Command and Staff Program

Military Leadership

Replies
270
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

    Although all of the topics are important i believe that the most important is that all of your officers must understand the mission. far too many times the chief will give his mission to the his upper command and by the time it gets to the individual officers it has either changed or information has been left out on what is expected to accomplish the mission. It is the duty of all leaders to confirm the mission to make sure everyone is on the same page.

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      Frank Acuna

      Monte,

      I agree when a mission is given, those carrying out the mission must all be on the same page and communicate the mission in the same manner. This will ensure the mission is understood by all those who are tasked with carrying it out.

      Frank

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        Drauzin Kinler

        Frank, I agree and would add that if we want the mission to be successful, then it should be included in a written document so that it does change or get misinterpreted along the way. Communicate the mission verbally and then provide a written document so that the person receiving the communication does not interpret it to mean something different.

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        Jennifer Hodgman

        I agree with your comment Frank. The understanding of a mission ensures that everyone is on reading the same music and knows what the expectations and limitations of the team are.

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        Jarvis Mayfield

        So true. I find sometimes if the message is watered down and the mission fails. It is very important to give the message as clear as it was presented to you.

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      Joey Prevost

      While I agree that understanding the mission is important, I would say that trust would have to take precedence. If the followers do not trust the leader, the mission will likely fail.

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        Brian Johnson

        Joey, I think we all agree with you. In order to be an effective leader, the foundation must be built on trust. Without that trust, nothing else matters. You will be ineffective and you will be a positional supervisor that gets things done by giving orders - that is not leadership. Brian

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          chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

          I totally agree, because it's like if your guys don't trust you, your shift will become divided. I like to think of it as that my guys should be willing to follow me through any fire if I maintain my trust and loyalty to them. I agree also that we can't just give out orders, we have to set the tone and morale.

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        Lt. Mark Lyons

        While I agree that trust is one of the the most important quality's of a good leader. I would also say that competence is just as important. If a leader is not competent, then trust is no longer a factor. It would be difficult to trust a leader who is incompetent. Or, vice versa, I may trust the person, but if they are incompetent, the mission will most likely fail.

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          Paul Brignac III

          I feel the same. It's nearly impossible for me to follow someone that I do not believe to be able, or having ever been able, to perform the task that they ask of others. I agree that trust is very important, but a trustworthy person may still be incompetent.

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        I agree with Joey as well. Trust is essential to true leadership. I think the other strengths listed by Colonel Levin will have an impact on trust and therefore if you plan to achieve the most trust from your team, you should have a firm understanding or ability in all.

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        Nicole Oakes

        Joey,

        That is exactly what I was thinking as I was reading the comments. You can put all the plans together, have everyone sign the peace of paper, but when it is go time if there is no trust then the mission will not be carried through.

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      Nancy Franklin

      Monte,

      I agree that personnel must understand the mission of the organization. Failing to do so results in personnel missing the mark in their performance objectives, as well as the agency missing it's mark in achieving effective results int he community. It is the responsibility of leaders to be clear in stating the mission and objectives, as well as ensuring the message is received in the manner intended.

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      Eduardo Palomares

      Monte,

      I have seen this happen multiple times. One thing I have learned over the last few months is to verify and ensure the mission is clear and simple to understand. Sometimes information gets lost in translation and once the message arrives to the line officer, it is missing key information. We have to make sure as leaders to check with our troops to verify if they understood. Follow-up might be needed to clearly accomplish this. It is extremely important to make sure everyone in the organization is on the same page for mission success.

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      I completely agree that all leaders need to be on the same and relay appropriate information in a timely manner. Delaying any sort of information, including missions can create a lot of additional problems. One of the biggest issues my agency has from time to time, is employees hearing information from others that aren't in a leadership role and it mostly comes through the rumor mill. Employees should be able to count on their leaders to make sure all appropriate information gets to them all, and not just select people.

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    Frank Acuna

    There are many military command essentials that translate to law enforcement. Earning trust, exceeding expectations of the people you lead, possessing technical competencies, communication skills, and understanding the mission are all important within our public safety agencies. Trust is earned, not given when you attain a position in leadership. Possessing strong communication skills and developing these skills can help improve the trust you earn from your team, your peers and supervisors. You should always seek to exceed the expectations of those you lead, then you will at least meet the expectations of those who lead you. Possessing technical competencies is typically a prerequisite for attaining a leadership role, but some leaders are more proficient ant competent than others. It is important to identify your deficiencies, work to improve on them because you cannot bluff your way past a critical incident. Lastly, you must understand the mission and pursue excellence in achieving the mission, knowing your role and how you can lead others to achieve the mission goals.

    Frank

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    Mike Brown

    Listening to LTC Dennis Levin one of the things that stuck with me was if you are communication with your officers or staff you must be sure that they are understanding what is being said. As you stated about the military manual, if your officers can't understand what is written due to their educational or environmental background you need to alter the materiel or how it is being presented.

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      Dan Wolff

      Mike Brown,
      As a military retiree, I was sent Temporary Duty many times to assist in writing technical data for maintenance procedures. In the Air Force our goal was to write these manuals at the 8th grade level. This way there was no intellectual or communication barrier in what needed to be understood. You are exactly correct in communication is key to get your point across.
      Dan

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        Jarod Primicerio

        I am also in agreement and believe the communication failures consistently jeopardize are success. Too many leaders don't realize just how important communication is.

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      ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

      Absolutely, I know sometimes I have something in my head I'm trying to get across but can't always find the best way to explain it. If I can't explain it clearly they sure can't understand it clearly.

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      Samantha Reps

      I agree, face to face communication is the best way to get your point across and making sure that everyone you are talking you has full understanding of the task is a must.

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      Justin Payer

      Mike, that point also stuck with me. Sometimes we forget that people are not as familiar with a topic as we are and we speak in a way they don't really understand. They may even be embarrassed to get clarification. It is very important we speak in a way that our audience can understand.

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      Stan Felts

      Absolutely. Failure to communicate the mission in an understood way will end up with a changed mission.

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    Joey Prevost

    I learned from this module that a leader has to have courage, candor,competence and commitment. Trust starts at the top and filters down and to be a good leader, we must be a good follower. If we exceed the expectations of our followers, they will do the same for us. Also of importance is understanding the mission and the commander's intent. If this is not present, thing can and will change and we will not be prepared for it.

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    Brian Johnson

    As effective leaders, LTC Levin discusses several important attributes and virtues that are important for every leader to be successful. Leadership starts with trust up and down the chain of command and it is earned. Moreover, if you do not understand your mission, how can you successfully lead your people? Helping your people grow and develop personally and professionally will help build confidence so they can exceed expectations. You must be competent and have the experience so you can teach your personnel to effectively do their job is critical, as well. The ability to actively listen and effectively communicate so your personnel have a clear understanding of the mission, how we are going to accomplish the mission, and what successful outcomes we are looking makes you a visionary and effective leader. I have found that the easiest way to keep officers focused on the missions is make it very simple, i.e., focus on crime prevention strategies; have a traffic safety plan; and, engage in specific activity that will address quality of life issues. Simplifying our core mission down to these three important public safety makes it easy for officers to understand and come up with specific strategies to address our mission.

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    Drauzin Kinler

    One of the most important aspects that we fail to consider as leaders are making sure that everyone understands the mission. I can say that all too often, we assume that our personnel automatically know what the mission is and how to get it done because they been through training. There are many different aspects of this profession, and not all are taught when personnel goes through the academy or FTO program. This is merely just a small part of the experience they will need along the way to be successful. As leaders, we need to adequately prepare and support our personnel by repeatedly communicating our mission. The missions are continually being changed, and everyone needs to be informed and reassured that we are focused on the same goals.

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    Jason Porter

    The Lt. Col. touched on some very important traits of a good leader. They are all necessary in order to be a good leader. Without trust though, it would be very difficult to get someone to follow you. If I don't trust someone then I don't see them as a capable leader or person for that matter. If I trust someone I will follow them anywhere, trust is something that you work your whole life to gain and a lot of effort goes in to gaining trust from others.

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      Judith Estorge

      Jason,

      I'm in agreement with you. Trust is the foundation to all leadership and without it a supervisor is doomed.

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      David Ehrmann

      I couldn’t agree more. Everything starts with trust. As leaders, we must trust the people above us and know they have our best interests in mind. We also need to develop trust from our followers so that they know we have their best interests in mind.

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    Dan Wolff

    Trust amongst your subordinates, peers and your supervision are paramount when leading. Like Lt. Col Levin stated that trust is earned over time but can lost quickly. Lead by example and exceed expectations in everything you do. Others see you going above and beyond they may emulate what your doing. Communication is key, using language that all can understand is very important so there is no intellectual barrier so the message can be understood

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    Chasity Arwood

    I believe that communication is most important because without it, the goal of the agency can not be reached. An effective leader must communicate properly throughout the ranks not just to command staff.

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      Brian Lewis

      I agree communication is vital, but I rank trust above communication. If your subordinates don't trust what you're saying, they won't hear you.

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    Judith Estorge

    This was a useful module in reminding us the importance of trust. I've heard it before, "trust is difficult and time consuming to develop but quickly lost" and this was beneficial to hearing it again. If a leader loses trust and is a supervisor within his agency he has jeopardized his ability to lead.

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      Laurie Mecum

      Judith, I agree...without trust you can't be a leader, therefore, it won't matter if you can communicate, no one will listen.

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      Lance Leblanc

      I agree Judith, trust is sometimes hard to develop but is quickly lost. We both know leaders in our agency who had the trust of his people but soon lost it because of lack of competence.

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    Jarod Primicerio

    This module has many good reminders and takeaways for law enforcement leaders. The four important elements leaders must possess discussed translate perfectly in policing, yet are often absent in management. Courage, candor, competence, and commitment need to be constantly in the forefront as we lead. Lt. Col. Levin five areas are also crucial. I believe communication is key and without, everything else will fail.

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      Clint Patterson

      Jarod, you are right. I think that communication is vital in management as well. If we can’t communicate effectively, then how can you establish the other four areas.

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    Nancy Franklin

    This module focused on several key points for ensuring effective leadership that are applicable in law enforcement. Each of the topics: trust, exceeding expectations, technical competencies, communication, and understanding the mission are all important for a leader to be effective. I think the most important is communication. When we look at mission failures there is always some component that has to do with a failure to communicate. The manner in which we communicate and the messages we communicate can built trust, show our willingness to exceed expectations, demonstrate we have technical competency, and is critical in ensuring the mission is understood.

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    Clint Patterson

    I was never in the military; however, this module is easily transferable to law enforcement. The section on communication is always a vital role in anything we do in life. Just like the example Lt. Col. Levin gave about the military recruitment brochures and learning manual being written on a tenth-grade level education when they were changed to a fourth-grade education level, they began to see a higher enlistment. In law enforcement, specialized divisions have a certain level of communication that can be hard for others to identify with, and we must consider that when we work jointly on tasks.

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    Laurie Mecum

    Lt.Col Levin brought up some good lessons regarding trust, exceeding expectations, communication, technical competencies and understanding the mission. They are all valid lessons. Trust is important because without it, you’re not a leader. However, I can see where understanding the mission is important as well. All too often not everyone is on the same page about what is expected of them or what is going on. That is also part of communication, or lack of.

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      Christian Johnson

      I agree, Laurie.

      Understanding the mission is vital.

      I believe it is equally vital to communicate it properly, then follow-up to ensure it was understood and is being acted on correctly.

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    Brian Lewis

    Lt. Col. Levin was spot on when he said that trust is developed from the top down. When you have leadership that is not trustworthy, you'll see a department strife with internal problems. Lack of respect, professional decorum, and unethical conduct.

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    Lance Leblanc

    One thing that resonated with me was when the general was asked about who he felt was the greatest leader. I expected him to answer George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, not Jesus. Regardless of your religious beliefs, he is right. I never looked at it this way, but Jesus used twelve disciples that he empowered and motivated to spread his word. Two thousand years later the words Jesus spoke are still used to motivate and empower.

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    David Cupit

    This was a good module the information learned from the generals is very valuable. Its important to learn from experienced leaders.

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    Rocco Dominic, III

    As a leader it is important to have the trust of those you lead. This is gained by allowing input from your team. Effectively communicate your intent on what you expect from them.

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      McKinney

      The people you serve must have your trust. I also agree that allowing your team to have input in decisions that affect them is also a necessity in forging relationships.

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    David Ehrmann

    This module, like a few others, brought me back to my time in the military. Law enforcement leadership is not that dissimilar than that of military leadership. One concept we see in both law enforcement and military leadership is taking care of your people. In the military, it is called troop welfare. If you take care of your troops in all aspects such as providing them with the resources they need, thinking of them first, etc.… moral will stay up, and they will accomplish whatever mission is presented to them.

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      Roanne Sampson

      David, I was never in the military, but I must agree that it is important to take care of your people.

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    Christian Johnson

    Leadership in the military and in law enforcement share many similarities.

    The need for a leader to have courage, candor, competence, and commitment is prevalent in both professions.

    As has been the case numerous times over the past several weeks, the importance of trust is conveyed in this module.

    I agree completely that trust begins at the top and is a two-way road. You must trust your personnel and they must trust you if you are going to truly succeed.

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      Brent Olson

      Christian,

      Agreed! Trust is essential and it must begin at the top. I have witnessed firsthand what happens when the organization doesn't have trust and faith in their leader. The negative effects and toxicity that result is hard to fix and later overcome.

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    Amanda Pertuis

    This module showed similarity in the leadership for the military and law enforcement. I agree with the command essentials, command concepts, and the important human values.

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    Roanne Sampson

    Military leadership is similar to law enforcement. Communication is a big part of law enforcement as well. Military leaders must possess courage, candor, competence and commitment. I liked the fact that General Nesbitt worked hand in hand with his soldiers. All leaders must know their mission as well.

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      Donnie

      Having come from both I would certainly agree with you. Law enforcement is a paramilitary organization with similar leadership traits and values. Law enforcement is more sensitive to the people they “serve” rather than the people the military “defends”. I would say the concern is different in execution of leadership styles. To me, policing is far more technical and visible for the desired end result.

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      dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree Roanne and as I have written about in several essays thus far, communication in law enforcement to me is the key to success.

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    Lance Landry

    I liked the reinforcement of the four important human values of courage, candor, competence, and commitment. Lt. Col. Levin’s five lessons were equally as important. I believe we all have risen in the ranks because we were competent and trustworthy, exceeded expectations with an understanding of the mission. The fifth lesson, communication, is where I most need improvement.

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    Donnie

    I think what I liked most about this module is the interview with General Nesbit. I found his comparison of the Army Values to Jesus’ teachings and actions fascinating. If you think about it, Christ changed the entire world by leading just a handful of people. His teachings are still taught today and whether you believe in him or not, his values are in line with true leadership. I know not everyone agrees with this but you would have to look beyond political correctness to grasp what General Nesbit was saying.

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      cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

      I liked General Nesbit the best. I have never heard anyone confess that Jesus Christ is the best leader. If you look at his teachings he is exactly right in his assertion. His leadership has guided many people's paths in life.

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    Burke

    The General Nesbit choice of a great leader was profound. I wholeheartedly agree with him on the subject. Trust, Competence, and commitment are very important traits needed for good leaders in law enforcement.

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      jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      I couldn't agree with you more about the choice of Jesus Christ as being a great leader. That was awesome of him to discuss Jesus' example of leadership. Even if your aren't a christian person, there are several lessons in leadership to be learned by following his example.

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    McKinney

    This block of instruction covered trust, exceeding expectations, technical competencies, communication, and understanding the mission were all-important for a leader to possess. Based on my thoughts, coupled with the essay question, the most important trait, especially for a leader, is “Trust.” Lt. Col. Levin mentioned that “Trust” is developed from the top and back down. I believe that we must be honest with our decisions and be transparent with our team members so they'll know the right path to take when they're presented with a challenge.

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      Royce Starring

      I agree trust is important. He stated that if your leaders trust you- you can do thing with more latitude and more confidence.

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    jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    In this module of instruction, I particularly enjoyed Lt. Col. Levins' discussion on trust. I liked how he incorporated that trust is to be shown to the people you, as well as the people who lead you. This trust must be earned and developed over a long period of time. Trust translates into loyalty and even know both take time to develop, they can be lost in an instant with one dishonest or selfish act. Like Lt. Col Levin said, I have always viewed trust as my own leadership currency.

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      I agree that trust is a cruicial ingredient for any leader. It is the one character trait that can be destroyed easily but is almost never repaired. Trust is the foundation to loyalty and integrity.

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    Lieutenant John Champagne

    Military leadership and Law enforcement leadership are similar. I feel trust is the foundation of good leadership, and without it, all you have is rank.

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    Military Leadership is often the basis of many of our leadership idiologies. Militaries have been dependent on strong leadership for hundreds of years. It is important to realize what strategies and qualities translate to our needs in law enforcement. There are key differences and that is why understanding the mission is vitally important. Being technically competent is also important for a leader to connect with his team.

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      Major Stacy Fortenberry

      It was interesting to hear the perspective that the general named Jesus as the worlds all time best leader and related it back to being a serving leader.

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        guttuso_fa@jpso.com

        I found that interesting also. But when you think about Jesus as a leader, what other leader has left the impact that he has? Even if you are not a Christian, his impact is prevalent still today after all these years.

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    cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    Leadership and understanding the mission are two important parts of success. I have experienced leaders who have ordered missions without clearly defining how the mission or task was to be accomplished. Lt. Col. Levins is right, If you are not technically competent your people will know immediately. If you can’t communicate the plan you will never be a good leader.

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    mtroscla@tulane.edu

    I found the bit about always exceeding expectations to be the most enlightening. The Colonels anecdote that going above and beyond for your men will have them serve with out question was particularly interesting.

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    Major Stacy Fortenberry

    General Nesbitt's advise from his dad was listen to your NCOs because they have the experience that you lack can also translate to law enforcement. I interpret this for me to Realize that you don't know everything and are not the smartest in the room. Check your ego.

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      michael-beck@lpso.net

      Some of the best advice I have ever received was from those who were of lower rank than me but shared my vision. Sometimes they have the ability to keep you grounded when you have lofty expectations but also know that the mission is of the utmost importance. Having that different perspective almost always leads to success.

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      Chris Corbin

      Stacy, I couldn't agree more. I have found that when you put a question before the right group of people, as opposed to just trying to answer it yourself, the best answer will be found. In other words, none of us is as smart as all of us.

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    michael-beck@lpso.net

    LTC. Levin made a really good point when speaking about technical competence which leads to trust. His example in the Band of Brothers series was on point. You can have the rank and all the training and the certificates you want but if you do not know how to practically apply that information with real world experience, it’s all for naught. If your followers cannot trust that you will lead them well due to your expertise on a matter, then almost everything is lost. You cannot fake or talk yourself out of a situation where a true leader is needed.

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    chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    In learning area 4, module 1, learning the different lessons in military leadership was good. Which I believe that a leader in the military must be strong, honorable and committed to their troops. I also believe that one of the importance is trust, because without trust you will not be able to get things accomplished. Trust goes a long way within any organization.

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    ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    Communication is very important. There are no two people the same and they can't read each others minds. Everyone in the organization must be able to communicate clearly up and down the chain of command.

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      dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

      This is correct. Without communication, the mission fails. Without trust, any communication can be scrutinized and the mission still fails.

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    Royce Starring

    All of topics are important. The one that I found most interesting but never thought if in that way was communication.
    He stated that the one to the short falls of communication is education. When you have different educational levels it makes communication a little difficult. Imagine someone with a PhD communication with some with a GED.

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      Eric Sathers

      This is definitely true. I hadn't really considered this before, but considering education levels, writing/reading levels is important to facilitate team communication.

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    dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    Trust keeps coming up in several of these modules and I firmly believe that it is at the epicenter of any agency and officer credibility. Of course being competent is your ability makes someone appear credible, but have they opened their mouth yet?

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      Lt. Marlon J Shuff

      Darren, you are absolutely correct. You can't build a house without a solid foundation, strong walls, and roof. Things like the color of paint and furniture won't mean a thing when the house collapses.

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    dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    I think we sometimes take for granted that our subordinates understand specific missions and they don't. I think we as supervisors should take the time to make sure that each person understands the specific mission, as this profession is constantly changing and evolving. I also agree with all of the character traits that were spoken about, and truth and communication still ranks towards the top for me.

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      blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree, I think that there are all important, but truth and communication is vital for law enforcement. Both these characteristics need to be instilled in all of the police officers and supervisors.

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      Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      Without first having developed trust I believe your attempts at communicating the mission at hand risk being lost.

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    blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    I believe that trust and integrity are the foundation of a police officer. A person must have these characteristics to serve the department and community. If an agency cannot trust an officer to make the right decision or to do the right thing, that person can cause the department to lose the trust of the community. The community losing trust in the department is something that will take a lot of time to rebuild and establish. This why a strict and thorough hiring process needs to be implemented. The departments need to try and eliminate the risk as much as possible, of hiring someone without these characteristics.

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      dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree with you, Beau. I think trust is one of the most important lessons taught by Col. Levin. Communication is vital, but without trust, no one will believe what you are saying.

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      Kyle Turner

      I agree. As we have seen, failures in maintaining community trust has led to significant issues in society. Often a few bad officers cause these trust issues and identifying them early, or even prior to hiring, is vital.

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    guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    If the people under your command do not have your trust then you will fail as a leader. You may be able to get by in your position by title alone, but you not be considered a true leader. I have found that you must be clear in your communications with those under your command. I have failed to do this from time to time and suffered the consequences. I sometimes take for granted that those under my command will understand the gist of the instructions I have given. Only to learn that when you are not clear and concise in your intent and instructions it lend to individual interpretation of those instructions.

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      steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

      Communication is such the tricky aspect of this lesson. So many time we can believe the message was clear and the recipient understands when that is not the truth.

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    cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    I feel as though communication is the most import lesson covered in this module. Without communication a mission cannot be accomplished, a team cannot be developed, and you cannot properly supervise.

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      anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree, in law enforcement, we communicate over 90% of the time. In making decisions all communication must be effective.

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      sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

      I like how in the military their men and women are thought of the as the leaders weapon, where as in LE our men and women are our team to get things done. Good analogy.

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      dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree, communication is the most important lesson. if you can not communicate the other 4 lesson will not matter.

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    I chose the exceeding expectations, however as they are all important. I feel that Communications piece is just as important as how employees see and handle issues. Looking as a whole, if we fail to communicate the right message, then we can jeopardize the mission as a whole.

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    dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    I found this module very interesting. The similarities between the military and law enforcement are uncanny. I believe trust is the most important lesson taught by Col. Levin. I feel that without trust, you can not build upon the other lessons presented.

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    anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    Trust is always essential in Law Enforcement. If there is no trust this can cause issues between workers and make it hard to accomplish any task.

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      wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

      I agree trust is what your subordinates have to feel from you, the leader and transfer that trust primarily into loyalty.

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    Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    The leadership traits are generally the same between the law enforcement spectrum and in the military. The need to have trust is evident in all and being able to effectively communicate cannot happen if the communicator is not trusted. I do believe without trust it is next to impossible to truly develop and of the other levels.

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      cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      Lt. Jenkins, I agree that trust is paramount in the leader-follower relationship at all levels (individual, organizational, and between the organization and the community). Trust is the first building block in the foundation for success.

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      Adam Gonzalez

      Like you Lt., the leadership traits between the two are certainly fairly parallel, generally speaking. I do appreciate the differences between the two and as we move more forward into the future, I believe that we will see a further divide, which may not be a bad thing. Regardless, the need to have trust is certainly more needed now in law enforcement and with our communities than before. The same is also true for those among our own ranks!

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    steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    Trust is the most important factor to become a true leader. This lesson taught that it is not just about your followers trusting you, but your leaders or supervisors also. When your leaders trust you they will provide you with rewarding assignments. It is nice to know that you are someone your supervisors feel they can go to when they need a mission accomplished. This trust also reflects to your followers as a confirmation of why they may want to trust you.

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    cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    Lt. Col. Levin illustrated to us that Leadership, whether in Law Enforcement, the Military, and other domains are all built on the same values, beliefs, and principles: trust, effective communication, teamwork, leading by example, competency, and clarity of shared vision and mission to foster understanding.

    Trust and communication seem to be at the cornerstone of leadership in all realms as well. While it takes much time and effort to develop trust, it can be quickly lost. Effective communication is vital to understanding the vision, mission and direction we need to run in. Trust and effective communication are paramount to the leader-follower relationship between individuals within the organization, the organization as a whole, and between the organization and the community we serve.

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      mmoscona@floodauthority.org

      I agree. Trust and communication are the most important principle that a leader must have.

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    In this module, I was reminded of the similarities between police and military leadership. The topics that were discussed in this module were the same topic that have been reiterated in the past modules. Lt. Col. Levin spoke about trust, exceeding expectations, technical competencies, communication, and understanding the mission, which are all important in any leadership role.

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    Henry Dominguez

    It appears to me that trust is the foundation of what the topics are built on. Without trust everything else fails. As explained on the module, trust starts from the top and works its way down throughout the organization. Trust is the primary currency in leadership.

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    mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    This module reiterates some of the same principles we have learned throughout this course. Those of us that served in the military know the parallels between the military and police organizations. It's interesting though how the concepts of leadership run through every type of organization from military, to law enforcement, to corporate, and communities. It seems to always come down to trust and communication. Trust is built by communication. If a leader can't communicated then he/ she won't be trusted and if a leader isn't trusted then their communication won't be believed.

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    sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    No matter the organization trust and leadership are a reoccurring theme. if your people under your leadership don't trust your're
    guaranteed to fail at whatever mission you have been given. I liked the story from the final speaker, when he showed to his men, gave them his tarp and cooked them a meal and coffee. He sacrificed and earned this men's trust in an hellish environment.

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    There are several parallels between the military and law enforcement services. Many years ago we were called a paramilitary service, but that has now changed, in some circles to a quasimilitary showing we have a similar rank structure, creed, etc.

    Many have pointed out the need for trust as a lynchpin in this leader follower relationship and it is paramount, but two other points that are important to building that trust are communications and understanding the mission. If these go well, it takes us steps closer to that trust and if bad, trust may be eroded.

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    dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    After reviewing this module we are again presented with communication as a trait or competence we have to have to be a successful leader. Communication is of the most importance. Without communication you can not convey the other 4 lessons that Lt. Col. Levin discusses. Lt. Col. Levin even states, that if you are not a good communicator you are not going to be a good leader.

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    Lt. Mark Lyons

    This was a very interesting and informative training module. I believe the instructors did a great job of defining the different qualities that a leader must possess. The information provided in this training module would be great to use for annual refresher training for our supervisors, in order to address some of the issues we have had lately.

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    No matter the organization for leadership to be successful, trust is required between leaders and followers. In law enforcement, we model numerous policies and tactics based on the military model of leadership. In law enforcement, we even model or rank structure to reflect the military rank structure.

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      Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

      True facts, when I first started my career with law enforcement I never would have but these two professions together. Having family members in the military and law enforcement, we do structure the military style.

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    clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    All of the lessons discussed in this module are important for our profession. But like most on this board, it appears Trust struck home the most. Without trust it is impossible for any agency to maintain success. Trust should begin at the top and developed all the way down. Being in an agency is much like ordinary relationships with people and their partners, it is not a healthy way to live your daily life without trust in work or your personal relationship.

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    Our profession is very similar and mission so the leadership ideology is very similar. Being able to use the ideals to instill leadership ideals, skills, and traits will provide better leadership. The ideas utilized are ones I feel are exemplary, strong, and go well with shaping future leaders.

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    Adam Gonzalez

    Understanding the mission is an essential ingredient to any desired success. Whether achieving a goal, beginning a trek or starting something challenging for the first time, it is vital that one first understands what it is that is being accomplished. Re-learning this principle was rejuvenating for me and helps to remind why we do some of the things that we do. I also very much appreciated the line "Good leadership focuses on those below you". This should be of no surprise to those that truly wish to make a difference!

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      Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      I agree a good leader must be able to ensure their subordinates understand their assigned task in a mission with effective communication, however, if their subordinates do not trust their leader they will likely fail the mission.

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    wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    No matter what organization your people need to know that they can trust you, not only the people that you lead but the people that lead you as well. They need to know that you are not going to lie to them or use them for your personal gain.

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    Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    Leadership in the military and law enforcement have the same traits for leaders. Communication is the most important trait to become a successful leader. As Lt. Col. Levin stated” you cannot convey the four lessons without communication”. As a supervisor I have witnessed without communication our subordinates will not follow, and we will fail as leaders.

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      I 100% agree with you on communication being the key. So many good plans fall flat due to leadership sleepwalking through their informational briefings. It can be frustrating for those who are about to commit themselves to work on the assignment. When they see these halfhearted briefings, they pick up on those attitudes then mimic them in the field.

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    As stated in the lecture, there are several key leadership factors; out of those, I think trust and communication are the most important. If we communicate accurately what we are seeking to accomplish, then it stands to reason, those doing the work will trust us. When we give partial information that distrust develops and like a crack in a damn, it can spread and bring the whole organization down. As leaders do not hold back on something just because you feel it is incidental to the mission, that component may end up being the key to success for others.

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    Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    A true leader must encompass good technical competencies, exceed expectations, understand the mission and effectively communicate the mission to their subordinates with the most essential trait being trust. Any relationship built on a solid foundation of trust can withstand any mission or difficulty within that mission. Having trust allows the subordinates to focus on the mission so they can achieve positive results.

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      Joseph Flavin

      Trust is key. Without having trust, I don't think it will be possible to complete the mission. Having the other four competencies are important but trust is the most important.

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        As many have posted, trust is imperative to leadership. If you do not have trust others will not follow you. You must also have trust in your leaders. If you do not have trust in your leaders then the organization will not grow and Ideas that they may bring to the forefront will not happen.

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          Mitchell Gahler

          Trust is very important at all levels within the organization. If you lose trust within yourself, others will recognize that and lose all confidence in your leadership abilities and your integrity.

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            Kyle Phillips

            Mitch, you make a good point about trusting in yourself. I had not thought about it before, but trusting in your own abilities and decisions is critical to being successful.

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    Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    Leadership in the military and law enforcement are the same. The leaders have to be able to communicate, have the3 trust of subordinates and peers, and be able to understand and explain the mission.

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    Lt. Marlon J Shuff

    The five qualities of a good leader, trust, technical competencies, communication, and understanding the mission, are all essential for a leader to possess. As many have stated before, trust is the foundation from which all other characteristics are built. People don't follow a leader they do not trust. It's simple as that. He or she can be an effective communicator, charismatic, and be able to accomplish the mission, but they will not last very long without the trust of their followers.

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      James Schueller

      How very true- without trust , all of the other characteristics fall by the wayside. We accomplish our work through our people, and they need to believe and trust in you for anything to be more than just short-term success.

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    Joseph Flavin

    There are many parallels between the military and law enforcement when it comes to leadership. The four important human values that leaders must possess are courage, candor, competence, and commitment. Beyond the human values, the most important thing a leader must have is trust. When you lose trust, you lose support. Without support, it's impossible to be an effective leader.

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      Excellent point! Trust is essential in both military and law enforcement leadership. Without trust it is near impossible to be an effective leader. Police officers are much like soldiers in that regard. They can't be managed into combat, they must be led.

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      Too many times though I've seen leaders who have no trust and no buy-in from their followers. The followers don't want to follow these people anywhere let alone into battle or a hot call.

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    General William Nesbitt's message on leadership resignated with me in this module. When asked what the difference between a leader and follower was he stated that we are always followers and in order to be a good leader you have to be both a good follower and observer. By being a follower and an observer you can learn the do's and the don'ts and what works and what doesn't from others as they lead. In addition, he stated to not ask anyone to do what you wouldn't do. I believe in this wholeheartedly. When I set new goals or missions I go out and work with the troops to show them that I am willing to do the same things I am asking of them.

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    James Schueller

    Good lists of needed command essentials, leadership competencies, human values, and qualities to be an effective leader. One that stood out, especially after some of our lectures from the previous modules, was that we need to ensure tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished. The piece that I think most ineffective supervisors miss is that your people need to understand the task in order to accomplish the task. "Because I said so" is not effective leadership. My favorite point was in the section where General Nesbitt spoke on exceeding expectations- "Good leadership focuses on the expectations of the people below you." That should be our focus, and when we have the confidence, trust, respect and buy in from those we supervise, good things can't help but to happen up the chain as well.

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      Kelly Lee

      Well stated Jim, having the command essentials of leadership competencies, human values and command essentials are the core to being an effective leader. After hearing this repeated in almost every module I am believing that you most have all these to make the grade, if you are missing one then probably you are not being effective.

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    Mitchell Gahler

    It is important to have effective communication so everyone understands the mission. Gain trust in others in order to develop loyalty within everyone you lead. Go beyond of what’s expected of you to gain trust in others, and others will follow your lead. When you lose trust, you lose support of those around you. “Trust is difficult and time consuming to develop, and can be very quickly lost.”

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    Chris Corbin

    I have always believed strongly in the servant leadership approach and have witnessed many leaders achieve success using that approach. In his lecture, Ltc. Levin stated that "if you can exceed the expectations of the people that you lead, you will at least be meeting the expectations of the people that lead you." I had never heard this particular quote before, but I find that it neatly captures the potential that servant leadership can bring to an organization.

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    Eduardo Palomares

    This module focused on key leadership competencies in the military that transfers to law enforcement organizations. In order to develop trust, leaders must be technically competent and proficient. A leader or supervisor in law enforcement must be able to exceed the expected performance of the people that he or she work for him or her. Leadership is about developing others and empowering them to improve thought influence and trust. As stated in this lecture, some of the leadership factors that are key include: communication, trust, and technical competency. The most important of them all is trust. When followers trust their leaders, they will perform at high levels. Being a good communicator and clearly explaining the mission displays competency.

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    Kyle Phillips

    This module referenced several traits that great leaders posses. Leadership requires many traits to be successful, above all others, I feel that trust is the most critical to posses. Without trust, no one follows, up or down the command chain. trust should start at the top and filter down. What stuck with me about this module was both General Nesbit and Lt. Colonel Levin stated that great leaders ask advise, listen to those around them. This is something that I probably have not done enough of in my career, but will make an effort to do more frequently.

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      Ryan Lodermeier

      I agree, I like the way LTC Levin ended his discussion about trust stating that it takes so much time to gain but only a second to loose. I like your point about trust filtering down from the top. This flow of trust works right into our responsibility as leaders to communicate our departments mission, values, and beliefs.

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    Ryan Lodermeier

    Not being former military I found LTC Levin's discussion about communication interesting. I like the way how he stressed the importance of clear and concise communication and being sure that your subordinates could understand the message. I found it especially interesting when he discussed the military training manuals and how they had changed and adapted after admin realized that some persons were unable to understand their direction.
    I think the most important lesson he discussed was that of trust. He summed the lesson up well stating that trust takes a while to earn but a short time to destroy.

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      Durand Ackman

      Completely agree, trust is the most important. It has always fascinated me how hard it is to build trust and how long it takes. Yet, trust can be completely shattered in a matter of moments.

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    Samantha Reps

    This lesson had several great points. They listed several traits of being a good leader and why. When followers trust their leaders they perform at a higher standard. The four human values stated in this lesson were courage, candor, competence and commitment all being important to being a good leader.
    General Nesbitt said "In order to be a good leader you need to be a good follower." No matter what your rank or level of supervisor you are you are always reporting to someone.

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    Chad Blanchette

    I found it interesting that General Nesbitt spoke about the greatest leader of all time, and he described the leadership qualities of Jesus. I can honestly say that I never thought of Jesus as a leader until I heard it from the General’s perspective.

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      Paul Gronholz

      I certainly agreed with this assessment. Jesus absolutely was the greatest leader of all time. He exemplified servant leadership and developed leaders to spread his teachings.

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      Timothy Sandlin

      Yes, I agree. I never thought of the fact that Jesus developed those around him as leaders. I never thought about the qualities illustrated and the connection to leadership development. Great learning moment.

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    Kyle Turner

    The issues of trust and understanding the mission go hand in hand. Having a clear mission and communicating it to your subordinates results in clear standards and objectives, which leads to accountability. All of this results in fairness which leads to respect and trust. In my experience, one of the major issues that come up in an organization is failure of leadership to develop a clear mission (aka vision) in the first place. This results in unclear expectations and when things go wrong, scapegoating of people to take the blame that should ultimately fall on leadership. It all starts with a clear vision or mission, clearly communicated with established expectations. This is the foundation of any organization.

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    Ryan Manguson

    A lot of good information in this module. The statement by Lt. Col. Levin on trust was was spot on. "Trust is something that is very very difficult and time consuming to develop, but is something that is very very quickly lost."

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    Kelly Lee

    Lt. Col. Levin said it right when he said, "Understand the mission, lead properly and show that you know what to do in situations" and "know your people well enough so you know what they are capable of and what their limitations are" I think sometimes that's where leaders go wrong in thinking that everyone is suited for every job that is needed to be done when that is simply not the case. Know what your people can handle on their own and when extra help is needed to be called in.

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      Maja Donohue

      I agree that knowing your people’s limitations is very important and that it goes hand-in-hand with knowing your people, period. You cannot supervise them adequately if you don’t know what they can do well and what they struggle with. If you understand their limitations you are more likely to understand what tools and resources they need to get the job done, although I also agree that not everyone is suited for every job. We have to pay attention to their performance because it shows that we care and that we are looking out for their best interest when we offer help.

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    Paul Gronholz

    I appreciated a couple of the things that LTC Levin talked about, specifically when he talked about trust. Trust is not a grassroots movement. Trust is developed at the top of the organization. I also like when he said that trust is the primary currency. As a leader, I will work to keep making deposits in that bank of trust. Particularly, i want to continue to build the trust of the people I supervise.

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      Marshall Carmouche

      I too want to keep trust between myself and all coworkers. There just is a un-right feeling in my gut when i can not trust someone at work. Unfortunately, I have been lied to before by subordinates, caught them in their lie. Now I will not ever be able to trust them again, everything they do and say will be called into question by me.

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    Durand Ackman

    Some great content in this module. I feel the best, by far, is regarding trust. Without trust everything else simply falls apart. If your people can't trust you there is no chance they will follow your lead and possibly even turn against you. I really enjoyed the quote at the very end of the section about trust - "Trust is your primary currency as a leader."

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      Gregory Hutchins

      Trust may be the primary currency as a leader, but not continually building on it may put one into a deficit when the conditions change. Leaders that get stuck through relying on old relationships and conditions from the past. As discussed in the understanding of the mission segment, the failure to see change will create challenges. The antiquated actions of a leader for a different set of conditions can lead to dire consequences. As a result, this inability to adapt creates organizational failure, and as a result, the levels of trust erode. Trust is a competency that requires continual service and attention; it is hard to maintain, especially when the value is in flux.

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    Trust is obviously important internally however, trust from the community the agency serves may even be more important. When a critical incident such as an officer involved shooting occurs, it makes all the difference.

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      Matthew Menard

      True. Having the backing of the community makes our jobs so much easier. We must be careful with that trust as it can be lost so much easier than it is gained.

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    Major Willie Stewart

    Trust is truly a must within any and everything you do. I have to have trust within my upper administration and they have to have trust in me. As a leader I want my subordinates to trust me and with that I can develop a good rapport with them making it easier for them to come and speak with me when they have things going wrong or they don't like some of the changes being implemented.

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    Maja Donohue

    Trust is the foundation of all other leadership competencies. I think this has been a common theme in many of our modules. You can be a great communicator, but if people don’t trust you, anything you say can be discredited. If you try to exceed expectations without trust, people will think that you have a self-serving agenda. Same goes for being technically competent. If people don’t trust you they will question your motives when you try to help them. As LTC Levin said, “trust is truly the primary leadership currency.”

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      Trust and communication. I like how you word it, "if people don't trust you, anything you say can be discredited." True fact. If you lie you've failed at these two important leadership traits. Tell the truth, go above and beyond, take care of the people, and keep them informed.

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    Christopher Lowrie

    Great stuff hitting on trust and communication. A person who has neither will not be an effective leader. General Nesbitt left me wanting more information. Specifically in the area of hazing and harassment when he was in OCS. I would like to know both sides. Was it meant to be part of the training or was it "outside" the rules. I would have also liked to know what he did to overcome and avoid some of the pitfalls during OCS school.

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    Timothy Sandlin

    Good information and reinforced many things discussed in previous modules. While I agree all the characteristics, qualities, and skills discussed are important, I feel trust and communication are crucial. I have experienced situations where many things were in place for success from the leadership, however, there was an issue with trust or communication that resulted in negative outcomes. Effective communication is critical. If people don't know what is expected or they don't understand then it is impossible to achieve success. So, I liked what Lt. Col. Levin said "if you are not a good communicator, then you are not going to be a good leader".

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      I agree with Timothy. Trust and Communication are key. If your people do not trust you as a leader.. you are ineffectual. If they trust you, they will do anything for you and are more forgiving when you mess up. Like Timothy said, if you cannot communicate people will not know what to do. I would even add that leaders have to know how to maximize different communications techniques to get their vision and commanders intent across. While it is nice to be able to talk to everyone in person, it is not always practical. Leaders should be able to communicate via Zoom, email, text and in person.

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      Robert Schei

      I agree with your perspective on communication. As leaders we communicate in several ways and we may believe that our subordinates understand what we want done and how. Just communicating is not enough, we must ensure that what we have communicated has been understood.

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    Jennifer Hodgman

    I have to admit I had never thought of Jesus as a leader until I heard the General's perspective on it. His focus was always on selfless service and empowering people. Something great leaders identify with.

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      Probably, the greatest leader ever.

      One guy uses credible servant leadership to train 12 guys over the course of a couple of years. Those first followers train others in leadership. Within 300 yrs, his followers took over the most powerful empire in the world.

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    One of the keys to military leadership is the military’s persistence to instill leadership. My experience was military leadership was that it was seen daily. The best leaders were all the things LTC Levins suggested: they were trustworthy, they wanted us to exceed expectations, as well as them exceed our expectations as soldiers, they knew the job, they could convey their message to the smartest and dumbest soldier, and they always understood the mission and the purpose for what we were doing…they could adapt. At the end of the day, with the better leaders, I knew I could trust them and if they fell short anywhere, I trusted that they would make it right.

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      Andy Opperman

      And no matter how hard they were on us as soldiers, they always earned our respect. I remember so much of the candor drill sergeants carried. It drove you to want to model them.

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    General Nesbitt and Lt. Col Levin touch on some key leader development concepts in their presentations. First, General Nesbitt mentions how important it is for leaders to observe the actions of other leaders. I spent 34 years in the Army Reserve and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. I deployed twice to Iraq in support of the Global War on Terror. In that time, I have seen some great military leaders and some pretty bad ones. Oddly enough, it is pretty easy to spot both. I made mental notes of some of the lessons I learned from really great leaders and still use some of them today. Second, General Nesbitt discussed the importance of seeking advice of others with more experience or skills you do not have. Your subordinates do not want you to fail because it would directly (negatively) impact them. Showing humility and genuine interest is the best way to seek assistance from others. When a leader admits that they do not know something and then asks a subordinate to teach them, they inherently build trust with that subordinate. Lt. Col Levin mentions a key concept most senior leaders forget. He talks about the fact that leaders need formative assignments to learn, grow , and be successful. When I graduated from ROTC, I was not immediately put into company command. I first led a line platoon, next I ran the support platoon (a bigger responsibility) and then I became the executive officer of the company. These assignments increased my responsibility, my confidence, and helped me prepare for assignments with greater responsibility. We as police executives should be doing the same for our junior leaders as we develop/ groom them for future assignments/ success.

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    We are in these in-depth classes on leadership. We use a manual from west point that is 400 pages long. We have generals talking about military leadership for hours. I always was amazed at one thing about the Army. They took most everything they taught and boiled it down to a 6th grade level. So that any solider could understand. I have been through many military leadership schools. I can summarize FM 22-100 (Army Leadership Field Manual) and every bit of leadership training down to three words.

    Be. Know. Do.

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    Nicole Oakes

    "If you can exceed the expectations of those you lead, you will at least match the expectations of the ones that lead you." This should be true, but we won't always have that Legacy Leader to rely on that will be a good leader, lead by example and give good feed back. So we must be the Legacy Leader. It all comes together, now in the end of the courses.

    And it's important to remember that we are the ones responsible as leaders for everyone who follows us.

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      Well said, Nicole. Feedback. Leading the way. Legacies. Mentoring and developing. Take care of the people and the people will take care of you are good words to live by.

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      Brad Strouf

      I agree with your assessment. Leading by example is critical for our subordinates to observe and ideally emulate.

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    There is the word trust again. Must be important because I've seen it dozens of times throughout this entire course. As stated, it starts at the top and trickles down. Our followers have to trust us and that we have their best interests at hand. Open communication is big too. We've seen that word a lot as well. People want to know what's going on, how do things affect them, and where are we taking them. No one likes the unknown so let's not do this to our people.

    Competencies are huge too. No one wants a leader to tell them "I don't know, I've never done it before." Granted there is no one leader who has done it all but we should surely have a good idea of how to do it. Well-balanced leaders are extraordinarily important. Diverse experiences make the best leaders.

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    Robert Schei

    A lot of good content in this module. I enjoyed the section on trust and how trust is primarily your loyalty towards those you serve. Exceeding expectations took a nice turn when they discussed how exceeding your subordinates expectations of you was key to how your superiors will judge and value your ability. Also a good point made about when you exceed expectations those that you lead will follow your lead and rise to your level.

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      Andy Opperman

      Great point by Lt. Col. Levin on trust as loyalty to the people you work for. It goes to the philosophy that we work for our followers and not the other way around. The trust must start at the top as the Colonel said. Our people must understand that we will not let them down.

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      Sgt. Shawn Wilson

      The commander should always be the first in the office and the last to leave; we set the example. When we as leaders set the bar high and hold ourselves to a higher example then we increase the level of organizational competency through elevating the culture of what is expected.

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      Steve Mahoney

      I agree with you. I believe that it is more important to exceed the expectation of your subordinates than those above you. If you make this your goal than the expectations of your from above will be exceeded

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    I found this module very interesting. Most organizations have employees with various levels of education. Some leaders have higher education, but struggle with fundamentals of communication and being a trustworthy leader. A lot of those things can't be taught through schooling or training. Some people with higher education may develop an arrogance or think that certain things are below them because of how educated they are. They still have to remember that they can't do everything on their own and need their teams to get things done. If they aren't trusted and the team can't count on them, they will be extremely ineffective.

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    I think that communication and understanding the mission is very important. If we are unable to communicate there will be no way we will be able to put the message of the mission out for our people to understand the mission.
    This was a very good module.

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    Brad Strouf

    As important as all five qualities are to true leadership, the model of "exceeding expectations" serves as a reminder and example for your subordinates. This is a great demonstration of leading by example.

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    Andy Opperman

    I felt one important lesson from this module was the four important human values that leaders need. The values of courage, candor, competence, and commitment. Especially intriguing is the term candor, the ability to be frank, open, and honest and sincere with your people. Sometimes I believe followers expect leaders to only tell them things they want to hear, but you must be able to be honest with your people especially in professions like law enforcement and the military. As leaders we can still be sincere but tell our people things they may not want to hear. Competence also plays into the value of learning your craft. As leaders we must receive leadership training and know how to apply it to our specific field. How can you guide someone when you do not have extensive knowledge in the field? General Nesbitt covered this while talking about becoming a new officer and relying on his senior NCO’s to help build his knowledge. He was taught leadership in OCS but needed his NCO’s to make him competent.

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    Matthew Menard

    Of the qualities discussed in the module, I believe that communication and mission understanding go hand in hand and are arguably the most important. If we as leaders don't fully understand what we are asking those below us to do, and we can't communication those expectations and goals correctly, we will fail. I feel that if we can master these two qualities, the other three (trust, exceeding expectations and technical competencies) will follow.

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      Sergeant Michael Prachel

      I agree with this – confidence is huge when leading others. Those that are following us need to comprehend that we understand the mission. This will ultimately build confidence; if this is developed, a mission has a better chance to be successful. If we don’t fully understand the mission, we won’t recognize how to deal with changes along the way, or grasp any limitations.

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        Ronald Smith

        As leaders, we have to take into account that we don't know what we don't know, neither do our people. As the training said law enforcement is evolving and we are sending our newest and brightest officers to the new training, they may learn something we don't know. If we understand our people and we know what they have been trained in we can manage our way through situations, however, if we learn what they know and are competent we can utilize a commander's intent and complete a task or mission with the confidence of understanding what and why things happened the way they did.

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          Zach Roberts

          Ron,

          The "we don't know what we don't know" statement is beyond accurate and important to remember as a leader. It is important to consider feedback from everyone. The veterans and the new guys. The days of old school policing are gone. We need to consider new tactics and community policing.

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    Gregory Hutchins

    Understanding the military's change to adapt to the draft vs. volunteer service created educational differences raises a question for the profession. With many more police officers attaining higher education levels, the profession is no longer a job for the person who could not go to college; why are the manuals and instruction programs relying on less than a high school education level? The technical proficiencies required of current law enforcement professionals are vastly different from the past. The technology afforded us, the reporting requirements, and laws demand a higher level of attention and instruction programs to suit the agencies' needs better.
    Many "old-timers" argue that the new officers are intelligent but do not possess any common sense. This culture or belief is a challenge as perhaps the perception of a lack of common sense is that the core of the education is not resonating with them as it is not in the format that works for them.

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    Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    It is imperative that leaders have a full understanding of the mission. It seems to be common sense that if a leader doesn't understand the mission then they will be unable to effectively communicate the mission to those down the chain of command. Without trust a leader cannot lead; If we look at all of the military commanders that have been removed from command recently there is a common phrase used on the removal; loss of trust and confidence. When that trust is lost; it may never be gained again.

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    Marshall Carmouche

    To me trust is the most important of all the topics discussed. Did anyone else notice that the section on trust was longer than other of the other areas? I would agree with Lt. Col. Levin that trust is built from the top. We should always strive to build and maintain trust between us and our subordinates.

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      Thomas Martin

      I completely agree with you Marshall, trust is the foundation on which a building stands. It must go top to bottom and be reciprocated back from the bottom to the top. As leaders we are in a position to trust, but verify. We must be careful during verification as it may hamper our efforts in building trust with our subordinates.

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    Paul Brignac III

    While listening to the part of this lecture about communication, I realized that it is important to include non-verbal communication when discussing communication skills. I believe that body language conveys a persons feelings almost as well as words in some situations.

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      Kenneth Davis

      Paul- Absolutely it does! I concur- and I see this all the time in some of my less-tenured leaders as they try to discern and interpret what the body language they are witnessing actually means. It is interesting that this skill seems to have diminished over the last several years, is it not?

      Best and stay safe-

      Ken

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    Sergeant Michael Prachel

    The topic of “Understanding the Mission” in the module seemed to be a significant message. Leaders must know the capabilities of the unit; if not, they may expect too much or not enough. Knowing the limitations of the mission is key. In law enforcement, knowing the legal limitations can be even more important. If a leader doesn’t understand the mission, the mission may change and we won’t be ready for it. Those that look up to us, need to recognize that we know what we are doing – this develops confidence, and confidence may be crucial for success.

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    Ronald Smith

    I liked two points in this module, trust starts at the top, we know that or we would not be at this level in our careers. I have written a few 'Dear Chief' letters in my career and I have worked hard to keep my word as a valuable commodity whatever happens. I will tell the truth and take the lumps before I let anyone down up or down the chain of command. The second point I liked was in the Understanding the Mission section, it has been some time since I heard the term mission creep, but allowing the mission to take on new life can be disastrous. As officers whose primary mission is to enforce the law, the mission creeps can be easily spotted and shows we are not truly prepared or competent to handle them, one example would be dealing with people with a mental impairment. We get that job because no one else wants it, our eight to forty hours of training are inadequate but if we look at the sheer number of encounters we have and compare those that go right versus wrong we do a pretty good job outside our expertise.

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    Steve Mahoney

    I really liked how he talked about exceeding the expectations of those below you. So many times we are worried and concerned above meeting or exceeding the expectations of those above that we lose sight of our subordinates. A true leader will always put their team first. When the expectations of your team and subordinates are succeeded your team will become stronger and perform greater than if you only worry about exceeding those from above

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    Eric Sathers

    This was a good module to connect the leadership lessons which can be used by both military and law enforcement. I liked the lesson regarding understanding the mission, which seems to be integral to team success. I think this includes the specific mission the team is engaged in, but also the larger organizational mission. I think it is also necessary for the supervisor to lead from the front to provide direct leadership and facilitate communication.

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    Thomas Martin

    LTC. Levin stated the mission will change and we must be ready for it. This was a great reminder that nothing in our world ever seems to ever go “as planned.” Leaders must expect continuous change throughout their career, and be willing to serve as the catalyst of change for their subordinates. As the mission evolves we must remain optimistic, and be resourceful with what we have on hand.

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      Sgt. Samantha Koscher

      I agree. The more involved we are with our staff on the "front lines", the better capable we are to react to changes quickly. Leaders must work with staff on solving problems and be ready to adapt to needed changes.

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      Scott Crawford

      I agree, I have seen so many leaders that are reputable, good leaders, but when the situation gets sticky or veers from the norm, the panic sets in.

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      I agree. Our world is so dynamic, it seems like change is the only constant. The adaptation of a leader during their career progression is incredibly important not only to adapt to the inner workings of the department, but the needs of the community.

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      Robert Vinson

      I think this is an important point. The ability to adapt and overcome is vital in the dynamic environment in which we work. Maintaining optimism through that process is a game changer.

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    Sgt. Samantha Koscher

    I liked the section of the training on "understanding the mission". It is important leaders have a clear understanding of their mission, resources available to them, and limitations of their staff. In law enforcement, we encounter unique situations everyday that require decisions to be made by officers. Leaders that understand their mission and share that understanding with others, help ensure that the decisions being made are consistent with the agencies mission. "Command intent" can be used as a guide to help base decisions when the outcome is uncertain.

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      Buck Wilkins

      This is the same one that stuck out to me too. We have to make sure our people know that we are there for them and that we will make the right decision when needed.

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    Scott Crawford

    I found the topic of technical Competencies to be intriguing. In the past in our Sheriff`s Department, people would be promoted all the time that lacked the skills needed to get the job done. Our past sheriff could be the definition of the “good ole boy”. Who you knew was just as important if not more than what you knew. We have a sheriff that has done away with this and we have begun to get people in the positions that are deserving of them. In return, the department runs so much smoother than before.

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    Buck Wilkins

    All the topics learned in this module are important but the last one Understanding the Mission really stuck out because your people need to know that you understand the mission as well as they do. They need to know that you are aware of every call they make and if they may need help you will send backup.

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    I found the concept the trust flowing from the top down very interesting. It rings true in law enforcement where people often look up for elements of trust, and won't do things because they don't trust a person. For example, if they don't trust their shift commander to back their correct decisions they may become less proactive. It's interesting to apply this to an entire department, all the way up to the Chief to see how a department functions.

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    Travis Linskens

    This module was an excellent reminder of how important courage, competence and commitment is to great leadership. One of the most important points is that trust starts at the top and trends down through the department. For an agency to be successful in their mission and values a leader needs to be the standard for everyone in the department to follow.

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      Kaiana Knight

      I agree Travis. This lesson did remind us about the importance of human values. The instructor did a great job breaking everything down and giving examples.

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    Brent Olson

    This module talked about the importance of having and building trust in addition to exceeding expectations. It also provided quite a long list of leader qualities, command essentials, and human values that all leaders must have. As I was listening to the list and the numerous qualities on it (I believe it was over 25 if I counted correctly), it really made me think about the complexity of being a leader. As a leader, we have to wear many hats, be able to do many different things, and do it all in a way that shows trust, value, and motivates those we lead. One of my take-a-ways from this lesson will definitely be the need to remember to continue to learn and grow as a leader. There is no way any of us can maintain all the things expected of us, (to a high degree) unless we remember to also continually work on ourselves and our own skillsets.

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    Kenneth Davis

    Many of the public safety command essentials align closely with those of the military. Imbibing trust in your colleagues and being a trustworthy leader are key in this regard. Additionally, technical and tactical competencies are crucial in cementing credibility with your subordinates, as is ensuring clarity in communication.

    I found it interesting that exceeding the expectations of one’s subordinates will likely ensure you at least meet the expectations of one’s superiors. In doing so, if we over-deliver in engagement and expectations, we will be ahead of the curve. In keeping with consistency in our practice of leadership, it is imperative to identify and address any deficiencies or weaknesses each of us may have to improve our service. Disallowing mission creep and keeping the train on the tracks is important to efficiency as well as service to the mission at hand.

    References

    Benthin, G. (2021). Military leadership. Module # 1, Week # 4. National Command and Staff College.

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      Ronald Springer

      Kenneth,
      Per usual your summation is spot on. Exceeding expectations is a great way to encourage loyalty and increase morale. But communication is key in any relationship and in my opinion the most important skill.

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    Jay Callaghan

    I appreciated all the discussion topics. But I was exceptionally pleased with the concept of "exceeding expectations". I found it interesting how Lt Col Levin put that into perspective. The concept of the leader exceeding the expectations of his/her followers will facilitate motivations of the followers to exceed the leaders expectations. Well said!

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      Derek Champagne

      I agree. As a leader, you have to be able to find ways to motivate your officers. I feel like this is a good way to do it.

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      Kevin Balser

      Very well said by the colonel. Exceeding expectations is certainly an important part of a quality leader.

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    Derek Champagne

    The foundation of trust as a leader is very important. If you do not have trust and you have the inability to have people follow you, you have nothing but rank on your shoulders.

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    Ronald Springer

    Military leadership is always mission oriented. It is understanding why LTC Levin chose those five topics. But leadership is a relationship and all positive relationships require trust and communication. Which is why I think Communication has been referenced in every module of the program.
    Benthin, G. (2017). Military leadership. Module 1, Weeks 7 & 8. National Command and Staff College.

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      Darryl Richardson

      Ronald, I agree that trust and communication are very important. Leaders that are untrustworthy and lack effective communication skill can will cause an organization to suffer. Untrustworthy leaders will not build positive relationships

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      Andrew Peyton

      I agree. When I compare these modules to life experiences, effective communication or the lack of seems to be a common factor. Without communication, the other principles are weak.

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    Robert Vinson

    I really enjoyed this module. I think the military does a phenomenal job of training and cultivating leaders and there is a lot we can learn from them. Of course there are differences, but as a paramilitary organization many of the concepts are applicable.

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    Kaiana Knight

    I really enjoyed this lesson. I agree with the 4 human values that the General said leaders must possess. It takes courage to be a great leader. You cannot be afraid of doing your job. It also takes candor. A leader must be open, honest, and sincere. A good leader must show competence. They must have proficiency in professional knowledge, judgement, and skills. Lastly, the general stated in the lesson that a good leader must be committed. They must be dedicated to carry out missions and serve. I think this module gave great knowledge and inspiration to leaders. Lt. Col. Levin gave great examples while explaining trust, exceeding expectations, technical competencies, communication, and understanding the mission.

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    Chris Crawford

    Although all of the principles LTC Levin spoke of were obviously important, I felt trust was the most important. I especially agreed with his explaining the idea of getting in front of and bringing attention to a problem immediately as a means of building trust..

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      Burt Hazeltine

      I agree that trust is the most important of the principles. If more leaders would try to get in front of a problem rather than trying to sweep it under the rug and hope nobody notices it would definitely improve trust.

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    Burt Hazeltine

    Military leadership and police leadership have many close correlations. like how they had a few military leaders give their perspective on leadership. Chief Benthin talked about a leader needing technical proficiencies. Needing to know at least the basics of how to do the jobs of those you supervise. I have seen several occasions in my agencies where a supervisor was promoted into a new division and had to learn the job their people were doing as well as learn this new level of supervision. They end up having the people below them teaching them a large portion of the job. This does not build trust or confidence in a leader.

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    Darryl Richardson

    Military leadership is similar to law enforcement leadership. Communication is a big part in both Military and Law enforcement leadership. I believe that it is important for a leader to have courage, candor, competence and commitment in both Military and law enforcement leadership. When you have leaders that are untrustworthy, the organization will suffer.

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    Kevin Balser

    I thought Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Levine's and Chief Gary Benthin's presentation was very clear, concise and to the point regarding his viewpoints on the military leadership. A good leader must have a good understanding of the "command essentials" which are command policies, authority, responsibility, chain of command, discipline, and conduct. Chief Benthin also said that leaders must have four very important values which are courage, candor, competence, and commitment. When he talked about those values and the command essentials, I immediately correlated this with the core values of the magnanimous officer. They are very much alike and breed good leadership qualities and all are an integral part of the credible leader as well.

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    Jarvis Mayfield

    I find when a mission fails it's not because the mission wasn't clear. The mission fails because the listener misunderstands or wants to hurt the mission.

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    Andrew Peyton

    I feel that communication is the most important principle LTC Levin outlines. Without proper communication both up and down the chain, the other principles are almost impossible to achieve. LTC Levin did an excellent job presenting each principle.

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    Out of all the principles LTC Levin spoke about; I feel trust is the key. If there is no trust than; there is the absence of a relationship and communication. We need to develop trust to have loyalty. Loyalty can only be develop through trust and effective communication. The individuals we lead must have trust in us. Most importantly we want them to be loyal as well.

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      Jose Alvarenga

      Although I agree, it seems to me that they are all connected. I don't think you can have trust without effective communication the same goes for building relationships. I use to think communication was the key of all things. I still believe its necessary but cant imagine having any of these without the other.

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    Jose Alvarenga

    A clear understanding of the mission is essential to the success of achieving the agency's goals. Everyone must have a clear understanding of what the mission is. Communication is key. People can misinterpret if left to translation. This is important that this information is clear from top command down to all the agency's employees.

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      SWAT Teams get this one right. At least mine did. Prior to pre-planned missions, team leaders were given specific assignments to accomplish. Those tasks were collected and then placed into one Operations Power Point. We had pre-raid briefings with very detailed plans. Questions and alternative thoughts were expressed. Any changes were clearly detailed and everyone knew of any changes. The mission had specificity, clear leadership, collaboration, and inclusivity. All missions had success of some sort or another. And then we followed up each mission with a debrief. If our agencies utilized these same skills in detailing the mission statement and vision everyone would be on the same page and there would be much accomplishment!!

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    David Mascaro

    Of the traits required to be a successful, credible military leader and as described in the module, I'd say trust is number one. Trust is the bedrock that all of the other traits build off of. Without the trust of your men and your superiors, you would be unable to properly implement or even possess in an effective way, the command essentials necessary to be successful. Trust is developed and earned by displaying your competence in the job, true caring for the well-being of your men and woman, and effective communication by keeping them properly informed.

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      Obviously, I totally agree as some of our language is the same. And I liked how you tied in the command essentials. I also believe that trust is built by empowering and mentoring others. As Lt. Col. Levin's example explained, exceed your followers expectations and they will go far beyond what you can imagine to exceed yours.

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    Trust is the bedrock of any leadership position. Your followers must be able to trust you as their leader and you must trust them. I really enjoyed hearing from Maj. Gen. Nesbitt and the advice he received from his father; you lack experience as a leader. I might even say you continue to lack that experience in every command you are elevated to and I completely agree with the general's dad that we have to trust those with the experience we lack. Learn from them and lend a hand every chance you get and create opportunities for continued development, both for yourself and those you lead.

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      Jeff Byrne

      I agree, Jonathan. Trust is a very critical piece in leadership. Being able to have trust in those with the experiences we lack is a very good point. We must be willing to learn and help those around us.

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    Jeff Byrne

    Having trust from your command and subordinates is key for a leader. Much more will be accomplished towards accomplishing the mission and vison of the agency when there is trust. Equally important in having the public's trust in our agency, leadership and staff because without their trust and partnership, we will struggle to be successful.

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    Zach Roberts

    I would consider this my favorite module yet. I like many others really enjoyed the section on trust and how important it is as a leader in an organization. If you do not trust those you lead or are trusted as a leader you are bound to fail. The exceeding expectations model really stuck with me as well. Being able to exceed the expectations of your subordinates is also important and will go along way with those you lead.

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    Competence was mentioned several times in this lesson and others. Sometimes, I feel this is an overlooked, yet very critical, characteristic of leading. Gary Benthin mentioned seven leadership competencies, then included competence as an important human value. Dennis Levin also highlighted the importance of technical competencies.

    When a leader lacks competency, they lack the ability to lead, motivate, generate enthusiasm, garner support, develop culture, and drive the ship. Competency is more than a cookie-cutter skill. It ebbs and flows and looks different for varying positions and roles. Yet, subordinates clearly recognize competence or the lack thereof from their leader. It must be a proven characteristic that continually grows with the organization. Competency should be incessantly honed and not allowed to hit the climax, then taper off.

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      Jacqueline Dahms

      I agree with you completely. Competency is so vital to a leader's credibility. It is very difficult to build trust around someone who doesn't know what they are doing or can't make decisions as issues change and modify. As much as we want to believe they are doing the best they can, sometimes it is not good enough for use to put our trust in them.

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      Andrew Ashton

      Brian you are correct that it is human nature to doubt someone's leadership if they lack the fundamental understanding of the work or issues at hand. Competency goes a long way towards understanding and potential buy in with your people as they believe you do understand their issues and desires.

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    Jacqueline Dahms

    I thought the 4 human values was spot on to be essential for good leaders. All 4 are needed to build trust with our people. If one is lacking, it seems trust can and will be compromised. I can truly understand Lesson 1 by Lt Col Levin of Trust. People need to know that you are not going to use them for your own gain, that there is loyalty...to the people above and below you.

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    Donald Vigil

    While there was a lot of good information in this module, I found "understanding the mission" to be of most interest to me. It have been my experience that missions often fail when there is not a clear understanding up and down the chain of command. If there is not a clear understanding then it opens the door for misinterpretation and ultimately results in frustration and finger pointing.

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    Andrew Ashton

    Trust to me is the foundation for all. Without it people will not wish to exceed expectations as they feel like a number or without trust how can you be looked at as competent. When you have trust you inherently have credibility, loyalty, and real followership.