    Sgt. Samantha Koscher

    Its important that an agencies mission and vision are clear and understood by everyone within the organization. Leaders should ensure they clearly explain expectations and how they relate to the over all mission. This is an area where I see room for improvement in our jail division of our agency. The only place you will find our jail mission/vision statements is in our policy manual. In the field training process, it is simply a check off on a sheet of paper that they have reviewed the jail mission/vision statement. There is no follow up to ensure the staff understand the mission or what their role is in carrying out that mission. This is something I want to focus on as a leader in our jail. Clarifying our mission and ensuring all understand their roles in carrying out the mission.

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      Kenneth Davis

      Samantha- This is an area of opportunity for me as well. Oftentimes I assume the collective within our agency understands the mission and vision...when we really have not discussed it at length. As our agency moves forward we will likely include some of this in our in-service blocks to assure alignment is taking place.

      Best and stay safe-

      Ken

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    Scott Crawford

    After watching the lecture, it made me reflect on mission statements. Many people know what their statement is, but do they know the meaning. If the upper management creates a statement but doesn`t explain the meaning of the words, then it`s just words. This message needs to be made part of the culture where the words and meaning are explained form the top to the bottom.

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    Travis Linskens

    Having a vision statement is essential to any agency but having employees understand the meaning universally is vital to its impact. Taking the time to revisit it once a year or more can help remind deputies/officers of its importance and value. I try to add a portion of it to any letter or recognition I write for my staff to help remind them that their action gives it meaning.

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      Buck Wilkins

      I agree that having employees understand the mission statement is important and what the impact of it is. If you do not honor your mission statement then you are not honoring your community.

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        Derek Champagne

        You are right, you have to have the buy-in to give the community what you say you will do in your statement.

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    Buck Wilkins

    All agencies have mission statements but do they live up to their mission statements? Ours is "Courteous, Professional, Responsive" which we are all taught to be courteous to everyone, act professional at all times and be responsive to everyone you come into contact with.

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    I think the idea of making the agency vision clear is most important. Often, vision statements are simply word soup with ambiguity written all over it. I know they must have some intentional vagueness to them about how things are delivered, but they should not be ambiguous. It drives me crazy when you see mission statements with things like "Syngergy through unprecedented delivery". There is no point to it and it does not provide a clear path to those within the agency.

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    Brent Olson

    I was able to find many ways I could apply the intentional leadership opportunities identified in this lesson. Executive staff shoulders a good majority of the responsibility to make sure the vision is understood, in addition to the values and the mission or the organization. They should utilize face-to-face meetings or two-way communication. It is imperative they provide an opportunity for the receiver of the message to understand what is being asked of them, and for the receiver to be able to ask questions for clarification. Executive staff should have frequent top-down conversations about responsibilities and delivery of the vision. This is imperative in this instance, but also has a whole concept. In my organization, I have many times heard officers talk about wanting to have interaction with the executive staff. When executive staff have visited shift briefing for any reason, officers have frequently engaged them in conversation about various issues that are important to them and the organization. The impact of this type of communication / interaction is far-reaching and should never be overlooked.

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      Kevin Balser

      It is very important for the executive staff and the upper management to engage in conversations regularly with the individual teams in order to effectively communicate their vision. They will also receive much-needed feedback from these teams and will have a better understanding if the communication is working top-down.

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    Derek Champagne

    The vision statement of my Agency is “We will do whatever it takes to properly serve the public;” usually shortened to “Whatever it Takes…” This statement is echoed by everyone and the employees at our Agency display it. This statement doesn’t lock you into one goal, but a general reminder that anything is possible and you should do everything you can to “PROPERLY” serve the public

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      Ronald Springer

      Derek,
      That’s nice that the vision statement is that short concise and easily applied. Ours is a little more stretched out than that and although it sounds great and is a great goal to work towards it is not as easy to apply as “Whatever it Takes.” But we do have Protection, Justice, and Service as our core values and that is emblazoned everywhere we can post it. It is on our units, our webpage and on the walls of all of our buildings. So we are still daily reminded of at least what we should always be offering our citizens in all of our actions. Which is what the vision is supposed to do.

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    Jay Callaghan

    Communication is critical. As LEO's we all know what true exigency looks like; barring those times, take the time to communicate up and down your chain of command to include line-level officers about pending changes, mission adjustments or input about said changes and adjustments. Taking the time to chat about the current state of affairs will go a long way in ensuring officers and command staff are clear on the mission, vision and values of your agency.

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      Burt Hazeltine

      I agree, and a lot of upper management do not want to take the time to make sure everything is communicated effectively. If they would make themselves more available, especially for face-to-face communication, I think a lot of messages could be delivered more clearly.

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      Andrew Peyton

      Jay I agree with the importance of communication up and down the chain of command. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that often this communication is lost the higher up the chain something goes. These leaders need to remember the personal connections they need to create. Sometimes having that communication is better than sending the message down the chain for someone else to deliver

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    Ronald Springer

    I enjoyed the focus Dr. Long put on making face to face meeting and connections. I feel a lot is lost when communications are all done through email. I think that true communication and motivation can only be delivered in person and if you want a vision, values, and mission statements to be properly understood and then disseminated they must be presented in person.
    Long, L. (2017). Making vision statement intentional. Module 12, Weeks 5 & 6. National Command and Staff College.

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      Robert Vinson

      Great point, I agree that this is very important and often overlooked. Like Erik Therwanger pointed out in previous modules, getting off site and building personal connections is imperative.

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      Chris Crawford

      Agreed. It seems to have gotten so easy to quickly send an email, all of the humanity has been lost sometimes.

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    Kaiana Knight

    I like how Dr. Long explained ambiguity in the workplace and the lack of clarity of defining a task at hand. Often times employees lack understanding of what's being asked of them, and they are too afraid to let us know that they do not understand. In order for a team to be successful, a leader need to make sure that everyone understands the goals, the mission, and the tasks. I agree that the lack of clarity hinders top priorities which results in people running in all directions and not being on the same page. Leaders must provide clarity and have relationships with their team.

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    Kenneth Davis

    An agency’s mission is important to convey- to both the public and the members of the organization. Further, these statements must be clear and concise (Long, 2021). In keeping with this practice, agencies can expect more buy-in from their members and the public. Follow-up from executive level leadership must also be the order of the day to ensure the alignment of mission and tactical practices. The output or performance of the agency members should match the vision and mission of the agency holistically.

    References

    Long, L. (2021). Making vision statements intentional. Module # 12, Week # 5. National Command and Staff College.

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    Robert Vinson

    I know I am guilty of not defining my vision statement specifically enough, and not adequately conveying it to team members. Obviously this can discuss in the discussed ambiguity in the work place. This module has given me a lot to consider and a direction to take to make improvements.

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    Chris Crawford

    When Dr. Long spoke of the importance of staying connected to the subordinates on a face to face level I couldn't help but feel a bit guilty. I have found myself sending an email to someone, knowing that the information or issue should be addressed in person.

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      I felt the same way Chris, we've become so accustom to sending emails; that we forget about how impactful and direct an in person visit is. Sending emails are easy and can be misunderstood. We as leaders have to make time to still interact with our subordinates.

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    Kevin Balser

    Everyone in the organization has to be on the same page for the vision to be clear. I find that sending directives in an email to the team works best because the information in the correspondence is direct, clear and everyone understands and receives the information at one time. I have found that it is very difficult to get everyone in a room together or meeting separately in small groups due to ever-changing shift work. I will always follow up with in-person meetings with front-line supervisors to find out if there has been any feedback on that particular directive. All levels must be clear in understanding any information that is received from upper management for the overall success of the organization.

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    Burt Hazeltine

    The need for communication is paramount. We need to make sure we are effectively communicating the mission and vision of our department and our unit. Electronic communication loses a lot of meaning. Many messages need that personal contact to be delivered. Voice inflexion and tone conveys so much more message than just the words. So often we rely on emails to convey a message that needs to be delivered in person.

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      Jose Alvarenga

      This is very true. This is probably on e of the negatives of having amazing technology. now with zoom even meetings can be replaced, but you are correct it can never replace the impact which personal contact can have

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    Darryl Richardson

    While it is important, every Agency have a vision and mission statement. It is also just as important that everyone within the Agency knows what they are and understand them. In order to do that you need to have good communication. Effective communication comes in face-to-face meetings. I believe that some value gets lost with communication is only done through emails

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    Andrew Peyton

    Effective communication is a leadership trait that is touched on in just about every module we have reviewed. This skill is important to the overall health of the agency and the employees. As leaders, we must remember the importance of face-to-face communication and not get caught up with the availability of technology.

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      David Mascaro

      I agree Andrew. Effective communication is most effective when performed face-to-face, that way you can ensure the message is received accurately and on time.

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    The motto for my agency is "Whatever it takes to properly serve the public." The motto is believed and followed by the employees within my agency. The upper brass believes in it and demonstrates it to the fullest. The motto is so broad to the fact; it leaves it up to the team member to utilize their ability and tools to serve and protect our community. As everything else they give us the opportunity to be ourselves and be the best that we can be.

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      Sounds like a good motto. It allows staff to apply it differently based on the personality of the public member they are with. Some people only respond to direct, authoritarian commands or speech. Others will need to be a bit more babied. Either response would be "proper" if it accurately reflects the person with whom you are communicating.

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      Jacqueline Dahms

      I love the simplicity of this motto. It's easy to communicate, easy to interpret and easy to remember. Our motto is so complex and wordy I find it difficult to communicate. It complicates and compromises the clarity of our purpose.

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    Jose Alvarenga

    The mission statement can be interpreted differently by individuals in the agency. Good communication is essential to have a agency wide understanding of the mission statement. It is also important to no forget the human contact you your personnel. getting caught up in technology does not replace the power of personal human contact.

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    David Mascaro

    This module is again about effective communication in the form of your agency's mission and vision statement. It's not about just having the nice words poetically posted, it's about ensuring that everyone grasps the idea and fully understands. This happens through effective, two-way communication and realistic feedback.

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      Jeff Byrne

      I would agree, David. Effective communication and feedback are crucial in making sure everyone has a full understanding of the mission and vision and how to get there successfully.

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    Jeff Byrne

    This lecture certainly reinforced that effective communication is critical in making sure there is clarity so everyone can be properly aligned moving forward in achieving the mission and vision. Ensuring there is no ambiguous directives, tasks, etc. is also a key part in clarity of the communication.

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    This lesson focused on successfully communicating the vision rather than how to create an intentional vision. Sadly, I could see his points clearly as a result of our recent Strategic Planning. The meetings went well, but now that we are a year past the final meetings, the message has been muddied and buried. For awhile the shared folder was empty. Fortunately, it now includes the strategic plan. Yet, we do tend to see ambiguity and a lack of intentionality as we get busy and new programs need addressed. This topic was a good reminder about the role I can play with my staff on meeting our goals and displaying our vision, mission, and core values.

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      Jared Paul

      I agree Brian. This made me think whether or not our officers know the vision and mission statements we created. I don't think we have been successful in communicating and really instilling in our officers these statements.

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    Zach Roberts

    I had a great leader ask me one time to state my organization's mission statement verbatim to him. I couldn't even remember the first sentence. He did this to show me and my command staff on how important it is to have a mission statement that everyone knows and they see being carried out by the leaders of the organization. Your mission statement needs to be the core values of which you operate on. This needs to be carried out from the top down.

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    Jacqueline Dahms

    I believe it is crucial for agencies to provide clarity to the mission and vision. I feel our agency has been bombarded with so many changes in supervisors, commands, procedures that staff are barely keeping up with the tasks that they have to complete. As much as I want to have the connection and clarity I feel it's a constant game of catch up to keep up. I really like the idea of having one on one meetings which is something I started doing with my FTO's and new hires on a weekly basis. I would like to implement team meetings more often for connection as well. I think the biggest impact is being available and visible for our staff to connect with us, and more importantly be approachable is key to starting to providing clarity and reconnection to our purpose.

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    Jared Paul

    This made me think a lot of my department's vision statement. It was created during our strategic planning meetings during 2019. We (supervisor staff) were really pumped to instill our vision, mission and values that we created to our officers. However, the steam seemed to die down shortly after we implemented the plan. This module had me questioning if the members on my crew even know what our vision statement is. That tells me that I need to definitely step it up in communicating the importance of our vision and really getting the buy-in of my officers.

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      Donald Vigil

      You are not alone Jared. While my department does a great job of driving home our mission statement, we definitely have dropped the ball when it comes to our vision statement.

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      Andrew Ashton

      Jared you are correct. Understanding the agencies vision sometimes requires that we address it often with our people to promote a feeling of recency with them. I was recently at one of our local municipalities and in there briefing room where the held role call they had the Mission and Vision statements clearly written largely on one of the walls. This is brilliant as it was catchy and each officer was expected to be in that space for briefings regardless.

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    Donald Vigil

    I thought this module really drove home the importance of having mission and vision statements and more importantly, clarity in their understanding throughout the agency. While I'm confident that most employees in my agency can recite our mission statement, I'm not so sure that many can recite the vision statement. Prior to this module I could also be classified in the ladder. I had to dig around for it but eventually found it. Obviously, this is something that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

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    Andrew Ashton

    It is of the utmost importance that all hands not only understand the vision and mission of their agency but to also be good stewards of it as well. How it is passed down the line will directly effect the buy in result from those further down within the command. We all not only need to be on the same page when in regards to vision but must also project that to the community and those we serve as well. There should be no doubt about command solidarity because that will only lead to distrust.