- 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.
- After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them.
Morals are vital in law enforcement. But unfortunately, at times, I find myself lost in ensuring I am doing the right thing. We have to set an example for those who desire this profession and those who depend on us. I agree with keeping your beliefs separate from daily contact with co-workers and citizens. A belief system can often lead to wrong decisions because of your feelings about someone or something. Good leaders must ensure the mission statement is not just a page filler but a unique guide to a successful and unbiased department.
The Moral Compass covers all the values a great law enforcement leader needs. These values must be noticed. I want to focus on Loyalty. Loyalty is becoming a lost art in today’s workforce. Too often, an officer makes a small mistake, gets in trouble, quits, and goes to work for another department. Loyalty takes a commitment to make things work through the good and bad times. If you can find a good leader with Loyalty, all the other values will most likely be in place.
Being credible is a descriptor that all people should strive for, not just as leaders, but in today's society it has become a rare commodity. The listed values of the moral compass are markers that we should all grade ourselves and our interactions with others against with every conversation and interaction, not just times that we step into a leadership role. Credibility takes courage to fulfill all 10 of the values, but especially as leaders in law enforcement we should all possess the inner strength to do the right thing all of the time regardless of the situation.
I agree that Credibility takes courage. Any employee or leader can just continue to show up. To have credibility; takes a never-ending amount of energy, training, and positive interactions with co-workers.
Jesse, you are right. But unfortunately, not enough leaders lead from the front. Respect is earned, not given, and any leader that doesn't follow or engage in a moral compass can create a hasty environment where trust is a non-factor.
In the beginning of this segment it was stated that trust is the most important component of being a credible leader, if you are not trusted you cannot be a credible leader. I have experienced supervisors that I did not have trust and respect for, and it was hard to follow them. This has reminded me that setting an example for the newer officers and gaining their trust will help promote a better future for our agency.
I was raised by parents who instilled in me, strong morals and values. My father is currently the sheriff of Ouachita Parish Sheriff Department where I am employed. This module caused me to think back to 2011 when he ran for sheriff. My father ran against three other candidates. During one of the live public question and answer debates, every other candidate brought up negative things about the others. My father never said a negative word about other candidates and stayed true to his morals and values. My father responded to questions about the other candidates with what he could do to better the department. He still strives everyday to lead with integrity, impartiality, and kindness. I have had others within the department tell me that my father kept the same qualities throughout his career. I strive every day to operate throughout my career with the same core values.
I find that many of the outlined virtues, if not all, blend together in some way, shape, or form. I found myself comparing characteristic in myself and others that apply to all the virtues. In doing so, my mindset was focused on self-reflective improvement to ensure I portray these virtues to the highest level.
Unfortunately, the best hiring practices in law enforcement such as, a background check, polygraph, and a psychological exam does not always weed out those without moral compasses. The cornerstones of moral compasses listed in this module depict the values needed for law enforcement officers. Values such as Integrity, honesty, and courage are a must for new law enforcement officers.
Theoretically, everyone should be on their best behavior during the recruiting and onboarding process. That image may conflict with who the person really is. I find leadership traits, morals and values are twofold. On one hand, the person has what has been instilled in them since birth, whatever that may be. On the other hand, they must make the conscious effort and put forth the energy to consistently do the right thing. Analyzing certain traits, per se, in a family with two children. I bet all were brought up with the same values and ethics. Perhaps, some absorbed more or less than others, but you always see different behaviors. One child may be successful and make great decisions throughout life, whereas the third might not pursue life at the same level. That thought can be rationalized across all professions, but all have to make a conscious effort.
For a good supervisor to become a great supervisor, having a moral compass is essential. This principle is similar to the medical profession, where we must continuously practice these values on a daily basis and honestly ask ourselves questions to ensure we are staying true to them.
What you would think of as being "common sense" leadership traits to all law enforcement officers, and our agency leaders, unfortunately is all too often skipped over for various reasons, with negative consequences. Keeping the fundamental directions of the moral compass as our guiding principals will impact not only us, but those who we have trained, supervised, or made contact with in the public under various circumstances for years to come. Having someone you arrested come to you and say "thank you" for treating them like a human being, or a former trainee tell you he remembers how you trained him, and he is now involved in training others, or seeing your former co-workers/subordinates now in positions of leadership having positive impacts is a validation of the leadership principals that have guided us.
Kyle, you are correct in having someone come back with gratitude because the way that you treated them during a difficult or trying time is one of the best validators that we can have. It has been said, "common sense isn't too common anymore" and neither are values, unfortunately. We live in a society today that has become very self-centered and focused on attaining goals rather than helping our fellow man or trying to be a better person. Keeping these values as a guide for everyday action may put us on a lonely journey, but again as you said, hearing that we were a light for another is a goal within itself.
Short and sweet.. You can enter this profession without any knowledge of of the job, no training or experience, but you absolutely need a moral compass to do the job right.
I completely agree with you. Having a moral compass as a guiding principle for a law enforcement officer is something that is fundamental to our success, the success of our agency, and the public we serve.
You are on point with your statement. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
Going through this module and reading the book made me reflect on some of the supervisors and so-called leaders I have had throughout my career. I believe if they would have had this training maybe they would not have been near as bad to deal with. This was a great module for defining the core values inside of the moral compass. I believe everyone in law enforcement or public safety should be reminded of these values regularly.
I have written in the discussion board before about how I was raised by parents who had strong morals and values to the core. They raised my siblings and I to be good people and have a good moral character. As the son of a law enforcement officer, I have myself lived my life and career in every aspect with one principle in mind, “Right is right and wrong is wrong.” I stand by this today; I think it briefly sums up what the moral compass is really all about. If you apply this principle to all of the ten principles outlined in this lecture, and to every aspect of your life when making a decision on duty or off duty, then I do believe our compass will always point in the right direction.
John, I could not agree more. I am the daughter of the Sheriff. He has always instilled in me how important it is to always do the right thing. I believe that if we strive every day to live our life with integrity, impartiality, and kindness we will become role models for our subordinates.
National Command & Staff College
Session # 17, Myrtle Beach, SC
Learning Area 1, Module 5
Discussion Board: Moral Compass
Over the years, I have heard so many say they can’t wait to get promoted so they can “sit back and take it easy” in various positions. While that is true of some with rank, it is not true of leaders and this session helped to reiterate just that. Utilizing the Ten Core Values of the Moral Compass: Integrity, Knowledge, Loyalty, Humility, Trustworthiness, Courage, Emotional Intelligence, Impartiality, and Kindness are not an easy task. Doing this consistently in every situation with the public, politicians, and employees is what separates leaders from those with rank. At times, we will all fall short therefore Ms. Snyder ended with a great quote: “Remember to affirm your self-esteem as a law enforcement officer and disagree with immoral behaviors and unethical practices and work at recognizing this distinction every day.”
As the old saying goes "you are only as good as your word".......In order to lead, your subordinates must trust in you and
see you as credible. This doesn't mean you always have the right answer and it's ok to admit that too. You must follow through on your statements. You must constantly try to inspire those around you to their part in maintaining the credibility of your agency.
Jason, that is 100% accurate. Without trust, you have nothing. If you don't know, don't pretend to know and if you can't say, then simply acknowledge that it isn't something you can discuss at this time. Fabrications will always come out, and once trust is lost, it is nearly impossible to ever re-gain.
In the previous module we learned that having a strong moral compass is one of the cornerstones of effective leadership. I thought this lesson did an excellent job of thoroughly defining the morals and ethics we all already know. This served as a good reminder of the morals and values that all public safety professionals should be demonstrating both in their professional and personal lives.
Just as a compass has cardinal directions (North, South, East, and West), the moral compass with peace, service, justice, and equity are the main pointers, with the remaining ten core values similar to the ordinal directions of a compass. Thinking of our careers as a compass, we can utilize it to help ground ourselves on where we are and the direction we need to go. Just as a compass is useless without all three hundred and sixty degrees, a moral compass holds the same interwoven dependencies on all degrees.
The moral compass serves as an excellent model of what every officer should strive to be. Too often however, I see officers lose their way, I have seen this often, even in the higher ranks. Some people become bitter, some hypocrites, some just burnt out and just toxic to be around. There are many different reasons for this, getting passed over for a promotion or transfer, issues at home. alcohol use or a variety factors that may or may not be job related. If more people encompassed the cornerstones of the Moral Compass (peace equity, fairness, service) we may see less of this going on in police departments. My why for this job was and always remains service to others. I have always tried to remember that though the ups and downs of my career and personal life. Serving others genuinely makes me happy, but all of the other cornerstones are vital as well. As leaders we need to pass this on to other so that our officers stay grounded to why they serve and to ensure the job is getting done the right way.
I agree with you , I too have seen many officers lose their way. It has lead many of them to be fired and even arrested. The root cause could lead back to flaws in their moral compasses or character. One bad decision left uncorrected can also make it easier to make more.
"Actions speak louder than words." This is probably one of the greatest lessons my late father (also a police officer) ever taught me. I'm human, so I've fallen short of the mark my fair share of times in life, but these simple words have remained my guiding principal since I was in high school. The lecture on the Moral Compass was basically just the "supporting documents" for my existing credo. The lecture also reinforced what I have known for many years - while doing the right thing may become second nature when one lives with honor by a personal code of conduct, there will always be times when it isn't easy. When it's the road less traveled, filled with obstacles which need to be navigated. If this wasn't the case, exceptional leaders would be a dime a dozen and courses like this wouldn't be necessary.
The values of the Moral compass in this module are the foundation of a good officer. It is much harder now to stay the course with temptation in the palm of your hand for whatever your vice may be. We have to set an example for ourselves and those we work with on a regular basis. Just as when we were kids we looked up to older people for advice and help with decision making the younger officers are looking at us for the same thing. Integrity is a must on and off the job.
Randy, your comment about younger officers watching us to determine how to act reminds me of our obligation to lead from the front, and lead by example. These new officers aren't only observing how we handle success - they're really paying attention to how we handle adversity and outright failure (hopefully, as we progress in our careers, we are failing less and less). My hope is that I can influence my fellow officers by being ethical and proficient - sharing my team's successes and taking responsibility for the times we come up short of the mark. Hopefully, the officers under my command will mimic this behavior in their own careers and make meaningful contributions to our noble profession.
Randy, during this module I continuously had integrity on my mind. Following the moral compass only when people are watching is not the way to be. We should evaluate ourselves and ensure that we are always setting a good example for younger officers. I try to keep in the back of my mind that even if I think I am alone, there is always someone watching me.
I am finding all of the modules up to this point very relevant todays law enforcement. The moral compass training should be taught in academies. Of the last four officers released from my agency, one was terminated for competency issues. The young man had a heart of gold, but he couldn't stay awake, he couldn't remember the streets, he couldn't engage the public under stress, and no matter how much training he received he could not successfully write a decent report. The other three officers were all let go for character issues. Two for abusing handcuffed subjects and the last for being caught on several occasions being dishonest. If I had to keep one of them, I would take the drowsy slow learner hands down. Morality is a pillar of our profession. Lack of morality destroys the public trust and careers.
I concur that all of the modules up to this point are relevant for today’s law enforcement, and always have been. I do agree that moral compass training should be taught in all academies. In regard to the four officers that were terminated, I commend your agency on the termination for the three that were terminated for character issues, those issues should not be tolerated in the slightest. Unfortunately, I have to say that I agree the termination of the one that had a good character but lacked the competency was also justified. As hard as the decision may be to terminate someone with good character, law enforcement is not for everyone. I believe we as leaders have to use our moral compass to recognize these unfortunate situations as well, so we are not setting someone up for failure, or worse. However, I do agree that if you have to choose one, choose the one with good character. Retired Sheriff Ray Nash quoted General Norman Schwarzkopf in the Moral Compass book stating, “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without strategy.”
I read your comment and thought we were from the same agency! Then saw your name. I'm certain we hired the one with honesty issues after he left your agency. He was put on a decent shift with supervisors that gave him a lot of freedom. He is a really nice guy and everyone liked him but honesty eluded him. You're right - Morality is a primary pillar of this profession.
The lecture on the Moral Compass provided a deeper explanation of the terms associated with it. These are all terms with which we are familiar, but may not truly think of in a literal sense on a daily basis. I appreciated the list of questions at the end of Moral Compass for Law Enforcement Professionals. The questions put the lecture and reading material into perspective. The list can serve as a checklist of actions to go along with the words. The questions also focus on self rather than focusing on the behavior of others, which is sometimes used as an excuse.
Having a strong moral compass will lead you to success in not only your work career, but also life in general. Police Officers are held to a higher standard, as such we need to be guided by a strong moral compass whether we are on the clock or off.
Mitch, I agree wholeheartedly that we hold ourselves to a higher standard. On a side note, I have noticed over the years that as the policing candidate pool is changing. I feel the newer generation of policing carries the same compass but enterers the field with some of the expectations already ingrained. ideology with the newer generation, they seems to be so much more intense than when I started in policing. The newer generaion that will replace us, has often humbled my inner thoughts. I am quite often thrown back on my heels with amazement at how they are lazer focused and enter into the job with a working moral compass, fully knowing how to operate it with little intercession.
This module provided a great opportunity for reflection and understanding toward the core elements that drive each of us in law enforcement. Recognizing how ethics are external standards that are generally established through law and out of the social norms within our communities (local, state, and national) versus our personal morals which our internal principles which are developed through experience and perception. Understanding that along with our values (which change with experience, status, and need) create our virtues and define our character. Our ability to define our character, not only within law enforcement but also our personal lives, tends to raise or lower our lid within each. Recognition of this allows us to reevaluate, educate, and alter our character as needed to raise that lid. It should also be noted that all of this is only measured through time. Altering one’s character is a struggle and difficult to say the least and will take massive amounts of effort and time. Also, regardless of effort and awareness some character traits will never be forgotten or forgiven and a reset (change of employment, lifestyle, social group, etc.) may be needed.
This module hit several topics in previous modules, such as mindset and emotional understanding. However, one of the values that stood out to me was that if impartiality. Ms. Snyder discussed having an open mind and being considerate of all sides of an argument. A leader gains much more respect from hearing all available information before making a decision, especially in disciplinary situations, than deciding to be closed-minded and having my way or the highway mentality.
I agree completely. Knee jerk reactions can ruin careers and depending on who is making that decision can cause a loss of professional and personal respect. Remaining calm and level headed while getting both sides of the story before passing judgement so to speak is always better.
Dan Johnson is right! Whether it is dealing with a call for service or settling an issue with your troops, you have to be willing to listen to all sides and be open minded if you want to make a just decision.
That is a good rule to follow within the department and on the street. Making decisions especially when an arrest is a possible result without making a legitimate attempt to gather all the facts can easily lead to mistakes. There is a strong overlap here where character improves competency.
This was a great module for me. I really feel like the Moral Compass is the foundation and purpose of what we do as law enforcement officers. I usually will ask people I come in contact with, whether a traffic stop or a call for service, if I have been polite and courteous at the end of our encounter, This helps minimizes complaints, demonstrates my concern for their situation, and is a reminder to me that I will be asking this question at the end so act accordingly.
Patrick, this is a very interesting self check method. You are holding yourself to a high standard and taking responsibility for your actions. It also seems to set the tone for the response and validation you are seeking.
I enjoyed this module. I liked how Lorraine Snyder stated that service was the most important piece of the compass. I agree. If you can't serve your community, and I mean serve, helping and doing something for someone else, then what's the point? We as leaders need to instill this in our younger employees. This leg of the moral compass need not get neglected.
I agree with you and acknowledge the need for us to lead by example and help be a leader for our officers. Young officers absolutely watch us and follow our example. This is a good time for us to demonstrate good virtues and help give them a good course direction with a positive outcome.
This a test
This module has opened my eyes to morals and core values I have learned and brought with me from the Marine Corps. As a young service member, I never really understood the meaning of these and only practiced a small handful of them. As a police officer, I was educated further on these and realized the true meaning of the values, especially once I became a supervisor. As a sergeant and lieutenant, I practice these and preach them to other officers daily. The video asks whether you question yourself and if you uphold the Moral Compass. I can honestly say I do. Sincerity and honesty really stand out for me as an officer in my agency and in the community. Being honest with everyone will only help each other within our agency. Lying and being deceitful will only promote a toxic environment. To be honest, you won’t have to lie about your character.
For years I have used the phrase Moral Compass or have heard others mentioning it loosely when describing someone. Now, knowing the components that are compiled to make up a Moral Compass, the phrase gives new meaning to me. It is incumbent for all members of a law enforcement agency to hone in on the ten values that make up a Moral Compass not only for self-improvement purposes but to also provide their communities with role models with strong moral character.
This module over Moral Compass was quite interesting. This lesson can be used by all regardless of the role or position you have in your professional or personal lives. The values of loyalty, knowledge, humility, honesty, sincerity, courage, intelligence, impartiality, and kindness are all traits that a great leader strive to posses. these qualities sometimes we overlook or even take for granted are so very critical in all that we do. As for me, all these traits shine a light and make me take a good hard look within myself and try to align my being to work on the traits that i fall short on. By admitting this first step on looking within myself i take on the value of honesty to expose my faults and to intelligently work to strive to a better me.
The Moral Compass for law enforcent officers is important.
The lectures in this module led me to remember an incident from early in my career. A business was burglarized, and my partner and I responded to the alarm. The owner, complaining by phone, claimed to have footage showing we did not thoroughly search the premises and, as a result, did not find evidence burglary. Our watch commander, without verifying this, angrily told us we would be disciplined for dereliction of duty. Nothing in our track record indicated irresponsibility. The owner admitted he lied and had no footage, frustrated because numerous burglaries at the location were unsolved. We had had no access to the suspect's point of entry until the owner allowed us inside. Our supervisor left, still angry. From then on, we allowed his rush to judgement to negatively affect our relationship with him. Frustration and dissatisfaction all around. This module suggests issues like these would be infrequent if we (LEO or not) use defensible values to steer our perceptions and actions.
Having a moral compass is necessary for everyone in public safety. The book and the module force us to examine each word inside of the moral compass, which gives us better insight into what we should do and why.
Agree. This should be part of training for everyone.
Having a good moral compass is very beneficial to ones being. The ten core values of moral compass are knowledge, loyalty, humility, honesty, sincerity, courage, intelligence, impartiality, kindness and integrity. To be an effective leader or credible leader one should encompass these traits. I have often looked at leaders I have encountered and can truly say some were lacking in these areas.
I agree with you. I too have ha leader that lack in many of the area of moral compass values, I always stressed to myself that i wanted to be different. To be the leader that anyone could count on to accomplish the mission without selling my soul. to do right by all those that i followed and lead alike. this module really lit a fire for me to once again do a self check. to work on me first before i can eventually help someone else.
The principles highlighted in Moral Compass are peace, equality, justice, and service. Sometimes we forget about what strengthens our moral foundation. But in our facility, these words are painted on the walls so all employees can constantly remind themselves what's essential. It gives me a great sense of pride that our administrators are ahead of the curve and have the insight to provide the staff with constant reminders of these core values. While having a daily visual reminder helps me to identify these within myself. These reminders help keep us focused on what we are or should be striving towards.
I too think it is good that we have reminders of the principles that should guide us. It is worth remembering why those words are painted on the walls and to not become dismissive of those words because we are used to seeing them there.
Joseph Spadoni Jr.
The morals that are taught in this module seem to me as morals that should be implemented in your daily life, not just on the job. If everyone could live by these morals’ society would be a much better place. I know that sounds like a fairytale and it will never happen which is why we have good job security. Throughout the years I’ve spent with my agency after learning this module I can see where there were some individuals who did and did not exhibit values of the moral compass. Those who did not exhibit the values made the workplace a toxic environment. Once those individuals were gone, I noticed a significant change in my agency among coworkers. Commandery went up big time.
After reviewing the lesson, I had a similar take on the importance of strong moral principles guiding our behavior to others, whether we are on or off duty. Adherence to strong moral principles is difficult for us all when we react to those whose perspectives and actions exhibit the worst in human nature. Law enforcement is one of very few professions faced with this difficulty.
I agree Cedric, some of the values come naturally and some take a conscious effort under extreme and difficult circumstances.
While watching the lecture on Moral Compass, I reflected on my past supervisors and the lesson learned that I still follow today. I received most of the lessons that I still follow from supervisors who had a high Moral Compass. These are also the lesson that I am constantly sharing with others. I remember that one of the instructors constantly called the cadet's hero during my time in the academy. He stated that it wasn’t what we were training to become but what we already were. He said he could teach different survival techniques, law, and police tactics. The desire to put the needs of others ahead of our well-being and suffer through the academy show what kind of character we already have. He said there are people in this class who will be proficient in most of the training. Still, you will not see them on stage completing this academy because they like the idea of being police officers and having authority over others. But do not have a desire to put their lives on the line for people they don’t know, knowing they will receive little or no reward for their sacrifice.
In this module they discussed the credibility of a leaders. I agree that the perception of the speaker makes them more believable. I personally take notice of well speakers that speak with confidence and knowledge of the topic. Another value I see as important to leaders is sincerity. Without this people question a leaders motives. I have dealt with leaders that are very intelligent but people question their motives. I have seen this cause supervisors to become ineffective as leaders cause people question their motivate and sincerity.
I work for Sheriff Normand and the moral compass is something that he ingrained into his deputies. I have read the book for a previous class but a great refresher on the book. This has made me reevaluate myself as a supervisor and how to closely look and train the deputies under my command.
This was a good lecture with the breakdown of many key concepts that leaders possess. It also illustrated many things that should be practiced daily including a self reflection of what we are doing daily with ourselves.
I agree with you. Even working for Sheriff Normand for a number of years, he taught the department that deputies with a good moral compass are successful in law enforcement. He also taught that this is not only while on duty but off duty.
This module was packed with information. The first thing I took was Ms. Snyder’s statement that the greater a speaker’s credibility, the more believable the message, and conversely, the lower the credibility the less believable it is. We have all encountered those “talkers” who, the longer they speak, the less credible and less believable they become. Then when the rest of the focus is on the core values of the moral compass, it seems that all of the values of this person are intertwined with the other values to make up this complexity of character. After the lecture, I realized that it’s not that difficult to comprehend. Such a person is going to have all of these character traits, as that makes up the core person. Some people can be disingenuous ad insincere, but their true colors will eventually out. True character cannot be feigned.
This is a test
In reviewing the information from this lecture, it reminded me of how many ways a leader can effect the people that work with them and the community that they are responsible to. When the review of the 10 leaders virtues was discussed I immediately began to run through my own career of 27 years of all the leaders I had worked for. I began to find examples of how persons had effected my career and how I had either aspired to follow in their footsteps or knew this was a manner of supervision I would not follow. This then equated the formalized process of how we learn virtues and the way in which we learn them.
In a formal education process, the school would provide us a degree or certification of course work, which acknowledges the successful completion of the knowledge provided. For a leader and the demonstration of the application of these virtues, their level of success will be seen by the success of the persons that they lead and how the community that they are responsible to community as their law enforcement agency.
This was a great lecture. It starts with yourself. In order to become a great leader and someone that makes a difference you need to have the values of the four corner. Being honest with someone is one of the most effective way to become a great leader. Most individuals respect you more when u can always be truthful with them. Leaders who aren't trusted by their followers or have their follower's best interests in mind will always lack credibility.
I agree, most people will respect you more when you're always truthful with them. They may take it that you are blunt but I'd rather be known for being forthcoming than a liar. An by being that way it will instill trust.
As has been stated elsewhere in this course, a strong moral compass is essential to being an ethical leader. The problem can be in defining exactly what is a moral compass. I found a great deal of value in the definition of the cardinal points of the moral compass. Peace, Justice, Service, Equity. These are worthy cornerstones upon which to build a moral foundation. One of the sayings we have at my department is that we hire and train for competence, but we discipline and terminate for character. We are working toward the goal of hiring for character, but its not as easy as one might think.
WOW! Very powerful lecture. Talking about the importance of being your best for the benefit of others. It is interesting when she was talking through the 10 core values how much they were intertwined with each other. I heard a lot of the descriptions being defined by other words and other values. I have neglected to reflect on my actions each day, determining what I have done well and what I can improve on. I need to work to make myself better. I thank this class for reminding me to do so.
Andrew, this is exactly what I got from the lecture, and it caused a lot of introspection in me as well. The importance of good moral character and being credible cannot be underestimated.
I too agree that this module shows we all start off in the right direction in our careers to do what right. If we don't take time to self examine and keep our self in check we could get off course. The moral compass is good to help reference if needed.
Moral compass: As I was taking notes during Lorraine Snyder’s lecture, I wrote to myself that this needs to be part of the core basic academy. As someone who lived with magnus traits before I knew it was a thing, I’m not sure all my colleagues came into the profession with their compasses fully formed. Hence, these leadership characteristics should be taught throughout the officer’s career as leadership can be learned. As was quoted from Lincoln in the previous module “You cannot change human nature, it is always bad, but you can change human action”. With that said, we can help our juniors to better form their compasses.
This was an inspirational module in that it reminded me of how important my service and leadership are to my community and subordinates. You sometimes take for granted that your core values are not shared by everyone in our profession. This is a battle we must undertake if were going to survive as a profession. We must fulfill one of our most important duties as leaders, to set up the next generation to succeed where past generations have failed us now.
The most important thing that I learned form this module is that I need to reflect on my daily actions and dealings. I get so wrapped up in my duties and the wellbeing of my unit that I forget to reflect once I get home as I have a family to tend to.
So, I’ve learned that I need to reflect on how well I communicated this day or did I do a good job at affirming others this day. Those are two very big topics for without communication or positive interactions, we can’t build the relationships we need to thrive in our work life. I thought I was thriving and doing well in both reflections but maybe I can do better.
This is a test
Each agency and officer of that agency should and must have a moral compass. This keeps both the agency and officer on course for the best outcome for not only the agency, the officer, but the community as a hold. This is a must, for if you get off course this could cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the agency. This also will cause damage to the relationship between the agency and the community. We as leaders, must make sure we follow our moral compass and that the people we lead as well so we follow the true course.
The moral compass of each member of staff (Chief to Officer) must be aligned with that of the agency, which must be aligned with the community for which we work. This is the value of basing that moral compass on timeless cornerstones such as Peace, Justice, Service, and Equity. If your foundation is set on solid rock, what you build will stand the test of time.
Building a strong leadership foundation based on peace, justice, equity, and service will endure the long-term test. It provides guidance for law enforcement personnel as well as a layperson to live by.
I agree with your response. It is like having a weekly evaluation to make sure officers are following those guidelines from the compass to meet the agency standards.
We are truly judged more by what we do rather than what we say. This book is a good read and reaffirms the qualities of a character-driven leader.
I have heard or read many things referring to The Moral Compass, but not to the extent of this module. I believed we can not do this job without it and from time to time need to be reminded of it.
In the lecture on Moral Compass by Lorraine Snyder, it is evident that the correlation of a compass is used to help us to find our true north. The compass is a useful tool to help one remain on an intended course; a moral compass implies it helps a person find their purpose and direction, particularly during the storms of life. When you add the component of what is moral, the conduct of knowing right from wrong and choosing to do what is right, even though it may not be easy, is a sign of a person’s character and integrity. The image of a moral compass for law enforcement officers encompasses everything an officer should stand for.
The ten values discussed in this lecture are the backbone of a strong society. I believe that if every member of society adhered to these core values, society would be much more productive, ethical, and transparent. It resonated with me when Snyder proposed that the most important core value is courage. Without displaying courage, we cannot be consistent in how we live out our values.
It is important that those who are in this profession prescribe to the personal and professional code of ethics, to a moral compass that guides our every action and thought. This is not an easy profession, and I truly believe it is a calling for those who remain in it and thrive. It is obvious that our society demands more from us, but we should also have the courage to demand from our peers the right and moral things to do.
Very well said George. The moral compass is the true course that all should follow. With out it, we just travel in circles. Nothing gets done and falls in disarray.
The values covered in the Moral Compass should apply to all of society but are even more critical to law enforcement, as we are the example. I have heard supervisors tell their teams to do what I say, not as I do. This statement certainly sets an example, but it is the wrong example. We should strive to be the best, look the best, and behave the best to be a positive example to our people. I aspire to do at work every day. We need to focus more on the cornerstones and values of the Moral Compass. Just imagine the change that could occur if agency administrations and command staff practiced the moral compass principles. The example set before their departments would undoubtedly change their agency’s environments.
Mitchell, I agree with your post. I have also seen that same example set forth as I came up through the department. It is hard for me to think of them as leaders, but you learn what not to do. I have also had the pleasure to have excellent role models as leaders who set the tone not by their words but by their actions. I can tell you from first-hand experience when our department got a new leader you could tell just by meeting this person things would be different. His values and core beliefs have had such a positive impact on our department. Any command staff must embrace the moral compass principles to have a significant culture change.
Well said Mitchell. I agree with your post
Mitchell, well said and guided by the magnus officer with the warrior heart. Regarding the other agency officials, they are a different type of warrior in an arena with less virtuous ideas in leadership. Much less glorious than the narrow road we travel my friend! Keep up the good work and keep your compass North, the community and your family is relying on your courage.
Great perspective, Mitchel. I agree with you. If everyone did follow the moral compass, the world as we know it would be a better place. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. As leaders, we must follow this compass to set then example. Not only for our co-workers but for the citizens we serve. This sets an exceptional standard that will have the public more trusting of its law enforcement agency protecting them.
You made mention of a past supervisor who made comments relating to "do what I say, not as I do." I believe this falls under what we learned in a previous module under the five "L's." The last "L" was Leave.
Well said, Mitchell. The moral compass is something everyone should strive to live by. If the top-level leaders embrace these principles, the rest will undoubtedly notice and follow suit.
In reviewing the ten values presented in Moral Compass, I was struck by how many of them tie together and have similar characteristics. For example, Humility and Honesty. They both share the emotion/feeling of approachability and honesty actually has one of the feelings listed as someone who is humble. I also found the quote from Maya Angelou interesting where she states, "Courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently..."
One of the facts presented in the book and video lecture that stood out to me is the lack of attention focused on character-based topics such as morals and ethics. Looking back on my training over the years this is an accurate depiction of my experience. We make the mistake of delivering classes on ethics (including reviewing the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics) and believe that everyone can adequately operationalize ethical decision making and behavior. We present our departmental professional standards contract, which includes our departmental core values (with definitions) during initial training and then require only biennial training on the subject from then on. We are not blending the competency-based training with the character-based training to the extent that we should. We need to rethink where and how we can incorporate character-based training into our initial and in-service training. Law enforcement ethics, agency ethics, and ethical decision making should be incorporated into training at every opportunity, so as to bring it to the forefront of agency culture.
Like your agency and because of our accreditation, we are required to have a policy requiring all personnel to abide by a code or canon of ethics adopted by the agency and mandates that ethics training be conducted for all personnel, at a minimum, biennially. We have taken this a step further and mandate this training be conducted annually. This was something that I don't remember even having training on unless it was in the academy setting and our neighboring agencies that are not accredited, to my knowledge, do zero training on the subject of ethics.
The ten virtues; integrity, knowledge, loyalty, humility, trustworthiness, courage, emotional intelligence, impartiality, sincerity, and kindness, mentioned in this module are absolutely questions we should be asking if we are living up to each day. In both our professional and private lives. I believe if we are living our lives by these virtues then it will easily carry over into our professional lives. As leaders we should be setting the example and encouraging others to work toward not only following these ideas but living them.
Very correct. Like anything else in life. It starts at home.
Learning Area #1 / Module #5 Discussion Post and Response
Captain Jeremy Harrison
Oklahoma City Police Department
National Command & Staff College, Session 16, 2021
The principles outlined in the “Moral Compass” are nothing new (Normore, Javidi, Anderson, Normand, Scott, & Hoina, 2014, p. 15). Most would agree that the values described are ideal for any person to live and any organization to pursue. In this way, it is not difficult to outline how to be a good leader. The issue at hand is following through to live out what the “Moral Compass” describes (Normore et al., 2015, p. 15).
Humans are constantly bombarded by temptation. When it comes to law enforcement leadership, that temptation can center around promotions, assignments, relationships, or the spotlight. To live out what the authors describe, a leader must be willing to forgo their own personal desires, in many cases, and pursue what is good for everyone else. Rejecting selfishness can seem like a gamble at times, but it is most likely a gamble which will pay much higher dividends than going the other route of leading through selfishness and pride. Additionally, living a life in service to others brings more genuine joy in life than living for oneself. Amazingly, so many of us fall into the temptation of selfishness so often.
We as law enforcement leaders must work to change the culture with the understanding, not every one of our peers will be willing to live the life recommended by the “Moral Compass” (Normore et al., 2015, p. 15). However, over time, cultural change can occur. When younger officers see good leadership demonstrated, they will be more likely to follow those steps. Unfortunately, if a police department has a culture of competition and the rat race, younger officers will adapt to that approach as it may appear the only way to achieve goals. The rat race culture is very destructive to an organization and will most likely marginalize large groups of officers and citizens. When an organization pursues those values outlined in the text will bring life to an organization which will permeate into public service.
Normore, A.H., Javidi, M., Anderson, T., Normand, N., Scott Sr., W. R., Hoina, C. (2014). Moral compass for law enforcement
professionals. International Academy of Public Safety Professionals, Inc.
The fact of having a good moral compass should be one of the requirements for becoming a police officer in the beginning. While I understand that this can be something that is difficult to judge in the short amount of time that we have to investigate people that we are attempting to hire, this is something we should be looking for. Are these people doing the fundamentals of a moral compass on a day to day basis? Are they living up to this in what ever work they are doing now?
The same thing is what we should be asking of ourselves daily. Are we striving to keep our moral compass heading in the right directions? As leaders in our agencies there should be no question about the traits that are described, this should be how we live our lives both at work and away. We cannot expect our officers to live to this level if we cannot do it ourselves.
I think we've paid too little attention to moral compass and specific values because we have always assumed that people in the profession share our values. But values are in fact learned and value systems can compete with one another. I appreciated the list of values that come from the Moral Compass book and thought Lorraine Snyder's discussion of them was very strong. But I also think it's important that we name our own values and find ways to remind ourselves often of what they are. Likewise, there's real value in asking our work units to name our shared values as well. Naming these and making them a part of regular conversations and assessments helps to gain buy-in for those shared values, and gives us concrete standards against which we can compare our actions and those of our people. This is something I've been doing in the units I've supervised for the past several years, and one thing I've learned in doing so is that it hasn't been enough to have the unit name them once; I've had to find ways to reiterate the values, even though they chose them themselves, because it's easy to forget them.
Learning Area #1 / Module #5 Discussion Post and Response
Captain Jeremy Harrison
Oklahoma City Police Department
National Command & Staff College, Session 16, 2021
I take notice of everything you wrote here, and I completely buy into what you propose. I want to focus on one thing you said which was striking to me. You said we pay too little attention to the moral compass. That phrase reinforced how much we must commit to pursuing to values outlined in the text. There are many competing goals, temptations, and distractions, and it is easy to lose your way in the storm at times. However, if our organization is constantly pursuing these values, we are much more likely to change our culture and ensure everyone after us buys into the moral compass standard.
I appreciate the posters we have hung around the station, outlining and defining our core values. We can take that a step further in reinforcing the cardinal directions on the moral compass. I am curious if something like quarterly videos could be produced discussing these values and how we, as an organization, can implement them. It would be a great conversation starter at a minimum.
As a parent, it is your job to lay the foundations of having morals. It starts at a young age. If a parent tolerates a disrespectful child, lies, and steals, that child will go into adulthood thinking those things are ok. For anyone not to have morals is detrimental to society. As police officers, we are held to a very high standard and should never compromise our morals. When a police officer is known to lie, their supervisor will notice it, and even the DA's office and judges. It is never good to be that guy or gal.
The idea that being a credible leader requires a combination of knowledge and integrity stood out to me. It is not enough to train, learn or become an expert in a field. If I fail to show integrity, and build trust and relationships with those I work with my impact will be minimized. Likewise, just being a good person is not enough. I must also continue to train, use experiences, read and educate myself to be knowledgeable.
Well said Matt. I thought Ms. Snyder did a good job by opening with credibility and trust then by concluding with the suggestion of self reflection to elicit constant improvement.
The Moral Compass lecture was interesting. I like how the instructor defined the 4 Corners of the Moral Compass and then expanded on the 10 core values. My biggest take away from this module is to always be honest, kind and impartial in all situations.
The honesty/truthfulness portion stood out to me too. As police officers integrity and honesty is so important. Demonstrating that quality is key as leaders. Especially, when admitting to a mistake or error. I constantly talked to my children about it being easy to tell the truth when they have succeeded, but a honest and courageous person is truthful when they have made a mistake. Easy to say and type, but can be difficult to follow through with when faced with difficult situations. I hope I always have the courage to admit when I am wrong.
The previous modules caused me to look back on how I'm doing in my role not only at my office, but in my family and social circle, however the Moral Compass lecture has caused the most reflection. The moral compass is a true litmus test we can use to measure what kind of a boss, leader, parent, spouse, friend, employee we are. If we truly are able to put our own self-interests second behind serving others, I think we've made it and our compass is solid.
Stephanie, I agree that trust is the most important virtue. That trust has to be maintained for others and trust in our own decisions and abilities. Without trust, law enforcement loses its connection with the public.
A strong moral compass is significant to everyone and not just law enforcement. In our job, we are surrounded by evil and wrongdoing and at times forget that the silent majority does the right things daily and appreciates our work. I would have liked the speaker to have talked more of examples of following that moral compass and felt that, at times, the discussion was focused more on positive buzz words. The message and meaning are good, and I support following a better moral path in daily life and seeing its value to an officer.
Steven, I agree that the presentation seemed kind of buzz-word-y at times. It could have used some discussion about how other values (even values that are good on their face) can compete with and get in the way of our most important values, and how we work through that. That's the kind of discussion that would help make these values feel like aspirational buzz words and more like actionable decision making criteria for making wiser decisions that are in-line with our organizational and personal values.
So much of having a moral compass could be summed up by the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I think when we value others properly its natural to live out the moral compass. People we value are easy to show kindness to. Easy to be humble around, easy to be honest and sincere with. Maybe the trick to being virtuous is finding the value in others we encounter, regardless of the circumstances. A personal goal of mine is to be more intentional in showing value to the officers under my supervision. To stop taking for granted they know I value them and show them through my words and actions.
John, I agree with your goal of being more intentional about showing value to your officers. One of the things that I have learned is that I have failed in my communication to family, friends, and coworkers because I assumed that they inherently understood my feelings and appreciation for them. I think most people believe that their positive feelings and intentions are automatically understood by others. Unfortunately, people communicate and understand communication so differently. This exposes the major flaw of the Golden Rule, which is that people think and communicate so differently. The Golden Rule is self-centric. The Golden Rule assumes that others share our perspectives, values, and motivations. I suggest that you apply the Platinum Rule, which is to treat others like they want to be treated. Communicate with others in the way that they will better understand. Although this is much more challenging, the person on the receiving end will have a better chance of receiving the intended message.
Having a strong moral compass is so very important in our leadership roles. We have all met "leaders" who can recite leadership books, or quotes, and want everyone to think of them as a leader, but their actions tell a different story. They are recognizable because they are not aware of their compass. They are not peaceful, and may react harshly, or they do not look to serve others, only themselves. By being aware of our moral compass, we can keep ourselves in check and fulfill our mission as a leader in our organization. Our mission is to make those around us better and serve them with genuine care.
This is beyond accurate. We have leaders in today's society who want the title but lack a moral compass. These leaders have a moral compass with people who they believe are on their level. When they are in a room full of leaders and know their actions could be questioned, they will act accordingly. When they know there not being held accountable, morals go out the window, and they treat people like the gum stuck to the bottom of a pair of shoes. Great post!
I agree Dustin, I have seen supervisors do the same thing within my department. Just being knowledgeable does not circle the entire compass. Many leaders don't understand the delivery of kindness and humility. I'm not saying we have to cater to the millennial feelings of people today, but having and utilizing the values, will ultimately bring organizations together and stronger.
This module reminded me and further instilled the importance of leadership qualities. Every great leader is different, yet most of them share the same qualities. There are valuable lessons to be learned here. Our moral compass which is made up of the four cornerstones of justice, peace, service, and equality are concrete principles. The explanation of the ten virtues; integrity, knowledge, loyalty, humility, trustworthiness, courage, emotional intelligence, impartiality, and kindness, when used, are important and elevate leadership to the highest level and ensure an everlasting positive effect. As stated within most of the lectures, trust is the most important component. Trust is important within the organization and the community. Trust gives “peace of mind” to all involved.
I couldn't agree more. I notice that trust is mentioned somewhere in some way under each of the virtues. Building trust with our leaders, peers, employees, community, friends and family. I think it is one of the first things we have to build to get others to buy in a follow us. Without trust that you will do the right thing no matter what you lose legitimacy.
The Moral Compass is a great tool to assess where we are morally on a professional and personal level. It was clearly evident that one of the goals of the presentation was to make us realize we are never done. The process of becoming moral is a lifelong process of growth through vigilance in reviewing our thoughts, words and actions, and their impact on others. Through self-reflection each day becomes an opportunity to be more, become better. Throughout the module there were times I was very overwhelmed. However, when I started to insert myself as the lessons were presented, I started to see how I could do better in each area. The feeling of drowning was replaced with a sense of hope and direction of what I needed to do each and everyday. The presentation was a great reminder that if we can encourage just one other to do the same, what we could accomplish together would be unstoppable.
The Moral Compass should be something we strive to live by daily. The guiding principles of peace, justice, equity and service combined show a true leader and their traits. The Moral Compass values set out the type of leaders we need more of in the law enforcement community. The greatest of these being courage. Without courage we will never be able to face the adversities of life and strive for greatness. None of the values can be practiced consistently without the presence of courage. I am reminded of the serenity prayer in the lecture. This prayer speaks truth for everything we stand for as a leader.
We should be self-aware of how we conduct ourselves daily and truly be the example for others to follow, especially in today’s time. Our profession is under the microscope and the public is always seeing the negative aspects before the positive ones. If we truly live by the 10 moral compass values, society will see everything in a different light, and this will be the turning point for all involved. I have found myself not living up to the moral compass standards throughout my career however, leading by the example of my own conduct through the eyes of the moral compass will dictate the outcome of the situation. If we live by the moral compass in both our professional and personal lives, others will hopefully follow that lead and aspire to conduct themselves in the same manner.
The need for good character in law enforcement officers and agencies has never been greater. If we all lived by the 10 Moral Compass values every officer would indeed be a leader. Leading change in his community, home, and amongst his friends, family, and co-workers. These are the qualities that I strive to meet daily and know that I don’t always meet the standard. Without the qualities, leaders will fall short and quickly loose the respect of peers and subordinates. Credibility is born from these values.
I believe most Officers have these traits, but some have lost parts of this as they have become calloused by the ugliness we see on the job. These values should be emphasized continually through-out our careers.
Great lecture and extremely relevant to our profession. It can be as simple as the officer who speeds everywhere and writes tons of speeding tickets to the supervisor who cuts corners and circumvents regulations to meet his goals. The public see's the first officer as a hypocrite because he fails to follow the laws he enforces and the supervisor loses the respect of his people due to their lack of integrity or courage. It's as simple as modeling with your own virtues how you wish your people to be in life professionally and personally. It starts with us to influence those we lead with the proper traits and virtues desired for the profession.
I agree with your statement that “it starts with us to influence those we lead”. We must set the example if we want others to follow. If the public and our peers, see us doing the right thing even when that may be harder, one can hope they have the courage to do the same.
Your example of the officer speeding and then writes tickets for speeding, is perfect. When that happens the public sees it and loses trust inn the organization.
I agree, many years ago I worked for a supervisor who was knowledgeable and hard working. However, with in the department he was also known for his lack of morals. He had several marital affairs and was untrusted by me and other officers. He believed the ends justified the means and was known to be heavy handed. He created so much stress for those that worked for him and was followed by negativity. Ultimately his lack of a moral compass caught up to him and he was terminated. It was like the sun had come up and all was well with in the department. Moral got better immediately. I know firsthand the wide-reaching effects of a poor moral compass in leadership.
I also can think of someone who had a poor moral compass. I knew who this person was outside of work. I knew how he acted around one group and then a totally different way around another group. This person has since left our agency, and like yours, the moral in our office improved overnight.
This was a great lecture. I've seen several comments that talking building a strong moral character. It may be impossible to have everyone in an organization display these characteristics, however, if the leaders of the organization display these characteristics, I believe eventually you will weed out the ones who don't.
Organizations can benefit by not only training officers when they first start their career but looking for these characteristics during the hiring process. Not just hiring someone who made it through the hoops, but really looking for the right individual for the agency.
This is what we should all be doing, looking for the right people from the beginning of the hiring process. If the characteristics do not already exist, at least to some degree, then trying to teach them can be futile. As leaders we must get to the root of why people want to be a public servant and then determine if these reasons are what our agencies are looking for.
I thoroughly enjoyed this lecture. In my opinion, this is the most important lecture we have had so far. A strong moral character is the building blocks of a great officer. Every officer should have gotten into this profession because they believe in the four corners of the moral compass: Equity, Service, Justice and Peace. However, we need to nurture and train officers/leaders in the moral compass regularly. So, they don't lose sight during troubling times in their lives. The moral compass is not just for law enforcement to live by but a lifestyle that every person should live by.
I agree with Johnathan that we need to train often on our moral compass. It can be as easy as a conversation with a coworker when something becomes evident or just something casual to engage them in thought.
After completing this module about moral compass, the one thing that stood out was the fact that we don't have enough training on this concept and leadership in general. Approximately 80 percent of our training throughout our career in law enforcement are competency based. If you look at the statistics on internal affair investigations and why most officers lose their jobs, you find that most of them are poor decision (Ethnically based).
I could not agree with you more. All officers at every level needs training on the moral compass and leadership. A lot of agencies focus their training on technical and tactical training. Looking back on my career, more officers have made poor ethnical decisions were disciplined than officers that made a mistake technically. If more agencies would teach the value of the moral compass at the beginning of an officers career, maybe the agencies would build a better department for the future.
I believe there are people that tend to be drawn towards law enforcement. These people are the ones that are naturally born with a sense of this moral compass. There are pressures from the world around us to lessen our grip on the compass, but that is all the more reason we should intentionally practice using this compass. It takes a courageous person to stand against the flow of the world around you, but as you continue to do so in the face of adversity the strength it requires lessens. I agree with Jeff that our young officers need to be taught this from the first day on the job, and we must continue to keep these virtues and cornerstones front and center throughout our careers so we do not lose sight of who we were created and called to be.
Being a law enforcement leader entails making complex ethical choices in our personal and professional lives. In my opinion, moral compass is the most under-utilized leadership skill that is practiced. It is essential that all in law enforcement incorporate an elaborate system that can lead them through the difficult process of decision making that leads to good choices. The individual leading must have the understanding and foundation of this leadership approach to be judged as credible. A credible leader is perceived by their co-workers as having tenacious merits of trust and expertise. By having this leadership quality it will allow for relationships to establish teamwork and achieve goals. From experience, keeping your moral compass sharpened is extremely important and the key to success.
I have always thought, as still do, that I have a strong Moral Compass. This module really reinforced just how important, and probably more importantly, how easy it can be to violate public trust, your credibility and your agency's credibility should you stray from it. The values of the Moral Compass are not complicated; however, you must invest and work on each of them daily so we don't put our credibility and trust in jeopardy. The Moral Compass literature would be a great piece of Field Training Programs in law enforcement so that we are instilling and reinforcing the values and concepts of the Moral Compass from the start of a career in public safety.
Jeff, I agree. The leadership training a new officer receives in the academy is not nearly enough to carry them throughout their career. We need to do a lot more in establishing leadership programs inside agencies that share values with new officers in building ethical values. Just this year our agency brought in a shared vision of leadership training, and it can already be seen that our young officers are becoming amazingly efficient both personally and professionally.
Many years ago I was given two books written by William Bennett, The Moral Compass and The Book of Virtues. Both of those books are stories centered around morals and virtues, possibly written for entertainment more so than any formal educational value, however, both opened my eyes to what morals and virtues were through those stories. This module took that to a new level, giving concrete definition and, no pun intended, a guiding direction to those principles that I was so entertained by so long ago. Also, the practice of daily reflection on whether or not I lived out those morals and values, so as to ensure they are not a waning trait, was very valuable.
This lesson has made me think even stronger about doing what is right not being a part of what everyone else expects you do to be on a team. The other day i made a mistake and broke a mug. No one saw my knock the mug down but i knew the right thing was to pay for the item even though I did not like or wanted to mug.
I have always taken pride in having a strong moral compass but this lecture made me realize that there's more to it than I thought and it's something that needs to practiced on a daily basis. I especially learned a lot from the 10 core values. The biggest takeaway that I got from this lecture was self-awareness and reflection. I definitely have been lacking in this area and realized after this lecture that it's important to take the time to reflect on my day in order to keep improving.
This portion of the training regarding the necessity of having a strong moral compass as a leader in law enforcement something that all officers should read and then read again. In these turbulent times, I find myself more and more often, having to counsel team members and fellow officers about why they became law enforcement officers and to reinvest themselves in their beliefs of service and commitment. While participating in this training, the four corners of moral compass assisted me in properly identifying these beliefs and putting them into a better descriptive form, so to speak. I particularly liked the reflection portion of the training. This is a great way to ensure that you are practicing and training your moral compass.
It is as the authors discussed in the book Moral Compass, it isn't the lack of competency that we have to worry about, it is the moral ground where officers slip. I can't recall an officer we have ever had to let go for a technical failure, but several for acts that crossed that moral line of public trust. Bravo to you for taking the time to counsel these officers repetitively and to hopefully reignite those officers on why they got into law enforcement to begin with instead of letting them fall to the wayside.
I want to think that most people in leadership positions in law enforcement have a high moral standard. Unfortunately, this is not always so. I believe striving to be better at following the ten core values inside the compass can teach us how to be better at our jobs and in life. At the conclusion of the module, the instructor stated that it is good to reflect daily on what you have accomplished and if you successfully followed the moral compass. This is a great lesson. We are not perfect, and being self-aware of what we can do better daily will help us be better leaders.
As a law enforcement officer you must live and serve by the moral compass. In order to become a great leader and someone that makes a difference you need to have the values of the four corner stones of peace, equity, justice and service. Great leaders show they want to serve the public and are always fair and impartial. I feel like the values of the moral compass are the strong foundation that great leaders are built from.
I agree that not only that we must serve by the moral compass but live it everyday whether on duty or off duty. We have to do what is right.
For me, this lecture built on the foundation of the Magnus Officer. Having the visual of the compass, defining its cornerstones and all within has me reflecting on times when I may have strayed from Equity and more toward service. Possibly with some bias in there. I think the future will have me reflecting on all modules and for personal assurance, the compass will be printed on my wall. So much great information that seems to…ha-ha, “circle back” (Psaki 2021) to being Magnus.
Great lesson about what it means to have good character and being able to understand how the concepts of the moral compass apply in law enforcement. Having our credibility in law enforcement is paramount each and every day; not only within our own agencies but within the communities we serve. Being able to have the mindset that we good character and that as leaders we can be guided by the moral compass to have equity, peace, justice and service to others is extremely important. Without the four corners of the compass, leaders in law enforcement will struggle to be effective in their decision making abilities and will not garner the respect of their peers and the communities
I agree, and you bring up a good point. Many times we fail to focus on the community and its perception of law enforcement. Unfortunately, it only takes a few officers to tarnish the badge and brings so much work to rebuild public trust. We have too much against us. Following and upholding the ten core values inside the compass can help maintain a positive reflection on law enforcement.
I agree with your thoughts on this Kevin. Effective leaders are a must and we have seen what an ineffective leader can do to a section of an agency and the personnel that work there. It all starts with the leader who believes and practices, strives to become better and be the role model for others within his/her section.
The moral compass sets us up to be GREAT leaders and law enforcement agencies not just good. Our agencies must ensure we are holding our officers and employees to the moral compass in order to provide the very best, great, service to our community members. When we fail as an agency to ensure the moral compass is being upheld, we are failing the citizens we have sworn to protect. we are now providing a satisfactory service, which is a poor reflection of what we are.
While talking about equity Snyder said, "Although it is not always easy, credible leaders must always do the right thing for the right reason even if it is in direct conflict with a personal preference." I feel that this one statement is paramount for a good officer and a great leader. If every officer would stick to this we would not have some of the problems that we encounter in our agencies. This single statement could save a lot of people from headaches. It is such a simple concept but not necessarily easy to put into practice. We as leaders must embrace this and set the example, especially when our personal feelings are in conflict.
As important as I feel this one statement is we cannot ignore the other corners of the moral compass or the values that go with the compass. We need to do our best to live out every area covered in this section and model that for our subordinates.
I agree with the power of this statement. Unfortunately, this is one of the things which leaders struggle with the most. We need to realize that our personal preference may not be what is best for the agencies goals and the goals of the team. Being able to understand this and put our personal preferences aside is what sets great leaders apart from good leaders.
Moral Compass is a excellent tool; to aid officers in their daily tasks and decision making. The compass and core values; really make you reflect on your on values and morals. The module really touch on; how embracing the core values can be beneficial to you and your organization. Being honest to yourself and the community goes a long way. It'll build trust, integrity, and confidence. All characteristics that is needed and beneficial to both you and your community.
Honesty is a powerful trait; that is underrated and taking for granted. I feel honesty plays a strong role in being a respected and credible leader. At the end of the day, individuals have to trust, believe, and have faith in you. If they are lacking any of those qualities in you; it makes it very difficult to lead and be believable.
I found this module to be much more enjoyable. I still had my paperback copy of Moral Compass for Law Enforcement that I was given during one of the leadership course workshops. So rereading it and going through the video lecture was a god review. I still really appreciate the way the compass design was used with “four corners …peace, service, Justice, and Equity,” (Normore, Javidi, Anderson, Normand, Scott, & Hoina, 2014). The core value I most wish to emulate and improve on in courage. It comes easy and natural to be courageous in the face of a physical threat or a fight. It is hard to model courage when it is your friends and peers trying to influence you to take the easier path and to not be steadfast. I still find it difficult to stay true and not allow others to influence me into complacency. That is where I need to strengthen my courage, motivation, and resolve.
Normore, A., Javidi, M., Anderson, T., Normand, N., Scott, W., & Hoina, C. (2014). Moral compass for law enforcement professionals. United States of America: International Academy of Public Safety, Inc.
Snyder, L. (2017). Practical emotional intelligence. Module 5, Week 1. National Command Staff College.
Without a moral compass law enforcement cannot have creditability or sustainability. Peace, Service, Justice, Equity. All equally important. However, why do we as a profession struggle with the "equity" component? I think its because police officers, like every other profession are occupied by humankind. Every profession has people w/biases even prejudices; including peace officers. However, because of what we represent our ability or inability to remain equitable to all members of the community must be a concerted effort by our line level officers and those leading them.
I completely agree. the equity corner of the compass sometimes is the one that puts us in the most conflict with our feelings. It is the one where we must ignore our experiences and preferences and do what is right.
I really enjoyed this lesson for a multitude of reasons. Early in my career, I remember being given the moral compass book and having read it. I don't think at the time I really understood the full magnitude of the content and how it should apply to my daily job. I certainly took from the book that being a moral police officer was a necessity, but did not really take away enough to fully understand what that actually means or looks like. The in-depth review of the (10) core values really provided me an outline or ideas to put together an action plan for embracing the concepts of the lesson. For example, one of the core values is humility. I know what humility is and could definitely provide you a definition if asked. However, how does that really apply to being a leader in my organization? The lesson provided examples of what that looks like and how it should be applied. For example, being willing to share the spotlight, gaining satisfaction in the success of others, team oriented, giving credit to the team, willingness to serve others and put them first to achieve a goal, and several others. I think the roadmap provided in this lesson has provided me many additional and new ideas that I can implement in my current leadership role.
Being a good leader means having credibility. The most important component is trust without trust you have nothing. As a leader who has earned respect from other officers and their community will go far in their department. Leaders that have earned trust will be able to motivate others under their command. Communities want credible leaders so that they know the information they are receiving is truthful and accurate. You will be able to keep the peace in your community as long as the leadership remains creditable, because once the trust is broken or damaged all creditability is lost and you may never be able to get it back.
I agree Buck. General Stanley McChrystal talks about the creditability equation in his book "My Share of the Task",
That is a accurate statement Mr. Wilkins. Credibility and trust are both built from HONESTY. Without honesty there is no trust, faith, or confidence. When you lack those qualities; its' a recipe for disaster, turmoil, and distrust.
Buck, I totally agree with you. Trust means so much when you are a leader. If your personnel under your command do not trust you then they will not follow you and they will gain nothing from you. I also agree that trust is very important with the community. Your creditability is also just as important with your personnel as it is with the public.
Well put, Buck. If we lose trust and credibility within our communities, we make our already difficult careers just that much harder to achieve common goals to move forward in a positive manner.
I really enjoyed this module. The Moral Compass is the backbone of true leadership. If a leader has moral failings, lacks an ethos, or fails to lead in these things from the front, nothing else will matter. As was said in the foreword of The Moral Compass for Law Enforcement, "Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy” (Schwarzkopf), or as another saying so poignantly states, "When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost!"
I agree with your post once it is lost you may never get it back. Don't ever try to hide anything from the public because once you do the trust is gone.
This was just a reminder for me to conduct a daily moral checkup on myself. Even though I believe that my moral foundation is strong, I have to admit to myself that it is tested daily. And with an ever changing world I really don't want to get lost in compromise.
The moral compass is another tool that law enforcement can add to their tool bet to remind us how we should conduct ourselves daily. I believe that honesty is one of the most important things you could have as a leader, not only to your subordinates but also to the community. Most people can’t give you anything but their word, and if you break your word, you have nothing left to give. It is often phrased by the words “my word is my bond.” You should always be honest with someone; even if being honest is not what that person wants to hear at the time, they will respect you for it later.
I also believe that honesty goes a long way. You have to be up front with people and never try and sugar coat the conversation.
I agree that honesty is one of the most important things you can have as a leader. Integrity goes hand in hand with that and in our profession, we are relied on to give honest information based on facts and provide things in a clear and concise manner so that it is easily understood or interpreted by the recipient, no matter if it is information that may go against their thoughts or what they perceive may have happened in a certain situation.
I think the biggest take away from this module is that we must always do the correct thing even when it's not what we want to do. There are so many examples of Police officers doing this, but unfortunately they're often dismissed as simply "what we are supposed to do" or simply not recognized. For example, I recently observed body camera footage of an officer providing first aid measures to an individual that just assaulted them. Many normal people would have no desire to provide aid to someone that just attacked them, but police do what is right. This shows a strong moral compass and personifies character traits that modern policing desires. We must do what is right, even if it's not conflict with our personal preferences.
This module just reiterated with what has been presented all along. You need to have a strong foundation built on strong morals and principles to be a successful leader. It is important to accept when you are wrong and make sure the decisions you make are built on whether they are the right thing, right time, right way and for the right ethical reason. Strong character and emotional intelligence will help with maintaining the highest level of morals as an effective leader.
Agreed. I think it starts early with a strong foundation. And as we live day by day try and do our best to stay on track and not compromise.
CHARACTER- That is the one word that continued to stick out to me as I progressed through the lecture. To me being a positive and productive leader begins with one`s character. That should be the base we all build our leadership skills on. No matter what tough decisions we are forced to make, if we spend everyday trying to build and maintain ourselves as a person of character, we will all become much valuable leaders to our organizations.
I think this module continued the theme being presented since day one - you have to have a strong morale foundation to be a strong and effective leader. It is all really common sense and the information provided is a good reminder of that . Although it is pretty straight forward, as has been mentioned in lesson material previously "just because it's simple doesn't mean it's easy."
I believe you also have to have a strong moral foundation as well. Unfortunately, I believe people lose sight of the end goal and make decisions that are detrimental to their success as well as leaves their department with a bad look. I think this is something we as leaders need to look at daily and keep ourselves in check. We all know what the right thing to do is. But like you said, "because it`s simple, doesn`t mean it is easy".
While going through this lesson, like other lessons it caused me to self reflect. I started thinking about all the bad and good that I have done in my life and career. I started to become ashamed of some of the poor decisions that I made as my "moral compass" was not pointing in the right direction. I look back to the day we were born. We were essentially a blank slate. It is amazing that from day one that we are influenced and molded into the person we all are today. I believe you have to accept your faults because without faults you wouldn't have successes'
Acceptance of our faults and reflection to find them is critical in my opinion. Humans by nature and imperfect and obviously cops are human. We have to continue to strive to do and be better and that only comes from honest reflection. While training new officers we often ask "What did you do right? What did you do wrong? What can we change next time?". Before this training, it was important but was quickly becoming just another part of training someone. I now see the value in this, and providing an honest reflection on actions.
While taking this lesson I thought back on the jobs that I have done other than law enforcement. It became clear to me that having a strong moral compass applies in each of those industries as well. I also reflected back on to several of the leaders I have had the pleasure to work under and all of those possessed a strong moral compass and were a pleasure to serve. This lesson has caused me to self evaluate and exercise my own character and moral compass so that I can be the leader I want to be and my agency expects me to be.
In their seminal work, Normore, Javidi, Anderson, Normand, Scott and Hoina (2014) propose a set of concepts, values and characteristics to guide public safety professionals in an acceptable, honorable manner. Their discussion of character-driven leadership in the public safety field centers on an officer’s investment in several key concepts, with an over-arching focus on the community as a whole (Snyder, 2021). In doing so, the subject of making the community better through addressing quality of life emerges as an important construct. Such investment serves to guide officers in their day to day work by imbibing the importance of fair and impartial law enforcement practices, enhanced public safety methodologies, objectivity and educating the public in order to lessen the anxiety associated with crime by offering secure and effective opportunities for partnerships (Normore, et al., 2014).
By subscribing to the practices of character-driven leadership, public safety professionals can increase their opportunities for trust-building through mutual partnerships in the community, thereby focusing on the law enforcement mission. This is extremely important because it serves as the backbone of community and police agency investment that returns precious dividends. To realize such a relationship, the cornerstones of peace, justice, equity and service must be embraced (Normore et al., 2014).
As a foundation to building one’s moral compass, peace has been described by some as order. Others define peace as a sense of unity. Holistically, the term imbibes a necessary fundamental buttressed by technical competencies and a level of emotional intelligence that supports the development of personal and agency credibility. Such is paramount to trust building in our communities (Normore et al., 2014).
The concept of justice is another key element in our development. Principal to this concept is the practice of introspection. Being able to self-evaluate allows individuals to gauge where they are not only as a leader, but as a leader who is just and fair. It is important that public safety leaders propose and reinforce this concept within the ranks by offering continued training and modelling sound leadership principles that represent justice and fairness to everyone.
Equity closely aligns with justice and fairness, but takes it a step further. This fundamental considers the importance of feeding all folks from the same soup bowl. Equity is often affected by personal deliberation. Accordingly, it is imperative to develop leaders with the credibility to accurately identify not only the need for diversity, but opportunities to increase diversity (Normore et al., 2014). This is a fundamental construct in promoting the relationships between public safety entities and the public they serve.
Service in itself deserves to be a commitment noteworthy of distinction. It is honorable. It is selfless. Credible service is derived from those trained and educated in the ways of excellence (Normore et al., 2014). The development of such leaders denotes a detailed commitment and investment in their devotion to service and credible leadership designed to further enhance the quality of life.
Normore, A. H., Javidi, M., Anderson, T., Normand, N. Scott, W.R., & Hoina, C. (2014). Moral compass for law enforcement professionals. Holly Springs, NC: International Academy of Public Safety, Inc.
Snyder, L. (2021). Moral compass. Module #5, week #3. National Command and Staff College.
The information in this module was great to read through. It went along very nicely with the other leadership material we have covered so far. I appreciated how the moral compass was broken into the four corners as well as having the values of moral compass identified. As I was reading through the material and listening to the lecture, I asked myself which value do I find the most important. This was a difficult question, because found all the values very important especially when it comes to leadership. However, I was able to identify my top value which is courage. I chose courage because this encompasses so many of the other values. A strong leader has to have the courage to stand up for what is right and show integrity, loyalty, humility, honesty, impartiality and sincerity. It is convenient to take the easy way when you are faced with a difficult task, but it shows a lot of strength in a leader who has the courage to face the fear of difficulty and set the good example. Like I said, all of the values recognized within the moral compass are very important, but courage definitely stood out to me.
Jared- I, too enjoyed this section and the breakdown of the MC cornerstones. I also engaged in some degree of self-reflection to ascertain my strong and weak points in regard to the cornerstones. It occurred to me that the most sage way to approach it, at least in my case, was to bind the cornerstones together in a holistic fashion. For me, this works a bit better because the constructs lend well to supporting one another.
I also try to do the same in relation to the Moral Compass Values.
Best and stay safe!
I find that most leaders in a command role, especially those close to the end, lack the courage to make hard decisions. These leaders always air on the side of caution and are always quick to shut down ideas by others.
Living a life with a strong moral compass, will be the only way that our profession survives. We have all seen the negative effects of serving without one. Sometimes good cops make bad decisions on their own, which is beyond our control. Knowing this we should have the courage to police our brothers, and sisters, keeping their moral compass in check when needed. I feel that it would be good practice taking a few minutes after shift, asking ourselves the following question; Did I perform my duties with integrity, and were all my actions today trustworthy?
Thomas I think taking some time after every shift to conduct and "after action report" and reflect on our actions for the day is a great idea. Whether it's something as formal as a debrief led by the supervisor for the whole shift or a simple moment of individual self reflection, I think this is a valuable suggestion.
Thomas, I agree, having a strong moral compass will undoubtedly provide a strong lead by example character to the followers. Through the leaders success the followers should be inspired to do as the leader does and success and the followers should prosper.
This lesson could serve individuals well in any profession. I'm not aware of any field that a strong moral compass does not benefit all that are involved. As I stated in a previous discussion, ones moral compass needs to be calibrated by way of self evaluation. I believe that even the strongest character can become relaxed if not evaluated. I believe that peace is often over looked or undervalued in our profession. It's possible that because enforcement seems to suggest the opposite of peace, we take for granted that peaceful resolutions are our ultimate goal. A Magnus officer who is at peace with himself through humility, will be more efficient at conflict resolution.
I agree that a strong moral compass would benefit any profession. I like your statement that "even the strongest character can become relaxed if not evaluated." I personally have seen this throughout my career. I have seen individuals with strong moral characters become very relaxed and comfortable and then start making poor decisions.
The Moral Compass is a great benefit to being a good person which is the basis of being a leader. So I agree that it is a benefit to anyone wishing to be a leader or just a better version of themselves. I shared it with my wife so that she could get an idea of what I’m working on and so that she could also improve herself as well as keep me honest.
This was a great topic and reminder (hopefully a reminder for all!) of how we should think, behave, and lead others in our profession. This should be constantly considered and addressed throughout our careers. Would we have Internal Affairs if every member had a strong moral compass? I'm sure we would due to our humanity. But I would hope the issues addressed in IA's would be of a different nature. Maybe it could be far more about proving our Moral Compass exists, than to deal with sexting, alcohol abuse, the myriad of complaints for being rude, etc. Maybe that's a pipe dream.
I left an agency that had a decent Moral Compass in some ways, but failed to hold staff accountable in almost every way. That degraded the integrity and morale of the department over the 17 years I worked there. It was disappointing to see values change from compassion, humility, and thought of others, toward a "good 'ole boys" type mentality that made some officers feel good (because they didn't face correction or discipline), but created a negative environment. They are now restructuring, but in the process have removed specialized divisions due to abuse, and have an all-time high number of officers on leave. Some of whom will not return.
Instilling a Moral Compass throughout the agency and continually drilling it into the minds of all will greatly improve community perspective, morale, and work output.
You hit it right on the head. We must all think, behave and lead as we expect others to do in our profession. I like how you compared t having a high Moral Compass to a situation you personally experienced in your career. A leader can have a high moral compass but lack the ability to lead and hold others and them self accountable.
Brian well said. I think this type of problem exist on some levels in most departments, certainly mine as well. It is certainly an enormous challenge to fix a toxin culture that has been in place for some time. It is, however, a challenge worth taking on though, especially with the changing climate and the lack of interest in this career field. Right now we have to be on our A game and following that Moral Compass at all times, its just not going to get any easier anytime soon.
So far this module is one of my top favorites. I really liked how the instructor broke down the 10 Moral Compass Values. Honestly, while the instructor explained them, certain people whom I work with came into mind. It made me realize that I work with some great people that are knowledgeable, loyal, courageous, and shows humility just to name a few. I also enjoyed how it broke down the 4 Corners of the Moral Compass. I learned that Service is the most important cornerstone on the Moral Compass. However, I’m not surprised that it is, because we are here to protect and serve. I also agree that it is our job as law enforcement officers to provide great service, not good service. Overall, this was a strong and positive lecture.
I'm not sure if I have ever read in-depth about the moral compass before. I found it to be enlightening and the lecture was impactful with driving home not only what each virtue means but how a good supervisor can implement them in their agencies. It was also nice to hear about the true meaning and positiveness of the "thin blue line" which has been tarnished by the media in recent times. We are truly the firewall between chaos and order.
Great lecture! There is a tremendous amount of pressure on law enforcement to maintain the course with a strong moral compass. I am the commander of a relatively young division with my agency. One of the largest takeaways for me from this module is that we are all very capable of making errors. What and how we learn from those errors help define us as a leader.
The directions of the moral compass, as mentioned in the lecture, (Peace, Justice, Equity, Service) will also mold us to be better leaders. I especially found interesting that "peace" is the cornerstone of a moral compass. Using the moral compass as broken down in this lecture will make us successful leaders.
Commander: Glad to hear of a leader getting some take aways from this module. Hopefully you are able to bring this to your division and agency and drive home these points and topics as a means to motivate and inspire your crew.
I loved this lecture, growing up my father always taught me and my siblings to have a moral compass, after watching this in reinforced that the beliefs taught to me were correct. I believe a life lead with high moral values will be a meaningful and successful one. In todays work climate leaders should always show a strong commitment to learning the meaning behind Service, Justice, Equity and Peace.
Major, I agree with this. As I was being raised my father and grandfather (both of whom I worked for and under) never missed an opportunity to instill some form of "wisdom" in me. It was not ever called the Moral Compass but it was the same principles. I was taught that these are simply basic ways of life and treating people. I confess that as I aged I developed my own ways based of the persons I allowed into my circle. This section was a great reminder of putting myself in check and coming back to the basics. When these points are applied in home life as well as professional life one be very successful.
We were taught these values at a young age, and I guess to an extent, we feel like everyone else was too. Unfortunately, this is not the case. For the most part, when entering the law enforcement profession, you may have some of these values instilled in you to want to do the job. However, we as leaders need to remember that not everyone was raised in the same manner. Some may be learning these values later than others. Therefore, we should incorporate career-long moral and ethical training. Still, more importantly, we must lead by example.
Martin Luther King Jr. (1963) said "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere". This a profound statement that should be inscribed in the minds of all people involved in the criminal justice system. The idea of a compass to guide a person or police officer towards the principles of peace, justice, equity, and service is a fantastic process. Following or leading people through the 10 values that support the pillars or point of the compass can only help someone achieve the lofty goal of being a leader. The idea that all police officers are leaders means we need to teach the next generations to become better than us. Help them find and understand the Moral Compass through learning and adopting these values: integrity, sincerity, knowledge, courage, loyalty,
intelligence, humility, impartiality, honesty, and kindness. Any act if injustice done by a police officer, someone entrusted with the power to even temporally take away a persons freedoms, is in an act that tarnishes the entire profession. Look around these days there have been enough chinks in the armor of our professional integrity that our shield has been pierced and we are forced to defend our actions. Police legitimacy is linked to the publics support, also known as our citizens.
This module discussed the "Moral Compass" and how it relates to becoming a credible leader. I liked how the book and lecture focused on how the "Moral Compass" should be followed by everyone in an organization, not just its leaders. It is the leaders responsibility to live virtuously and promote the core values in the "Moral Compass". Peace, Equity, Justice, and Service are the cornerstones of the "Moral Compass". Focusing on following the core values such as Loyalty, Courage, Impartiality, Kindness, and Humility help us ensure we are meeting our cornerstones to the best of our abilities.
I agree. I enjoyed how it all came together. Also yes, it is the leader’s responsibility to live virtuously. After all, as the lesson states a trusted leader is the most important component a leader can have.
I think it's beneficial to routinely review the moral compass and the meaning behind Service, Justice, Equity and Peace. It's essential to fully understand each of the cornerstones to accurately assess ourselves each day and strive to be better as law enforcement professionals. It's easy to take a shortcut and discard our moral compass because of being overworked and stressed. Doing so only compromises public perception and hinders our ability to serve the community.
I agree. Its important to take time to self reflect and make sure that our attitudes and actions are consistent with having a good moral compass. One selfish act can have lasting impacts on others, our agency, and the people we serve. As leaders, its important we display good moral character and encourage others to do the same.
I agree. I think a refresher would be beneficial to all. It seems like the taking shortcuts happens often over time.
I, along with the rest of my department first received a copy of the Moral Compass for Law Enforcement book shortly after it was published. I read the book then, however upon revisiting it now and reading it again as a supervisor it has more context for how we as leaders should conduct ourselves. The four corners of the compass are a good reminder of what we must keep as guiding principals for the profession we have chosen.
I'd never heard of this publication prior to class. So glad your agency received this book. While some is what I say is common sense living, it is great to see it in writing and know your organization's leadership values these components. Hopefully, it will be a continual resource for your agency to use.
This module discussed and outlined the concept of the Moral Compass and the link to credible leadership. The four corners of the moral compass: peace; justice; equity; and service along with the ten core values all help a leader form a firm foundation. The firm foundation allows for credible leadership that leads by example. When each member of the organization is able to follow their moral compass it gives the agency more credibility and in return facilities more likely success for the organization.
I had early in a leadership position realized the need for establishing a set of core values. Operating in a work environment that isn't grounded in some sort of set of core values leaves a vacuum of values and therefore success is often difficult to find. In that environment absent of some core values problems, failures, frictions, and other issues are easy to find on a daily basis. I absolutely love how this module expanded on the idea of core values in such an elaborate and detailed way describing not only the values, but put it into more detailed context for daily life.
Of the Four Corners of the Moral Compass, “Service” seems to jump out at me. Like Snyder mentioned in the module, the term “service” may get thrown around too comfortably in the law enforcement profession. Simply just serving is not enough; we need to strive for excellence during this commitment and be motivated by the opportunity to serve. A supervisor that has leadership qualities, and wants his officer’s to be successful, will be able to recognize other officer’s excellences and enhance them. By promoting or appointing a specialty job assignment to an officer, may be just what that officer needs to find the true meaning of service, and begin striving for excellence in the field.
" To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity" Douglas Adams. Moral Compass for Law Enforcement Professionals (pg.33)
We are all extremely busy within law enforcement but taking the time for personal reflection along with conducting an after-action of ourselves daily I believe will lead to greater officer wellness and a positive community perception. Reaffirming our dedication to the law enforcement profession while displaying moral leadership not only through our words but our actions will hopefully rebuild the public trust in law enforcement.
I see you mentioned the wellness portion, like the airline rule of put your mask on before assisting others, as leaders we must maintain our health, education, and emotions in order to encourage or insist others do the same. Our chosen profession takes a toll besides just time. We do need to reengage with the public to earn their trust but we have to have the integrity and courage to stand tall when the public demands change.
In the book the moral compass for law enforcement, I found very interesting. In the final reflections of the book the questions that were posed to ask yourself were very much spot on with leadership in law enforcement. As being a leader in wanting to further the progress of leadership these questions would also be good for officers/deputy that may not be in a formal leadership role at this time. The self reflection of these questions may be humbling if they are honestly answered by every officer/deputy in an agency.
I agree that reflecting individually on each of the questions and virtues would be a humbling experience indeed, but in reality, it is what we all must do if we ever want positive change.
I really enjoyed this lesson and was able to get a lot of useful knowledge out of it. Something that I always found challenging is the difference between ethics and morals. I was happy to see this covered in the Moral Compass for Law Enforcement Professionals book. The example that was given regarding a criminal defense attorney's morals versus their job really helped me understand and put into perspective what the difference is. The attorney may believe that the defendant is guilty and definitely did what they are being confused of, and that crime may go against that attorney's morals. However, ethically, that attorney has to do what is right according to the justice system and somewhat put their personal morals aside. They still have to be able to rightfully defend that person because that is what is fair in the justice system. Often as officers, we may not agree on different things that happen and it may go against our personal morals. But, we still have to treat everyone the same and be fair because that is ethically right. That isn't always the easiest thing to do, but it's what we have to do be an ethically sound officer.
Normore, A. H., Ph.D., Javidi, M., Ph.D., Anderson, T., Ph.D., Normand, N., Scott, W. R., Sr. Ret., & Hoina, C., Ret. (2014). Key Concepts: Ethics vs. Morals. In Moral Compass for Law Enforcement Professionals (1st ed., p. 20). International Academy of Public Safety.
Another good refresher on something that you can't refresh enough. I'm proud to say our office expects high moral standards. We not only expect leaders to hold and instill values, but also the individual officers too. Some of the negative issues seen throughout the US could have been avoided if another officer had simply stepped in instead of standing back.
It is ashamed though, that so many millions of examples of good will and righteous actions of officers can be overshadowed by a very small number of events. It goes to show you how fragile trust can be. It is also sad how quickly the trust we do have can be twisted by irresponsible journalism and social media, which is never held accountable, but often adds significant weight to the lost trust. One more reason to make sure we can leave our biases at the door and just do what is right.
There was a passage in this section that said something to the effect that you are judge not only by the words you speak, but also your actions. It seems we are also judged by the perception of a fraction of the truth. Again, one more reason to always strive to do the right thing. One more reason to strive to select the best people to hire and push honesty and integrity at all times.
Over the years, I've been involved in many discussions about team building and recruiting. Whether it's in the military or Law Enforcement, when we put together a team we are obsessed with an applicants education, qualifications, PT scores, arrest ratio, # of traffic stops, etc; but it seems that we spend less time on a person's morals. Most LEO background checks are designed to find out if a person has certain disqualifiers. They are not designed to determine if a applicant has a good, working, moral compass.
I don't know an answer to this problem. I do know that if a person lacks good morals and the courage to follow those morals, its only a matter of time before they will falter and the team will also be let down. We must look at a person as a whole and realize that their morals should never be in question.
I have never really thought about this but I think that you have a great point. I would agree that hiring people and figuring how someone is doing is often based off of statistics which seems to be the easiest thing for agencies to keep track of. On paper that looks great, however 2 different people may have the exact same statistics, but as far as their Moral Compass, those might be very different. Statistics and strong numbers are often great, but the more that I learn about moral compass and what makes a good leader, morals and ethics seem to be just as important and maybe even more crucial in law enforcement. I also don't have a solution and I think it would be very challenging for leaders to keep track of on paper, but I think certain conversations need to be had and different kinds of background checks may be necessary to discuss the moral compass of those candidates.
I completely agree. The metrics that we have used historically have been shown to be deficient. To combat this, we have started peer evaluations where the peers rank each other on several factors. This has allowed us greater insight into the character of people. For example; during a recent SWAT tryout, candidate A had high scores on all the past metrics and would have been placed on the team. When peer evaluations were added it was determined that candidate A was selfish and lacking humility. This would be a difficult task with a new hire where we are not afforded the opportunity to have peer reviews and look at character rather than metrics.
In my experience each officer can recite what ethics are as a dictionary definition. I ask them to take it further and give me a real-life example and how they are applying it daily in their job. An unwavering commitment to professional excellence living the four corners of the moral compass; Peace, Service, Equity, Justice.
Trying to find good applicants to fill the ever growing void in law enforcement these days is becoming harder and harder. The days of old, where hiring the individuals that were already technically and tactically proficient should possibly go by the wayside. This is my belief in my belief only, that when we are looking at an applicant the weight we put on them during the application and interview process we should be looking more at their moral character. If we hire an individual with good moral character we can train them to be technically and tactically proficient for the future.
Unfortunately you're right in that the true morals of the people we hire are not known until put to the test. All too often by the time we discover that those morals are not what they should be, the damage is already done in the eyes of the public. I think the only thing we can do to prevent those with low moral standards from joining our ranks is to thoroughly vet them through background investigations, extensive training programs and probationary periods.
I agree, Matthew! Law enforcement, more than ever, is under consistent watch of the media and the public. Seldom does law enforcement receive the praise when a positive result is made (which by the way is OFTEN!). On the flip side of that, media, social media and the public are quick to be the judge, jury and executioner when an error is made. To "Monday night" quarterback is easy. Too often is law enforcement criticized for decisions that must be made. Until a law enforcement officer's shoes are walked in, some may never understand the complications of the duties we face.
The greatest takeaway from this module is how we, as a profession, fail to drive home the virtues of character and the importance to them. Instruction-basic and advanced, in-services, and leadership development classes touch upon these virtues, but the real significance is left out. Within the State of South Carolina, the annual in-service program through the SC Criminal Justice Academy routinely discusses law enforcement ethics and the consequences for failing to abide. The presentation of this topic does not hone the fact that “character is the essential aspect for ethical decision making, and yet it is the least attended to” (Garcia, (0:40-0:48). Knowing it is perishable is most evident when releasing an officer due to misconduct in office. When leaders sit around and contemplate what drove an officer to this point, one can trace through time the degradation of that individual’s character. With this knowledge, better leaders could potentially save an officer from themselves with the appropriate amount of education in self-awareness and mentorship of the model character required.
Garcia, M. (n.d.). Character. National Command and Staff College.
Retrieved from https://acebase.commandcollege.org/courses/weeks-1-2/lessons/module-5-moral-compass
I agree with your comment. At times some of the same qualities that make a good officer absent the set of core values can create horrible results. I know this motivates me to want to do a better job of offering knowledge, guidance, and help for officers adopting the moral compass. It must start with leading by example. "Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy." - Norman Schwarzkopf
Ethics and morals need to be the foundation of every person, but especially in the law enforcement profession. Officers are given great freedom and latitude to make instant, life changing decisions. These need to be grounded in sound ethics and morals. During this session, I enjoyed looking at the four corners of the moral compass: peace, justice, equity, and service. While each one of us have high morals, we have probably not ever thought of them in this way. The normal response to what is ethics and/or morals is doing what is right. While that is true, the moral compass breaks that down into areas that law enforcement officers can see in their daily lives. The core values break that down even further so a person can now evaluate their morals and not just view it in abstract.
The lecture and book Moral Compass could be part of the college curriculum for future officers. The book itself is like a field guide for what a stereotypical (no pun intended) peace officer should strive for daily. The sad reality is that I fail at these principles daily, but if I keep them in mind or reference the book it can help me and others get pointed back in the right direction.
When I study the values within the four cornerstones I did my best to reflect on who I am as a current leader and what I really need to focus on more to hone my characteristics. There are many that I feel quite confident about already but there are some such as impartiality that I know is my weakness. Letting one's biases in is deconstructive, not constructive in leadership. I need to focus on that part of myself to build trust within the group.
When we look at the core of the Moral Compass, I think we've lost some of these virtues over time in the profession. This is a reason why we find ourselves embattled in various communities currently. As leaders, if we refocus training and actions on these concepts, we can rebuild trust and meet the expectations of the communities which we serve.
Strong bold first statement in saying, "Every Law Enforcement Officer Is A Leader." That statement in itself should make us all take a brief moment to reflect upon ourselves and our careers seeing where we are at. We all should and do have it in us to be a great leader but sometimes we loose our way and need a module/training like this to bring our personal and professional lives back into alignment. Out of the first four modules this is my favorite thus far and like some of the other's in class have stated it makes me want to dig for more and be a better all around person. This morning I was teaching a class on ethics to a group of new hires and during the presentation I told them that we represent the constitution of the United States and how powerful of a position that is to be in, funny thing happened......the same quote ended up being stated in this module. I truly believe our "system" may be bent but it is not broken. If we keep to our four anchors 1) Peace 2) Service 3) Justice and 4) Equity we can continue to move forward, make changes and re-direct the future for those coming after us.
I'm just focusing on your opening sentence. If we can get all our officers to buy into this concept I wonder how much positive change we would see and how fast it would appear? I argue that it would flip overnight into a productive realm. Unfortunately, there are some that need a title to feel like a leader, this is flawed thinking as we know. Everything our officers do, every call, every encounter portrays leadership. It can be positive/effective leadership or destructive/ineffective.
Thanks for the good post.
This is a strong and appreciated post. I hate it when I forget or see others forget we represent more than just ourselves, we represent every officer out there. Your four anchors, held close, would definitely inspire/earn trust and help pull things back in line.
This lecture tied directly into being an ethical leader. To be an ethical leader you have to embody these characteristics. The compass is a great visual aid that I will remind me what is expected of me daily. Not only from the people I lead, but also my organization.
This module gave me an opportunity for reflection on my moral compass. I have always considered myself to have solid morals and ethics, I grew up in a family that instilled all of the morals and qualities spoken of in this module. A couple of things jumped out at me in this module. One of them being that it good enough to just simply serve. I must strive for excellence in how I serve the community and department every day. I appreciate the daily questions that I can ask myself for reflection and purpose.
I found the daily questions very interesting as well. I know that I will try to do this more frequently (I am not sure I will be able to do them everyday, but it is a goal) and truly evaluate my day. I currently know that I am faltering on a few of them and this is a way for me to have a constant reminder and way to evaluate how I did. Personal reflection is one of the best ways to improve our personal moral compass.
The four corners of the Moral Compass being peace, justice, equity and service should be something we consider bringing up in training every so often as a reminder as to why we are in the profession that we are in today and how we live our daily lives.
One thing that stood out to me was the comment "Trust is the most important component of being a creditable leader, trusted leaders are more likely to be believed." Getting the reputation as being a trusted leader is a challenging but not impossible. The values and four corners and good reminders on how we can better ourselves.
Great idea! Adding these ideas to in-service training or even on a squad level would greatly benefit everyone.
Agreed Samantha, trust is the most important component of being a credible leader. Without trust and "by in" from the other staff we have no foundation to work off from. So much of this module is helpful in both our personal and professional lives, helping us to understand ourselves and others so that the services we provide are always followed through with consistency.
Trust is for sure one of the most important things. Not just in leadership but everywhere. I tell my kids often, your word needs to be your word. If they lie or mislead all the good they've done up to that point causes uncertainty in the future. You can get it back, it just takes time and distance from the one misstep. Peers and subordinates are really no different. Without trust, both ways, there will be a lack of productivity.
I also agree how incorporating this in training would benefit all. Scheduling trainings can be cumbersome and it seems like you can’t please everyone. Some get stale from the same types of re-certifications or qualifications annually. However, integrating a topic like the Four Corners of the Moral Compass into training may be just the inspiration some officers need.
Applying the principles learned in the Moral Compass will certainly allow one to rest well at night. The 4 cornerstones of the Moral Compass - peace, justice, service and equity being used as anchors to guide law enforcement officers is something we can all appreciate and aspire too. This lecture and the book were full of definitions and useful information and I especially enjoy the section on humility. I know at times I am not nearly as humble as I should be and I am always trying to improve in this area.
I can’t help but think about how many of these qualities by themselves can be used in the wrong light by many leaders or people. For example, Loyalty to the wrong cause or person can be evil. Courage in the face of a danger that’s not moral can be evil. In the book “Moral Compass for Law Enforcement Professionals,” it talks about how Justice and equity can be very similar but that equity can be influenced by our bias and beliefs. It is so important that leaders possess and refine a multitude of these qualities. We must become well rounded leaders and understand that all these values work in unity. As a trainer I find the constant repetition of defining important values and referencing the values in history based teachings extremely important. With this type of training it becomes almost like muscle memory for our values system, and with time officers and leaders do not have to ask themselves questions like, did I serve justice equally? It will become second nature.
I like your closing line and it makes perfect sense to me. We shouldn't have to think to ourselves, "did I serve equally or impartially?" If we live up to the standards taught in this module it will happen naturally and without exception. The one tidbit I would add, other "bad actors" in our profession can, and have, tainted the views of the public towards us. Look no further than the George Floyd case. A breach of trust occurs, and this has affected us all. We have to work on a rebuild of trust and help people realize this isn't all of us.
This is the second time I have seen this lesson on Moral Compass for Law Enforcement, the first being in ICLD. One thing that I like about this is the idea that the 4 cornerstones are set like the directions on a compass, both are meant to guide a person. Law Enforcement is a profession that requires constant thought, guidance, open-mindedness, and mentorship. The moral compass serves as an excellent guide to continue that growth on a daily basis. Constantly evaluating yourself and your actions and having the compass as a guide to steer you along the way is an excellent way to achieve credible leadership and positive personal growth. I found the end of the lecture to be especially helpful, with the idea of daily reflections. Some of these reflections that I liked were: Did I treat people wityh dignity and respect today? Did I excercise my virtues today? How did people around react to me today? Was I mode positive than I was negative? Did I share and model integrity, trustworthiness, honesty, and compassion? The idea that human capital is the most important thing in our profession means that these reflections on daily interactions are incredibly important in fostering and growing relationships with those around us.
What a great module, it really made me think. It was great to learn about the moral compass and all the values the lesson possessed. However I liked a couple of the smaller details that I initially overlooked. I believe the Gandhi quote, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others" are great words for a moral officer to live by. After living your life by those words it should be easy to reflect at the end of the day and know you made ethical decisions that were based on high morals.
I liked the Gandhi quote as well. I had an old supervisor that would sit on promotion boards and he would always ask the same question. He would ask "what is the most important part of leadership?" It was a very broad question. Deputies would answer. If you didn't give the "correct" answer, He would tell the board that you got the answer wrong and to keep studying leadership.
I asked him once what the answer was and he said that it was for me to find out. It took me several years to figure out that the answer he was looking for was "service to others" or "selfless service". As I spent more and more years leading people, I've learned that he was right and Gandhi's quote supports that.
This lecture and the associated literature were a fantastic reminder of how to live and act, both as leaders in our agencies and in our personal lives. The four cornerstones were clearly defined. The virtues vs. values information was valuable for me as well. Overall, this module was not only enjoyable to participate in, it will be a good day to day reminder of the responsibility of leadership.
This book and lecture on moral compass are a great resource to look at concepts toward character development for ourselves and the people we lead. The cornerstones and values for credible leaders was interesting for me. It makes me think that we need to focus on these values more during our hiring and initial training of officers. We all know the values, but do we really stress it with our staff. I can tell you I often seek people with these values but don’t ever push people to really develop these values. I guess I thought they should be doing it on their own if they want to succeed when it would benefit all to push these values. I thought the Code of Ethics section was thought provoking. I feel like my departments mission statement could be updated. At least in my division, the mission statement is not known by most nor does it reflect a true vision.
I agree. We need to focus on modeling and living by the cornerstones. New Officers as well as seasoned veterans need to be reminded and guided by these principles.
This lecture and book were a great reminder of values to be a good leader. I think all of us strive to these values and there is little argument these values are required of a leader. I really appreciated the reminders of needing to follow these values both while on duty and in your personal life. This training would be good for all deputies/officers. As stated in the training, we focus so much on physical abilities, policies, procedures, etc. It is great to get trainings like this to make us a better human.
I definitely agree. Sometimes, I believe we as law enforcement or public safety tend to focus on training in other areas and forget to train on what would make us better leaders and better people.
After reviewing this lecture I am convinced that having a strong moral compass is the key to personal and professional success and satisfaction. Specifically, practicing the cornerstones of the moral compass at all times not only at work. Do the right thing for the right reason. We desperately need leaders with strong values, virtues and morals. As servants, we must never forget that hear with their eyes and as credible leaders it is imperative that transmit with our actions. When credible leaders treat people with fairness and respect, they build public trust. After reading this book, I will be more aware of my moral compass and will definitely practice more humility, equity and respect.
As a supervisor and leader, I will guide my decisions and interactions with people on and off duty based on these principles. Credibility is key! This module reemphasized the strong values my parents taught me. I truly believe service to others creates a positive environment for leaders and followers. After watching this lecture, I have been going around asking my people what they believe are the attributes or traits that make great leaders. The vast majority said nothing about skills or knowledge. Most of them said humility, credibility, equality and fairness.
I liked how you pulled the idea of servant leadership into your discussion. Many in leadership positions forget that the most important thing they can do for their team is to serve them and provide them what they need to be on the path to success.
I appreciate how Snyder’s lecture transitioned into a discussion about core values that are specifically relevant for our profession. The examples of characteristics and behaviors that were presented here are something to aspire to for both new recruits as well as seasoned professionals. We live in a day and age when our duty to defend peace, equity, justice and service has never been more important and more difficult at the same time. Therefore, it is equally important not to lose focus of our true purpose and to use the Moral Compass to keep us on track. This book is a is a good reminder that a leader’s job is never done. I will use it as a reminder that I can do better.
One of the highlights in this module was one of the Cornerstones of IAPS. Equity: Fairness in the way people are treated. Law Enforcement is held to a standard that does not allow them to provide anything less than expert service. A credible leader must be able to put away his/her biases, recognize society’s diversity. Provide training that promotes 1. Understanding 2. Empathy 3. Sympathy 4. Fairness 5. Self-Awareness. This not only applies to the community that we serve but also to our team.
With the challenges that law enforcement officers are facing nowadays, it is vital to use understanding, empathy, sympathy, fairness and self-awareness to be provide our public and our people. I wish there were more training courses on ethics, values and morals. We could all benefit from that. One thing for sure is that we need to recognize that biases are there but could be eliminated, and tamed through proper behavior and training.
It's tough sometimes to put away our biases, but it's certainly an expectation for today's law enforcement officers. I think that one of the best things we did as an organization is to choose and promote our core values of Service, Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Innovation. Those core values guide every decision we make as individuals and a department.
This lecture on Moral Compass was a great refresher on our moral introspection. I agree with the point made regarding great leaders provide training that re-enforces and encourages self awareness. While this topic is so important, it is often overlooked in training modules of both current law enforcement officials and those just getting started in law enforcement schooling. Teaching officers how their moral compass should guide them in their service to others promotes excellence in services and demands we not become complacent in providing good services but rather demands we provide excellent service in the our daily activities and public interactions.
I agree we need to provide and promote trainings on self awareness. These types of training are unfortunately offered few and far between. Without trainings like this some fall into the negativity we are surrounded by and start going against the values mentioned in this training.
This module was a positive reinforcement of my understanding of the virtues and values of great leaders. Thinking back on my career I can pick out the leaders who were successful and appeared to be guided by their moral compass. I can also think of leaders who were less successful and influential due to a lack of moral compass. Another important takeaway from this module was the statement about consistency in virtues of the moral compass of peace, justice, service, and equity. The community we serve, as well, and the people we work with expect consistency in the application of our moral compass.
Although I have room for improvement, I have always thought that I have a strong moral compass. The main take away for me was at the end of the lecture when instructor Snyder mentioned reflecting at the end of each shift/day with a series of questions, asking yourself how you did today in specific areas as they relate to the moral compass. I intend to begin doing this daily as a practice towards self improvement.
I agree, if we all took a few moments to reflect on our day and how we treated others and then applied lessons from the moral compass we would probably surprise ourselves!
I appreciate how the lecture explained the fine points of the moral compass. Breaking down the 4 corners of peace, equity, justice, and service had me reflecting on my department’s core values and the similarities it shares with the 4 corners. I feel that this module can be best summed up by the old saying, “lead by example”. Combing a strong moral compass with our ability as leaders to influence is a piece of the puzzle when it comes to an organization as a whole. Much like how we are all on the same path to becoming the best agency we can be, we need to all use the same compass and its concepts to get there.
I agree Ryan. The old "lead by example" Is exactly what this module is telling you. Use your moral compass to lead you and your "examples" will lead the way by emulating the core values of the department.
We too often see, "Do as I say and not as I do". Working shoulder to should with a positive role model/leader is crucial to implement our core values.
This lesson kept glitching for me. That being said, I think it is a very important lesson to really think about. Early on it was stated one the most important aspects for a leader is to have a strong moral compass and character, but yet it is the least attended to. This is an area that we as a profession need to better train on. It is not just the top 1 or even 10% of our leaders, but all the way down to our newest officers. There is an obvious mindset change to those who are entering the profession now than to what it was 20 years ago when I began my career. It was a career and now it seems as if it is just a "job" to some.
I did like how the lesson played each part out and how the role affects different aspects within the department.
Good point, this is training that should be introduced to every officer, no matter the experience level. Every officer can be leader, leadership is not tied to a specific rank. Having a strong moral compass is a pillar of being a good leader.
I agree that the mindset has changed for a large portion of todays emerging workforce as having a job vs. a career. I have been an LEO for just shy of 10 yrs, and was a little late to the game when I returned to college. As I was going through skills in my late 20's, one of our instructors asked the lecture hall full of soon to be POST eligible students, where they wanted work or where they saw themselves working. Out of approximately 75 students, I was the only one who used the word career, when I described my desired employment. I was older than the rest of the students in the room and this is likely the generational difference that I saw that day and you mentioned in your post.
It really struck me how important character and mindset was in this lesson. I agree that it should be addressed throughout our agencies, not just leaders. I see the “job” mindset quite a lot in my division. Working in a jail is a steppingstone often used by those that want to get their foot in the door to getting that cop job.
I agree in regards to how law enforcement is viewed (career or job). It does seem to be changing as time goes on. In our day is was even more than a career (it was a calling or a way of life).
I agree, this book should be purchased and provided to every officer when they graduate the academy. It should then be a required reading as annual training. I think it is very important to be reminded of why we began this career. Mindsets do change over time; this lesson is a reminder of what is important to the profession and what is expected of us as law enforcement officers.
I picked up a copy off the "Moral Compass For Law Enforcement Officers" several months before I even seriously considered participating in this course. I was struck by the clear straight forward presentation of the information and immediate applicability both personally and professionally. There is a section on page 27 that discusses the Cornerstones of the IAPS (Peace, Justice, Equity and Service). One particular comment really had a lasting impression on me.. "they ( the anchors of the compass) allow the traveler to journey with confidence". There are very few law enforcement professionals that are born natural leaders.. . The path to credible leadership can be bumpy.. hubris, vanity and lapses in integrity can lead even the most well intentioned astray. like the ships navigators of old who used the stars to plot a ships course across vast oceans, the Moral Compass and its 10 mutually supporting values guide modern day leaders through the pitfalls of bias, internal and external strife and community distrust. Additionally, this module builds on the foundations of the "Personal Leadership" section in that both stress the need for self reflection, adaptability and making the right decisions even if they are unpopular/ hard. We as leaders will have to make course corrections in our journey to becoming a MAGNUS Officer because the path to being a credible leader is a personal introspective sojourn that should never really end.
This module, and the book that accompanied it, should be required reading for all newly hired law enforcement. I also believe a refresher of this course every 2-3 years would be a great tool to remind all of us of the gravity of the oath we took. As I read and listened to the characteristics of each of the four cornerstones and ten values to guide us by, I reminisced about some challenges I faced, goals attained and triumphs either someone close to me or a team that I was a part of accomplished. But mostly, I focused on my mistakes and how my mistakes affected multiple facets of my personal and professional life. I take pride in the fact that I admit my mistakes and work hard to learn from and remedy them. Some mistakes take so much more time to recover from than others. I really took comfort in discovering in this module that courage is the foundational value to all others. Admitting my mistakes of the past was the easy part, as difficult as it was; It was living through them and working hard to prove that my mistakes were simply that and not a serious character flaw found in repetitive immoral action. I am elated I was able to read this book as it really came at an important time in my professional life. And I look forward to continuing the challenges these cornerstones and values will surely throw my way.
I agree with you this should be a requirement. In the last briefings, I talked to my people about conduct, and touched on moral compass. This sparked great discussions. More training should be provided to law enforcement professionals on this. I have also reflected on my mistakes and don't regret making them. I learned from them. I now share with the importance of admitting when we are wrong and remind officers that honesty is the best policy. Good post Sir!
Yes more training is needed in the teaching of Moral Compass. We do a great job of teaching law enforcement but need to invest more in creating creditable leaders who follow the teaching involved with Moral Compass.
I strongly agree that this should be required reading for all law enforcement. One could only hope that it would only need to be "required" the first time and then would become something that all (leaders and officers) would reflect back on without the need to require it.
I agree with your post. The gravity of the oath is huge. When I originally was swore in as a police officer and took the oath, I knew it was important. However I didn't realize how important each word was until I studied it a few years later for a promotional exam. Officers that live by the oath will have a strong moral compass.
I enjoyed this module of instruction on moral compass. I really keyed in on the four cornerstones of the moral compass and how it should help us navigate through our profession. The cornerstones of peace, service, justice, and equity. These principles are instrumental in making sure that we garner credibility and trust amongst our citizens. First, the ability to preserve and promote peace and in doing so serving or providing service to our community. And then carrying out those two cornerstones both through justice, being impartial and fair, and equitably, the way we treat people, putting our own life experience and personal viewpoints aside to accomplish the mission. I believe if we were to follow this at all times we would increase our credibility trust amongst those we serve.
I also believe that the organizations leader must be knowledgeable to make decisions. If not, they may not seem credible. If the leader has the knowledge to teach or pull from experiences other will follow and the leader will become more credible. Even in those instances where maybe the leader doesn't have the knowledge on a certain situation or topic, but in that instance having the ability to recognize their shortfall and then leaning on those who do will build credibility.
I absolutely love your last sentence and there are actually SO many parts to that sentence that one could write a case study on it! Admitting to not knowing something can be mistakenly seen as a weakness, especially in law enforcement. We can be so much better in that arena alone. But then after recognizing the shortfall, being able to trust those that have the knowledge is a huge step, too. Trusting others also builds credibility.
I agree that with experience comes credibility. You also make an important point about leaders who maybe do not possess the credibility and having the ability to be able to acknowledge it. I think its even more important when that happens that those leaders have surrounded themselves with credible people.
I believe that all individuals are born with a sense of moral compass. As we grow, one must develop the core values that builds your own moral compass. Along with core values, there must be a sense of religion or spiritual guide to help strengthen the solidarity in pairing higher standards and beliefs within ourselves. Our end goal is to be our best and produce our best, make a positive difference.
I totally agree. Core values can be developed and cultivated. We people are guided my sense of spirituality or good deeds, they will treat others with fairness and equity. Credible leaders must be guided by strong beliefs in order to produce positive results and make a difference within their organizations. This is not only in the public safety profession but in all professions.
Your mention of religion is interesting in that a real understanding of the fabric of our Nation, from its inception, is religiously based. The standard character virtues within most religions mirror what one expects of individuals in this cherished and revered profession. The founding fathers leaned upon the purity of their faith to create this Nation. The cornerstones of the moral compass (peace, equity, service, justice) are evident in our Nation’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.
As law enforcement professionals we are held to a higher standard. If you follow the moral compass in your professional career it will be much easier foe you to remember that standard and conduct yourself accordingly. It will help you to hold yourself to a higher standard because you want to, not because the public expects it from you.
In the lecture, Mrs. Lorraine Snyder discussed the three dimensions of credibility- trustworthiness, expertness, and intention. Commonly seen in our profession is leaders lacking trustworthiness and good intention towards their followers. These leaders lack credibility with their officers because although they have the technical knowledge (expertness) to perform their jobs, they lack the other two character-based (trustworthiness and intention) elements.
The moral compass should guide us in our professional and personal life. Moral compass could also be thought of as a set of personal values that guides our decision making. You cannot have two different combinations of thoughts. You cannot conduct yourself one way at home and another way at work. How you function in life will be remitted during your daily life, whether it is private, or work related.
I agree with your comments. It relates back to those explicit and implicit biases. How we act "off-duty" will possibly be how we act, a comment we make, under stress because we will draw from those biases. So trying to use the moral compass both on and off duty is crucial so that it becomes instinctual and we naturally do the right thing.
Genuine people have no problem being themselves at work. It is those who struggle to reconcile their personal beliefs with morally sound organizational values that are most likely to make bad judgements and decisions at work. Our character and values influence every aspect of our life. You are absolutely correct that our personal and professional values have to complement each other. Successful leaders don’t have to think twice about doing the right thing if their moral compass is honest and true.
The Moral Compass would serve as a great guide for all newly hired staff. I totally agree with how one lives their life at home, will be a direct reflection of what they will be serving their community with. This should be essential information needed during the pre-hiring process. When we check the applicants residence (and see burnout marks in the driveway), and a neighbor confirms our suspicion. Maybe we should be concerned with our prospects moral compass, and what they will be doing in our supercharged units.
Thomas, that is a great idea to use this an an entry level introduction to this concept. Usually when law enforcement hires newer young officers there is a low amount of time spent on the concepts of morals as a way of life. There is a lot of concepts provided on ethics and on how officers should act.
But a lengthy training on why we act the way we act or what is a guiding path for us to take and have these new officers start out on a positive path with the right virtues as a base would or could alleviate some of the problems people have as a profession.
The elements of the four corners of the moral compass and their 10 moral values do another fine job of eliciting emotional echos of past calls handled. Most of the comments on here share the same sentiment. Our mouths can be our worst enemies at times. Often we fail to pause, reflect and speak. These poorly chosen words carry no value, rather they cost. The cost us friends, trust, relationships and sometimes jobs. If we could return to a more moral society how much better would our lives be? If we lived a truly moral life how much better could we make the lives of those around us?
as my kids grow in to adults I talk to them more about thinking before they speak. that second of a pause can make a difference.
I agree with this, often times you see members in our field with the "do as I say, not as I do" mentality. I think, in part, this is where the disconnect is and mistrust is. We can still have a brother/sisterhood while still being held to a higher standard. In part, that is the oath we took.
I agree with your comment about teaching people to pause before they speak and how that can make the difference. In our current, ever changing culture, this second of pause, even on social media would do our country a great deal of benefit. It is a great skill to teach.
Chief Mark Garcia started the module with a comment stating, "Investing in your character today will improve your leadership today." As I reflected on the material from the Moral Compass for Law Enforcement Professionals lecture, it really put into perspective the importance of the core values that were explained. If we as officer's could focus on these core values and instill them with our co-workers and the general public, our existence would change dramatically on how we treat one another. Maya Angelou stated that courage was the most important of all the virtues, but if we could implement all of them into our daily lives and focus how we act as individuals, we would be investing not only in ourselves, but we would be investing in the character with everyone we have contact with. I also reflected on the humility virtue on how there is no "I" in team and focusing on shared spotlight for success. Without one another, our careers would be extremely difficult, so learning by each other's fortunes and misfortunes gives us the opportunity to excel together and accomplish goals together. I try to be the best person I can be each and every day, but this information will be helpful to reflect on, on a daily basis, in order to become a better person and officer and really focus on how I treat everyone no matter the circumstances.
This module is really the basis for how all Law Enforcement Officers should view their responsibilities to their job, agency, the public they serve, and themselves. We should and have to hold ourselves to a higher standard- now more than ever. The part that we all really need to embrace is that we have to apply these standards to our personal lives just as much as we should our professional lives. The module did a great job in breaking down the moral compass into ten core values. I found it interesting that the sixth value, Courage, was noted as the most important of all virtues. When I heard the characteristics for courage, however, I see how it really does affect all others- Carrying on in the face of adversity, standing up for what is right, embracing change while letting go of the familiar, giving credit to others and resolving to move ahead, and holding themselves accountable and responsible. To me that sums up for a Law Enforcement Officer is and stands for. At this point I really need to go back and dig deep into the corresponding book (Moral Compass for Law Enforcement Professionals) to help focus on moving forward in these trying times. I am confident that I adhere to the listed values for the right reasons, but the points it contains are inspirational reminders that we need to focus on. Finally, even though it was found very early in the lecture, I found one quote spectacularly true- "Regardless of your level of expertise, if you are not trusted, you cannot be a credible leader." AMEN
I also found the quote by Chief Mark Garcia, "Trust is the most important component of being a credible leader," very true. We have to be trusted each and every day and make decisions that affect people for the rest of their lives. Those decisions are not only lawful ones, as we have the opportunity to affect people's lives positively. Whether it being stopping to stop and talk to a young individual while they are playing outside, or following up with an individual that just wanted reach out for having a bad day. In these trying times, if we could continue to gain the trust of the members in our communities, we have to ability to improve the leadership mindset to everyone all over the world.
"Regardless of your level of expertise, if you are not trusted, you cannot be a credible leader." I couldn't agree with this statement more. Leaders who aren't trusted by their followers or have their follower's best interests in mind will always lack credibility, regardless of title or accomplishments.
I agree with your statement that courage does touch all the other values. The public thinks we display courage when we run to the sound of gun fire or put ourselves at risk to save a person from a burning building but in reality we, do those things almost out of instinct. What keeps us up at night is having the courage to address unethical behavior implicit/ explicit biases and personal fears. When we take a stand against issues such as these we know we open ourselves up to criticism and ridicule but that is the cost for doing the right thing.
The Moral Compass is a great guide for both professional and personal lives. The values in the Moral Compass are values we can instill on our co-workers and our family members. I will encourage my co-workers to read up on the Moral Compass in hopes they self reflect on if their moral compass is pointed in the right direction. When you act one way in front of people and another way when you are by yourself, your true values are reflected in how you act when you are by yourself. The Moral Compass needs to be followed everyday or you can lose yourself.
As a lot of previous post have said. The moral compass should guide us in our professional lives but also in our personal lives. If we do not adhere to these in our personal lives then there is no way we are going to maintain these during our professional career. You can not have two different trains of thought. You can not act one way at home and one way at work. Whatever your actions are they will bleed over in the other facets of your life.
This module could not only be used as a guide for our professional careers but our personal lives as well. I have to agree with the statement that courage is the most essential value of the moral compass. Of all of the values listed, you must possess the courage to seek knowledge, to be loyal, and to be honest. You have to be brave to practice kindness and show impartiality.
This lecture reminded me the importance of maintaining a strong moral compass. I instantly reflected on how effective I am as a leader. My character will not diminish if I possess the skills that will make a positive impact on others and the agency. Just imagine if everyone we work with possessed a strong moral compass. I feel that in public safety we need to put more emphasis on the 10 values of moral compass.
I couldn't agree more. If every law enforcement officer possessed a strong moral compass I don't think the climate towards law enforcement would be where it is at today. As leaders for our agencies, we can do our part by passing the information learned here down to them.
I agree that we, especially in law enforcement, should be guided by our Moral Compass and the cornerstones: peace, equity, justice and service. While it is easy to point out instances where someone fails to make a habit of these values, there are so many times when we are in situations and uphold these.
There are so many times when we can manage one of our daily tasks but are we truly serving the community in doing so. For example, I used to help our detectives serve their Notices of Pending Seizures for our Asset Forfeiture. I do not think anyone was happy to see me initially because this was the official notification that we were seizing their property. I could have just made them sign the Notice and walk away.
In most cases, I would make it a point to treat the person(s) calmly and explain to them what and why I was serving them with the paperwork. I would give them chance to ask questions. I would try to treat them with compassion, honesty, and sincerity. If there were questions I could not answer, then I would tell them that as well. If there was property in vehicles such as car seats, diaper bags, etc. I would work with them and our detectives to try and return those items to them as quickly as possible.
By the end of the encounter, while they were not happy with the situation, they were more at peace with our encounter and what to expect. There were even a few times after we were awarded the seized property that they called and thanked me for treating them with respect and dignity.
I enjoyed this module of the moral compass. While watching the module, I realized that if we live our lives by the "Moral Compass," it would also carry on into leadership roles. The "Moral Compass" is something that we need to work on every day. I will strive to reflect at the end of the day, to see the mistakes that I might have made and how I can do better the next day. If you work hard to accomplish the ten traits and always be honest with yourself, you will become both a better person and leader.
I agree. We all must reflect daily to assure that we posses the values and are willing to enhance them.
The instructor did a great job of breaking down the 4 points of the moral compass. Listening to her instruction gave time for pause to reflect on how and if we apply these things every day, not just in our professional lives, but our personal lives as well. It reminded me of something I read recently about a guy who touched a leaf on his tree each day when he returned home and he was questioned about it by a friend one day. He stated something to the fact that it was his problem tree and that's where he left them, instead of taking them into his home to his family. He continued to say that he would pick them up the next morning on his way out, but they never seemed to be quite as big or as many problems the next day.
Moral Compass should be a guide on how we live our personal lives. When we're able to maintain these methods in our personal lives, we will not fall short of delivering the same performance to those we work with, along with the agency and community we serve. Work production would just come naturally if we possess a personal moral compass.
I posted something similar to your post. As we work for the same department, I am beginning to see a positive change in our leadership structure. I remember when starting with the department, the number of bad leaders we had to the number of good leaders we have now. More people are wanting and willing to go to leadership classes and are becoming more involved with their people in the department. If all of our leaders would use the "Moral Compass," we would be a great agency.
I agree Darren in that our Moral Compass should be a guide on how we live our personal lives and that work production would come naturally if we possess a personal moral compass.
I agree that we sometimes fall short of delivering that same compassion, empathy and respect to those we work with. We get so focused on the task we can sometimes are blind to how we carry out those task may be affecting our relations.
I agree with you Darren, very well said. Just like it was stated in the earlier module by Anthony Robbins, the moral compass is like a muscle. If we don't use our moral compass we will lose it. We need to not only use it in our professional career but in our personal life.
This was an excellent lesson. The most thought provoking part was the end of the day questions. It not only applies to our work day but should be carried forward to our personal lives as well. I know that at times we get so wrapped up in the technical aspects of getting the job done that we forget the emotional effects our actions may be taking on others. If we can turn a negative into a positive for someone everyday. Make someone's life a little better or a little easier. If our lives are guided by the Moral Compass and the 10 values then we can make a difference in our agencies and the communities we serve.
I could not agree with you more. Moral Compass not only applies to our work lives, but without a moral compass in our personal lives, who we are at work could be considered to be a fake personality if we do not guide our own lives accordingly.
This was a very good training module. I thought the instructor did a great job of defining the four cornerstones of the moral compass and the ten core moral values. One of the topics she discussed at the end that thought was a good idea was, the recommendation to take time at the end of our shifts to reflect on our actions, and think of what we could do to be better. Basically to "debrief" at the end of every day before we leave. What harm would that cause? its Just a few minutes of our time to do some self reflection and find ways to make things better. Why is it that we only "debrief" after responding to emergencies or other similar situations. Daily debriefings, if taken seriously and done right could help mitigate a lot of problems we face as individuals and for the agency.
I totally agree. It would only take a few minutes to look back at our day and see if we were able to make a difference.
Great way of putting it that we can basically "debrief " at the end of a shift. You are so right that people in this profession deal with tragedy every day, but would be lucky to debrief once a year.
Yes Lieutenant, well said. Taking time at the end of your shift to reflect back and say "What could I have done better?" is a fantastic idea. This could be accomplished on the drive home, as a way of decompressing, especially if it was a very trying day- rather than arriving home and either subjecting your loved ones to it or worse, taking the day out on them. Your question as to why do we only "debrief" after an emergency (or critical incident) is spot on- those are important, but just as important are our everyday actions. And perhaps be debriefing the daily actions, we may be preparing for the bigger incidents or even eliminating an incident through that thought process training.
I agree with this statement completely. A simple task at the end of the day to self-inventory how we can learn from ourselves and others everyday.
This lecture was more very in depth for the "Moral Compass" and all of its underlying traits. The emphasis on courage is the underlying item which is needed to use the other virtues and 4 cornerstones. The ability to go home and know that you did your job properly and to the best of your ability is rewarding. Being able to face your peers, society, and family and show display integrity and service helps everyone we contact. Being a "positive" role model for others should be "rewards" on it's own for your personal success.
I agree. When I used to FTO, I would tell my recruits that if you do not go home regretting how you handled a call maybe this job isn't for you. Having a strong moral compass ensures you are striving for always doing better. This lecture really drove that concept home for me.
This module reminded me of the importance of being guided by a moral compass. The core values represent everything that led me to law enforcement. Although this training is geared toward our professional development, the moral compass also ties into how we should live our personal lives as well. To be a credible leader in today's society, takes a huge amount of discipline, dedication and determination. The quote that stood out to me the most was by Maya Angleou, "you can not practice any virtue consistently without courage." It takes courage to live your personal and professional life this way.
As the module states, the most important virtue is courage. Without courage, you cannot be expected to exhibit the others. Beyond physical courage, standing up for what you know is right, even though others think that you are wrong is a tough stance to take. Sometimes you do this, knowing that there will be negative consequences for you, personally or professionally.
As for the other attributes, I could not tell you the next in importance. Is it knowledge or intelligence? Is it honesty and sincerity? While all are important, I think the next ones are his humility and kindness. I have seen officers show extreme kindness and when someone mentions it, the response is, "I was doing my job."
As for the question that we must pose to ourselves, "have I shown my virtues today?" I think we do ask ourselves this and follow it up by asking, "How do I do better?"
This module was very informative for me. I understood what it was to have a moral compass; however, this address broke down the meaning of a moral compass and gave me a better understanding. We, as law enforcement, must embrace the 4 corners of the moral compass to be Magnus leaders and to shape the future of younger law enforcement officers by the examples we lead. The break down of the core values also allowed me to have a better understanding of how I can improve not only as a supervisor but as a person.
Before beginning this module, I to have heard the term Moral Compass and while having a fair enough understanding of the term. Never have i had it broken down and explained in this much detail. It filled me with pride that i already possessed many of these values which were taught to me by my parents. Some days I admit to falling short on some of the virtues, but God be willing i always have tomorrow to work on where i fell short and improve the following day. The World would be a much different place if everyone displayed the Four Cornerstones of the Moral Compass, Peace, Justice, Service and Equity.
sid , I agree with you about having the moral compass instilled by our families and how this lecture broke it down for a better understanding. We all fall short of the values from time to time but as long as we follow the moral compass it will always put us back on course so we can become better people and supervisors.
Sid, I agree with you and believe we all have the virtues there and can always improve ourselves. At least for myself. I get wrapped up in a project or assignment and I forget to be more people friendly because I just want to get it done. Even if we need to be reminded of these every once in a while, the points of the compass are still there guiding us.
In this module knowing that credibility consists of character, intelligence and good will, these are things that we know that has to be displayed as a leader while knowing the moral compass. It was good to learn things as peace, service, justice and equity, because it reassured me that the things that have been instilled in me was explained during this module.
I have always heard about the moral compass but never heard a true definition of it. This was very enlightening and I intend to make sure I use this in every aspect. I will definitely begin reflecting on each day to make sure I am making the most of it.
Kindness is a principle that struck me throughout this module. With each of the virtues listed and explained regarding the four corners of the moral compass and the moral compass values, kindness touched me as being a foundational stone from which all others can be built upon. If we as public safety professionals truly subscribe to this set of principles and values, then kindness can lead the way in defining us as servants, not just to the communities with which we serve but among those we serve beside!
I agree completely and will go a step further. I feel this should be taught more in the home and maybe schools. This would benefit all of mankind and even make our jobs easier.
I agree, because a lot of us that works in this professional sometimes never display kindness. I believe that they may feel as if they display kindness it shows a sign of weakness, which is never the case. We are public servants and knowing the moral compass and the attributes with the compass really explained a lot to me.
I've come to terms that sometime Kindness and Humility are for me sometimes the hardest virtues to keep under control. Maybe its the scenes we are exposed to sometimes on a daily basis, or just simple Human Nature. I think its very important to keep all moral virtues in check and in a healthy place no matter what our kind of day we are given. After having the virtues broken down, i can reflect daily and improve my Moral Compass as part of my daily routine.
This module reaffirmed to me that an officer promise to Iive the values described in the moral compass. Dedicating myself and talents to the profession of law Enforcement. I been presented with situations that will require good morals and at time face a situation where a clear cut right or wrong decision is to be made based totally on my moral compass. I found myself a few times playing over in my head did I make the right decision or the wrong decision.
I've always thought of myself as a moral person and law enforcement officer. Sure I have slipped from time to time. This module reaffirmed to me that it was because of our morals that we took up this profession to begin with. To find what is wrong and make it right. It's not easy and not always successful but we must keep our moral compass in the right direction. It one of the main points when I speak to rookies when they come out the academy. This job can easily corrupt your mind with the negativity we deal with, but we must stick our values and morals to be successful in this job and in life.
I have slipped and I'm sure others slipped as well, putting on this uniform day in and day out is an ultimate task to take on. I swore an oath to protect and serve take on the challenges and demands that face them everyday. This brought me to start holding myself at a high standard and a level of professionalism.
I agree that it is difficult to keep the moral mindest when dealing with the negative our job brings us every day. It is most difficult, but I do firmly believe with some effort and keeping with our beliefs, our moral compass will continue to keep us on the right path.
This topic gave us hoards of not only important information about solidifying ourselves as great leaders but great skills to continuing growing to have great character. Without the use of a moral compass and the various traits listed in the lecture it is impossible to continue to get better at making the good decisions that give you the ability to continue to make those decision in the future.
One of the greatest traits as explained was courage and stated without this being a strong holder of this trait it is hard to advance the other very necessary traits to the needed levels for you to become a great leader. I am excited to continue this journey with each and every module adding to the my confidence that I have been doing somethings right in my current leadership role, but at the same time shining light on very important aspect of my leadership that need work!
When we look at ourselves on an individual basis or as an officer, we see courage from dealing with external dangers. How ever when we look at it from the leader standpoint, we see that it take great courage to sacrifice or put your self in harms way when standing up for the right thing. This brought me to look and perceive courage for an entirely different view point. it was great to learn that courage was the most important to be able to have a consistent moral compass. As I think back at some great leaders, they usually were not the type of leader that had different personalities depending on the day. They were consistent and you were almost sure of what they would say or feel about a topic, if asked.
I just shared my own review on kindness and how it effects each of the values cited in this module. I appreciate what you have shared about courage. Bringing these two virtues melded together, I believe that in the often times dark and cynical world in which many of us find ourselves in part because of the cruel and difficult circumstances we work within, it takes especial courage to reach out and be kind, both to those we meet but perhaps maybe even more so to those that we work with to counter the cynicism and sarcasm that many of us deploy to combat the troubles we face each day.
We as law enforcement officers have a 100 set of eyes on us at all times. No other profession has to make split second decisions, see the worst of the worst, and be criticized for everything. And coupled with other stresses of the job we still have to have the Moral compass to do what is right. We have to be courageous, and have honesty to name a few. I feel these two values will get you far in your careers and life. As a young deputy, an older supervisor gave me the best advice; " Just be honest". This was a good lecture.
I couldn't agree more that more often than not those split second decisions are far too scrutinized by the outsiders looking in, what i took away from this discussion is that by strengthening our moral compass, and in turn the moral compasses of our subordinates, those decisions will become harder to second guess by the "Monday morning quarterbacks". Making the trust in our agency grow with the public.
The moral compass as a named thing was introduced to me by former BRPD Chief LaDuff. He gave a name to what my parents had already instilled in me. This class further defined some known but un named or un defined values. One of the most powerful statements was about courage. One must have the courage to live by the other values or the other values don't matter.
The four corner stones of the moral compass are what each officer should use as they find their way through their career and also their lives. Even more the ten core values are what make a person who they are and what make great leaders. After look at them all I believe my greatest core values are Courage, Loyalty, Kindness, and Honesty.
This Lecture has opened my eyes on the traits it takes not just to be a good leader, but a great one. The self-evaluation at the end of each shift will help me better to recognize my strengths and weakness as a leader, as I continue to grow.
The self evaluation was poignant. Have I been more positive or more negative? That is one I must remember.
I have this book, so I did not take as many notes as i have on other modules. I referred to the book for most of the notes as much of it was word for word. But in the notes i did take it was, "was I more positive than negative." I think this says it all and is a question we should all ask ourselves everyday of ours lives, professional and personal.
Good point Anthony. I need to self evaluate at the end of each shift. Some days are better than others. I think we should all remember to do a self evaluation of ourselves at the end of each work day.
This lecture was great and opened my eyes to some values, that I do not think about every day. But the one thing I took way as being a leader is having your troops that that "Oath of the Moral Compas for Law Enforcement."
After briefing the other day, I was explaining to the troops how the class was going and that this had struck my attention. We have all taken the oath to become a police officer. We all took the ethics oath in the academy. But the "moral oath" was never seen or spoken about. Needless to say, it took courage to discuss this topic, but more courage to have our troops pledge this with me.
I was " Holding this moral compass steadfast without fear as part of me, guiding me throughout my life. Nomore, Moral Compass for Law Enforcement P61.
Be safe, please, too many officers this weekend made the sacrifice here in Texas.
After reading the Moral Compass book and watching the lecture, I began to understand (and am still processing) the 4 Cornerstones of a leader, but it was the 10 Values which really drew my attention. I even made my wife watch the presentation with me and we discussed the values which I feel were my best attributes and those which I need to work on to be able to walk a straighter line, a better path. While I find it easy to say that I try my best to embody the cornerstones which make me a credible leader, the devil is in the details. I found the values are what really help to develop me into a leader.
As we discussed it, my wife and I both felt that my strongest value is by far Courage. I have had a tough row to hoe in my law enforcement journey with nothing ever seeming to come easy. I feel it is my tenacity and fortitude which helped shape me even when I had to respectfully disagree with my supervisors and peers. Doing what was right and voicing my opinion, even when it was unpopular, sometimes made me feel like an outsider, but now I can see that these were the things which lead people down a better path.
During further discussion, we both felt humility is probably my weakest value; that or kindness. These are the values which I plan to work on. Hopefully by identifying my faults and taking stock to make improvements, I will become a more credible leader.
Michael: Thanks for being vulnerable and taking this journey with your wife. It is hard to look in the mirror sometimes and evaluate this. I hope on your journey, you can find the peace that you need. Humility is the hardest to understand and grasp.
The devil is always there testing us in every way. Just remember to have courage, and the temptation will not be there.
I believe all of us have different values to work on. As the instructors keep saying, it is not an easy path to go to be a great leader and it is something that we must work on each day. A daily struggle to be a better person so that the people around us can be better as well and in the end we can all hopefully leave a mark in the world.
Just as a magnetic compass gives guidance for navigation, your moral compass gives guidance to navigate trough life. If you ignore what a compass tells you , then you can stray off course into dangerous waters, so whether it is in work, or home life if you follow these principles, your honor will be beyond reproach.
This was a good refresher for me. A moral compass begins in our youth and is grown throughout our lifetime. It is the staple to being a good leader. Without it we are only reading a script on a page when it comes to leading. It is how we go about teaching the up and coming leaders to always be true to yourself and the people you supervise.
I definitely agree that teaching the up and coming leaders the right path will only lead to success in all of our agencies. We certainly do not just want to actors but doers.
Agreed, it is up to us to prepare the future leaders.
Such a great way to put it. We need to teach this from the beginning of careers to give the greatest opportunity for success. It is so easy to make bad decisions but harder to repair them after.
This module reiterated some of the things I already knew about the moral compass, but it also educated me on other aspects. I believe our moral compass is given to us at an early age by the things that are taught to us by our parents and spiritual leaders. The core values are enhanced as we grow older and understand them. I learned the symbol representing a compass could be used not only for leadership but also as guidance in life.
By watching the video and reading the material, I came to the conclusion that this Moral Compass is something that should not just be followed in my Law Enforcement life. But could very easily be applied to every aspect of my life. However it is important to note, like it was pointed out in the video, that we as law enforcement officers are held to a very high standard. Higher than the standard of your every day life. With regards to the 10 core values, I enjoyed how each value was broken down into characteristics, mindset, emotions and impact. This allowed me to have a better understanding of each of these values.
I have often heard reference to following one's moral compass, but had not had the opportunity to actually have that concept illustrated with concrete concepts such as the four cornerstones or points. I feel the symbolism of these guiding pillars being used to navigate our lives and then tied to the ten virtues is a great analogy that one can easily remember and put to use. This tool is one that can be put on top of the tool box where it should be removed and utilized often when making decisions both on and off duty. A moral compass is truly the guide we can use in pursuing those virtues that keep us on course.
The presentation was supplemented by the book which allowed me to follow along and not be as concerned with note taking. I was able to get clarification of the works in the text, but was free to take notes and highlight what spoke most to me. I enjoyed the format and content of this module.
I enjoyed the presentation with Lorraine Synder. There was a wealth of information that was shared, and it allowed me to reflect on what I have learned throughout my life. I believe that I live by this moral compass on a day to day basis, but Mr. Synder allowed me to think more in-depth for the future. Towards the end of the lecture, she made a statement that I know I will incorporate from this point forward. The statement is not verbatim, but what virtues will I bring to work today to better others and myself.
I also liked that "challenge" and feel it is a great way to help remind us to make the small decisions and take those actions daily that allow us to work towards being Magnus Officers. I agree that the format allowed for a more "in-depth" analysis of each of the ten virtues and by looking closer at each viture we were able to closer at ourselves.
She did define each section of our moral compass. Her ability to be specific in each arena of what makes up our compass provided a real refresher for me.
I believe that every human is born with a moral compass. We are born evil, but our moral compass is shaped by our caregivers and family who raise us, and the friends we surround ourselves with on a day to day basis. Ultimately it is up to each individual to grow and perfect their own moral compass. While it will never be perfect, the drive to make it that way gets us as close as we can be. We will make mistakes and you KNOW when you are wrong. The lecture provides valuable insight and talking points we, as leaders, should carry with us; to put in our “Moral Toolbox” so-to-speak. It ends with an oath that should be printed and posted in various rooms of any department.
While watching the video lecture, I couldn't help but have the same thoughts as you. That every person is born evil, but your moral compass grows throughout your life by those who have influenced you in the past. Your point about having a "Moral Toolbox" is spot on and each officer or leader should always remember that there is always room for one more tool.
I agree with you Donnie, I believe your family values and how you are raised play a huge part in the adults we become and the values we display. After reading Moral Compass I had a better understanding of what values I actually show more and what values I want to bring out more in myself and others.
I would have to disagree with you saying that we are born evil. I believe that we are born with a blank slate. If you are saying that we are already born evil you could also say that we are already born as good as well. Yes ,we are shaped on who we are from the second we are born, some good and some bad, but it is rather presumptuous to say that we are evil. I would like to know what qualities you think we are born with that are evil, that the moral compass changes or points us in a different directions
I was intrigued by the use of a compass and relating the Four Cornerstones of the Moral Compass to the points on a compass. As in life and our careers, we are travelling in all directions making fluid decisions regarding operations. Peace, service, justice, and equity are the very cornerstones of us maintaining the status of being credible leaders. Once again my belief of treating others the way I want to be treated or how I want my family to be treated by law enforcement has been affirmed. This works for civilians as well as subordinates.
I agree with you entirely on treating an individual(s) with respect. I have found that using your emotional intelligence and assessing yourself by using virtues of truthfulness, integrity, and many more establishes respect with others, whether it’s a stranger or someone you known.
I am amazed that the more that I learn through this course that the more it is about being what I think of as a good person. I like that during this presentation the cornerstones were pointed out and clear definitions were given and then they took it a another step and pointed out 10 core values that are needed, along with the clear definitions for these. This leaves little room for misunderstanding. I especially liked when Dr. Snyder pointed out that with out trust that none of this is possible. So you can have all of the other ingredients but without trust you can not build a firm foundation.
I agree that without trust, everything else seems empty. Once you have trust, everything else can start to fall into place like honesty, integrity, and sincerity. I, like you, also enjoyed the ten core values and the in depth explanation.
“I am a Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPAC) evaluator and am testing the system”
As a supervisor in the Correctional Center, I get to groom those who want to start their career in law enforcement. I make it a habit to inform them, in order to survive in this career, you will need two things. 1). Courage- It takes courage to wear this uniform knowing there are people who hate you, just because you have it on. 2). Character- do the right thing all the time and everything else will follow.
I learned valuable lessons in this module. The four cornerstones of a moral compass (Justice equity, peace and service) and the ten virtues (integrity, knowledge, loyalty, humility, trustworthiness, courage, emotional intelligence, impartiality, and kindness) are very important. I learned that it is the most important tool an officer can possess. it is like wearing an invisible coat of armor everyday without taking it off. The most important component of a moral compass is trust. This gives the community a "peace of mind" that all is well.
Trust does seem to be the cornerstone of cornerstones, without it nothing can develop.
I enjoyed the video from Chief Mark Garcia (Ret.) and he gave good motivation. He stated, "I've often said character is the most essential aspect for our ethical decision making, and yet it is the least attended to. We must understand that character is perishable." It really stuck with me that you have to constantly work on your character.
This module had a resounding effect on me. I have always done my best to stay on a morally correct path. I am an adamant believer in the power of the virtues outlined here. If you strive to stay within the values of the Moral Compass, embracing peace, equity, justice and service, you will succeed far more than fail.
In the past, before I began my career in law enforcement, I was never the most morally righteous person in the room. However, when I began my career, I took my oath to heart and decided I was going to be fair and just in all things. This started with work and merged over into my personal life after a while. The path was not easy at first, but it became natural over time. Now, I’m not perfect by any means, but I work daily to improve and go to bed with a light heart and clear conscience every night.
As supervisors, we need to pass these things on to our personnel. I find that can be difficult at times, but I will keep working at it and trust all of you will do the same. We owe it to Agencies, peers, communities and families to not only be our best always, but to spread it as much as we can. Everyone benefits if we can accomplish that.
Well said Christian. I agree, we do need to pass it on to our personnel.
Correct you can not act differently at work as you would at home. The same character you have in one is the same that will take affect in the other.
Morals should be a norm for everyone, not just in Law Enforcement. Unfortunately, we do not see these qualities in the people we should see them in. Not matter what, doing the right thing all the time should be what you do. I would think the hardest for a law enforcement officer is equity. Example being, having to arrest a mother stealing food for her baby. You know its wrong, but if you’re a parent, you would do anything for your kids. That’s where the Moral Compass comes in. Knowing you have to do the right thing according to the law.
I agree, Laurie.
While I agree equity can be tough, it comes easier for those of us in Corrections. We have to deal with the lowest of the low on a daily basis. If you don't figure out how to equitable very quickly, you don't last long.
If anyone is struggling with it, come hang out with me for a month ha-ha.
Staying focused and applying the Moral Compass is a great motivator. Chief Mark Garcia stated, "you should engrave good, and if you engrave bad, it could lead to bad later." This holds true in being a Field Training Officer, who has the opportunity to engrave the good moral compass into the officers they train. By teaching the new officers to be credible leaders, with trust and expertise can help mold them into a better leader. On the other hand, engraving just one unfortunate characteristic into a rookie officer can later lead to them applying that faulted characteristic, resulting in tarnishing their badge. I feel that this is a crucial stage in instilling the Moral Compass in law enforcement.
Having a strong moral compass is a must in law enforcement. After viewing this module, I can see how the 4 cornerstones of the moral compass, peace, equity, justice and service fit into every aspect of our profession. In today’s climate, I feel that equity is the most important. We are always on display to the public. We must act and make decisions fairly and equally because if we do not, we not only subject ourselves to having a lack of being impartial and fair, but also brings discredit to the agency.
I agree with this section because trust to me is the one number factor in being a good supervisor. So many times supervisors in a business just expects the workers to trust them only because they have been on the job for a long time however they have not displayed anything to make or lead the employee to trust them.
The Moral Compass really boils down to on thing, doing the right thing. When faced with a decision, the "right thing" is always immediately apparent. It's the wrong thing that we usually have to talk ourselves into. Some call it their conscience; I call it the Holy Spirit.
After reviewing this module on The Moral Compass and learning about the four points of the compass. I began to think of all the officers in my department and how they fit into the compass, by doing this I came to the realization that my department has many officers that have many qualities that fall inline with the moral compass. I think what my department lacks is the knowledge of how to implement the moral compass concept into the department. I believe that educating the officers and supervisors in the department on Emotional Intelligence and how it goes along with the use of the Moral Compass, will begin a growth of excellence in service. This will create a better work environment for the employees and will increase our service to the citizens of our community.
It sounds to me like your chief or sheriff has a solid work environment. I too find that most of these qualities are possessed by leaders in my department as well. I will vouch that my sheriff is one of the most honest caring employers i have ever seen. It appears that valuable training is rampant throughout many departments. This is a great thing. The integrity tool box is filling up throughout the the country for law enforcement. Should leaders in departments everywhere continue this type of teaching and learning it will become contagious.
This lesson has made reflect on my time as a supervisor as well as the supervisors that I have worked under. I noticed that the ones that I enjoyed working for had a strong moral compass, and the other ones did not. I do believe that in law enforcement you should have all four to be a great leader. Peace, equality, justice, and service all are a strong foundation of a leader.
Royce, I also reflected on past supervisors throughout the module and recalled their abilities to utilize their moral compasses as well. Without question, I, too, did enjoy working for the supervisors who lived by the moral compass.
As well for me, seeing the speaker talk about what is expected of us as "leaders" makes you reevaluate your own "moral compass" and skill set. It makes you reaffirm the ability to do your job and do things properly. You also recall past people who influenced you, whether positive or negative. Being able to emulate and use good traits can only make us better people.
I enjoyed the lecture and book in this section. I have heard the term , "Moral Compass" for many years. I have a better understanding of the the four corners of the Moral Compass; "Peace, Equality, Justice, and Service". Justice is very important in law enforcement as we are held to a higher standard and must make morally correct decisions at all times. I also agree with the fact that all officers should have training in ethical behavior.
As law enforcement leaders, I think we need to push more to provide officers training in ethical behavior. Not only how it effects them individually, but how it can affect the agency. We are under the microscope in today's society, therefore it's important for officers to act equally and fairly despite the situation.
I agree David,
We do need more training in ethical behavior. Being a supervisor in corrections, we work with those who are just beginning their law enforcement careers. We preach being ethical and doing the right thing, but I believe it gets lost in the oh, “Here is another speech” from my supervisor mentality. Having someone else teach ethics and how it can affect you, your family, and the agency might help it sink in a little better.
The moral compass is an excellent tool to remind us how we should act as law enforcement officers. I always find honesty as one of the most important parts of law enforcement. If your word isn't good neither are you.
Yes, I agree that your integrity is one of the most important values a officer must have. Once you lose this value it is almost impossible to regain it, with the person you wronged.
Integrity is as a good tool. If one shows integrity and trust together the formula for transparency will be formed. And in law enforcement transparency is much needed during these times where law enforcement are being questioned about every move made.
This is very true. Without trust you can't form the four cornerstones of the Moral Compass.
I enjoyed this lecture and book about the moral compass. I am the same as others as i go through my career i try to follow my moral compass. Being that we are not perfect,i realize that we fail at times. But it is a great goal to strive for daily.
I agree with you... Sometimes we fail but we must keep trying to stay on track.
I also try to follow my moral compass. I would like to think that i posses these qualities. I know that it is not for me to see them in myself it is for other to see them in me.
The Moral compass for Law Enforcement Professionals is what struck me the most. I recall being sworn in as a police officer many years ago and the importance of our reciting the Officer's pledge. I appreciate this Moral Compass for L. E. : "I promise to live the values described in the Moral Compass. Dedicating myself and my talents to the profession of L. E.; knowing that character and integrity produce dignity and credibility. Holding this Moral Compass steadfast, without fear, as a part of me, guiding me throughout my life". Every police officer should be reminded of there commitment every year they are on the job.
When I read your explanation about moral compass you are a hundred percent right about being sworn in as a police officer and the officer's pledge. The importance of the pledge and the promise made.
The understanding of the Moral Compass is something we do everyday and hopefully not even think about following it. However, temptation sometimes settles in and we try to think of the easy way out or an easier decision to make. These sometimes can lead to misguiding your direction from your Moral Compass. Using the cornerstones of Justice, Peace, Equity, and Service and understanding each of these will definitely assist in keeping you pointed in the right direction of being a credible leader.
Dan, you're right, doing the right thing should be automatic, but "we try to think" as you put it. When we talk ourselves out of what's automatic, chances are we'll make the wrong decision.
I have heard the term"Moral Compass" for quite some time and thought I had a pretty good grasp of what that meant. Although I had the right Idea, I now realize that there is so much more to it. I had never read Maya Angelou's work, but what she said is profound in "You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage." Demonstrating proper virtue when it is easy to do so is one thing. Doing it when it isn't the popular thing to do and you stand out there all alone is another. It takes courage and s steadfast belief in doing right to do such a thing.
I started my career in law enforcement some 29 years ago; I knew that I was entering a profession that was going to be more than a simple 9 to 5 job. I recognized that is was a calling and there would be a lot of responsibilities and demands placed upon me during the performance of my duties and outside of work. No other job scrutinizes your personnel life like law enforcement and I take no issue with that. We are and should be held to a higher standard than many. I found the lecture informative as it provided us with the direction to set are paths towards becoming credible leaders within our organizations. We have to lay down our foundation through the various values outlined to achieve success.
After viewing the lecture I believe that all of the Moral Values are important, however I believe the most important in Law Enforcement is "Honesty". In Law Enforcement our citizens have to have to be able to trust and believe what we communicate to them. This is so important to agencies that "lying" in an investigation is grounds for termination. As leaders we expect honesty from our employees, and must do the same in all situations.
I am in agreement. We are only as good as our word and if that is lost we are as well. When a supervisor has a reputation of being honest they are always a respected supervisor. Honesty is a strong building block for the other values.
I agree with you about honesty, integrity has always been high on the list as well. As they say its what you do when no one is around watching and you still do the right thing.
The lecture on Moral Compass for Law Enforcement Professional reflected upon the values that we uphold as leaders and law enforcement officers. It is at times, very challenging to uphold these values, enduring the situation we encounter on a daily basis. As leaders we must instill the values of the Moral Compass in the rank and file every day and challenge ourselves to be model examples.
You are so correct, we have to model the way for our rank and file every day and ensure they understand the importance of the values associated with moral compass. An organization is no better than its weakest link; however, through education and providing them examples of how to achieve a work-live balance builds trust amongst our peers is a start. Unfornautely we have seen too many who believe lying is a means to achieve success.
I agree that daily on patrol we are encountering difficult situations that challenge our Moral Compass. By being the leader of the shift, I must maintain my Moral Compass to lead by example and if needed, discuss the situation with the deputy to ensure he stays grounded to his. Not only am I here to learn as well…but to teach my replacement.
I have always understood that a leader has to a moral compass. It's one of the things that I wanted to share once I became supervisor. Although as a patrol officer I always tried to be the best person I could be but as a low person on the bottom, others did not see or understand what I was doing. Strong leaders go the extra mile and guide you as your going through that journey. I have had several supervisors who have lead by example.
In the corrections division your moral compass has never been more out front. We house inmates that have committed terrible crimes. We have to be impartial to their needs and requirements no matter the crime to which they are accused. As supervisors we have to ensure that our staff are following their moral compass as well when dealing with these inmates. No matter what you may or may not think about the individual, you must keep your ethics at the forefront.
I agree that having a moral compass is very important. As law enforcement leaders we sometimes struggle on our bias' and must continue to "check ourselves" each day.
Working in correctional environment is difficult for many people. some have a difficult time separating themselves from their personal beliefs or strict moral standards. Its a hard pill to swallow in certain situations, but they must remember, they are not there to judge or to punish individuals, they are there to maintain care, custody and control.
Jason, I agree with you. I also work in Corrections. You always have to be self-aware of your actions when dealing with those in jail. You have to make sure to be fair and just.
The Moral Compass is a great module and reminds us that we need to stay focused on our self and our goals and the departments mission. We need to be leaders and not followers all decisions and actions we make should be decisions that we would not be afraid to defend to the media. (Doing the right thing is not always the easiest thing to do, but its the right thing)
After watching this lecture, I quickly reflected on the moral compass and how it has impacted me and my career. I believe the moral compass has evolved from when I started in the 90's to now. Although, I do not believe there were any "immoral" cops in my department, I do believe the definitions of Peace, Justice, Equity, and Service, had different meanings. How "business" was handled in law enforcement back then to now, has the same end result; however, different means on how to get there. I feel that today's moral compass is more suited for me and how I want our officers to define themselves. There was a good point that was brought up in one of the earlier discussions. We debrief all of our critical incidents. Yet we don't debrief our normal day to day operations. I think reflecting on those days may help sustain our "sanity" within the profession.
I agree, things are different today then back when I started in law enforcement. Our profession is evolving and is becoming more complex daily. We are required to do more with less. This is a challenging career and is not for the weak. We must remain strong and support each other. As you mentioned, debriefing even on the normal day to day operations would help to ensure that all remain focused and mentally healthy.
Yes Sir, Society and what is acceptable was not the same as it was years ago. We must adjust with it in order to navigate our business or we will not survive our careers. I like to hope that my personality is not so rigid that I can not accomplish that.
I agree, we always need to do the right thing, even when its hard to do. An example needs to be set for the young men and women coming up in the workforce.
I agree. The decisions we make should always hold up to the test of being able to defend our actions in the media. Unfortunately, not everyone holds them selves to that high standard. When we don't follow the moral compass it shows a lack of a accountability and leadership which can be detrimental to the image of our communities and the people we serve with.
The concepts in this module along with the reading from Moral Compass made me realize that we can never discuss these virtues enough with our personnel. I believe that these are, in fact, perishable skills that need to be reinforced, discussed, and modeled by everyone within the department. We need to hold each other accountable to these high standards and not allow poor duty performance to be acceptable. When you allow the little things to go unnoticed, over time, sub-standard duty performance becomes the new normal. Over time, this will undermine the entire organization while eroding public trust and support. As leaders, we all have a responsibility to hold each other accountable while maintaining our own high standards of conduct.
Agreed, it takes constant work on ourselves as well as the ones we lead. If we don't work on ourselves and strive to do better then the people we lead will follow the same paths that we lay for them.
I agree with you Brian. Although holding everyone accountable can seem difficult at first, people will appreciate it as long as though know you are doing it for the rights reasons. Once accountability becomes the culture, then no one will accept anything less.
The lecture and reading of the Moral Compass book were good. It opened my eyes to things I may have already known, but never really dug into and what they really meant or why they are truly important. It made me realize and understand to a different level what the lack of morals and discipline to virtues really amounts to and the impact it can have in an organization and its people. It helped me understand the concept of moral disengagement. How this leads to people justifying unethical behavior and how it is made personally and socially acceptable. It also made me realize and understand how lack of morals and emotional intelligence leads to the dehumanization of persons all the way to questioning techniques or terms used like “creative articulation” that may justify morally questionable law enforcement activity or behavior. Gave me lots to think about.
Most start their law enforcement career full of pride, motivation and the burning desire to always do the right thing. Then for some, later in their career, they lose motivation and seem to fail at finding that desire and passion that attracted them to this career. Having a Moral Compass to help guide you in your career can help keep you right on the course. The cornerstones of peace, justice, equity, and service, serve as a reminder of the foundation of that passion. As leaders, others look to us to help guide and mentor them. It is important for each of us to use our moral compass so that we do not stray and fail to set a good example.
Frank, I agree with your comments. As I posted, we have an obligation as leaders, to continue to hold each other and all members in our department to our high ethical standards. I believe these are "perishable skills" that require continues development, enrichment and exercising to remain accountable.
I agree with you Frank, as leaders me must set good examples. The cornerstones of the moral compass can help guide us on the right path and ensure we don't stray away from our morals. I have placed a copy of the moral compass in my office to remind me every day.
I agree that most start their career trying to do the right thing. I think that this module as well as the others are reminders that we must continue to look at ourselves and make sure that we are staying the course. As leaders, we must continue to evaluate or subordinates and ensure that they are also continuing to use their moral compass.
I agree with you completely. We all start off fully motivated but throughout the years we forget from time to time why and what we signed up for.
Frank, I agree with you on losing motivation during our careers. I also agree that as leaders we should be guiding and helping others. Having the cornerstones of the Moral Compass to reflect on it is helpful to us as leaders. By reflecting on this daily we can teach it to our subordinates and pass along the importance of the values.
The lecture portion of this module deepened my understanding of the Moral Compass book. After reviewing the four guiding principles: Peace, Equity, Justice, and Service, I began to think of the numerous officers I worked with and for over my career. I feel fortunate that many believe in these and strive to hold firm on the ten core values. What I do believe is missing in many of our daily routines, is the self-reflection debrief. We often conduct debriefings after major incidents but I haven't done this on a regular basis after just a normal day. As leaders in law enforcement, our words and actions are far-reaching and effect many. Thus, looking in the mirror to determine if you were the problem or the solution is crucial.
I like the idea of self-reflection debrief. I often find myself chatting about certain calls with my partner supervisor, seeking feedback, but its almost a self-reflection debrief as well. There have been several times, I've gone over my actions and realized I could've handled things differently or had a better solution. Either way, I think this is a healthy habit to get into. Stay safe.
I will agree with you and I like the concept of conducting a self-reflection debrief. It is not something I have ever considered. I agree with you that looking in the mirror is crucial to self asses where we are, where we are going and where we want to be. It takes a lot of work to stay on course and disciplined to what our values are. We all make mistakes, we need be open to learning from them in order to not repeat them and stay the course using the compass.
Jarod I found myself thinking of all the officers I have ever worked in my career. Remembering the ones that failed and why they failed highlights that they lacked direction with a Moral Compass. Self-reflection as well as group reflection is an integral tool identifying the good as well as the bad. Affirming the good and correcting the bad only makes us better as individuals and by default better as a group.
I very much agree that we are missing a daily self-reflection or debrief. I work for an agency that stresses accountability as one of our core values. The accountability is to themselves, the agency, the public, their family, etc. The burden for accountability is no doubt high and one that really must be internalized to be successful in this profession. In my experience, many times people are resistant to areas of accountability. Specifically, people seem to resist the self-reflection portion of accountability. It can become very easy over time as an officer to place blame on others and shift it off ourselves. We must really internalize and self-reflect daily to truly make sure we are accountable as expected.
This is a really great point.
Prior to this, I had not previously heard Maya Angelou’s quote about courage ~ Courage is the most important of all of the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently". It really hits the nail on the head. Whether it’s being courageous by confronting a co-worker about substandard performance, giving direction or sharing an opinion that is certain to be unpopular, or remaining ‘responsible and accountable to the political environment’ while not ‘allowing yourself to be vulnerable to inappropriate political interference or control’, courage is the core value that is absolutely required in the most difficult and challenging of situations. And when we courageously deliver in such situations, we build credibility, both for ourselves and for the organizations that we represent, which in turn allows us to be the leader that we each need to be to fulfill the immense obligations that we have committed to as public safety professionals.
I agree Chris that as leaders we must have the courage to address unwanted behaviors and/or performance. Having those types of conversations are often uncomfortable, but absolutely necessary for the benefit of that individual and for the agency as a whole. We and expect what we inspect and if we tolerate unwanted performance or behavior, we then set precedence for the "new normal."
I agree Chris as courage is absent in so many supervisors and managers. Thinking about Maya Angelou's quote also brings clarity and highlights the importance of leaders to be courageous. Definitely would appreciate more training opportunities for my staff to understand this component as they rise through the ranks.
I also enjoyed hearing the quote about courage. I believe that courage is often incorrectly defined. I believe it is a misunderstanding that a courageous person is a person who does not experience fear. I have a "John Wayne" coffee mug with these words written on it; "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway". I believe that is a pretty accurate description of courage. Being courageous is not the act of doing things that do not scare you. Courage is being afraid, but completing the task to the best of your ability anyway.
I've always prided myself on having a strong moral compass. This module reaffirmed that I am doing right by my family, my friends, my co-workers, my agency, and the citizens in the city I work. I like how the authors of 'Moral Compass for Law Enforcement Professionals,' denote the four cornerstones of the moral compass on the seal on the cover of the book. One can easily reflect upon this image as a reminder of the direction they should be leading.
I also like that the moral compass serves to provide a clear and concise reminder of the four 'cardinal' cornerstones of a magnanimous life. Additionally, I appreciate that the authors also included within the compass rose each of the ten core values. These core values provide the foundation on which we lead and serve, and the back-drop against which our leadership and service will be judged. As is always the case, a life and career built on solid values is sure to be a meaningful and successful one.
Reaffirming we are headed in the right direction is always a comfort but the moral values presented can be a bit overwhelming when looked at as a whole. The question becomes am I really headed in the right direction? Am I getting it right, or do I have a lot to do? For me, the visual image of the path of living a moral life, denoted by the symbol, is a good reminder of each area we must be vigilant in on a daily basis. By breaking it down visually, it becomes less overwhelming and a tool to lead us. A road map of sorts has been provided but mostly a great reminder that our work is never done. We can always become more.
I agree with you Brian. And I believe that every person who is participating in the course also has a high moral compass. I do, however, believe that the quote by Martin Luther King in this lecture, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" is another way of saying that one bad cop makes it hard for the other 99.9% of the good ones. Some people in this profession need to look at their moral compass.
Likewise Brian. It was a refreshing read to say the least. I enjoyed the fact that the direction that I've tried to
take was the right one. I read the book and came away recharged, knowing I was conducting myself in the proper
manner and should be proud of that.
This module's lecture reaffirmed the concepts and text in the book, "Moral Compass for Law Enforcement Professionals" and brought forward some ideas that resonated with me as I reflect on not just my professional life, but my conduct in my personal life. I believe it is important to be true to who you are, no matter what the environment. In other words, you should hold true to the same values and moral principles in your personal life as you do in your professional environment. As stated in the book and in our lecture for this module, a person's character is viewed by others based not just on their words, but also on the actions and behaviors of that individual. When thinking of character in this regard, I'm reminded of the saying that people will remember you more not for what you say to them, but for how you made them feel. We have a choice in how we conduct ourselves and those choices will inevitably be guided by our values and beliefs. It takes courage, humility, integrity, and emotional intelligence to do what is just and right - despite what your biases and beliefs may be. A credible leader must possess enduring qualities of trust and expertise, as stated in our lecture, in order to gain the respect and following of others.
I agree that you are definitely judged more by your actions than your words over the long term. Unfortunately, many look for short term gain by using flashy language, trying to be dynamic in their presentations, and trying to say all the right things. I have seen this be successful in the short term, but as people observe their leaders, those that don't have strong moral values tend to get picked apart, even after being highly regarded for years. An example is Mike Carona, formerly known as "America's Sheriff". But how does one ensure their morals are strong? Many people think they have a strong moral and ethical foundation but do not. And often, we explain away our own actions that fall short. We must constantly reflect on our actions/morals/ethics and be open to (and even seek out) critical feedback regularly.
Most definitely how we carry ourselves is how we will be known. We all have taken a similar oath, and it’s disheartening when the leader of our agency does not have or display the values of a moral compass. I hope that we as individuals will hold ourselves accountable and continued to do what is right and encourage others to do the same.