- 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.
In this training module, I took the most from the statement; Leadership is about the people. That is so true and can often be overlooked. Leadership is about the people we are responsible for and the development we can help them get. That development takes time but is priceless for the future of your department.
This was an excellent module, especially from my Marine Corps brother. I was so in tune with his teachings because of our similar training. His principles were very straightforward, and I agree with delegation. I would often try to complete all tasks because of a particular structure. I had to realize that as a leader, the path was made for the persons I supervised, and I had to delegate structurally.
At the beginning of this module it was said that people should want to follow you, not be ordered to follow you. This is how I have modeled my leadership since I began my journey going up in the ranks. I learned this from past leaders and have watch the struggles that other leaders faced when they were not followed willingly. Setting the course of a successful culture starts from the top. But if our people do not want to follow us, then why would they want to change with us?
Prior to this lecture, I had not thought of equating accountability with responsibility, nor did I count all of the benefits that can result from an environment of accountability. As a leader, I have felt as though when I held someone accountable for their actions, it was a negative experience and something was being pointed out that they were doing wrong. The two benefits that Therwanger listed that stood out to me were, that performance is accelerated and purpose is established. My methods of accountability in the past have only stood to point out the negative but if these 5 benefits, especially the two that I listed, become my goals for accountability then I can see this process taking off and making a difference in those that I lead.
In learning this module, I learned new ways to delegate task and improve accountability. When leaders delegate task, subordinates sometimes interpret delegation as the leader not willing to do the “grunt” work. Many subordinates interpret accountability as micro-management. If leaders give the “why” subordinates are less likely see the leader micro-managing and more app to see the leader as holding them accountable.
This module came at a time in my career where I am focusing on improving or refocusing my delegation and accountability skills as a leader. A lot of the lecture spoke to me not only on how I can improve as a leader but ways I can help improve my team’s leadership altogether. We will be an off-site, team building session in my team’s future.
The key takeaways that I got out of this module was the importance of setting goals to inspire the people in your organization, delegation, and accountability. While I have always set goals for myself I have never looked at setting or identifying goals to the people that I lead. I have always looked at it more as tasks to complete.
As far as delegation, I have never been good at delegating. Its not that I didn’t trust others to accomplish a task it has always been the fact that I didn’t want others to think that I was too good to do the task. I have always looked at it as showing my subordinates that I could do the same job they could. I do realize that this only hampers their growth or purpose.
Many people mistake accountability for micro-management. Law enforcement is stat driven whether we want to see it that way or not. When crime stats are high for instance, we tend to put more pressure on our people. This is when the delivery and the “why” would be important so that they do not mistake accountability for micro-management.
I also need to work at setting goals for my shift and my new officers as they get assigned to my shift. I have always set personal goals for myself at work and in family life.
I found the statistics to be compelling: a staggering 80% of our workers are disengaged, with only a mere 13% exhibiting any level of engagement. I was particularly intrigued by the methods used by the presenter to encourage team members to become more active and align their goals with the organization's mission. Additionally, I appreciated the concept of raising the bar for other leaders within the organization, as it has the potential to foster engagement across all levels and aspects of the job.
This module hit on quite a few different topics for us in leadership positions which we need to be mindful of. Too many supervisors are terrified to let others do any of the work out of fear they will make a mistake. Delegating work to others is an example of leadership if done correctly and for the right reasons, because we are setting them up for success.
The biggest feat for me when delegating is setting up time to follow up and keeping up with whom was delegated what. There are many good leaders in my organization and many capable leaders under me. Keeping them on track and ensuring the product comes back is sometimes a task but if managaed appropriately and given enough time will run smoothly.
I think a lot of police shy away from holding one another accountable for their actions for various reasons. Not holding one another accountable leads to misconduct which adds to the negative image of us with the public. The longer you go without accountability, the more resistance you can expect when you eventually do have to start holding people accountable for their actions.
I agree Bill, holding someone accountable has had the same image as micro-managing someone and almost all of us want to stay away from having this image. We operate under the guise of saying "we are all adults" but not holding others accountable we are failing as leaders. It is possible to let people do their jobs without constantly checking behind them, but if accountability becomes expected, it isn't confused with micromanaging.
A lot of good information in this module. When he started talking about accountability it made me realize how different law enforcement in our area is now. He was absolutely right that we need to increase accountability. I think there is a huge difference between accountability and micro-management. I have never looked at it as being negative but I do believe we need to start by holding ourselves accountable. If we start with holding ourselves accountable, it shouldn’t create a problem with holding others accountable as well.
I agree with your viewpoint. It is a common tendency to lead by the "Do as I say" approach, rather than leading by example. As you have pointed out, it is essential that we hold ourselves accountable and practice what we preach.
Several years ago, I began to delegate responsibility. It was then that I realized that accountability creates dependability. My unit is now more structurally sound, and I don't have to worry much about task completion. Also, having an internal mission statement helped guide the ship toward success.
Culture was the theme of the second video. During the topic, it got me to thinking about not only the culture of my agency but the culture that was prevalent under my command. I have often supervised in a manner of giving my supervisor the desired result and letting them figure out how to achieve it. Without consciously knowing, I was allowing them take some sort of ownership in the process.
Prior to watching this lecture, I did not understand that culture was the actual way in which an organization functioned, maintained performance, and achieved greater goals. Often times we do see those goals go by the waist side, and we as leaders fail our team members because we get caught up in trying to just make it from one day to the next. Often times it is our own failures that have us in this mentality because we are afraid to delegate with a purpose. Thinking we can do it better sometimes if we do it ourselves. In my experience, I never thought I could always do it better myself, rather I thought that I was trying to be a good leader and take on more tasks to keep my team from having to take on more responsibilities. In doing this, and after having Erik Therwanger open my eyes, my team members are thirsting for more responsibility. Responsibility that would give them more purpose, and would ultimately increase their performance, allowing us as a team to reach those goals that have been placed by our waist side. It would give them a sense of accomplishments, reducing that thirteen percent of people making a positive difference within the agency to a much larger number. Planting those seeds of leadership through the team will ultimately make the organization better and setting the future of the agency up with a great selection for future leaders to carry on those legacies and goals in better ways than we left it.
National Command & Staff College
Session # 17, Myrtle Beach, SC
Learning Area 1, Module 5
Discussion Board: Think Great
Leadership development is paramount to the success of any agency. Furthermore, leaders must adhere to what they expect. If they lack morals, aren't truthful with staff, etc. then no matter how many memos, speeches, or surveys provide information, nothing will change for the better. The culture is defined by the leader is one of the best statements from the segment. That does not mean that others down the chain of command can't work to improve the culture of the agency, and more specifically, their division. But, if leadership does not care about it, then it will not change for the better. Another statement that resonated was that your culture is exactly at the level of tolerance for performance. If we accept mediocracy daily, we will never reach an agency that values positive attitudes, excellence, imitative, outcome and unwavering support for the mission and core values.
Lewis this is the exact thought that I had about this course. It has to start form the top and then get everyone else on board. Most leaders are set in their ways and getting them to accept change has proven to be a challenge.
I think the key takeaway here for me in this module was development. Erik said it several times in the video lectures regarding the Marine Corps. He said that they trained him to be a Marine and to be an air traffic controller but most importantly they developed him to be a leader. I think this simple concept is often overlooked in the law enforcement realm. We can certainly train almost anyone to do the basic job functions of a police officer but are we developing leaders starting at day one? I would argue that some agencies do but most do not. Developing leaders takes real effort and it’s about time we rethink how we develop our new officers, as they are entering a profession that is vastly different than it was 20 years ago.
I agree with the module and you on the importance of developing leaders before they are in leadership positions. I have always heard over the years that we should always be training our replacements. When I was in command of our SWAT team, I always brought up the fact that I could not be on the team forever and that others had to step up to lead and take my job. I was always challenging those team members to take on leadership roles especially in training.
I enjoyed Therwanger’s presentation and thought his lecture was easy to follow and interesting. I particularly liked his explanation of delegation, establishing the need for “buy in” from your people, and explaining the need for sharing information. I am sure we have all been assigned tasks with no explanation and can understand the extreme importance of knowing why we are doing what we are doing. I learned a lot of valuable information from this lecture.
Getting people to "buy in" when delegated a task or project is vital because it increases their desire to do good job and to feel as if they matter. I agree with you that sharing information is critical to their success and ultimately ours as an agency.
Robert, I reflected back within my career and when I was delegated a task by a superior officer without the “why”. I remember feeling confused and was left with several questions. I believe the “why” is extremely important and gives us an understanding as to why we are completing the task in the first place.
I am one of those people that is a tool belt junkie. The old saying, “here is another tool for your leadership (or fill in the blank with any other applicable needed area) tool belt.” This lecture was packed full of great information with a definite tool takeaway for me. I will stop saying here are some things I want to change. Now I will say I want to help enhance (fill in the blank).
Such a simple rephrasing of the dreaded word “change” makes it seem much more palatable and easier to digest. I can’t wait to make this simple adjustment and see what the results are and how it will be received.
Erik Therwanger's comments regarding the importance of having a purpose definitely reasonated with me. Before I was a supervisor, there was nothing more frustrating than being given a seemingly meaningless task by a supervisor with no explananation of "why", and no opportunity for buy-in. Even worse, I was told "I don't know, you figure it out" on more than one occassion. To paraphrase Mr. Therwanger, "tracking something with no purpose is perceived as micro-management; tracking something from a leader who has purpose is perceived as accountability." I absolutely agree with the principal that having purpose is integral to being a successful leader. When past supervisors gave me assignments without any explanation or known purpose, not only did I view it as the worst kind of micromanagement, but I also reflexively resented the micromanager giving me the order.
Great point. I can remember those days also when we were told to do something, not knowing the overall purpose, and not questioning our supervisors. Someone recently told me that this newer generation of officers should be known as the "why" generation. For better or worse, they need to know the "end game" of each directive. This module made me realize that maybe they are seeking more accountability rather than just questioning the purpose of the assignment.
I think the lecture was simple, yet effective. Sometimes we move so fast with limited resources that it's easy to forget leadership is such a deliberate process. Do we take the time to think about what we're doing and what we delegate to others, or are we going through the motions of it because that's what we've always done? If 95% of people want to be part of something important but only 13% are engaged, it is important to consider what the delegated order looks like from the other side.
Chiquita, you hit the nail on the head with....we are doing it because that the way it's always been done. We must all understand that leadership is not meant to be easy if done right. We must constantly learn, grow, seek input, and change accordingly.
This lecture struck home with me especially as I take over a new shift. I have to learn the strong points and weak points of the new officers I will be working with. This will help tremendously with delegating a task. Enhancing the officers, I thought was a great way of putting it. Finding what they like and running with it and finding their weak points, and working to build them up is the main goal for me. I will impress upon them the shift’s goal as well as work on the culture of our shift. Once we all have a common goal and work towards excellence, everything else should fall into place.
I saw a lot of value in Erik Therwanger’s lecture. The leadership challenges were spot on. I have seen where poor communication can lead to team morale issues. I have also seen leadership that was unable to delegate. Something I hear often from one of my mentors is you can delegate the task, but you can’t delegate the responsibility. That same supervisor used delegation to help build confidence in young officers. I had to explain that to an officer one time. We had received an officer from another shift that had some conflicts with his previous supervisor. He was given a task by the watch commander to check streetlights within the city and create a list of the lights that were not working. The officer assumed that it was a menial task that was given as targeting because of the previous supervisor. I explained to the officer how wrong he was, it was the opposite. Even though the task seemed menial, it was an important duty that came down from the city manager. The watch commander tasked the officer with the mission because he trusted him to be accurate. I guess that would fall under the principal that the task was understood. I also like the rule of third when applied to delegation; participate, guide, and coach.
Thanks for your comment, Richard. With team work, every task is important. Each task has to be completed by someone to reach the common goal. Every person on every level has to be accountable and understand the importance of what's being asked of them. As the lecturer stated, most people want to be part of something important. Important things have building blocks. I like that you took the time to flip the officer's way of thinking. Maybe he needed to understand that the next step in the process could not be accomplished until his assigned task was completed.
My favorite part of the lecture was learning about the USMC's 11 Leadership Principles and how easily they can translate to any form of Leadership, especially Law Enforcement.
Creating, developing, and maintaining a unifying culture sounds like a huge undertaking, but in my experience, it boils down to setting clear high expectations and fostering relationships at all levels. Relationships are key to a successful culture within an organization. Leaders must ensure that those in their charge feel safe in asking for help and guidance as needed, but also understand the commander’s intent fully to be able to adjust and adapt to ever changing variables that shouldn’t need to go above their leadership level to solve. Great leaders, in my experience, tend to be those that are completely sold on the idea that everyone is a leader and are deserving of development.
I like how Mr. Therwanger touches on leading by example and goes into the area of task delegation. He explains how leaders should look at task delegation to how a parent would teach a kid getting a driver's license to drive. They would not just throw them the keys and hope for the best. This is a concept that opened my eyes in a big way. But, it's an elementary approach that leaders can wrap their heads around. As leaders, we should not just blindly assign a delegated task, hope for the best, and be surprised when it fails. Instead, lose the ego, ensure the task is straightforward, and provide support along the way.
Daniel, I agree, delegating tasks can build our people up very quickly. Doing it correctly can help them and the agency move forward better than most training opportunities could. That relationship of trust that is formed also gives them more responsibility.
Spot on! One of the most uncomfortable things I had to embrace when I was a new supervisor was delegation. I had been used to performing my tasks, and it was hard to let go. The first few times delegating tasks, the returned products were not what I had envisioned. I was frustrated but realized it was my fault for not setting clear expectations with proper boundaries. I am always careful to ensure the boundaries give enough room to allow enough room laterally to foster independent thought and initiative.
After watching this module, I see that I have been doing some things wrong. Giving your employees a chance to be part of the leadership side of decision making should allow them to have a bigger purpose in the task at hand. I know sometimes I feel it would be easier to do it myself, but that is not helping or training others. I've got some restructuring to do in the way I've been leading.
Erik Therwanger absolutely change my perception of what culture was and I am thankful. I related to his conversation about expectations and that everyone wants to be part of something great. We either set our expectations low to accommodate the status quo of our culture or we raise the bar and expect more from our culture. We must be clear about our new higher expectations and be ready to see our good culture go to great.
The concept of teaching leadership at all levels is sound and makes sense. Developing new officers as leaders with the equal balance of training can only be a winning combination. I too have to work more to delegate, encourage and inspire officers to want more while also making sure they get the required training to do the job.
The concept of teaching leadership at all levels is sound and makes sense. Developing new officers as leaders with the equal balance of training can only be a winning combination. I too have to work more to delegate, encourage and inspire officers to want more while also making sure they get the required training to do the job.
I agree with this concept. Teach our people to be leaders from day one, and not wait till they become supervisors.
Chad, the good news is that the employees who want to be part of the decision-making process are the future leaders of your department anyway, and I say that from personal experience. Once you open the door to collaboration on imortant operational matters, the officers who are invested in the ultimate success of your department will be lining up to be part of your team. So you're not only getting buy-in to your plans in the form of participation, but you're also holding auditions for your next round of promotions.
I was amazed by this module about how leadership traits from the Marine Corps can and should be used in law enforcement. As a former Marine, I was taught everything he discussed but never realized how important these traits were or what they meant as a young marine. Enthusiasm stood out to me. I look at this trait and associate it with specialized divisions in a department. To me, one of the goals as a leader is to bring officers, for example, to investigations who are enthusiastic about working on cases and being involved in the aftermath of incidents. We can see many officers in a department express their lack of enthusiasm for this division. I also realized other vital ways to hold detectives accountable and follow up on items delegated to the officers to improve the overall goal of a department. I have been able to practice many of the topics discussed in this module throughout my career, but now with a better understanding of leadership and its association with culture, expectations, delegating, and accountability, I believe I will better serve my agency and the officers within it.
The lecture provided me with new insight on the importance of delegation and accountability and why it’s necessary that the two are properly distributed. Failure to delegate brings a sense of lack of trust toward the leader and lowers the team’s self-worth. Developing the proper guidance for the task to the team by the leader empowers them and builds up their confidence and raises their engagement toward the organization. It may be faster to sometimes do the job ourselves as leaders, but it becomes a cancer to the organization when we never teach our subordinates the proper way of performing tasks. Proper delegation teaches them self-reliance and makes them more competent in their duties. We have to plan for the future and hoarding our skills and methods of completing tasks does nothing for ensuring the survival of the organization after our attachment to the organization comes to an end. The checks and balances of accountability is the insurance that the tasks are going to be accurately completed and everyone from the top to the bottom is accountable.
Elliot well said, I have struggled with delegation and need to work on it still. I have found that if I get to wrapped up in tasks that I should have delegated It greatly impacts the time I can spend focusing on leadership, strategy, and the short and long term goals of the agency.
This lecture on "Think Great" was very informative. It gave me a better way that I can first enhance my leadership traits to become a more effective leader. More importantly, it gave me a plan or course of action to use to in order to developing a better team. Through, the use of providing the best leadership to my team and developing a culture of positivity. This is done by having goals and expectation and relaying those goals and expectations to the team. By sharing this information, I can empower others by delegating tasks down to instill a sense of trust and confidence to my team members. Additionally, I have to not only except accountability for my action and the actions of others, but i have to hold others accountable for their actions as well. This lesson, I will definitely take back to my division that i currently work in to change the the attitude from negative to a more positive culture.
I agree and also intend to use this training to improve and motivate my shift. I plan to meet with my sergeants and set out some reasonably goals for the 90 day plan. One of the goals will be productivity focused. I also have a couple officers that are above average in productivity; however, they sometime fail to meet standards on quality. I would like to incorporate quality into the 90 day plan. There was a lot of useful tool given in Erik Therwanger’s lecture.
Organizations would benefit from the perspectives presented in this module. These perspectives focus on achieving goals through unity and individual accomplishment, a team approach to problem solving, and ensuring every team member is invested in objectives. The aspect elevating performance by expecting progress instead of perfection is one of the most significant. It may help retain those with subpar performance.
Cedric, I completely agree. I think you said it best with "elevating performance by expecting progress instead of perfection".
I agree. I really enjoyed this module. Most supervisors I have worked for expect perfection and I use to on certain things as well. By understanding to expect progress and not perfection, I think we as supervisors will be able to serve our people better. This may help with the retention rate.
Joseph Spadoni, Jr.
I liked the entire module, very good information. Each section of the module has something that can be taken away and utilized within our teams. In the delegate with a purpose lecture, Erik Therwanger spoke about the “ODS” principles. I think those principles could be valuable to my team. By delegating tasks to them they will feel empowered and will instill more trust in the team. I was always against micromanaging as I’m sure all of us are. Therwanger spoke about supervising in intervals, I think by doing that the team doesn’t feel micromanaged which they aren’t and it gives them time to complete tasks that are delegated to them without having to “hold their hand”.
I think most times we think of accountability as punishment for failing to complete tasks. I like the fact that Mr. Therwanger stated, "Changing behavior is more important than punishing performance." This will help people to be more receptive to being held accountable.
I couldn't agree more with the statement Therwanger said. By doing that I believe it would in fact push our teams to be more receptive to holding themselves more accountable.
I to agree. Changing behavior is key to long term success. At the end of the day a minor drop in performance is worth the lasting effect of changing behavior.
Every officer is a leader. It does not mean that just because I am rank my title holds more weight. In order to be effective organization, every employee regardless to rank/title should feel like they are a leader and a apart of a team. It takes a joint effort to have an effective organization and every team member should feel this way.
I agree and believe this as a widespread perspective would elevate any organization’s products and help it maintain a deserved positive image.
The delegation topic hit home for me. At the beginning of my supervisory career, I would just do everything myself because I wanted it done right. But I soon realized I was doing myself and my staff an injustice. I have no problem delegating now but I understand it must be done with a purpose.
Kecia I have had the same problem with delegation. A lot of times it seems easier just to get the job done, as opposed to taking the time to teach someone else. I need to take a more active role in forcing myself to delegate so that I can elevate others.
Kecia, I too was like that. I would at any times take on more than what was expected just because of the old saying, "if you want something done right the first time, then you might as well do it yourself". I eventually realize, that i was only hurting and limiting myself by taking on way too much and not giving my team a chance to be a part of the process was toxic. my team did not grow until i learned to delegate and trust in my team members ability.
In this lesson, I liked the push for the accountability but also showed the difference from being a leader and a micromanager. My department has been steering away from the managers and made a push to train and develop leaders. This has supplied deputies, even at the early stages, the access to leadership classes. One thing that stands out is and stated by Erik Therwagner that 95% of the people in the workplace want to be part of something special and great, yet there are only 13% doing that. This module has also stated that we should train and develop, which will not only lead to a better culture, but a culture that will allow us to be a part of something great.
I have seen leaders chain the culture within my agency for the better in my career. He brought in accountability where when we had none. Our department's image changed drastically for the better. The respect of others both within and outside the agency increased, and you could see people were proud to be a part of the positive change.
The lesson I learned from this module is to improve on being better at delegation. I now know where my frustration comes from in some of my past task delegations, and it was me.
A good lesson with a strong push for accountability. It is key we hold everyone accountable and help each other achieve their goals. I have always help myself accountable for my own actions but realize how accountable I am for others actions as well.
I have also held myself accountable for my actions, but this lesson has shown me that by holding others for their actions empowers them and makes them feel like part of the team. I have always had a hard time to delegate some of the accountability and can us some of the tools to change.
Test discussion question
I liked the opening video when Mr. Therwanger said that leaders who achieve the highest levels of engagement provide balance in the workplace. I have seen this to be true with my patrol squad. People like providing input and taking ownership of the team. He tied it in later when he pointed out that 95% of people want to be a part of something great, yet only 13% stay engaged. It is up to us as leaders to keep them engaged. Create buy-in. I also liked his statement during the lecture when he said leadership in a journey is not about perfection, but about progress. I have found that officers will follow a leader who is real and admits that he/she is not perfect, yet does not give up.
Well said, Larry.
Keeping everyone engaged is a must but also tough to do. It takes a lot of esprit de corps to keep members engaged along the journey and, like you said, not being afraid to admit when we mess up.
This lecture by Mr. Therwanger has open my eyes to a lot that goes on within my on agency. I see I have a hard time delegating projects to others, as I have the thinking of, “If I want it done right, I must do it myself.” It has shown me that I can delegate and allow the people who work for me to learn what needs to be done and how to do it. When it is done right, praise them for a job well done. This will lift up moral and cause them to be more involved with the betterment of the agency. On the other hand, it has shown that there has to be accountability for the actions of the whole agency. When something is left undone or done wrong, there has to be accountability from the person or persons responsible. Not necessarily in the form of disciplinary action, but education. If poor performance or no performance is allowed, then that becomes the norm and leads to a decrease in drive to perform at the highest level. Showing staff there is accountability in the agency will build up their higher expectations.
I agree, Joe. So much of my career I have earned my way by doing things myself and not entrusting things to other people, but as I gained rank and more responsibility, I noticed I did not have the time to do everything myself, and I had subordinates with me who were yearning to be a part. Delegating tasks to them and allowing them to do it their way, succeeding at times and sometimes failing, brought the entire team together as a whole.
The session had an important concern of making sure to keep our eyes on the prize of what the mission of the department is and that we have set goals to give the department the ability to accomplish the mission. To be able to set these goals and to be successful in accomplishment of the mission the leader also has to look at and help move the culture to a point where there is the opportunity for success. I have seen both sides of the leadership dynamic where culture failures occur and departments struggle and mission failure occurs, and the reverse is with a positive culture you can have a success and the people that want to be part of something special and something great will succeed.
This Module had some good information in it. I really enjoyed the section on accountability. Effective leadership requires accountability, as It builds trust within the team. When you know a leader will take responsibility for their decisions, it instills a high level of confidence in other team members.
I agree with you, Devon. However, accountability is the most difficult to encounter. It puts a sense of being micro-managed on your team members. I liked how Erik gave insight into bringing your team together over accountability. The idea of having meetings to check on the status of goals and identify the great work that has been accomplished seems as if it would be rewarding and inspiring to others. This, in return, will make your team members look more to you as a leader due to your encouragement and passion for achieving goals.
Think Great: The most important thing I learned form this module is that accountability can be framed as a course correction to make sure we are on track to the end goal. Traditionally, as Mr. Therwanger pointed out, accountability has had the connotation of punishing the performance as a purpose. To be responsible for our actions.
Our mission as leaders should be to change behavior in furtherance of the end goal, not to punish performance. Once we have changed the behavior, we can then delegate with confidence.
Another important point not to miss is the perception of a unified culture. I have worked in places and with people without a unified culture. As Mr. Therwanger pointed out, these were not people driven and lacked an esprit de corps. They were process driven and there was no loyalty within the organization.
As far as enhancing my leadership capacity, I plan on gathering my teams and running through some of the development skills such as defining what a leader is, the impact of our culture, identify important goals, raising expectations, and accountability.
Culture is everything. By establishing and reinforcing a unified, coherent set of "ideals", we empower our staff to achieve the goals set for them, and to fulfill the mission of our agency.
One of the issues that I struggled with in this module was accountability as course correction. To me, accountability is a very powerful concept, more akin to ownership. I am going to investigate Mr. Therwanger's concept more fully.
William, I too enjoyed the section accountability, I see it made you think critically as well. This was a refreshing look at what accountability should be, a course correction towards the end goal and not necessarily punishing the performance.
The culture of an organization dictates whether the member thrive or whither. So as William stated, it is important to establish a unified set of ideas. I feel that the culture must also reflect the current environment and constantly assess new ideas. Organizations may be limited on who applies to their organization. Selecting people whose beliefs are in line with the organization is also essential.
I agree with you Walter, we have to be forwarded thinkers by staying up to date with the current environment. The Police Chief from our agency retired several years ago and was replaced with a Captain from within our agency. The former chief was old school and supported the good old boy system and left little room for change or advancement. The Captain that was promoted paid attention to what the needs of the department were and saw where we we’re lacking. Under the former Police Chief, retention was difficult, and recruitment was as well. When the new police chief came on, he helped our agency to transform into a transparent agency and cultivated an agency that was openminded to ideas of the current environment. His methods reduced turnover and increased recruitment
On the one hand, I look at the leaders above me and see that I don't know what their goals are, so why should I create goals for my people. That is the lazy part of me thinking. I recognize the importance of creating goals and keeping people accountable but it creates work. What if I get it wrong? What if I fail. There has to be a change in mentality that you are failing by not acting. We talk about not making a decision is worse than making the wrong one, but that doesnt seem to transfer to our work environment. Lots of LE agencies fail to act in this arena (at least in the ones I have been a part of). Do the job in front of you and go home. Repeat. That cannot be enough. There has to be more.
I liked the discussion on millennials in the beginning. They want the satisfaction as much as we do. How they go about it is just different. Learn their language and you can get them to be just as productive.
I found part 4 elevate priorities very interesting. Throughout our professional life we have always had those that do just enough to get by and witness its impact on the moral of the team. We've all had supervisors who think "he'll figure it out." I think everyone should have achievable goals that grow or raise the bar and leaders should make their expectations known.
I agree strongly, how does anyone get into a position if they never to elevate their priorities and having others push them.
I enjoyed this module and was able to take a lot away from it with me being a new team leader. I like out Therwanger discusses how leaders build leaders.
Building trust is important because leadership often involves guiding people through risk and change. Trust is essential when trying to build a new leader.
Erik Therwanger’s lecture was very inspiring and provides a simple but detailed road map to help anyone make that leadership connection within their organization. This six-part series covers a lot of material and gives the viewer several tools to build upon. He also challenges you to examine yourself and your role within that leadership connection. Where the thought had not occurred to me before, I now see the value in having your team define leadership on a 3x5 index card. This simple exercise will help an organization quickly see potential misconceptions or disconnects in what true leadership looks like. After all, leadership means something different to each of us. However, it is easy to see how, when you collectively talk about leadership, you will increase the likelihood that you will gain buy-in on what leadership should look like within the organization.
The section on delegation without purpose was also very impactful. Far too often, managers follow the same pattern for how they were taught to delegate, without any real thought to the purpose behind it. This philosophy does not inspire leaders, and it may continue to frustrate the team and cause dysfunction. However, when the team understands the purpose and has a significant amount of personal investment in the goals, those goals can become easier to attain, and the culture within the organization will thrive.
Mr. Therwanger covered a lot of great information in this module, and I found his take on culture to be spot on when he said, “your culture is exactly at the level of your tolerance for poor performance,” as well as his statement that “low expectations protect low performers from higher performance.” I immediately thought of real-life examples for both within my department. We often talk about what we can do to lift morale, but we should enhance the culture. Another area I found interesting was his take on accountability. I think we as leaders focus more on disciple than praise. We must do a better job of recognizing our employees for their achievements. Like all things, this must be done with balance, and we as leaders must take ownership of the good and the bad.
I also found his take on culture to be spot on. I agree with your assessment of most leaders look to discipline rather than coach the employee. Outlining our expectations and being consistent will increase the overall performance of your team. Everyone wants to know what is expected and that everyone will be held accountable to the same standard. I believe enhancing the culture of the organization will increase the overall morale of the organization.
I agree these statements are spot on.
Therwanger’s statement, “Your culture is at your level for tolerance for poor performance”, rang true with me, as I reflect on my perception of the state of my agency’s culture. Over the years, I have failed to adequately enforce and ensure that the standards of the department were adequately enforced. Although we have never failed to deal with any violations of law or significant policy violations, we have become too lacks on minor policy violations and basic performance expectations. This has also contributed to some of our departmental dysfunction. What started out as giving officers the benefit of the doubt that they would self-correct has morphed into institutionalized tolerance for inadequate performance.
I, too, found this statement to be eye-opening. As I reflect upon the administration changes of my department during my career, I have now realized that we did not always have a leader, and the department was only managed. Without a leader at the helm, each Captain ran their division separately, which caused the team atmosphere to diminish, egos to flourish, and each division to feel alienated towards the others. We now have a leader holding people accountable and reuniting the department. The new administration’s accountability has led the ones with low expectations and the low performers to leave. I now know that these departures are known as the out action.
This is so true Kent. I have found myself over looking the so called minor violation of policy and not addressing them as well. I must address myself on this and address the issues within the agency.
The two major things, I took from the lecture from Mr. Therwanger was reminiscing about the leadership traits and principles taught during my time in the Marine Corps. JJ DID TIE BUCKLE is an acronym, even after all these years, I have not forgotten. These traits and principles can be applied to any organization and its training of its leaders. It also struck me when he spoke about balance when it comes to your people. Training is not good enough but they have to be developed as well.
The second point was when he speaks about delegation. I am very guilty of the mindset, "it's just easier to handle it myself", so I handle it. This is a skill set I need to develop more fully without feeling as if I am micro-managing.
I too am guilty of being a poor delegator. With staffing shortages, expediency, and I’ll admit some ego (I can do it better faster), I tend to be a very poor delegator. After watching this lesson, I’ve realized that I’ve been looking at this all wrong. I owe it to officers and staff to delegate more of the tasks that they are trained and capable of handling. I need identify and take opportunities to enhance my comfort and skill at delegation.
Learning Area #1 / Module #6 Discussion Post and Response
Captain Jeremy Harrison
Oklahoma City Police Department
National Command & Staff College, Session 16, 2021
This week’s lecture encouraged me to really focus on the culture of our agency. Like most agencies, there is a great deal of negativity due to the number of vacancies and much of the rhetoric surrounding law enforcement. We as leaders can overcome the negativity by keeping our officers focused on what we do and the positive impact we can have on the community. I believe we all get trapped in the mundane day to day of just getting our individual jobs done we do not focus on improving and driving a culture.
The culture we want for our agency must be communicated and we must allow everyone to have input into the rollout of that culture (Therwanger, 2022). Like Therwanger said, most employees want to be part of something great (2022). The role we have in law enforcement has the potential of being something great every day. When we re-organize our day to ensure we are communicating clearly to everyone in our area of responsibility, we have the best chance to improve the culture of our organization (Therwanger, 2022).
This week’s lecture has really encouraged me to delegate, communicate, and engage with those in my area of responsibility better. I must articulate the culture we are striving for and listen to their ideas on how to reach that goal. If we can incrementally improve our culture each day, most employees will be a part of something great as they desire.
Therwanger, E. (2022, January 8). Think great [Online Lecture]. Retrieved from https://acebase.commandcollege.org/courses/weeks-1-2/lessons/module-6-taking-responsibility/topic/lecture-taking-responsibility/
This module really made me think about things I need to improve upon as a leader. My agencies culture has been moving more in the direction of developing leaders at all levels which is great. One of the things talked about is developing your team and team members to all become leaders. A lot of times we focus on developing individuals who show an interest in becoming leaders. This is something I do as well. I never looked at in the way discussed by Mr. Therwanger where I need to be developing my team to all be leaders.
Another aspect where I feel I may be lacking is setting goals for my team/shift. I need to work with my group more to develop goals and participate in making progress toward achieving those goals.
Lastly, this module made me realize I am terrible with delegation. This module lays out really good ideas on delegation. I like the way it's explained that we cannot just delegate task but we need to prepare our people to ensure they have the resources to complete the task.
Learning Area #1 / Module #6 Discussion Post and Response
Captain Jeremy Harrison
Oklahoma City Police Department
National Command & Staff College, Session 16, 2021
You hit the nail on the head with a few of your observations. I cannot remember how many times I have been told to identify a future leader and invest in that person. As Therwanger suggests, we need to invest in the leadership future of every employee (2022). We typically ignore those we see little leadership potential in and treat them as only a role player and not an integral part of the organization.
Therwanger also pointed out how difficult delegation is (2022). I have struggled with the thought of doing something myself if I want it done right (Therwanger, 2022). It is hard work to delegate. However, I am betting that hard work will only be an up-front effort and it will pay dividends down the road when people understand how to accept responsibility. I am confident we can change our leadership styles and culture moving forward and I am excited to see what happens over the next few years.
Therwanger, E. (2022, January 8). Think great [Online Lecture]. Retrieved from https://acebase.commandcollege.org/courses/weeks-1-2/lessons/module-6- taking- responsibility/topic/lecture-taking-responsibility/
The development of your agency's culture is something that is not thought about as much as it should be. I feel as if I put my people in positions to develop them as leaders but I should be working on this from a department-wide aspect instead of just the people I am responsible for.
Recently, we have been placing a much higher emphasis on "philosophical alignment" in mentoring and promotions. While I agree with Therwanger's definition of culture, I have used the short-hand of "the shared set of beliefs and actions of a group". Ideally, I want all of my staff to be aligned with the direction that we are going (our goals), so that they can move us forward in any situation they come across. My goal has to be to make sure that our goals are clearly defined, and our philosophy well understood.
This lecture, while not necessarily eye opening, definitely brings things back to the surface that I have learned over the years. It brings back some of the things that I was taught in Marine Corps boot camp and during my time in the Corps. Leadership is everyone's responsibility and that was drilled into us, from the beginning. I think the biggest focus here was setting goals and working toward them. This is something that has changed my personal life in the last few years, and incorporating it into the work environment is something that I have been working on. Once you see how goals improve what you are working toward it is difficult to think of accomplishing things without having a goal set. Taking small strives toward each of these goals is important and should be pushed through your team so that everyone is a part of the goal achievement process.
Semper Fidelis Rodney, I think really does relate to this topic and you are correct. This concepts are not life changing on there own, but they do help remind us the basics and why people get up everyday and want to make a difference or be agents for change. While I never served in the Marine Corps, the basic focus that they provide for the military and the ideals that the espouse the concepts of the trainings and belief system.
I appreciated his view that goals should be connected to the vision of the organization. I've always had trouble thinking about what kind of goals we set for our units and why, but this discussion got me thinking differently about them. Interestingly, when I have heard other leaders set goals (and when I have set them myself), they are almost always performance statistic based. This makes sense because these kinds of goals are quantifiable and easy for us to track with the systems we already have in place. But our agency's vision statements rarely have anything to do with these kinds of stats. For example, lately I've been challenging my lieutenants lately to take every opportunity to remind our detectives that our section "is where OCPD's reputation is made." This kind of has the force of the vision for our section. How do I operationalize this vision into measurable and attainable goals, so that our detectives know how the goals we set as a section relate to the vision we want to fulfill? I have a couple ideas, and I would love to hear some more.
Two concepts stood out to me. First, the importance of developing leaders at all levels. I believe informal leaders throughout an organization have an opportunity to have a great impact. Even young officers have the ability to be informal leaders. As an organization we must strive to develop leaders even those at the beginning of their career. Second, the importance of developing the organization's culture and ensuring the employees understand the mission of the organization.
Matt, I think leadership development at all levels is very important and too long neglected. I'm really exited that we are starting to provide more substantial leadership training to our informal leaders. I appreciated Therwanger's concept that our delegation should be designed to develop our people. I think if we're really intentional about finding tasks to delegate our people that involve leadership, we really help them to practice leadership skills above and beyond the training that we are giving them.
Matt, I agree. Leadership must be developed on every level. Leadership skills are not only for ranking officers but for all officers. Even a young officer could lead. He could become a robust and influential leader with proper training and support. As current leaders, we must identify potential leaders and foster their development.
I agree with Matt. Developing leaders at all levels remind me of when I was coming up through the ranks of the Marine Corps and law enforcement; I was told to learn the job of the person below me and the person above me. This will help teach me how to perform the duties and be a leader from the rank above me. It's also our job to teach younger officers how to be leaders so they can perform tasks while handling situations when a supervisor is not there.
I liked Therwanger's puzzle example to describe goals and how folks can achieve them. He is totally right. We can open a box to a puzzle and throw away the cover with the picture and still be able to complete the puzzle. But we will never know what the goal is until we complete the puzzle. Without a clearly established goal, we don't have direction, and we may lose interest, and certainly we won't have buy-in. If we can clearly present the goal to our people, they will know and understand what our desired outcome is to be.
The strategic and the leadership organizational directions and management influence the workplace culture to a considerable extent. When you have a positive workplace culture, it improves teamwork, raises morale, increases productivity and efficiency, and even enhances organization retention. Leadership and management styles that promote collaboration and honest and open communication are crucial to creating a positive feeling in the workplace. Culture is a key role when it comes to employment. Organizations should know that the culture suffers do to leadership, and retention declines and people quit because of head leaders not taking the time to care about the culture.
Module 6 spoke about Leadership and the importance of setting goals, accountability and delegating. Delegating can sometimes be an issue for me; not due to lack of confidence in my people or ego issues, but I do not like to tie up my people. It was a surprise to me to hear the delegation helps both the leader and team member grow. I also learned to share purpose with the team, so there is a why in achieving a certain goal.
I also have difficulty with delegation for similar reasons. To my own fault, I dislike asking people to do for me what I can easily do myself. I gloss over, or ignore the idea that folks will grow, learn, and appreciate being entrusted with being delegated to. Not to mention, we as leaders can be even more productive.
I agree delegating tasks is difficult at times for many reasons. It was beneficial hearing his perspective and the importance of making sure others understand why something is being completed.
I felt a central topic of this module was for leaders to set distinct goals and be accountable for those goals. The rest of the discussion was talking about how to set those goals. For me, tonight, when I get to work, a goal I will introduce to my squad is to provide a minimum of five business checks. Like the module, this goal is obtainable, and my personnel understands how to conduct those checks. What I learned about that goal is that I'll need to express the importance of those checks validating their patrols to the administration at the end of the evening. I'll look at their daily reports of work "trip sheets" and ensure the goal was met. If they haven't met that goal, I'll be accountable and learn what prevented them from completing the task, such as motivation or workload.
There was a lot of info in that module. In the first lecture I enjoyed the discussion of development versus training. The discussion on culture was informing for me also as I look for ways to contribute to building healthy culture in my department. Delegation, wow, I need help in this area for sure. Sometimes I do task I could delegate because I want to keep officers free to work. I see now the benefit we both get when task are delegated.
I have the same issue wit delegation; not that my officers can't handle the task, but because I feel like I might be taking them away from doing something else.
Erik Therwanger opened my eyes to the power of delegation. I have fallen victim to believing I have to do things my self to ensure it is done the way I want it, but now I realize I have failed others and myself for not training them properly. I have never though of delegation as a leadership development tool to build buy-in and to develop the future leaders of my organization.
I totally agree and am in the same boat. I often will just complete the task to save the time and energy of explaining to someone how to complete the task and what the end product should look like. Instead, I know how to do it and even though it's another thing on my plate I just complete to save time. I realize this doesn't help me or my team.
I can say there have been a lot of takeaways for me in this module. As leaders, we can spread positive culture through our behaviors and actions. Over the past several years my department has experienced multiple culture shifts and not all have been positive. While I still believe we are on the right track, we still have a lot of work to do. This module has offered me many ideas to integrate to keep us moving in a forward direction. What I do know is that culture is contagious. It takes everyone from all levels within the organization to bring positivity and inspiration to the team and to help those who chose the opposite path see the light. One of the things that is stressed throughout the lecture is getting with your people one on one. Know what is going on with them personally and professionally. Ask those important questions and allow them to give input into the big picture of the organization. What I have discovered in my organization, is the small things matter and communication is a big factor. If we as leaders can lessen the internal stressors on our employees, we can have a bigger impact on them individually and on the organization.
Fact! Culture is very contagious. That can be a bad thing or a good thing. As you stated it takes everyone at all levels to bring positivity, but also it helps when the organization takes feedback from others without any retaliation. A person has the right to disagree respectfully without a supervisor feeling emotionally attack because someone disagreed with them. Great post!
I think this module will be instrumental in helping me enhance my leadership capacity not just at work, but in all walks of life. When you use the tools provided you can create a place to grow, not just a place to work. The entire journey becomes about the people. When people are the focus the task seems within reach and it is no longer a task but a goal. I can use the tools of unifying the culture, identifying important goals, and elevating priorities to nurture trust, buy-in and accountability. I think the key is making accountability positive which is not historically the case. For example celebrating a person's role can come in simple recognition of a job well done. For example, I use candy and lottery tickets as a reward for winning facility inspection. I celebrate their accountability of holding the inmates accountable for cleanliness which in turn maintains the facility and creates an environment that promotes appropriate behavior. A simple bar of chocolate promotes growth and a desire for accountability. The goal of safety is reached.
This lecture was extremely important as it related to the concept of “Think Great”. Erik Therwanger presented an incredible depiction of what leadership is and the best way to enhance our perceptions. I recall in his presentation that 92% of the people who set goals for themselves fail. I can relate to his illustration of these failures through not carrying out a new year’s resolution of my own and can think of many other people who always want to start the year off in the right direction by getting a gym membership which literally don’t last through the first week.
He outlines the ways we can achieve our short term and long-term goals by completing one small portion at a time. In Law enforcement we must put in place a plan of action and develop a new pattern of habits in order to achieve the desired affect from our subordinates. Erik mentions delegating with a purpose using the acronym O.D.S. This is a true assessment, and it is our job as leaders to not only orchestrate and delegate but also supervise to ensure the objective is met and does not return in worse shape than when it was first delegated
I think dividing a goal in pie sections is brilliant. It helps give meaning and energy to action items. When "chunks" are completed you can see steady progress while obtaining the goal and time frames can be easily monitored. Tools are created that lead to success without being imposing. You create self-initiation to get to the next section of pie. It also gives natural breaks for check-ins on progress. Overall a great process.
Yes, I agree that dividing goals is a great idea. Something I look to implement immediately. I find myself tackling too much at one time and becoming discouraged and frustrated with my progress. I will also make a conscience effort to find ways to be more developmental and not just train personnel. I enjoyed what was said about development versus training.
I really enjoyed the portion of Kirk Therwangers lesson about accountability. Helping our people understand the goals behind a task and giving them the full support and authority to complete the task properly is important. When they see that accountability isn’t just about getting into trouble but more of the course correction approach so that the goal is met, I believe our people will be more motivated to perform at their best
I agree Curtis. I feel alot of people feel negative about the word accountability. I felt it to be a negative word to point out what was done incorrectly. This lecture was able to help me see the other side of it.
This was definitely an interesting module. Erik Therwanger did well in presenting the material in a way that it felt relevant. Sort of makes you take a deeper look at your command and the situations that they may be n currently. Had to laugh a bit when he brought up the "it's because they are Millennials" argument because it is something we hear literally everyday. At times I go back and read some of the older responses and they are literally using the exact argument. I agree with delegating with purpose and try to use this daily.
"It's because they are millennials" gets old to hear but it's not always the problem. Delegating with a purpose is huge.
Andrew - I thought the same thing when he mentioned Millennials, we all deal with different types of personalities daily and the description of Millennials takes me back to the biases a couple of sessions ago. If we go in with that mentality then it is difficult to lead them the way that our organization needs us to. We can not be that type of leader if we want the people we are leading to buy in.
All I have to say is WOW. This module really hit home. Without airing out my dirty laundry, this is my current situation within my agency. A lot of "it's not my job" and I'm seeing the disengagement, even though the staff is telling me differently. After listening to the presentation, it is clear that I have been holding my Supervisors accountable in all the wrong areas. While I was on admin leave for an OIS for 4 weeks, I'm back to work and this presentation is what I really needed to get myself back in the leadership game. Really enjoyed this module.
I really liked the lecture that Mr. Therwanger gave. He really provided great information that I plan on using in the future. His discussion on delegation with a purpose was fantastic. In the past, I have been hesitant to delegate to subordinates. I always wanted to do the task myself. One reason was because I knew I would do it the way I wanted it done. Also, I did not want to burden their already busy schedule. What I learned from Mr. Therwanger teachings, is that delegation is will develop future leaders. Delegation gets subordinates engaged, lets them know you trust them, and they "buy in" to the organization because they have been part of its progress.
I agree with you Johnathan in regards to delegating does help to grow future leaders. It builds mutual respect, competence, and helps to reinforce expectations. Also it is our job to train those who will eventually replace us.
I agree delegation done properly helps those we lead to grow and develop. I learned that I need work on how I delegate and communicate better my expectations. I agree that delegation is a great way to get buy in, which helps the growth of everyone and the agency.
I really enjoyed Mr. Therwanger's presentation on "Think Great". The information he presented was easy to understand and valuable. Part 2 ( Enhance perceptions-develop a unifying culture) really stuck out to me. I've personally seen how negative culture can affect the workplace. The steps and terms used in the "Visionary vowels" were very informative in learning how to develop a unifying culture. Great lecture, i learned a lot this Module.
There was a ton of information in this module. I also enjoyed Mr. Therwanger as a presenter. Part 5 entitled "Delegate with a Purpose" was probably the most informative to me. I also enjoyed part 4 where he described Out actions, In actions, and On actions. I have never heard the different types of actions in a workplace described like that and found it very helpful not only as a leader looking at others actions, but as a way to look at my own actions.
I agree with you John. Part 5 entitled "Delegate with a Purpose" was my favorite. It really made me rethink delegation and how to use it to develop young leaders.
This module was loaded with great information. I really enjoyed Mr. Therwanger as a presenter. The area of delegating really stuck with me because I am definitely a person who has had a hard time delegating tasks in my career. The next time I delegate a task I am going to do it like Mr. Therwanger describes: with a purpose and give my team member the authority. I can't tell you how many times I have delegated something to "get it off of my plate" and not even thought about getting it a purpose. Lesson learned for sure after watching this module.
I agree with Jeff. Delegation is really tough as a leader because it sometimes felt like I was dumping my responsibilities onto someone else. I appreciated Mr. Therwanger's description of what delegation is and how it should be used.
I agree with you Jeff. This module has changed my mindset on delegation, in a big way. Using delegation as a development tool is a powerful way to build the organization and to give the up-and-comers a chance to shine.
There were several important points that were given in the Module #6 presentation by the lecturer. One significant example described in the lesson was the importance of establishing a balanced work culture. From experience, leaders that allow an unhealthy work environment create a framework where co-workers focus on issues instead of problem-solving. When leaders permit co-workers to work in a deprived workplace the culture will cause the team to lose confidence in their leader. If one person is troubled, it will affect everyone on the team. The key is to cultivate a secure workplace that will unify co-workers and give them identity and purpose. When individuals are working in a stable environment they will be more invested in the organization promoting enthusiasm and a high level of work performance. Individuals within any organization all want to be a part of something great.
Mr. Therwanger does a phenomenal presentation. Certain sections, presented material that seems obvious, but his spin on it, does exactly what he titled the lecture series, "enhance perceptions". It is obvious that there must be accountability within agencies, but changing the perception of accountability being a negative and showing how it can be empowering to both leaders and those being lead as well a unifying tool for the culture was brilliant. Also introducing the term course correction throughout the presentation gave me a different perspective as well as new terminology to use when holding people accountable.
And again in the delegation portion, where it seems like things should be common sense or obvious, he "enhances perception" and outlines a great strategy in the ODS model for delegation.
I can truly say, where I thought a lot of the material would be things I knew, or had a good understanding of, he enhanced my perception and I hope that the second portion of this lecture is in a future module somewhere.
Trent, I agree. Accountability is vital tool for a supervisor to incorporate into the organization’s culture to create teamwork that will assist in the management process and leadership perspective.
I love the points that was made in this lecture especially when it comes to lead by example and learn to delegate work to people who can do the job.
I have to agree with you Shawn. Those points really stuck out with me als0. I'm a true believer in leading by example.
I really got a lot out of this lecture and it was a bit of a stroll down memory lane with Erik Therwanger making many references to his time spent in the Marine Corps. I especially liked how he integrated the USMC leadership traits-JJDIDTIEBUCKLE and the leadership principles to being a leader outside of the military. It made me realize that although we don't have as much control of our team members as we did in the military, we can still apply these traits and principles to raise expectations and get better results from everyone in our agencies, including ourselves.
I agree the only thing i wished that I had been a part of the USMC. I think it could have help me be a better person and especially a better leader.
Having never been in the military, I really liked how he tied the USMC leadership into his lecture. There are a lot of ways the military and law enforcement cross paths and it made it relatable to me the way he incorporated that into his lecture.
Donald, I wasn't in the Marine Corps, but I could relate what he was saying directly to leadership in the US Army. The Airborne Infantry where I served was constantly focused on small-unit leadership. The army even has Ranger School, which is solely dedicated to building stronger leaders. I attended the Warriors Leader's Course for non-commissioned officers, and many of the ideals he relayed directly transitioned to what was taught there.
I thoroughly enjoyed this portion of the training and believe that the information was presented in a very easy to digest format. I couldn't help but reflect on some of my former bosses and their leadership styles. The successful ones all possessed and implemented these same practices and tactics. It truly created a positive work environment where we worked as a team and craved new challenges.
This was great information on how to keep employees engaged and motivated. It is important to remember that we must constantly analyze ourselves and improve ourselves before moving to fix others. This is another excellent lesson on self-awareness. Changing the culture of a department takes courage as you have to identify errors from within yourself and your department. However, this is the only way to address issues. It is also essential to make your employee's satisfaction part of your mission; they are a significant asset. Another vital lesson in this module is to set high goals. Setting these goals will be seen as your confidence in the ability of your team.
I agree Jose. This is a great model for team building, while achieving a clearly defined set of goals. Working as a member of a team that where you were empowered to make decisions, held accountable for your progress or lack there of, and acknowledged when your goals were met successfully , is a great feeling.
This was an extraordinary presentation on how we keep our personnel engaged and motivated. I especially like how he tied each of the 6 parts in to the fact that 95% of people want to be part of something greater and how to make them feel that they are by keeping them engaged. When he says that only 13% are actively engaged, I find I have to look within myself to see where I am failing my team and what their level of engagement is currently.
Another great module on leadership, perception, and goals everyone should empower. The most useful topic discussed was delegation, something I would like to improve on. Understanding how the goals, vision and expectations play into our culture made perfect sense. Being able to change perception of our accountability process to accelerate performance, increase engagement, provide insight, identify key players, and establish purpose will also help contribute to our vision and mission. Recognition has been a driving force for accountability and ownership in my experience.
This lesson had lots of good information and points that I have not even thought about as a supervisor. One point that was discussed that really stuck with me was about delegating. In the past, I have had trouble delegating tasks to subordinates. I always just felt like I needed to complete the task if I wanted it done correctly. I did not realize how important it is to delegate tasks. After watching the lesson I now realize how delegating tasks to my subordinates is empowering for them. By delegating tasks out, it shows all personnel under my control that I trust them to complete the tasks properly.
Darryl, I can relate to what you said as I also have had a hard time delegating. When I did delegate it was usually to those that I trusted and didn't have to follow up with them to make sure they completed it in the manner that I thought was right. This lecture made me realize that I need to delegate more to other individuals and give them guidelines and follow up for them to be successful and giving them empowerment.
A wealth of information in this module, but the one take away from this was that the organization has to empower the leaders to lead and develop their personnel or teams rather than be so focused on managing. Development and creating a culture that is positive is more important than training and management. The hope is that creating an environment that is healthy with a winning mindset; all of the other pieces will fall into place. Moreover, confidence in the leadership of the organization is a paramount. If there is confidence in the decision making process, then all members will respond in a positive manner, thus creating success.
One of the biggest takes from this module, which I have tried to incorporate into my own leadership style, is to lead by example. Far too many times, people are put into or promoted to positions where they become managers and forgot how to be leaders.
these individuals expect people to to do so "Because I said so" and not by setting the example. Throughout my my experiences, the phrase "do as I say, not as I do" has rung loud.
I agree with you on this. However, I must say, It seems that this view of leadership is changing. As the newer generation of leaders are coming in, we are receiving better training on the subject. Take our department, for example. I remembered starting 20 years ago and had no idea how big we would grow. All the technology and equipment are mind-blowing. But, with that also comes better training. The old mindset of supervising is now thinning out, and new leaders are learning better techniques and are also being better prepared for the leadership role.
The module really mentions and focuses on the impact and impression a leader has on his / her team. When you think about it, a team or group takes on the attitude / character of its' leader. Like everything else, it starts at the top and runs down hill. Some individuals feel accountability is a form of micromanaging; when actuality its' a form of responsibility like stated in the module.
The majority of individuals want to be part of a winning team. But not everyone wants to be held accountable; which brings responsibility and maturity. Accountability eliminates resentment and "finger pointing." One statement that stood out to me was "Most leaders avoid accountability and most team members resent it."
As leaders in the profession we're in, we cannot afford to avoid accountability. When we accepted the promotion and leadership position, we accepted the fact that we will be held accountable for our actions; as well as holding every one else around us accountable. Without accountability there is no structure or expectation.
We as leaders have to create the atmosphere and set the tone.
The separation of leadership and management is an important concept but even more important to put into practice. If we lead and not manage we will usually have a better group of followers that will be more dedicated to achieving the goals. As leaders, we need to help motivate and cultivate the leaders below us.
We need to make important goals and make them known as well as the powerful reasons why they are the goals. We need to make sure people understand what their part of achieving their goals. Then we can see where they can take us. “Never tell people what to do. Tell them what you want to be done and let them surprise you with their ingenuity.”Gen. George S. Patton.
Great points that there needs to be a separation between leadership and management. Leaders are to motivate and develop their personnel. everyone i believe wants to be part of a winning team. We as leaders have to be able effectively communicate with our personnel what are the goals are and give them a clear direction or a pathway to achieving those goals.
I enjoyed this model from the introduction video through all six parts of the lecture. The introduction video when they discussed millennials, which I am a member, and how so many supervisors are critical of that generation. I was glad that Therwanger cleared up some of the misconceptions. Then once in the lecture he was very point orientated. After seeing the lectures everyone should have picked up getting out of the office and make connections with their teams. Or as he says, “Get off site with your people,” (Therwanger, 2017). He defined leadership and culture and then made it to where even a layman can understand their importance. But the greatest take away for me was setting goals. Once I started part three of the lecture I was motivated to start planning and making goals for myself. I got out my planner and started doing outlines for the rest of my command college session. Because as I have heard it said for decades now is: failing to plan, is planning to fail. So when Therwanger talked about goals, GREAT, and making short term goals that are steps to long term goals (2017). I took the initiative to apply it to this course.
Therwanger, E. (2017). Think great. 6,1-2. National Command and Staff College.
There is so much value in the 11 Leadership Principles of USMC. I have used them in the past as a guide and have shared them with my peers. It really has a place in our profession and is a good measuring stick to keep yourself personally accountable.
Agreed, I didn't serve in the military which, just like collage is something I regret. The USMC has tried and tested theses leadership principals for years and it works. You can tell a former marine in the workplace. If you have high EQ you will love him. If not, you will dislike the blunt truth he often speaks.
I took so many different things from this lesson that it is hard to me to narrow the focus! I think one thing that stood out for me early on in the lesson was the difference between be a manager and being a leader. In actuality, anyone can be a manager. It doesn't really take any special skills to do tasks such as creating budgets, setting shift schedules, assigning beat / sector assignments, or assigning specific details or follow up to officers. Leadership requires skills, learning, and continually striving to improve upon the needed skills. A leader inspires, motivates, delegates, communicates, and many other things. I have found myself in my current position trying to strike the right balance between being a leader and being a manager. As a first line supervisor, my job description includes all of the above listed attributes and roles of both the manager and the leader. It is a fine line and can be very hard at times to accomplish everything. The lesson presented the concept that management is necessary but it should be wrapped within leadership. I started thinking about this concept and how it is different from trying to balance the leadership and manager roles. To be honest, I haven't yet exactly figured out how the concept will change what I do within my current role. However, it is definitely something I will continue to think about and implement.
This one was fun. While listening I spent a while looking at my self and what I do with delegating to my guys. The area we work in requires me to delegate to my guys because of the distance between us. I trust that my guys are doing the job asked of them and I allow them the freedom to do it. I try to make sure that my guys know that when they do the correct thing or come up with a new way of doing something that they get the credit for it. I also try to assure them that if something goes wrong I step up and accept the responsibility for that.
I agree. this module allowed myself a lot of time to self evaluate my leadership styles. I was able to identify areas in my leadership that are successful and areas that need improvement.
In the Module Think Great learning about all the Leadership traits and elements that support the Leadership connection was very helpful. Knowing the elements of urgency about getting out the negative actions aren't as easy in law enforcement as it may be in the business world, I know it's easier done within the Sheriff's office more than a police agency where the officers are protected by the civil service boards. Also in this lecture was learning to delegate as a leader, I have a couple of new Sergeants under my command and i delegate things to them to see if they can complete the task so they can one day do my job as the Lieutenant of the shift.
Of course I have to admit many things discussed made look in the mirror and question myself, but that's good. The idea of creating a positive culture was key for me. My department has gone through some difficult changes as of late, but I do see the culture improving. And much of that is due to a large focus on accountability. Especially as it relates to some of the principles in this module such as the establishing of purpose.
One of the biggest things with this module was that it made you look into the mirror and take an assessment of ones self. I did the same thing.
I agree Chris, this module really makes you think and self evaluate. It makes you asses your leadership style and how you handle things; especially delegation of tasks. Also, what type of working environment are we creating. Are we holding ourselves accountable for not delegating if that's the case. Are we avoiding accountability as a leader as stated in the module. This module raises good questions and initiates self reflection.
As a Marine, I can relate to a lot of things that were presented in this module. As a young narcotics Agent, my Lieutenant would always make us submit goals and objectives for the year. Everyone would complete the list with minimal effort and mainly many generic goals (get promoted/staffing/ better equipment). As I watched this presentation and now sit in that Lieutenant’s position, I dug into the filing cabinet and located the files from 2012 to the present. Most of the goals listed by Agents and Supervisors were never met, or better yet, even attempted to be met. I took note of specific items noted over the years that I will discuss with them at our next meeting. I also sent them an email stating that they were to prepare 90-day goals to be presented on Monday to the group. Once these goals are discussed and established, we will create an action plan and follow-ups to ensure that everyone is given the necessary things needed to meet their goals. I will not allow the goals to sit in the filing cabinet without any follow-up or accountability.
Wow, that is pretty awesome. It’s a great way to put things in perspective, that you went back and put it into action. To take the lesson and directly put it into action and start changing the culture of your team. Obviously you took the goal setting and increase in accountability very serious.
I think the main things that jumps out is to identify important goals. As a leader it’s important to know what you are working towards, and when shared allows others to see things differently. Group members often can accomplish tasks presented to them, but they might not know what the overall goal is or what you as the leader are focusing on. I think this is important in police work as many officers can and will accomplish individual specific tasks, but might not know what the “big picture” is if you will. This does not allow them to be proactive and take their own steps to work towards the larger goal. When they can perceive the leaders goals for an agency, they can work towards them in unison with leadership visions but under their own direction. This promotes efficiency and allows members to own a part of the process and feel less managed, which often creates problems in law enforcement. Supervision is a balancing act where you have to find the operational medium; as there clearly can be to little but there can also be too much.
I agree. I think that sharing important goals is where many leaders fall short. If we make the important goals more widely known, we would get more buy-in in the process. I also think you made a good point about letting people be proactive in assisting in getting to the goal. This allows them to be a bigger part of the process and they may surprise us with their creative ways of getting to the goal.
I really enjoyed this module. While Therwanger did a wonderful job on all of it, I believe he differentiated between leadership and management better than anyone else - management is about the process and leadership is about people. It's also a very true statement he made about "People don’t like to be managed, but they do like to be led."
I found that very impactful as well as a new supervisor. People often push back on management but accept leadership. It's also a unique balancing act of too little supervision and too much supervision when managing. I have yet to encounter issues that arrise with too much leadership.
I agree that Erik did a great job at comparing leadership and management. We know that leadership is about the people and management is about the process. A lot of times people confuse the two and think they are the same when in fact they are vastly different and promote two totally different aspects of the job.
Of the 5 previous lectures, thus one hit home with me. Even though it came in at 3 hours long, it did keep my attention. The glaring thing I took away from this was,”If I want something done correctly, then I`ll do it myself. “. I find myself saying this often. It opened my eyes to see that I`m probably the problem, not the employees. Following the O-Orchestrate D- Delegate , S-Supervise method should allow me to make a change.
Yes this certainly nudges me to reluctantly look in the mirror. I can be somewhat impatient with the results of a delegated task. And instead of taking the time to teach or instruct, I find myself with the I can do it better myself attitude. And admittedly that is wrong.
Scott I agree with you on the ODS method, that is sometimes hard for me to do because for so many years i was use to doing it all and not having anyone to delegate to. but since now i have two sergeants i find it rewarding to delegate so they too can learn to be a better leader.
This lecture provided great information on how leadership focuses on the people and management on the process and how things need to be done. Leaders have the ability to lead and provide direction to those in which they lead. The lecture helped me better understand that leaders lead by example and through guidance. Managers manage and make sure things get accomplished and tasks are met. This lecture also taught me the importance of delegation and understanding that it is a highly important task of a leader.
This training segment was quite the eye opener. I was quite shocked when I heard that 80% of the work force in not engaged and only 13% make positive contributions at work. I self reflect at my department and ask myself "why is that?' It is easy to blame the chief, or higher ups, or the millennial generation, but I believe that is the lazy way out. I look at it a a failure of us, myself included, as a leader. In this profession we are type A personalities. We want it done fast, efficient, and correct. I think that as leaders we need to start having a change in philosophy on this. We are all leaders and as long as there is progress in officers we need to praise that and "course correct" the negative. We are in challenging times in law enforcement. If we are not willing to adapt we will not get new hires or quality hires in our department. If officer are wanting to leave we should look as to why and not just chalk up to being a millennial.
I felt like all of the information in this module was extremely valuable, and that the instructor provided a lot of practical suggestions on how to apply the ideologies. I liked his recommendation to get "off site" to spend time with one's team and build relationships. In the past we have tried to do this by having shift nights where we all get together for a meal and a couple of cold ones. Unfortunately covid has put a damper on that the last year, but I hope to get back to it soon and believe it is extremely beneficial component of team building.
I agree with you. The old school way is that there is a somewhat wall between management and rank and file. It was looked down upon if you socialized with a person of a lower rank. I believe this just drives a bigger wedge between the 2 groups. We are all people and no one is better than anyone else. We just have different jobs to do. I really liked in this section how he kept referring to your team. Never once did he say subordinate or employee. This wording to me was quite significant as it shows that we are all in this together.
The lesson for this module was very informative. I appreciate the level of knowledge that Erik Therwanger has on the topic of leadership. I thought the definition that Mr. Therwanger had for leadership was very accurate and a good definition to have for future use. One of the parts I found very interesting from this lecture was assessing our culture. Culture is a very important aspect in the world of law enforcement. As I listened to the lecture I thought about the culture at my department and how to properly assess it. I found what Mr. Therwanger discussed about different methods of assessing the culture interesting in the sense that they all seemed to have pros and cons. The two strategies that stuck out to me were surveys and turnover. Surveys can be used to get the viewpoints of the officers at the department, but as mentioned these might not yield complete accurate information. Reviewing turnover can be beneficial to see if there are large numbers of officers leaving. However, officers might not leave a position due to a poor culture. To further evaluate the turnover, I think that exit interviews are very valuable. These interviews can provide a lot of useful information which can help assess how the culture is within the agency. Plus, the officers might be more willing to give more information if they are leaving the department.
I also thought Erik was extremely knowledgeable, and he did a good job of breaking down the information presented into simple segments. This has probably been my favorite module so far. I think you're spot on in regards to retention and utilizing exit surveys to asses departmental culture.
Embodying the 5 GREAT principles are important to developing leaders and the cultures they build to see their teams succeed. When seeking to develop a culture that aligns with the values and goals of an organization, it is crucial to first identify the Goals and evaluate the culture that is currently in place; determine what is to be accomplished (Therwanger, 2021). Once goals are established, and before embarking on a journey of cultural change, it is important to determine if the present culture aligns with the leader's vision and goals. Hence, the existent culture must to be evaluated for consistency with the goals identified.
Once these tasks have been accomplished, leadership can move forward in applying the remainder of the GREAT principles. Identifying and connecting Reasons that support identified goals and resonate with team members gives rise to hope, which denotes motivation, necessary to move forward and develop positive cultures. Setting high Expectations in support of the identified goals and clearly communicating those expectations is key. Communication lends itself to collaboration, a positive attribute of culture change and promotes buy-in. Taking Action on information as it becomes available and is disseminated to team members on track for a defined destination. Finally, an evaluation of results, more commonly defined as Tracking takes place in order to determine if goals have been met and apply and course correction as needed.
Leading with such focused understanding is a plus. Additionally, such a focus on building positive cultures gives rise to success through collaboration, motivated by buy-in, towards common goals. This is accomplished while seeking improvement along the way.
Therwanger, E. (2021). Think great. Module #6, Week #3. National Command and Staff College.
As a newly promoted supervisor, I am quickly learning how crucial the art of delegation is. I really had no idea how much should go into the process. With orchestration, we develop a plan to delegate the task, set clear expectations, and choose the correct person. As we move onto the actual delegation phase, we shed the responsibilities onto the employee and have to start trusting them. Finally, we need to communicate regularly and "course correct" to ensure the tasks are being completed in line with the original expectations. The real challenge is doing all of this while not appearing to micromanage, which is where I think many leaders fail.
I am also a fairly new supervisor at my agency and I have also learned the importance of delegation. I agree that it is a fine balance as a supervisor once you delegate a task out. You want to be there for them if they need help but not be overbearing in a micromanaging way.
The art of delegation is crucial as a supervisor. Being able to develop a plan and delegate certain tasks of the plan is extremely important. It is important to make sure the ones you delegate to understand the expectations, deadlines and who and how they should communicate through the process. It is extremely important to make sure you are not micromanaging while trying to delegate tasks.
These are things that are hardest for me to contend with. After delegating tasks, that come back not finished, I always question my communication. I believe it`s a combination of what the lecture said, not following up, delegating too much. This lecture was by far the most eye opening for me.
I just took over a new section at my Agency, and I have yet learned the concept of delegation. I was asked by my Captain, just recently, why are you doing all of this yourself and not delegating the task. I wanted to ensure that the task was correctly done and make sure I had my end from my new team, and I wanted to ensure that I could trust them to accomplish the mission. Now I do trust my team members to complete the task.
I agree. At first it can be a little overwhelming. If I can offer you some advice, as soon as possible, start developing relationships with your squad; figure out their strengths and weaknesses, wants and needs. This will help you figure out their capabilities and provide a point of reference as you delegate tasks to them.
This lesson was full of helpful and useful information. I totally agree that leadership is about the people, and management is about the process! Leaders have the ability to be great when they aren't selfish, and when they help their team rise. Leaders should set an example, ensure that task are understood, keep their team informed, and a leader should seek responsibility. One section that I really enjoyed was delegation. I think that many leaders lack delegation because they are afraid, and they don't have enough confidence in their team. I agree that when you delegate it must be for a purpose and to accomplish a goal. Sometimes I find it hard to delegate because I don't have the time to explain to my team exactly what needs to be done, so I tend to do it myself. After covering this section, I think that I need to train my team more. If I provide more training to my team, the things that I don't have time to explain to them would be easier for them to complete. I also think that my team would have a better understanding of what needs to be done. I can honestly say that I do have team members that ask me daily what could they do to help me. Some days, I may delegate something to them, and other times I tend to complete the task myself. I think if I deliver, share, and observe delegating will be much easier for me to do.
Kaina- I completely agree with your thoughts here. People and processes require different motivational techniques and different cultural expectations. The leader will consistently garner more success along with their team than a manager. Culture with defined leadership will always remain while management is tenuous, transient even. I enjoyed reading your post, especially where you seek out improvement in your leadership model by identifying a need for enhanced training and more communication. Setting expectations with clearly defined goals are a great start to developing the culture your team needs to be successful. You are well on your way here!
Best and stay safe-
Really great lessons this week. Some great reminders plus new information. I paid special attention to the delegation section. I have no issue delegating, although I do like things done my way, so this has been something I’ve consciously worked on. Where I realize I am not doing well with delegation is the orchestration phase. I go so far to the side of “trust the employee” I fail to provide proper pre-planning and design. Then, I fail to follow-through. When I get the end product, I find myself wondering what happened (at times). Erik provided a good plan on how to delegate, not just why we should. I will definitely be using these techniques for future delegating.
I definitely agree. There seems to be much more to delegating than simply telling someone to complete a task and then hoping that they do it correctly. By communicating those expectations on the front end through orchestration we can help to set up our employees for much more success.
The part of this lesson that I've focused on the most is the PEW research about creating a positive environment. It becomes difficult at times to make it a point to evaluate the environment you create as a leader. Being a leader typically means an increase in responsibility, which makes it even more of a challenge. I have noticed in times past that people choose to do more on their own, without being told, when the atmosphere is cheerful. Whenever possible I try to include some sort of competition during training. More often than not the participants enjoy it, therefore they seem to participate more willingly.
As leaders we should seek responsibility, and take responsibility for our actions. This is the very definition of what it means to be a man or a woman. We should also be looking out for each other, and demand that our staff members "toe the line." Law enforcement professionals should exercise this everyday in all that they do. It forces us to think about our actions, before we make them. Doing this will allow us to hold our heads high during times of scrutiny. Supervisors and the public will continue to question our actions. We will be able to answer them directly, as we have answered ourselves first.
I agree with that statement "millennials are not your challenge". I do. however, feel that millennials are a challenge. There seems to be a diminished sense of accountability with a heightened need for instant gratification in the millennial employee. Could the blame fall on the generations of past? Perhaps, we have been getting too lenient. Perhaps, we have become complacent. Increasingly, younger employees are not liking to be told what to do. How do we correct this? I am not sure. I do think communication is a key to correcting the potential problems. A part of leadership is how one deals with and properly uses resources. Millennials, along with all other age grouped employees. are resources. With that being said, I will do my absolute very best as a leader to the subordinates to do their very best and strive for near perfection.
The biggest take away for me from the lecture series was the importance of having goals in your organization. I found it interesting the importance that having clearly defined goals has in many aspects of leadership, such as agency culture, delegation and accountability. Having clearly defined goals with planned actions and expectations allows for a smoother transfer of information and work load. When staff are asked to do a task that relates to a specific goal, that task is generally more well received and staff see the task as having purpose. I liked the information provided that 95% of people in the workplace want to be part of something great. We as leaders need to invest time and energy into planting the seeds of leadership and encourage growth and development of our staff in making a great place to work.
His discussion on the importance of goals was good to hear. I wish more in leadership, including myself, did a better job of this. When I started my a new job, I came with a great many ideas for success. What I found was there was no set direction or definitive goals lined-up and I hit a wall time after time. I was one of those 95% who wanted to do something great. After so many roadblocks, it became very difficult to maintain the positive attitude. Things have come around a bit and more goals are being set than before, which has certainly helped me see the benefit of goal-setting.
This section brought up the importance of not losing focus on the happiest and job satisfaction of those we lead. One of the most effective ways of achieving that is to create a culture that values the employee and also makes them buy in and take ownership of the success of the organization at all levels. As stated in the lecture many times, “People want to be part of something special and something great” and I agree with that. Seldom do you find an employee who will not step up and be part of a great organization when one exists.
The section about accountability gave me something to think about. I like having stats to show what is being accomplished, but after listening to the section about unnecessary stats being viewed as micromanagement I will review what is required. It made me remember having to send in pointless stats which can cause a negative attitude.
I have heard the term commander's intent many times, replacing it with a leader's intent just makes sense in today's environment. Explaining why something needs to be done creates an atmosphere for success, people want to be part of something great. the statistics of 95 percent of people start out enthusiastic but only 13 percent finish the way is a sad statistic but if you have been in law enforcement long enough you can recognize the truth in the statistics. Delegation and accountability go hand in hand, delegating with a purpose is a great statement and the explanation of accountability for the delegated task was laid out well.
The three actions of in, on, and out is the simplest explanation of this process I have heard but it is something I can bring to my style when assessing where I stand in my division. The statement "accountability is the manifestation of ownership" is something I can have some fun with and maybe promote some emotional intelligence in some of our hard-chargers who avoid leadership responsibilities.
I enjoyed the introductory lecture by Erik Therwanger. Many of the stigmas with millennial employees have been mentioned in our department, not often by leaders but by their peers. It's an easy way out when you blanket an entire generation. Eriks reference to the success rate of millennials in the military forces us to reevaluate and encourages us to provide a purpose rather than offer an excuse.
There was a lot of information during this lecture, but it seemed like everything synced together and blended nicely. Of all the topics, I was particularly interested in Part #5, “Delegate with a Purpose.” Part of the reason this was interesting to me because it’s a topic some struggle in, including myself. I was always wired with the mentality, “If you want it done right, just do it yourself.” This started to change when I became Team Leader on our Tactical Unit, and I began to feel comfortable delegating responsibilities. This topic really hit home when he stated the biggest fear is potentially having the task return in worse shape. Supplying those you supervise with trust and a strong vision is imperative. Additionally, having intervals to monitor results and coach them along the way if needed. Delegating for results and not just doing it because it’s a formality is a key take-a-way.
Delegation was my biggest take away also in this section. I think it's because I need to delegate more, but my biggest fear is that something will not get done right. Then I will have to fix it, or even be held accountable for the mistake.
In order to leave a legacy and build something worthy of a legacy there must be seeds sown, nurtured, maintained and built. In this module it covered many areas that directly impact the individual that translates to the organization and it's ability to achieve success. Leadership is directly linked to success. It is a path or journey and a person needs tools along the way to guide, to support, help overcome obstacles, and keep them on course. The module examined what leadership is; developing a unifying culture; identifying important goals; raising expectations; delegate with a purpose; and increasing accountability.
Leadership is influence. The power of being able to influence people to a common goal operating within a unifying culture that is striving for perfection while understanding that they will find growth and excellence along the way. The part on delegating with a purpose I found incredibly timely and helpful. The same can be said about part 6 regarding accountability. If we can give people skills, give them a purpose, develop them, empower them, and delegate tasks; people will rise to the expectations and demand accountability of each other.
Empower your people raising the bar for performance to influence the culture. In my experience when micromanagers are involved our people lose their drive to think in an independent manner with initiative. When that drive is lost our people stop engaging and the organization, unit or squad becomes stagnant. Constantly creating a high bar for performance in-line with short term goals in my experience has created an initiative, driven based culture. When it comes to working with the newer generations, I like the verbage that Erik utilized in the use of the work “enhance”. Change usually brings negative connotations with it but enhance removes that connotation. The newer generations have the capability of enhancing our organizations and the lack of engagement I believe is a leadership failure at many levels. Going back to the last module with the questions related to reflection; Have I continued my leadership journey today or have I become stagnant in thought.
Prior to my recent promotion I was lucky enough to be in charge of the narcotics unit. In our agency it is promotion to be assigned to that unit, so the deputies that became narcotics investigators all came with very high motivational level. I do agree that individuals that are assigned to special units are there due to the fact they are valued employees. I also believe that the success of our unit was not due totally to the leadership that provided, but to the highly motivated individuals that were assigned to that unit.
The section in reference to recognition I found to be interesting and how it ties in to the culture of our office. The number of deputies in our office that have begun the leadership journey have came back from those classes with positive influences to the culture of our office. The deputies that go above and beyond the call of duty also bring positive influences to the culture of our office. In the past our office has not been quick to recognize the accomplishments of our deputies. But with the senior leaders in our office that have attended leadership training have found that recognition to our deputies is important for the growth of our office. These deputies get recognized through challenge coins, letters of commendation, and letters of recognition. There is a true statement that everyone enjoys being told, or showed that they are doing a good job. Although recognizing deputies that are doing a good job is important. This can also create a negative culture within your office because some deputies may do the job just for recognition. If the leaders of an office handout challenge coins, letters of commendation, and letters of recognition every time someone does something good. The recognition does not hold as much weight as it would if the recognition is not easily handed out.
So far this module has been the most interesting and enjoyable one. The data provided as well as the presentation was good. It's very easy to see my personal shortcomings, as well as why we had failures to promote a better environment. Delegation has always been tough for me. Not because I didn't trust others, but rather I didn't want to load them down with something I could do. I never looked at it from the prospective that others may want or need that challenge. Or that it could be viewed as lack of trust or responsibility by not delegating.
The other key point is summed up by follow through. Ensuring the mission is clear, everyone is clear on the mission and everyone has what is required to complete the mission (training or tools). Then following up. Not just to check, but having a purpose with the follow up and letting them know what you are doing with the information. Regularly being engaged, giving them the freedom to think out of the box, positive feedback with "why" and appraisal prevents the idea of micromanagement as long as it all serves a purpose.
For me, being out there with them is a huge factor, one that I don't do nearly enough.
I agree delegating task to people had always been hard for me also, and leading along side of my staff is something I will be working harder to accomplish
During the “Think Great” lecture, I found a lot of the points made very interesting. At first, I had the impression that culture would end up falling solely on the leader or supervisor. But, I liked the idea of doing the culture assessment or test with the team that you work with. I think that it’s a great idea to find out where everyone falls and to be able to discuss some of the positives and negatives that come up. Doing the assessment that involves attitude, excellence, initiative, outcome, and unwavering, everyone is going to have different opinions. But I believe that making everyone aware of those differences is what will make the team better and stronger as a whole. It is ultimately up to me to make sure of positive culture and goals being set but every person in the team plays an important role in that. It’s good for the leader to see the results for everyone to be able to form a good plan and set achievable goals.
Kari I think it would be interesting if you were able to separate the staff from the other personnel. The results could show how engaged or in touch the staff is with personnel. As we are seeing throughout this course leadership is about engagement with everyone and I hope the survey would indicate the staff is aware of the perceived culture in the department. Perception is reality if it is not corrected in a convincing manner.
During the lecture series Erik Threwanger said, “Your culture is exactly at the level of your tolerance for poor performance”. I love that statement. It really got me thinking about different groups, teams, and agencies that I have been associated with over the years. When I was in a unit that was really awesome and had very high morale, that unit existed in an agency where there was a very high expectation for excellence and a very low tolerance for poor performance. The people in those units wanted to be there because it was challenging, and they held themselves and each other to a high standard.
As I plan how I am going to improve my unit, I need to keep in mind that I must clearly communicate what my expectations are and that my teams knows that falling below that standard will never be accepted.
Prior to my recent promotion I was lucky enough to be in charge of the narcotics unit. In our agency it is promotion to be assigned to that unit, so the deputies that became narcotics investigators all came with very high motivational level. I do agree that individuals that are assigned to special units are there due to the fact they are valued employees. I also believe that the success of our unit was not due totally to the leadership that provided, but to the highly motivated individuals that were assigned to that unit.
I agree, those that are usually assigned to special units have displayed traits that make them valued members of the organization. I have been assigned to units as a deputy where our collaborative initiative and drive created one of the best units in the agency. As we were promoted and rotated out of the unit the effectiveness of the unit began to degrade due to the lack of motivation by those we were replaced by. I believe responsibility needed to be owned by the Team Leader and the members of the unit. In my opinion they did not set any goals for themselves combined with creating an individualistic culture in what was supposed to be a Team.
I agree we must communicate expectations, set them, establish accountability, and build of culture of excellence. We can never achieve perfection, however, if you tolerate low and poor performance I don't feel the organization will be able to successfully rise above that set expectation. It will end up driving away those that are motivated, show initiative, have accountability; and contribute significantly to the bigger picture.
I agree! The statement "Your culture is exactly at the level of your tolerance for poor performance" is so true! If we expect little from our staff, then in turn, they expect little of themselves. Having goals and "raising the bar" is pushing us as a team to be better!
The quote, "your culture is exactly at the level of your tolerance for poor performance", stood out to me as well. This reminded me to take ownership for poor performance, and self evaluate. I certainly don't believe that it is completely the leaders responsibility to perform all task, but it is very important that they have communicated well and clearly outlined the task. I am aware that I am guilty of generalizing information. After listening to this lesson, I intend to make sure that I clearly communicate my expectations.
One of the lessons from this module was the presentation of the material in developing a unifying culture. My leadership journey continually promotes this concept, yet I rarely see it taught and understood at the organizational level within the law enforcement community. Within the military, these theories are second nature, and they are not limited to just the Marine Corps, but all of the services as well.
The two acronyms of AEIOU and PIE get after some of the most significant challenges in an organization, a lack of identity, passion for the craft, and loyalty to not only the organization but to the profession. Therwanger, with the statistical data, drives home the rationale behind the lackluster performance; it’s the tolerance for poor performance as only 13% of our workforce are actively engaged. In a time with recruitment at an all-time low, when is an organization going to try to look at the challenges in a different light and discontinue blaming a segment of the population, millennials, and realize it’s the culture fostered by poor leaders.
This was a very informative session and I have a long list of things I am taking away. In the beginning, leadership challenges were discussed, including poor communication, team morale, lack of initiative, failed delegation, and sub-par results. I have seen these in many working environments and I agree they all lead to issues. I wish more leaders would discuss these concepts and learn from them. This session also really showed me how the Marine Corps is able to instill leadership qualities in everyone during their boot camp. They are creating leaders and that is not something that is done in most organizations. I am also taking away the 11 leadership principles that were discussed. I think these are a great way to keep yourself on track as a leader. Lastly, the benefits of accountability are also great reminder of why we need to make people accountable and lead them onto the correct path if they are straying.
95% of people want to be part of something good. I think that message was driven home for a purpose. Often, as leaders, it is easy to overlook the small things that matter to others. I do this more than I'd like to admit. I do try to remember where I came from and I remind others to never forget that. I forget it though. This module was a good reminder that people matter and that happy people will go above and beyond for the organization.
I think that taking the concepts in this module and employing them only makes sense. Asking our team, what are we doing? What are our goals? How are we doing? These things will help instill the mindset of positive culture "enhancement." People also want to be in the know of what is going on. Some want to know everything or feel they are entitled to know everything but that simply cannot happen. Keeping people in the loop on the important things is doable and we need to do a better job of this. For sure negative attitudes or rumors start when people are left in the dark.
I agree that the 95% statistic hit me as well. 95% of people want to make a different, but only 13% are engaged. I think back to working nights and how many officers were just there to get their paycheck and were burnt out. When they started the job, they were certainly part of the 95%. I think almost all officer join law enforcement to make a difference, but over time, the become less engaged, their morale goes down, they lack initiative, and this leads to sub-par performance. This goes right back to the leadership challenges mentioned in the first video. This is partly due to the lack of communication and delegation that is sometimes seen in law enforcement leadership. They sent out a new procedure and do not explain the why or provide any way to solicit feedback. It is very one-sided form of communication and that can lead to morale issues.
I agree with all your comments. As leaders, it's easy to get caught up in the big picture and not take the time to relate to employees and understand what matters to them. It's essential to take the time to communicate with them on all levels and identify what matters to them and what gets them excited to come to work.
Certainly information overload in this long section! Lots of good information thought that helps us "Think Great and Motivate" I like many others commenting before me am astounded with the numbers of 95% want to be part of something great but only 13% are really truly engaged in the work place. The other number that correlates directly to this is the number 20 which is the percent of the day that employees are actually productive. 20%....what!?!? Organizations could be so much better and do so much more if they could put more emphasis to train their leaders to lead instead of manage. The other important part of this lecture was the part I don't think enough companies follow is to "plant leadership seeds among everyone and help them grow" I think sometimes only a few chosen few are picked to grow and sometimes they are not the right people and it does not allow growth at it's greatest level.
Yeah, that 20% productivity comment stuck with me. Maybe it makes sense if I think about it hard enough. There are a ton of distractions in play daily. I see it in my own work. People stop in to "chat." I think this is why many organizations are looking at work from home options as there is more productivity happening at home than in a work environment.
We have made it a huge point to direct leadership training to our line staff and upcoming leaders. The BCA leadership courses, ICLD, and numerous others are all good. I have witnessed demonstrable changes in those who are studying leadership.
Engaging our people on a professional and personal level. Such a simple concept yet we in law enforcement fail at it so often. Its easy for us to engage our people with job related issues and tasks. Speaking with them about their personal life is just as if not more important to them. I think improving this skill set could help any leader.
The information given in this module seemed endless. Most things I was thinking of being my challenges in supervision they placed a positive spin on. Listening to Erik Therwanger talk about Millennials in the workplace put a new spin on my outlook as he stated "millennials provide balance in the workplace."
Part 1 of the lecture this statement was made "Leadership is a journey, it's not about perfection, it's about progress." I think this is a good reminder for any leader.
As with evolving generations we must to evolve or get left behind.
I enjoyed how Therwanger in this module broke down the steps for how to change culture within an organization. I've heard leaders in my organization comment on how the culture needs to change, especially the culture of leadership. When that's been said, it's not followed up with a lot of action on how we're going to do that. It's certainly a lot easier said than done. What I appreciated in this module was the clear steps and actions on how to do that. He gave simple steps for how to achieve greatness, it wasn't just some lofty idea, but Therwanger detailed how to achieve it. This was an excellent module that I will look to put into practice immediately!
Lots of substance here. Some new some not, but definitely good information. It is easy to blame a generation for things we perceive to be bad or negative. Identifying the talents of people, delegating, and empowering is a huge first step. We must trust and earn trust from our followers. This starts with the delegation outline in this module.
I agree with many of these discussions that this module contained a great amount of useable information. The part that struck me the most was the goal setting section and the concept that goals provide hope and inspiration for people. In my agency we do a great job of helping line staff set and keep goals, but what I think we are missing is the bigger picture agency-wide goals. The comment the presenter made was "a leader without goals is like a ship without a rudder". Sometimes in law enforcement our missions and goals seem to be assumed or implied. Our job is clearly defined by policy and procedure. What we miss are often the big goals that will move the entire agency forward. The biggest problem seems to be communicating these goals and vision. I think that leaders need to create the goals, communicate them, and continue to have them be talked about on all levels. A great opportunity to do this is when we are giving positive and negative feedback to employees. Explaining why the actions fit or goals or why they don't is an important tool for supervisors that benefits the foward progress of an agency.
Goals are a great thing. Tracking them and helping to see the progress with our followers is often the hardest part for me. A concerted effort by leaders needs to happen if goals are to be taken seriously and accomplished. I always say a goal needs to stretch you as a person, be obtainable, and are measurable.
This is great road map to improved achievement at any organization. As Erik said though it’s the follow through that matters. You see so many great ideas or plans fall by the wayside because the tracking and implementation fall apart. As law enforcement we set our ethical and moral standards high but as leaders I don’t know that we always do a great job of “raising the bar”. If anyone has ever played competitive sports, they know the saying “you play to the level of your competition.” When the expectation during a game is that the team is going to earn themselves an easy win, you can see the teams performance drop, but when a team is challenged with playing someone above their level its amazing to watch the team excel. People must be challenged in their work environment, even if they don’t say so themselves. It’s as if it satisfies the soul. As a supervisor I can connect with the struggle to delegate. This module does a great job of showing step by step, how to create future leaders and task managers. As supervisors many times we get so bogged down with our own workload, we do not get the chance to lead people. I look forward to delegating the next project with proper oversight and guidance. I also hope to convince officers that accountability is not a bad word. It’s extremely important, but I have seen it avoided on so many levels.
I really enjoyed the section on accountability. I have really struggled with staff who have ben unwilling to take responsibility for their actions at work and typically they go on to repeat the action again. When Therwanger described accountability as a course correction and gave the examples of flight control with airline pilots I really grabbed the concept. I can also understand how people feel that tracking anything without purpose creates resentment and appears like micromanaging. Therwanger then when on to point out that without accountability your team will feel as though there is no stability - spot on! Accountability = Responsibility
He broke down some really tough concepts in to easy to understand and apply steps.
Agreed Rob! When everyone (from top to bottom) are unwilling to accept responsibility nothing good happens or gets accomplished other than holding an organization back. If we choose to step forward admit our faults or wrongs then together as individuals and organizations we move forward.
I found it interesting and reassuring that 95% of employees want to be part of something significant. By stepping up the culture and leading by example we can ensure that those 95% have leaders that they will follow. The culture portion of this lecture was an eye opener and an enjoyable part of the lecture series.
I agree. 95% is a huge number, and just thinking of my own agency and the officers I work with, I can totally relate to that big of a number. It takes a leader with a strong culture to lead by example to keep morale high. If that large of a percentage actually want to be a part of something special and great, the foundation is there. Now, it takes the leader to enhance and maintain that positivity by giving them vision and a clear path to success.
This unit provided great insight into the root of perceived issues. I have been guilty of becoming frustrated with the performance of others and quickly blaming an entire generation like the millennials. Erik shedding light into the success rate of the military training millennials made me realize it isn't a generation issue but a leadership issue. This motivated me to try to get my coworkers more engaged in the special purpose of our police department.
Agree with you on your frustration and perceptions. This lecture provided an "ownership" component to leadership that is so important.
I agree. If 95% of employees (this includes millennials) want to be a part of something meaningful, then this new generation has the desire to be successful. It falls to us, as leaders, to find a way to motivate and influence a new generation to achieve success. It is incumbent upon us to find new tools to put in our leadership "tool box".
I agree with you. I have found that even those of the same generational group have different priorities and are motivated by different things. This proves to be a hurdle in leading them, however once you figure out what drives and engages each individual you can maximize their potential.
I am also frustrated with the lack of performance from my coworkers. My frustration is not with the millennials. It is more centered with those that are within in a few years of retirement. I fight against the belief that once a particular rank is achieved, it's time to put your feet up, and delegate your entire workload. This causes strife and I accept it, knowing that it is for the good of my agency. I will look at developing ways to get them more engaged, and hopefully in a better position to mentor the people they supervise.
There were a couple of interesting stats in this module. I still find it hard to believe that only 13% of the workforce is classified as engaged. I obviously know there are people not engaged but I would have never guessed the number to be that drastic. I also didn't believe when I first heard that most people feel busy 100% of the time but most are only productive 20% of the time. The more I thought about that one I was able to think of many examples when I thought I had a full plate but suddenly a project I was interested in comes up and I was able to make time for it. I would have never guessed that 92% of goals fail but again I thought of myself. I don't know if my failure rate is quite that high but I definitely wish my success rate was higher.
Section 2 really spoke to me in this module. I listened to this comment a couple of times - "Your culture is exactly at the level of your tolerance for poor performance." I really enjoyed the visionary vowels of leadership. That would be an interesting thing to do with a group. The discussion would be interesting and would provide some areas to focus on improving. Culture is so important. I liked the definition given in the video - culture is the environment you are in - how does it look, how does it feel.
Culture has a major impact on our teams. As they training said, culture should bring people together. I took that as it will bring them together one way or another. They will come together positively or negatively, all depends on the culture. Another piece I found interesting was the 3 actions - out, in and on. I had never thought of it that way but it is a very easy way to classify actions. Again, would be interesting to get a group together from an agency to discuss this.
This module really focuses on leaders’ impact on teams and the perceptions we leave behind. I find it hard to believe that only 13% of the work force are engaged but that 95% want to be engaged. It’s frustrating to think that are more people that are willing to do more but don’t. I really liked the section on accountability. I feel, at times, that we really lack accountability in my division. And quite frankly, most people believe it to be a negative thing and call it micromanaging. But the lack of accountability does bring resentment and people ask “why should I do this if…”
Delegation is something I struggle with. I do have people that will come to me asking to help, often I am too overwhelmed to even start explaining how to do something. I think part of why I have a hard time is handing that authority over, losing control and worry about having to fix it later.
I agree that it is very difficult to delegate a project to someone else. I liked the concept of delegation empowering staff and building trust with those you supervise. Delegation is a great way to develop new leaders that often goes underutilized.
Within part 5, Therwanger, in discussing orchestrating, delegating, and supervising, brought back to the forefront a term I learned years ago, micro engaging. As conscientious leaders, we continually shy away from fully engaging as individuals with delegated tasks, espouse a fear their leader is micromanaging whenever challenges arise. It is a leader's right to supervise, and as stated, there are times the leader must course correct. In my unit, we use the term micro engaging in defining when the leader is required to step in, provide input, set the train back on the tracks, and then disengage. While it is a small change in wording, these little things promote the culture of empowerment and trust that the leader has in the subordinates to accomplish the goal.
Recently, I was selected to be part of a statewide committee to discuss and create employee engagement, so this lecture came in handy. The majority of members agreed that employee engagement was a big challenge. While I agreed with this, my opinion differed and sparked an interesting topic of conversation by asking the leaders if they felt engaged themselves. As leaders it is important to remember that while we experience frustration for law of motivation and accountability, it is our duty to continuously motivate with a purpose. I found it very interesting that by changing the wording you can achieve better results. I now use the work "enhance" more often to motivate my people.
Employee development was another big topic of discussion. I wish more public safety agencies spent more time developing employees. I feel that the people that are engaged at work will enhance their performance and also motivate those that aren't. We all entered this profession with great motivation and were part of the 95% of people wanting to be part of something special. I had great leaders and role models that made sure to cultivate this positive environment. The men and women in this profession were selected for a reason but need to be reminded of the good work they are performing. For those that aren't, it is important to point that the leaders must assist in their personal and professional development for better satisfaction. As Therwanger put it, we have to develop and create a mindset and environment of leaders.
Yes, developing employees is essential. How can we expect the leaders of tomorrow to be successful if we do not give them the tools to prepare. There is an old saying "what if I train my officers and they leave for another department." The response is "what if we don't train our officers and they stay..."
I think you typically get a little of both! But just as important to the training and development is creating a culture where employees want to stay engaged and give them opportunities to thrive.
I couldn't agree more with developing our people. We spend a lot of time developing our people in technical aspects of the job, but we don't invest in leadership right away. I can attest to the early development the military puts in to their people to create leaders for life and I hope to add to our new hire curriculum, leadership training starting day one.
I appreciate how this module clearly defines a roadmap towards identifying and clarifying an agencies culture. It further reinstates the need for eliminating the phrase “that’s just the way we have always done it”. I always disliked that answer when the question would come as to why we do things the way we do them. The encouragement of defining who we are and where we want to go is inspirational and important for all leaders within an organization to work towards.
I found hope that 95% of people want to be part of something special. It is a bit discouraging to see that only 13% are actually engaged, but that is where good leadership comes into play. One of my biggest frustrations has been a perceived lack of accountability and how it likely plays a role in low morale in an organization. Accountability when done properly does 5 things: 1. Accelerates Performance 2. Increases Engagement 3. Provides Insight 4. Identifies Key Players 5. Establishes Purpose. This circles back to the 95% of people wanting to be part of something special and increasing that 13% to a more reasonable number.
This is a great point. I remember always wanting to be part of something special. I was discouraged many times when the "leaders' would not show interest in things when some of the line officers presented were ideas to enhance the department. It was a bit discouraging to learn that if you didn't have rank, your opinions or contributions did not matter. Sometimes the ideas were stolen from the officers. This type of behavior on the leaders lowered moral across the organization. I truly believe and agree that accountability if done with tact and properly, does the five things you mentioned. We need to work on elevating the 13% by assisting our people in self development.
I also found it really frustrating to hear that only 13% of people end up wanting to be a part of something special when the number started at 95%. I couldn't agree with you more that lack of accountability affecting low morale. Our agency is currently experiencing very low morale. I have been trying to figure out if there are any major events going on causing it, or if it's several minor things. Now that I think about it, I would agree that certain peoples behavior and actions being tolerated has increased frustrations and lack of motivation for people wanting to either come to work or to go above what is required of them while at work. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for that issue. But if it isn't handled appropriately, things could potentially become worse really fast.
I like how Therwanger correlated defining leadership to the borders of a big puzzle, an outline of the big picture. This was a great visual representation of what top down leadership should look like. Once the parameters of acceptable behavior and characteristics are made clear, you can confidently build a positive culture on that foundation. Therwanger said you cannot chart a course if you don’t know where you are going.
Likewise, he made it very clear that every action must have a specific purpose. Why do something that does not promote organizational values? Herein lies the biggest challenge that most organizations struggle to overcome. If we really want to be effective, we have to reference organizational values often to validate that our decisions are in line with the big picture. Another area that commonly slips through the cracks is the need to evaluate whether current practices are relevant and whether they need to be revised to ensure they are in line with our vision for the future.
The beauty of Therwanger 6 Leadership Connections is that his principles can be adopted at any level of leadership. I am excited to put his recommendations into practice.
While there were a lot of great topics covered in this lecture, particularly a lot of tools I will be able to put to use in my leadership tool box, I was particularly intrigued by the comment "your culture is exactly at the level of your tolerance for poor performance". It was repeated several times in various forms but what was consistent was the message about your culture being what your level of tolerance is. As a supervisor, I am often looking at our department's culture and morale, recognizing that maintaining strong culture and high morale are important to our success. Personally, I will continue to focus on empowering officers to be in charge of their morale and raising expectations.
I agree that his statement: "your culture is exactly at the level of your tolerance for poor performance" is very telling. As bad as it sounds to hear the brutal truth, it is also encouraging, because it implies that we have significant influence over improving the culture and that we can do something about it. Therefore, it is important that we pay attention to our sphere of influence and do our part to have a positive impact.
The comment about culture spoke to me as well. I agree with you that strong culture and morale are vital for the success of our organizations. Not an easy thing to maintain but very important.
I agree and was also intrigued by the correlation between culture and tolerance for poor performance. Poor performance at any level needs to have meaningful consequences to maintain and improve culture in an organization. Without naming them I can think of departments that i perceive to have a culture of poor performance and departments with a culture of accountability.
This lesson was one of my favorite so far. There was a lot of information provided, for the purposes of this discussion, I am going to focus it on the "rules of three". If we were to go back to the basics of our law enforcement training, Field Training, it is how we were taught and how we teach our new recruits. We first teach it, then we demonstrate it and then they show us. At times, as leaders within our department we get busy with the everyday tasks that we forget how important it is to train our up and coming leaders. This also falls directly in line with what the author was talking about when we delegate tasks. We need to help set up our future leaders to succeed. This is done by finding tasks we can delegate to our staff. It will help to develop them, not just in duties, but also in their thinking process as they maneuver through different problems solving situations. As an unintentional benefit, by having follow up meetings to provided corrective action as needed, you are also having one-on-one face contacts which helps to build relationships. So much of this lesson folds in everything we have already been talking about. over the past several lessons.
GGreat point. We all learn with a different style. But going back to the basics and teaching, showing and then evaluating show great follow through and shows accountability and starts building a new culture within your organization.
This module was packed full of valuable information. A few things that stood out with me where hearing that 95 % of people want to be involved in something special and something great, yet only 13% felt engaged in their work. This speaks volumes regarding culture and the fact that so many cultures are not meeting the criteria that the team member needs to feel more involved and engaged in their work. We as leaders need to identify how our own culture is functioning and effecting our team members, and be willing to make the necessary changes to make it better.
The other thing that stood out to me was the importance of expectations and the importance of being consistent with those expectations and following through with correction if the expectation isn't being met. As an example, if four supervisors have different expectations of their team members, then you switch those team members into another team under a different supervisor, you now have a new team that has to spend time and energy relearning a system that should have been the same, costing the team efficiency and maximizing output. This also can lead to animosity within the teams, when they observe another team not having to meet the same expectation that they are being required to meet.
I think you hit it when you spoke to department culture. Further, I think that culture has two starting points, one from the top down and one from the bottom up. Both points play a drastic role on the departments culture and morale. Consistency throughout the department and rank and file is critical in setting up both expectations and maintaining morale.
I wonder if having a transition period when moving team members around would be helpful. This could be done at both the management level as well as the department level. Take some time to discuss as a management team individual strengths and area for potential growth. Conversely, have a meeting with employees, such as an exit team meeting and an entry team meeting to discuss strengths as well as expectations.
I appreciate the point you bring up about culture having 2 starting points, from the top down and bottom up. Hopefully the persons at the top have been identified as effective leaders, and that's why they are at the top. Starting from the bottom up can also help identify those future up and coming leaders.
This was again another informative module. Like others have mentioned, the Pew Research statistics noting that only 13% of employees are engaged in the workplace but 95% want to be part of something special was interesting. I think it speaks to the untapped potential that is waiting to be a part of something greater. We as leaders need to seize on that and work to increase engagement for the benefit of all. At my department we are in the process of a cultural shift since the arrival of our new Chief. It really hit home with me on how "Culture follows the leader" and that an organizations culture is located exactly at your tolerance for poor performance. That's why cultural shifts are hard. You're changing the tolerance level that people are accustomed too. There were a lot of great takeaways from this particular module.
There was lot of great information packed into the 6 videos. In Therwanger's introduction video, he quoted an interested fact.. that over 80% of employees are not engaged or actively disengaged. I know this is a generalized statement (not directly related specifically to law enforcement) but I found this particularly distressing because of the high demands and scrutiny our profession is under today. As the presentations progressed, we got to goals (Presentation #3) and how having goals gives people (possibly some from the aforementioned 80%) focus and inspiration. This section gave me pause as I considered my own experience with my agencies goals. When our agency was accredited, we had to develop and publish goals. At the time, Unit commanders were tasked with developing goals for their teams but were not given the criteria to do it consistently across the organization. Therwanger gives us that formula GREAT (Goals, Reason, Expectations, Actions and Tracking).. having that four years ago would have standardized each units contributions to the overall goals of the department. Additionally, we regularly update our goals but we do not do a very good job of publicizing that information to the department. This acknowledges employees support and sacrifice to reach a goal milestone and lets them know what the department has accomplished. failing to do this makes employees question where is the department trying to go and what is important. This even came up recently as I was speaking with a high performing leader on my team. The employee asked me what had we accomplished and what were our new goals? He indicated that people in my agency felt that they did not see the future (big picture) and that it was a concern for them. I was a little taken back because I thought the command team did a good job of communicating this information but for this engaged and intuitive leader to ask this question meant that our agencies goals and accomplishments were not being properly communicated inside and outside the organization.
There was an incredible amount of information packed into these six portions of instruction and I agree with some of the other posts that it was a lot to digest. I have always heard from leaders of all backgrounds about the topic of change; change this, change that, don’t change a thing and even change everything. One change that certainly happened for me for sure in this module regarding my own leadership was to focus on enhancing perceptions rather than changing processes, people or behaviors. I have completely bought into the belief that leadership is a process, a journey, and being a great leader can only happen when we enhance our own perceptions and learn about so many different facets of leadership. And when keeping in mind that leadership is all about people, when the focus and genuine concern and engagement is on them, that builds a loyal, unified culture. We get so wrapped up, particularly in law enforcement, to hire to fill an open position rather than filling a purpose…I loved that line from Erik. When we can define the purpose and goals and give our people meaning behind them, and if they are already loyal to our organization based on their enhanced perceptions of leadership, our people at every level will naturally raise expectations of everyone, including themselves and accountability will become positively voluntary. The lesson on delegating with a purpose was particularly helpful to really measure myself by; how I currently delegate tasks and how I can improve on holding myself accountable to focus assisting when they need it and focusing on their results rather than how they completed the task.
One thing I really keyed in on in Erik Therwanger's course of Instruction in module six was delegation. I did some self reflection during the segment on delegation because that is one thing I am not the greatest at. I have sometimes had the attitude that if I want something done right, I have to do it myself. In my reflection I began to think that if no one would have delegated any projects to me over my career I would have not had the chance to develop. I have tried to get better at this but becoming a recent head of an organization, it has been hard because I have wanted to have the pulse on all of the changes we are trying to implement. I realized through this module that a task not done to the way maybe I perceived it or wanted it to be done, was more than likely a result of my lack of setting the vision, the instruction and then my lack of follow through with accountability and recognition. I am going to work hard on this going forward because of some of the newer up coming leaders we have in our organization. I want to empower them and give them an opportunity to develop.
I also like the phrase management is about the process, leadership is about the people. I have heard this quoted many times throughout my career. I do believe in the philosophy that if you take care of your people and give them a destination with a little guidance they will carry the organization, but they have to have a purpose.
Sheriff Jahner, I also had a lot of self-reflection during this lesson. I struggle with delegating tasks to my subordinates also. I did not realize that I was part of the problem by not being willing to delegate tasks out. I also feel the same way that if my supervisors would not have delegated things to me, would I be where I am today.
In the module, "Think Great," Erik Therwanger discussed the difference between leadership and management. It's rewarding to be employed by an agency where management and leadership is focused on both the process and the people. I think it's easy to identify that all members of our agency understand the intent behind, "What is leadership, and what is a leader?" I think Erik hit a key point stating, "Look out for the person on your left, and to the person on your right." It's important to key in on your own core values regarding being a good leader, but it takes, "Opposites to require balance." Therwanger discussed the acronym, "PIE," which I try to integrate in my daily life both on and off duty. Passion, Integrity, and Excellence are core values each and every one of us should possess in order to become better people and better leaders, which could be expectations carried down to the rest of the team members. "You can't lead from the front when you're falling behind." Lead by example and take the initiative to, "Think and be Great!"
I also agreed with the statement by Therwanger, as he discussed, "Changing behavior is better than punishing performance." If low expectations start at the top, negative behaviors will be more difficult to change if there is not accountability and will be harder to course-correct.
I agree with you about low expectations and accountability. I struggle with accountability. From my stand point, when I delegate, offer feedback, set timeframes and the work still doesn't get done or completed I get very frustrated, usually extend timeframes or push it off to deal with later. I may think at the time it was their failure, but in essence it is mine. Either I didn't portray the purpose, didn't coarse correct or respect the work that was done. This section has my wheels turning on what I need to do better.
I have witnessed incidents where subordinates were not executing well. I was trying to get them to the measure of training needed by using different strategies. However, it just did not work. Rather than getting them to the position, they needed to be, we were told to reduce their expectations so they could make it. I was amazed that a supervisor and or leader used that type of reasoning to allow those subordinates not to be confident in themselves, or to use a simple way rather than increasing their confidence for a stronger start.
With the right support and great leadership, tasks would be easier. Sometimes it is not easy, but with commitment, a leader can and will make it transpire. People should be a part of something great. The problem is most will not put in the work to make it victorious. The information that I have obtained from these lectures has provided me the opportunity to engaged and contribute to the organization we are a part of, the great place we would like it to be.
I have similar experiences where the leader has wanted to reduce expectations or like you mentioned, training standards to help people make it. When that happened the rest of the members in the organization who were holding the higher standards for themselves began to get frustrated. They were frustrated because we had to always train at the lower standard and we never advanced. Those at the top wanted accountability for those at the bottom because most of them were not training to become better. Eventually we changed our training to a different level system so that those at the bottom now had something to train for, a "purpose," and those at the top continued with setting the standard.
This goes round and round particularly for firearms qualifications every so often! The last time it was even talked about opening our agency up for liability because our standards were higher than what the state was requiring. This was when we had a Sheriff that was elected that had been out of law enforcement for 15 years. Lowering standards not only deteriorates leadership ability on multiple levels, it completely deflates loyalty and accountability in the organization.
It's great that you're recognizing that proper leadership and creating a culture of success takes work and commitment. Lowering expectations in order to make the task easier isn't the recipe for a successful organization. Like you've mentioned, it take more work to do it right but it will have a much better outcome in the end.
After watching this module, I was concerned about the low percentage numbers of job satisfaction for young officers with five years or less. We need to do a better job as current leaders for these upcoming leaders of tomorrow. Therwanger gave stats that 95& of people want to be part of something great, but only 13% are engaged. These numbers are an eye opener, and should have leaders take a hard look at their agencies. Departments will have to make decisions and possibly changes on some of their guidelines to get more people engaged. I feel leaders get stuck into a “that’s how we always did it’ mindset and it hurts their agencies.
In the module “Think Great” Erik Therwanger covered a lot of interesting ideas in developing a better culture within an agency. The topic of millennials is something I constantly hear from the leaders under my command that have tenure. I try my best to explain we need to mentor and develop, I have noticed while working with this generation most want to be led to achieve goals but they must be explained the reason behind the goal and given instructions to follow. If you hold them accountable and check on their progress they succeed and buy into teamwork. One aspect of Erik’s lecture brought up asking questions in the initial interview in the hiring process. This is another step in the process I would like to develop and monitor the outcomes of the new recruits if hired. Ask them about past leadership experiences and what they expect from the agency in developing their careers. Also what kind of cultures have they been exposed to in the past.
as an FTO I always ask the recruits on day one where do you want to be in five years . I believe this helps them put in place a goal for themselves.
I agree with place setting goals for new recruits. I as a supervisor also sit down with my employees and ask those same questions focusing on short term and long term goals. Personally, I can improve on my own accountability by circling back with them and making sure the are not in need of course corrections.
Captain Troxclair brings up some interesting points. I have heard the same comments about millennials from senior leaders as well. some say they are self centered, have no loyalty to the organization and are "the worst generation yet". An instructor at the academy shut this discussion down pretty quick by saying that every succeeding generation is considered the "worst" generation by the one before it. that means the "Baby Boomers" were in the same situation as they entered the workforce. Captain Troxclair mentioned setting goals and holding Millennials accountable. I would like to add that explaining the "Why" is important to millennials as well. this generation wants to know the "why" and how the task and their contributions are going to make a positive change in the situation/ organization. I have had to work on this in my agency. It is a work in progress but some of my more traditional supervisors now see the value of explaining the "Why" and how it improves their teams performance.
I found myself to be inspired when I heard Erik say that 95% of people want to be involved in something great. He was spot on with the top 5 leadership challenges; poor communication, team morale, lack of initiative, failed delegation, and sub-par results. It's easy to see how those would play into poor leadership. I often hear from co-workers about supervisors in other agencies not delegating enough and when they do delegate, it's often in a way that does not promote individual thinking. They tell that subordinate to do something and step by step instructions on how to do it. I understand that there are times when a leader needs to have things done their way but sometimes we can lose sight of the fact that there is more than one way to do something.
There was a ton of useful information in Erik Therwanger's presentation. I agree that leaders should delegate to and empower the officers they lead. As leaders, we often overlook our coaching roles. Instead, we take on tasks that a subordinate officer could accomplish. Delegating frees the leader's time to focus on higher-level tasks and builds trust with their officers.
There is so much useful information and take-a-ways in these modules; at times, it wasn't easy to keep up! The notions of accountability and its benefits they can have, such as accelerated performance, increased engagement, provide insight, identifying key players, and establishing purpose, seem counterintuitive. Most of us have been lead to believe what it meant to hold someone accountable, and it was not to achieve these results. The information given here was another cornerstone of being a better leader.
Like a lot of the previous posts, I was shocked to see the gap between those who want to be part of something special (95%) versus those who are actually engaged in the workplace (13%). One of the quotes really stood out to me throughout the lecture- "Your culture is exactly at your tolerance for poor performance." While we all have a say/part in our organizations culture, the real power to set the level of tolerance starts at the top. That being said, I see the steps of the acronym GREAT (Goals, Reasons, Expectations, Actions, Tracking) to be the best blueprint for making positive changes. I think the one step that gets missed is the Reasons step- don't just give or delegate tasks, but attach the powerful reasons so that people will have the buy in. I'm also a big fan of quotes, so a second one that stood out (after all the module is titled "Think Great") was this one: "You can't lead from the front when you're falling behind." That tied in later with the reasoning that we (as leaders) need to create a sense of urgency to elevate priorities. Again, to me, that's the "buy in" we need to motivate the team.
95% of people want to be part of something great. But yet only 13% are engaged. These stats are very telling that we are not very good at understanding our culture and personnel's wants. As we work through all of these lecture we are given information that can help us to address the organizations culture. If we use that information obtained from Therwanger we can give that 87% a thirst to be engaged to make the organization they are a part of the great place they want it to be.
This module suggested ways to address building a positive culture. We recognize in my department that the culture has changed. Unfortunately we don’t have the buyin from of our personnel who are in a supervisory role. This module motivated me and now I’m confident that I can bring back a positive culture.
This was an excellent module. I think the topic that stuck with me the most was Erik Therwanger's words on training and development. Often after a young officer is released from the FTO program and is sent out to patrol on his or her own, supervisors leave that officer to their own devices and get angry when that officer makes a mistake. Many supervisors fail to take the time to develop an officer so that he or she can excel and become better in their career. The development of an officer is something I will certainly focus on in the future.
Some of those issues might be due to that department's FTO program. While I agree that some supervisors fail to take time to develop officers, I also feel that can be attributed to the field training officer. It's important to have the correct personnel in those positions. Evaluating your department's FTO program every few years is important to creating the right culture within your department. We can set officers up for success with a great FTO program. As supervisors, it's important we continue to develop great officers not only in the FTO program, but after that as well.
I agree Lt. Flavin. Our FTO process was very informative and was a rewarding process which set me up for success, as I had to take the initiative in order to be a positive member for our agency. It starts with setting the standards and, "accountability," which was discussed in the module. Each and every FTO had a piece of information, and by their experience's, it help mold me into understanding the process and what was expected of me.
Joe, I agree with you regarding the reevaluation of your departments FTO's every few years, specifically if you are not seeing the results you previously saw from them or their own performance needs improvement. It's crucial to have the right people influencing and teaching the culture of the department to those new hires. The FTO's attitude also resonates with those around them, they are typically leaders within their departments already. If the FTO isn't performing at the expected level, then lack of action by the supervisor, or even the peers observing the conduct could quickly hurt the desired culture.
This module made me look at the way I lead my watch and to a larger extent how I lead within the organization. I realized that, like Mr. Therwanger, I had an introduction to leadership in the Army. I try to lead from the front and show my guys that I am not above doing the tasks that they are expected to do. Like everyone, I don't like micro-management and therefore don't micro-manage my people. But I do see plenty of room for improvement. I have looked at myself and have come to realize that I need to energize myself and filter that down to my people and to the organization as a whole. It starts with me. If as the lecture states 95% of employees want to be part of something special, then we must cultivate this through our own actions first.
I think my biggest take away from this Module is how Erik Therwanger suggested for us to discuss our workplace culture with our team and our obligation as leaders to delegate and the steps to be able to do so effectively. Recently, I had to delegate some of my task to another co-worker. Initially, she was excited but overwhelmed. I discussed my goal with her, for her to be able to be proficient in some of the time-sensitive tasks I am responsible for on a daily basis. I explained that this would help her achieve better insight to some areas in our agency and to pass some organizational knowledge down to her.
We set aside time to discuss our vision and plan one on one. We allowed for her to delegate some of her tasks to someone else, to allow her to transfer some of her work as well. I explained that I wasn’t just dumping these tasks on her, I would be there along the way to help guide her. I explained the importance and purpose of each task, so that she understands how each task plays an integral part in our agency. I assured her that initially, I would check in with her at certain points in the day to touch base with her and to ensure I am keeping the lines of communication open. I started by having her sit in my office and I showed her what I did and asked her to take notes and ask questions. Next, I had her sit in my chair and attempt to complete the task on her own with me supervising her. Finally, I allowed her to attempt the task on her own and to let me know if she needs help, with me reviewing the final product. She was eager and able to proficiently take on the tasks with little to no questions. Her confidence grew and willingness to take initiative for more tasks.
One of the things that I learned in this module is establishing short term and long term goals. I had long term goals for my division, but I never shared them with my personnel. I also did not have any short term goals established. I will now have a discussion with my personnel to go over my goals and to get them engaged in the goals to accomplish them.
I look forward to seeing the progress that we will make.
Beau, I like your plan to not only set short-term goals with your team but to discuss all of your goals. As a team member, understanding the big picture has given me the motivation and initiative to push myself and to do more. Excellent.
We have had a wide spread culture problem for quite some time now. We have supervisors who are constantly complaining and spreading their discontent to everyone they come in contact with more rapidly than Covid-19. I wish we could implement “poor attitude” safeguards at the entrance of our facilities and refuse entry to those who test positive for negativity! That might be something to consider in the future.
After watching this training module, I did find a few interesting new ideas and methods to implement in to our training manuals for both deputies and supervisors. There was a lot of really good information that was discussed by the instructor, and I will be looking for more of his material going forward.
Your comments hit home for me in so many ways. Our agency has instituted a lot of changes in a short period of time. The statement "this is the way we have always done things" is no longer allowed. The problem with this is that command wanted these changes yesterday. It has caused resentment and some moral issues. Even though most of these changes were necessary, an aircraft carrier doesn't turn on a dime. I don't think we were properly prepared for the changes.
There was a lot of material covered in this module. One of the more interesting things I found started in the beginning watching the Ted X clip titled "Millenials are not your Leadership Challenge." I have heard about millennials for the past several years and have in fact made reference myself on occasions. I definitely learned that we as leaders have to develop these young people and they have the ability to succeed just as the United States Armed Forces do. The next big take away for me was goal setting. One of the biggest struggles I see are detectives struggling with managing caseloads. This will be a priority for me going forward to set goals and get these detectives caseloads managed better and relieve some of they're stress.
Derek, I agree with you on all your points. I have often blamed millennials for being lazy and self-entitled. The point made by Erik Therwanger is spot on. If the military can turn two-hundred thousand millennials into soldiers, what are we lacking?
This point also caught me by surprise as well. We have always been told they are the issue, but it is our responsibility to reach them.
Being regarded as a manager vs. being a leader, great perspective. I have worked for people whose style was to manage, direct every move, not allow you to think for yourself. That is what Erik spoke about in Session 6 as micro-managing. Cops do not like to be micro-managed. Part of the issue with the term "micro-managing," in my opinion will differ from supervisor to supervisor. If a supervisor is not well-liked, anything they do will be regarded as micro-managing. It is the total opposite of a well-liked supervisor. One word that I can better explain my point is the perception of the officer's attitude towards their supervisor. Attitude is one of the vowels mentioned by Erik Session 2. I believe we all want to be regarded as a leader. Being a leader takes time and experience. Style of leadership, regardless of time, is something that separates us from a manager vs. a leader.
As has been said, this module provided quite a it of information. As many sources have said, everyone wants to be the boss, until they are. We always have to have hope, especially when things are going, not as planned. This true in personal lives, as well as, professional lives.
I like many of the points made by the author but the section that I am most intrigued by is accountability. I have worked in organizations that you tracked everything, spent hours preparing reports that no one ever looked at. I once had a chief that wanted multiple policies updated, created etc. The mission was completed and turned in. this binder sat on the chief's desk for 4 months, before I removed it. None of us assigned were ever questioned, no changes made, we felt worthless for putting in the effort. The proper use of accountability would greatly increase the morale or engagement of many organizations.
While the sharing of information, can be difficult for some, myself included at times, there are things that do require explanation and not just a command. As noted, this can allow for the individual to take ownership and excel.
Module 6 - "Think Great" was extremely informative and full of pertinent information. I really connected with "planting seeds of leadership within ourselves and others". I truly believe that is why I am in the role I am today. My mentors and leaders when I first started my career were great at planting seeds of leadership. Another topic that I connected with is Management vs. Leadership. I do not want to be looked upon as a manager but as a leader. I want to inspire and motivate and not just deal with the processes. As Erik wrapped up each section, a point he continued to touch on was spending time with your team off site, communicating and gaining a better understanding of my team.
This lecture gives several ways that any one person can greatly influence an organization from top to bottom, whether they are positive/negative. The lecturer gives you several ways to use for your agency to improve itself, yourself, and even how to change things that may be difficult. The power to create change from within the department or keep the good things going fall into this lecture. The lecturer provides some proven ways that have made the USMC function and be successful for all these years. Lessons from military and civilian structure can be applied to make things successful. The six lectures and subsets of leadership methods are things I strive to do daily. Accountability is one thing that will have people wanting more responsibility and roles in their respective jobs.
This module was very informative, it gave me lot of tips to do my best as a leader and supervisor. As a leader you always on the job and held accountable for actions your subordinates display on the job. Communication has to the key when you delegating a task, personally i'm very picky of how i want a task performed so i have to learn to communicate and trust subordinates to complete the job duty.
You are definitely correct saying that there is a lot of good information that can direct us all on how to become more proficient as supervisors and as a person as well.
This module was very informative, it gave me lot of tips to do my best as a leader and supervisor. As a leader you always on the job and held accountable for actions your subordinates display on the job. Communication has to the key when you delegating a task, personally I'm very picky of how I want a task performed so I have to learn to communicate and trust my subordinates to complete this job duty
This lecture was long and full of important information as well as simple tips to help us become more effective leaders. The statistic of 95% of employees losing interest was extremely eye opening and made me think of ways to help keep people engaged. One of the biggest issues I have as a supervisor is the delegation of certain tasks. I can be extremely particular about how certain tasks should be performed. Also the emphasis on keeping everyone on the same page about the goals and expectations of the team and how it has a positive impact was one of my biggest take aways.
This module had me think of all the times I've had the thought while delegating a task. "No one can do it better than me'. To ask a leader to remove the EGO from the equation, it's not as easy as it sounds and a lesson i need to learn and improve upon it.
That is the problem that I have had. Sometimes, it isn't that I can do the task better, it is by the time that I explain or demonstrate, I could have got it done and move on to something else. I suppose this is a peril of putting out fires as a police officer.
Accountability was the best lesson learning in the information extensive module. with out accountability we cannot change or modify behavior. I see so many leaders not really address problems they see in others and hope they will figure it out on their own. If we do not provide a goal, training or direction in reaching the goal along with support to reach it, and the accountability to keep the organization on the right track, we should not expect success in our people or the organization as a whole.
The accountability really hit home. I have officers that complain about being micro-managed and big brothered because as patrol officers they have to log their activity throughout the shift. No matter how much we try to explain to them it is used for justification to the mayor and council when they have questions and complaints from citizens not seeing the police. They don't want to understand it from that point of view. I am now going to use the points gained from this lecture to try and convince them it is not micro-management or big brother just checking up on them.
I think its just normal human behavior not wanting to managed. As you said the deputies don't want to have a view into you world of responsibilities. I've had different experiences, when asked by my people about my job. I never whine about my responsibilities, but let them know exactly what magnitude I'm accountable for including their lives and issues. Once explained, i don't often have issues with my people believing there being micromanaged any longer, since they understand where i stand.
I agree I never whined about my responsibilities so I lead by example, I'm not going to ask them to jump in the fire if I'm not going to do it myself. I've been micromanage before and its a terrible experience. So when I reached that point of Leadership I never had to micromanage my people, because I lead by example and they understand how things are handled.
There was so much information to digest from this module. The biggest thing I took from the modules is it is all about responsibility. Part of that may be that taking responsibility for your actions is one of my pet peeves. But i realized that maybe when i delegate a task, i probably don't instruct to the person I am delegating too, enough information and guidance as I probably should. Communication is the key. I've seen the results, a few times, of my poor communication to those under my command and the discord it can create. I also liked the analogy of the traching your child how to drive. That stuck with me.
I agree completely. I have had the same issues with not being clear with instructions and often get frustrated. I will also use this lesson to slow down and make sure I take time to explain and that they understand what I'm looking for.
I agree that the analogy of teaching your child to drive is great as it relates to delegating. I would not expect my children to teach themselves to drive so I should not expect a team member to complete a task perfectly without any orchestration, delegation and supervision.
So much information! Arguably the point that stuck out most to me was regarding accountability, and one quote that made the biggest impression upon me was "Most leaders avoid accountability and most team members resent it". If we as the promoted leaders within the police agencies that we work avoid accountability, what does this communicate to our line staff, to our civilian shareholders, our other employees and volunteers? Without questions, when we each were promoted, we were sure to hold ourselves and others accountable! Where did we begin to shy away from this? We must be willing to hold ourselves and others accountable or we must be prepared to accept mediocrity and indifference. There cannot be both.
Accountability is the key to a positive culture. I agree that it is important for us to set a good example.
I completely agree Adam. I am a firm believer of accountability and I have always held myself very accountable in my actions and what I tell my subordinates that I will do. With that being said, I also sit down with each leader under my command and explain what I expect from them and how to achieve it. I allow them to come to me if they need assistance reaching goals. This process has allowed me to have leaders that go beyond what I ask for at times because they know I'm there for them. They also are prepared to handle criticism or guidance better because of the open communication.
This module starts out with defining a leader as someone who clearly communicate a desired outcome and leads them to this outcome from the front of the team. Just yesterday one of the deputy under my command mentioned to me about how i am actually leading by example, when I made a traffic stop which resulted in a felony arrest. Within an hour of that arrest I sat down and learned "Ductus Exemplo" or lead by example. When your team members see you also working towards the common goals and culture of your organization they want be a part of that!
I also particularly enjoyed the last section on accountability and how it should bring a team together as one and manifest ownership in that team when done properly.
I agree. When I was a patrol Lieutenant many time I would arrive on a scene first and I would cancel the assigned unit and handle that crime report or crash report. Only to have the assigned deputy come to the scene anyway and beg me to let them handle the report, which I would never let them do. I have several of those deputies who have come back to who stated that they really appreciated a rank who was not afraid to work and who led by example. It made them want to work that much harder for me and to do the right thing.
I try to do the same. I have deputies asked "why you want to know how to do this?", after returning to the patrol division. I must be able to step in their shoes on a given moment and take their place if needed. I like to show respect and do not demand it. Great traits for you!
Steven i have deputies as me how to do a job all the time, so i keep communication open with them at all times. I let them know i'm here for support in the professional and personal aspect. With the trial and tribulations of being a police officer you never know someone mind set, so it's good to ask your subordinates how they doing and how's their day going a little bit helps.
I think accountability sets the culture. As Erik said in the video culture follows the leader. I thought it was a good thing when he said set goals with other leaders. I think setting short term goals are more attainable in a law enforcement setting.I also liked the idea of learning about people’s personal goals. Being a marine made it easier for me to watch too.
Goals are a common theme I am seeing come up the further into this leadership journey we travel. I have always told my team that we all have one common goal being that we all make it home safe at the end of a shift, while that will still be an important main objective. I have already began to brainstorm and plan on "getting off-site" with my team and establishing short-term common goals and learning about some of their personal goals.
I agree with you. I had never set short term goals. I no can see the importance of short term goals and what they could do for my officers. I also have never asked my officers about there personal goals. I think that if we know their personal goals and can help them in any possible way, it will build trust and create a better work culture.
In Module 6, I learned that accountability is a primary key in leadership. I've learned that without accountability you're unable to provide effective communication which will play a critical role in your everyday walk of life. Module 6, shed a lot of light on raising expectations and accountability. It was a very good lecture.
I agree Chasity. Accountability is the key. If you don't have it you will lose control and people will be doing whatever they feel like.
The Information in this Lecture was really valuable on how to develop and enhance leadership within an organization. As a leader, the utilization of these tools can develop a positive culture and help recognize micromanagement quickly, to help make an organization a better place to work.
This lesson had a ton in information that was all very much needed. I particularly liked part two on building a culture with your team. Most, if not all, agencies have a vision, mission statement, and a set of core values that all officers should know. From this we can make out the culture of the agency. What is wrong with setting a culture in line with that, for a shift or a separate unit within the agency? Personally if there is a culture for a shift or a unit that is in line with the agency culture but more closely fits the individuals of that shift or unit it will only make that team work even better together.
Wow, this lecture had a massive amount of information to impart. While I was not in the military myself, I do know that if they are using a methodology to accomplish something then it is probably best practice and if the Marines develop leadership in this manner then it must be successful. Out of the whole lecture though, the quote that I liked most was "Your people will copy you, twice as often and half as good" and this really drives home why you need to be the best example possible.
I agree. If you are accountable for yourself and show your people that you are being the best that you can then they will follow and do the same.
If 95% want to be a part of something great and only 13% are engaged with only 20% of a day being productive that leaves us with plenty of room to improve. I am really liking the "Every Deputy is a Leader" as a motto and way to help get buy in. Imagine getting every employee to have this feeling of them being a part of his agencies success and that they are a valued team member. with that feeling our goals will be met by them willingly.
You say it best. If there is buy in from the ground up or line-level of staff up, our shared goals and vision will be willingly and methodically accepted and worked towards. This is something that I am sure we will be exploring more throughout this course and something I want to keep close as I strive to include all within my organization to come together and rally around.
This was a valuable lesson today on the formation of leadership, and how the Marines use leadership in the recruiter process. Although he used a lot of the same material over and the same example, the repetition forms a habit, which makes it more concrete.
Furthermore, I personally have a hard time delegating things off my plate. And when it is delegated, keeping track of it without it being a helicopter supervisor. I am going to use more check-in formats in the long run
I also found the delegation part of the lecture interesting. Ive often found that I would do everything myself while my team watched. Now I have several things to consider why I was acting this way and the detrimental impact this is having.
Delegation is probably one of the hardest things for me to do. I realize it is probably the one thing that keeps me from accomplishing more and giving my undivided attention to the areas that need my attention. This lecture was informative and eye-opening to areas I need to improve. Accepting that we all have faults and areas to improve is key to success.
This module has a wealth of information. I truly appreciated the definition of culture as the level of tolerance. I was not surprised by the 95 % who want to be part of something special. I feel we see this every sports championship season where people want to jump on the bandwagon to be part of the winning team. I also see the 13% who are actually engaged with the concept of "fair weather" fans who disappear as soon as the going gets hard. The true value in this training for me is in the applicable formulas and techniques. I like the idea of short term (90 day) goals to keep staff engaged. I want my staff to have buy in to raising our expectation by assisting in identifying and setting some of these goals. I will apply the Rule of 3 by selecting 3 goals at a time for us to focus on.
The concept of accountability was well reviewed. I enjoyed the concept of how important accountability is and how to view it as a positive and find the benefits of it instead of seeing it as micromanagement. The lessons in this module can be implemented relatively quickly and should have great benefits.
Being a former military man, I payed close attention to Mr. Therwanger speak about the Marine Corps values on leadership and leadership traits. I had to laugh when he began talking about the acronyms like JJDIDTIEBUCKLE. I can remember using these acronyms to remember important information during my time in the military. During lesson two which covered developing a unifying culture. I was asking myself every question about my organizations culture and was I doing my best to bring people together. We sometimes like to think of our organizations as being above par or better than your average organization. I actually completed the 5 vowel test (AEIOU). It was interesting to me that Mr. Therwanger said that the average organization totals itself around 30 to 35 in total score when they take this test. I was thinking that my orgaziation would surely rank higher, but in fact when I took the test, I scored my organization at 31 out of 50. After completing the test, I basically asked myself how in my organization, could I help bring about a positive change in my agencies culture.
I am also looking at ways I can apply the lessons and surveys I am learning about her in my own agency. I do not have a military background, but one of my instructors is a Marine. As I mentioned JJDIDTIEBUCKLE I could see it register in his mind and he completed the acronym before I could finish. Taking advantage of lessons learned from hundreds of years of leadership training that is proven can save us from repeating mistakes that need not be made. I feel we also tend to view our situations as normal, but when we step back to evaluate it independently, we can find areas where we are better than we realized as well areas that we can improve.
When I first became a lieutenant, I was bright and shiny. I wanted to make things happen and I wanted to make them happen fast. So as I learned of my promotion, I wrote a list of expectations for the sergeants and deputies alike. These expectations were not only things I wanted the shift to accomplish but a way of training and developing subordinates for promotion. I knew I could not change the entire patrol division, but I could start to turn my shift, the people within my circle of influence, to the positive direction in which I wanted to move the division. For a while, I used to meet with the sergeants and deputies regularly and tried to get their input as to their personal and professional goals. Somewhere along the line from then to now, I got caught in the mire. I would like to blame it on bad supervision and no support, but in reality it is my fault. I did not keep up with the business and tasks of making my shift better or even the best in patrol. After watching the video series, I found a copy of the expectations I wished to accomplish for my shift along with those of the sergeants and deputies. I have already scheduled meetings to ensure that I get back on that track and we will definitely use the IN, ON, and OUT model.
I got a lot out of the fact that while the majority of an agency wants to be a part of something but that very few are engaged with their agency. It certainly hits home. There are times that I can find myself outside the engaged percentage and should constantly reevaluate what I am doing.
As leaders, we should be very involved. There is a positive vibe that resonates when a leaders gets involved and engaged. I have to admit I have not always been involved as much as I should have/could have been. Involvement from leades is crucial to a positive workplace.
This Module had so much good information in it. The 95% will stick with me; I was completely clueless that 95% of people wanted to be part of something great. I can see the 13% being engaged but I thought that number would have been 10%. As a leader, I use goals with my guys and set them both yearly and quarterly. I find it keeps them engaged and challenges them to compete with one other.
I agree that there was a wealth of information in this module that could be applied in my leadership journey. The 95% also stuck with me because I sometimes struggle with identifying motivations in people. If you basically strip motivation down to its core, it made sense that 95% of people just want to be part of something great or bigger than themselves. This should be especially true in law enforcement. It was also an eye opener to learn that only 13% were engaged. I know you mentioned it would be more like 10%, but I guess I am an optimist and would have thought that number to be higher. But I guess that makes it full circle when you think about leadership.
I enjoyed the video presentation, which touched on many invaluable key factors that we, as leaders, must think about in promoting growth within our profession. I enjoyed session number 4 of the lecture. Leaders need to talk about the expectation to their members so that they will know the goals of the division and or organization. I believe when individuals are informed on matters, it often benefits everyone and displaces misunderstanding and trust and promotes accountability.
On the aspect of informing your team, this eliminates the guessing game and aligns everyone as to the mission ahead. I have also been on the other end of this and had no clue what was expected of me. This was very frustrating. I try to inform my team as much as possible.
That is a very important aspect of promoting a professional culture within an organization. Everyone needs to be on the same page and by letting subordinates know expectations helps with the overall mission.
I agree, If the communications within an organization his enhance, then the organization a grow for the better.
I agree with keeping your team informed of expectations and goals and you will have better results with your team when they know the end expectation.
I agree that our people want to be informed of matters that affect them. I was given a list of standing procedures when I first come to my agencies patrol squad. I still hand each new member to my squad my version of those expectations.
In Erik Therwanger’s lecture on The Leadership Connection he discussed numerous ways to develop and enhance leadership traits. Having served in the military as well, I can relate to the Marine Corps bullet comments and talking points. When he discussed having initiative to develop leadership skills and traits, I felt the lecture was headed in the right direction. To me, initiative and accountability are the driving traits of a defined leader. Initiative can empower anyone to accomplish a task and becoming resourceful to see it through. And if you are noble enough to accept responsibility, your learning curve is infinite.
Developing a unified culture in a law enforcement organization can be challenging but not impossible. What I found striking was the statement that 95% of those within an organization want to be part of something special, but only 13% are engaged. We as leaders need to develop a culture within that fosters the development of subordinates. I am most certainly guilty of the “if I want it done I will just do it myself” mentality. The trick will be how to delegate duties where members of the team do not feel as though its busy work, and supervise them in a way they feel empowered and not micromanaged.
I agree that I fell into the "do it myself" model of supervising and I was not empowering my people to be more. After watching this series, I made a commitment to myself to refocus my energies to develop the deputies and sergeants alike, into better leaders. I believe in the fact that if there is no one to take my place, where will I go.
That "do it myself" mentality will kill you, I am guilty of it myself, and although I'm getting better at turning over the reigns on some things, I still catch myself getting overly involved in minor district tasks.
In part six the instructor talks about micro-management and how it affects the employee. I agree with him about no employee wants to be micro managed but they do want to be held accountable. As a leader you have to be careful with managing vs. leading.
Jarvis you are spot on. I believe we all have had a supervisor that was a micromanager. It is nothing anyone likes. Tracking subordinates progress with a purpose holds them accountable. However, when we track their progress without a purpose it becomes micromanagement.
Jarvis, I agree completely about nobody wants to be micromangaged. Micromanaging makes employees feel as if the leader has not faith or trust in them and will completely ruin the motiviation of you employees.
I believe that once again we are exposed to the idea that it is leadership vs. management. That is the recurring theme. It is all about people and the relationships that we build with the people that work around us. Leadership is about inspiring people while management is about the process. Part of building that relationship is to develop the trust both below and above you so that you can be a good leader. The idea of Ductos Exemplo (lead by example) is one that all to often "Leaders" do not follow. People do not want you to tell them what to do but want you to be a part of the problem solving. It is not surprising to be informed that only 13 % of people are engaged in the workplace. It is the same ones that you see taking the initiative and getting things done. Again, traits of good leadership.
Nicole, I enjoyed your post. The percentages are interesting when you start to look at them. The lower rate (13%) like you said is often those individual(s) that demonstrate leadership qualities and shoulder much responsibility.
I agree with you on the recurring theme of leadership vs. management. This really is about he people, and the buy in we can create through our thinking and expectations. and you are 100% correct in that building trust must be built both up and down the chain of command for one to be a leader. And I will admit, I laughed out loud when you mention a lot of leaders do not follow the tenet of leading by example...I am hopeful that this course (from beginning to end) will help change that in the future, and that means we have to be mindful ourselves as we move forward and upward.
In this module Erik Therwanger provided valuable information on leadership. This information struck close to home, kind of and eye opener. It allowed me to reflect on the things I am doing right and things I need to improve. I liked the section on "Raise Expectations" to raise the bar as a team not on an individual basis. The part about "Most leaders are ready, just not prepared. " makes sense. How many of us were promoted because we did our jobs well and scored high on the matrix. But how many of us were actually trained to be a leader. In most cases that happened after you were promoted.
The concept of "training vs development" really hit home for me too. We usually provide some type of leadership training for our supervisors but how much do we develop them? Once I started really thinking about this, I began to realize how absurd this was. This would be almost like putting an officer through the academy without an FTO car but we do it with supervisors! Some turn out bad and some turn out good. We could do more to develop our supervisors. I believe the most effective way to do this is through mentorship, accountability and developing culture that people want to be a part of.
Erik Therwanger's lecture was LOADED with information. He laid out several great plans for building your character as a leader. Raising the bar certainly does open eyes of the people that work for you. It's kind of a lead or get out of the way concept. It can bring hesitancy at first but I believe most young leaders or potential leaders want and accept that challenge. But as their leader we must stay gainfully employed with them without micro managing. Following his plan is a good start for seasoned leaders and new leaders all the same.
Erik Therwanger provided valuable lessons on leadership. I learned that on 13% of people are engaged in the work place. In the Leadership Connection, I learned about enhance perceptions, elevating priorities, empowering people and exceeding possibilities. Therwanger said when you enhance perceptions, you define leadership, develop unifying culture, identifying important goals. I learned about raising expectations, delegating with a purpose and increasing accountability. I also learned that leaders know who they are and self correct themselves. Therwanger explained that 80% of working people are not not engaged because of lack of initiative, failed delegation, team moral, poor communication and sub par results. Leaders should be inspiring. I learned that leaders should bring people together through the culture. Therwanger believes leaders should empower, collaborate, engage, have passion, be energetic and have a purpose. He explained the vowels of leadership I learned that you must set short term and long term goals. Therwanger said, "Leaders without goals is like a ship without a rutter, directionless." How many goals have you set this year so far?
This module gave some great information. I have realized some things I do well and some things I do not do so well. I will be sharing the information learned with the Communications leadership team and will do the exercises he suggested. I think this will really help us.
I feel the same way. Will have to re-evaluate how I lead my team. And how I can make them better leaders.
This lesson makes you reevaluate how you and others we work with do their part. Whether it is as the leaders of your dept, people you supervise, coworkers that have tasks you work on together and others. The lecturer gives several ideas on delegation and how we can hold people higher for their parts in any company. Being able to "bring in" people to your team that have the same drive, intelligence, work ethic, and integrity are paramount.
I think Erik made some wonderful points, especially regarding the culture of an organization and raising expectations, which I think go hand in hand.
The culture of your organization is everything! If you are in an environment where the status quo is do what you need to and go home, you’re never going to excel. In fact, I doubt you can even maintain that level of numbness. The results you get from people are always going to be mediocre at the very best.
This is where raising expectations comes in. I have actually seen a scenario where people were not performing well. Rather than identifying the issues and getting them up to speed, however, expectations were actually lowered so that these mediocre personnel were meeting expectations. Yes, seriously. I was beyond absurd and had a terribly detrimental effect on the culture there.
I believe that if you raise expectations and elevate to a culture where everyone must be great in order to fit, then they will be, with the proper support from their leadership of course. This is not easy in many scenarios, but a true commitment to it from all levels of leadership can make it happen.
There are so many lessons learned from this module. Culture is a huge problem within many organizations today. Even when you go into a store, you can see it by how the person checking you out does not like their job. Most times its created and carried on by people just following by what they learned from current employees. They see the behaviors being allowed and figure its tolerated so why should I do anything different. Like the presenter stated “Culture is exactly at the level of your tolerance for poor performance.”
I love the example that you gave of the cashier. I believe that our generation is so quick to make it a character flaw in millennials that they do not perform up to our expectations. But if we do not embrace them, teach them, give them a positive culture and lead them then isn't it ultimately our fault that they are not successful. I bet the manager of the clerk is some "Old guy" who they believe doesn't care one bit for them. Maybe it's time we stop the blame game and step up and effect change by leading.
The culture within an organization is extremely important to the success of that organization. I thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing each and every time Mr. Therwanger mentioned things that we did in the Marine Corps. All so very true. When he mentioned the 14 leadership traits, JJDIDTIEBUCKLE, I immediately recited each and every one of them. It's amazing at what the mind can retain even 22 years later. Even still, I believe these leadership traits are essential to creating a creditable leader.
I had not seen the JJDIDTIEBUCKLE model of leadership before, but found it to be absolutely spot on.
I always knew the Marine Corps was a special military branch. Therwanger explained that the Marine Corps developed their leaders early on with the "yellow footprint." I learned so much during this module.
Erik Therwanger's seminars were was full of exciting concepts, so much that it was like drinking water from a firehose. I did enjoy his theory with writing down his Marine Corps graduation date in his study guide on every page. Then how he was mailing out graduation notifications to all his family well before his posted graduation date, at which time he began receiving confirmation letters from his family, stating their intentions to be present for his graduation. Erik's theory is true. We will let ourselves down before we let down others who depend on us. When we are tasked with a goal by someone else, we typically complete that goal because we do not want to let that person down. However, is we set personal goals but don't meet them, then we accept our fault and move on.
I 100% agree with you on the information coming at you fast and furious. Pausing to take notes every 2 minutes it seemed. Erik really does a good job of laying out this thought process.
Erik Therwanger put forth a lot of great thinking and culture concepts learned from the Marine Corp. The Marine Corp is a proven successful organization when it comes to building a team and bringing its people into the culture. Its all developing the team, the people and we're (law enforcement) in the people business.
In the lecture the speaker talked about raising expectations. It stated that raising expectations in the organization will raise productivity and like wise when expectations are set low then the organization have low productivity. I agree with this, people will always perform according to what is expected of them. Very few people are over achievers.
I agree with your comment. If you don't give people high expectations, they will only give you low productivity. Some people like to just get by and if they are allowed to do it, then that is the culture that is created also. It is very challenging to try and correct that.
I agree completely, Royce. With proper support from leadership, raising the bar has tremendous positive consequences.
I agree Royce. I can see the different with some of our current employees.
I found the topic about culture and accountability informative. I liked the examples given using the Marine Corps and their leadership principles. Much of the module had several points to keep in mind and use for future leadership. Delegation is essential in law enforcement but often not the road taken. As stated, it is easier to do it ourselves. The Latin and French slogans were good for future use.
Judith, I agree that Erik Therwanger did a great job of using his theories on leadership by comparing it to the Marine Corps principles. Also, delegation can be imperative to law enforcement, though it is not often used, we should consider doing so to help promote a better culture for our agencies.
I really enjoyed this module of training. I think my department has a culture problem and I really enjoyed the insight given in reference to this issue. When the instructor stated that "your culture is exactly at the level of tolerance of poor performance". I felt like it was hitting home. I have to be a better leader in making sure my officers are performing at a higher level. I also need to make sure I'm working on the improvement of the department, not the details of the department.
Well said Chris. When you don't address the poor performance by a few, the rest of your staff notice.
I have learned from my company that they don't address the poor performer but address the whole company with the problem. In this section I like that the instructor explains why you have to address the single poor performer.
Delegation of authority is something that our department in general has not done well. Over the years, I can see how this has caused issues as supervisors rise through the ranks. Most were never given the authority to make decisions on their own. We as supervisors must trust our subordinates to make certain decisions. I believe following the ODS model will help me in delegating tasks to others.
Delegation of authority is key to an organization's success. Subordinates who are empowered with the ability to make decisions on their own generally want to make the right decision to show that they can. This will create trust between the leader and follower thereby opening the lines of communication and enhancing the culture within the organization.
David, I agree with you, people do not want to make mistakes but it seems we, as supervisors, often forget that. Delegating should show these people that we trust their decisions and we should stop seeing them as a mistake just because they arrived at a solution differently than we might have.
I agree sometimes when a task is delegated the message of the task is lost. But as a leader we must have some form of check and balance to ensure that the task delegated is completed. Which sometimes makes the leader look like a micro manager.
Even though this lecture was long I thought it was the best so far. I often had issues with delegation because I felt that it was easier to just do it myself. Giving someone control and trusting them to get the job right can be challenging. Delegation is about trust and decision making. I feel in the future I needed to follow the (ODS) orchestrate, delegate and supervise.
I agree that we could all work on the or delegation skills. I was really interested in the idea, that when you delegate you have to also relinquish power. I have never thought of that aspect of delegation.
I agree that it is difficult to turn over control by delegating responsibility. I acknowledge by delegating though, we empower the officer and help their growth toward leadership potential.
I took away a lot or had my eyes opened to some great goals to strive to reach. I have always set goals for myself but now i am thinking more along the lines of goals for my team as well. My agency has a list of goals and a mission statement, i will be tracking my team closer and holding them accountable, applying course direction as needed to make sure our organization moves forward.
David like you, I am a goal-oriented person. I set goals for myself but I too need to set goals for my team. I believe goals will give a clear mission to a target for my team.
I agree, accountability is needed to maintain course direction.
I agree with your comment David. I think holding our team more accountable and supplying them with direction could only have a positive outcome.
This was a very informative module and I took one of Erik Therwanger’s quotes to heart. “Your culture is exactly at the level of your tolerance for poor performance.” I could not agree more. What I have discovered is once our agency went to twelve-hour shifts, our culture changed where each unit was its own organization and its supervisor fostered its own set of values and mission. We no longer have a unified culture. I see officers sign up with the same supervisors for the same shifts repeatedly. This module has helped me understand that our organization needs to develop a unified culture to bring balance back into the work place. We need to focus on solutions and stop focusing on the problems. This module was very helpful and I will be referring back to my notes as we move forward.
You hit the nail on the head. We see when a shift sergeant has a high tempo and follows up on his expectation, the ones that really want to police are happy and the ones that don't put in for any available assignment. We've worked hard to keep our mission consistent with all squads and supervisors across the board. It's not easy and requires a lot of encouragement and regularly being a sounding block. The squads that make it fun and rewarding have had the most success with their people and the transfers from their squads were predominantly promotional type or career advancement moves.
After listening to Erik Therwanger’s lecture I was most focused on his part about accountability. I realized that there are more ways to ensure accountability instead of telling someone that you have delegated a task to them ans walking away. I truly believe that there should be a vested interest in understanding what the goal is.
I like the quote he used in his presentation " Changing behavior instead of punishing performance ". All to often supervisors will delegate a task without telling you what needs to be accomplished and they punish you when its not completed correctly or in a timely manner.
I agree with you. Supervisors must make it clear what tasks need to accomplished. Also, making sure those under our command have the tools necessary to complete the task.
I think that they new officers with this attitude are mirroring the attitudes of senior officers, who should be leaders. We must ensure that our leaders and senior officers are leading by example, because they will be followed by the newer officers. I definitely agree with the presentation that the culture starts at the top.
As I listened to the lectures of this module of “Think Great” I reflected on my time in the military and how we lived by the core values, practiced Esprit De Corps and developed culture in our workplace. Guidelines were written for us to follow and grow in the military. I then looked back in our departments written Policy and Procedure. There I found a few guidelines for supervisors and a few areas about delegation and how we should conduct ourselves. I believe our own organization can expound on this in our own Policy & Procedures. Things such as identifying important goals, core values, expectations and accountability. Do other departments have this in their Policy and Procedure manuals?
The “Think Great” module has me thinking about the realistic ways we can approve the culture within our organization. One of the simplest ways to alter the culture is stop the rumors and misleading information that is circulated throughout the agency on a daily basis. Being in a leadership role this could be easily remedied by discussing what is going on within the agency during staff meetings. Many rumors and misleading information could be put to rest if we effectively communicated with each other. In my agency everyone has their secrets, which just creates the assumptions that result in poor morale. Instead of building on a positive culture it seems as though our agencies tend to breed this type of behavior because of what is allowed to occur within the upper ranks of the agency.
Our organization sometimes has issues with communication as well that does not foster a good culture. Whether it’s a job opening in a different department and some of the most qualified never put in for it because they know “who already has been picked”. It is getting better to where it’s advertised and interviews take place but some still believe it’s biased who gets chosen. Also, communication flows uphill but rarely flows down. It’s a shame when the Shift Lieutenant is told about personnel moves of his own people by deputies. The rumor tree sometimes flows faster than the official lines of communication. I can complain about the problems but rather I am more interested in the solutions.
To me that rumor mill we deal with has been a hindrance for a long time. I agree that communication could stop or at least slow some of these. I find as commanders and supervisors we sometimes feed the mill by keeping things secretive that really don't need to be kept a secret. It just increases speculation and draws more curiosity, because its a secret.
This lecture seems to detail a very methodical approach to leadership. The thoughts on direction, course correction, goals and accountability seem to be an almost step by step guide. When you delegate, you still have to follow-up periodically but still give the subordinate enough room to use their own initiative and ideas.
I have more often seen accountability viewed as a negative action rather than a positive team building one. I like the idea of accountability not being solely in one direction and used to give ownership in the team. I think we are used to seeing accountability as a micromanaging corrective action.
I agree with you Joey, in my past i have had supervisors talk about holding us accountable. Their idea was to just sit and watch us on a map and see what we were moving or sitting still. I have a better definition of accountability to pass on to my subordinates now.
The “Think Great” module discussed some ideas that I need to address. Beginning with the culture in our workplace. Being able to know myself and find ways to improve the way I lead my team. Getting to know my team on a more personal level rather than just the professional level is something that I have been trying to accomplish. Setting small attainable goals that can be accomplished is a wonderful idea and will hopefully lead to accomplishing bigger goals in the future. Informing the people you work with about where we are heading as an organization seems to be lacking in our department. This is something that I need to work on myself.
I think I have always had an issue with differentiating between short term and long term goals. if I can break up the long term goal into shorter ones, they will seem much less daunting. I find that sometimes a goal seems so daunting that it is difficult for me to "get off the ground" and get things started.
As I viewed the lecture agree that the accountability part is one of the hardest parts of leadership. It is much easier to hand out discipline, but it is much harder to change the behavior before it gets to that point. I know see how you can use accountability as a unification tool (proactive) instead of just discipline (re-active).
I agree with you about the accountability. Being able to get your team to have their own accountability and course correct them during a task is daunting. Being able to delegate to your team to bring them together on a specific task that hopefully brings them together on the larger picture would be the ultimate goal.
I think a lot of us are in the same predicament in regards to our new hires (ie: millennial generation). I couldn't agree with you guys more in regards to their attitude. Law enforcement, for most, is just a job, rather than a profession. Unfortunately, we are getting to the point, where some of these young officers are going to be in a position to promote. Not because they are the most qualified, rather, they are literally the only option. There is no one else to promote. Because of this, I found that our training budget has escalated because I want to send these officers to continued education training like leadership classes, etc. Without any other options, ensuring these officers are prepared educationally, is our only other option.
This lecture was eye opening. For me, I focused on the development of relationships portion of this lecture. My Chief holds the development of internal and external relationships as one of his top priorities. His other priorities for the department are ownership and Initiative. This week I met with the Police Chief of Chula Vista. In my meeting with her I asked her what her daily habits of success were. She mentioned that daily, she makes sure she continues to develop and foster relationships with members of her department. She said the little things like sending Birthday wishes to her officers, or congratulations to their families when their babies are born has made an impact on developing a positive culture in her department. It is the little things that mean a lot to officers. To her the department for many is their home away from home. I know we don’t do that in my agency but will definitely look at implementing.
For our agency something that has helped with increasing a positive culture was issuing every officer a work cell phone with the ability to utilize law enforcement databases, to include facial recognition. Young officers took this technology and ran with it. A team officers took the initiative to push the program along and took full ownership of it, I just ensure they have a budget and monitor expenses. They have become a part of a regional working group in the development of future technology for Law Enforcement in San Diego. They also have become department experts, are available for their squads when issues with the phones come up and are readily available to help their peers. Although I was hesitant to release the program at first, it seems to have opened the doors for other officers to become creative in finding solutions to problems and working as teams to resolve issues thus creating a positive work environment.
I really enjoyed this lesson, After this lesson i have decided to give a presentation to my sergeants in our next meeting about the need to treat their subordinates with respect and they need to mentor their staff and they need to lead by example if they expect their staff to be on time they need to be on time their selves. One of our biggest issue we have is some supervisors tell staff to leave this place because its not a good place to work and they don't care about them. But the truth is that these supervisor have a negative attitude all the time and will always look for something to complain about.
We have similar issues at our department. I agree that "one bad apple" is like a cancer. It spreads negativity through out the department. I will try to use better communication in the future and maybe they (bad apples) will "buy in" to our overall goals.
I feel your pain. Our agency is going through some growing pains, which is affecting morale. However, we thought that the negative morale was from our officers. We learned that it was coming from our sergeants who were sharing their objections to change with our officers. The sergeants were now concerned with being held accountable for their actions and achieving the goals of the organization. Colby I have made it a practice to visit daily briefs on both the day and night shifts and explain the direction Administration is going and answer some of their question to ensure our objectives are making down to our officers, Good Luck!
We also have some supervisors who are never happy unless they have something to complain about. And when you ask them how they would correct the problems, they never have solutions. We are in the process of updating our training material for supervisors and I am also looking to include elements from this presentation in to future training manuals.
PEW research supports what we have known for years in our profession. We need to do better at developing a positive culture within our departments, and it starts with accountability and holding everyone responsible. I was encouraged by the research that suggests that peer groups will have the best impact on culture. Currently, we have a strong group of sergeants and we need to allow them to develop the alignment of work, goals, and purpose to fulfill the mission. We have experienced a significant amount of turnover in the past decade, which speaks to culture. If we allow the sergeants to take the lead and develop ways to enhance job satisfaction and goals, this will motivate the younger officers to realize that they can do the same thing. Allowing opportunities for personal development and growth is the foundation and building blocks to start the organizational changes need to increase recruitment and retention of personnel.
The biggest takeaways from this lesson are the ability for leaders to control and spread positive culture by leading their peers and exemplifying good behavior. It is typically believed that culture is influenced by the top-down, but middle management has more influence on the spread of culture than those at the top. Being a strong leader and inspiring your peers to do the same will create a more positive culture, at a faster rate, than command staff giving direction on how culture should be shaped. As a leader, one point really resonated with me. A leader has the ability to control and mitigate internal stress factors, which have a larger impact on employee satisfaction and perception. Having the ability to understand your employees, what life stress they may be dealing with and what their specific job stress may be, can help you as a supervisor respond to minimize additional stress.
Frank, i agree with you when you say middle management has more influence to spread the culture than from those at the top. In my agency Sergeants have a lot of influence. Officers pay attention to how they deal with stress, what they say at roll call and for the newer officers what ever Sgts say becomes their absolute truth. The problem is we have a lot of new Sergeants that are trying to get settled in their new role. There are inconsistent messages being delivered and it has created a tension amongst the squads. It's had a significant impact in achieving a positive culture. This will definitely help in developing a strategy to meet with all the Sgts to ensure we are all aligned with the mission and ensure we have the priorities of the department in sight.
Frank I agree with the statement of middle management having more influence on the spread of culture. I believe at this level you can get to know your employees on a more personal level and, like you said, understand what life stress they may be dealing with and what specific job stress they may be dealing with. At the middle leadership level we can have a great positive impact on the employees if we get "off site" with them. Get their thoughts and feedback and speak to the upper leadership about any thoughts are feedback they have. This could, for a lack of better words, give them a voice with the upper leadership and they feel more involved and more engaged.
Middle management in my experience does have more influence of the spread of culture. Prior to this lecture I did not understand that “culture” is what was being managed or groomed by middle management, or that is what I was attempting to accomplish as the middle management buffer between the command staff and the men and woman that work for me. Being humble and listening have always been two attributes that I have tried to lead with being in middle management. Listening to the team members working in my command and delivering their feedback to the upper management has truly affected their work performance because it has given them a voice, and goals to work towards.
This module topic has been incredibly relevant for me as I have been tasked over the past year to dissect the culture. We've been struggling over the past two years with many significant issues, directly relating to a wide-spread culture problem. Thus, while I still believe we were on the right track, this module offered additional perspectives and ideas to integrate in the overhaul. I do believe culture is contagious. We have all been a part of either the good or bad side of it. A lateral refocus of all personnel at all ranks, clearly makes sense.
With my department, a culture has set in where some officers pretty much park and wait for in progress calls to come in. Kinda like firefighters with a gun. One would think these would be the officers with 25 years on the job and PFL (Patrol for Life), and you'd be correct. However, we are seeing it as well with the Millennial generation. With 70% of the workforce being Millennials, the portion of how to change the culture at your agency really caught my attention. With all our sergeants being Gen X, they don't have the tools to communicate with this new generation. One thing I'm going to try to implement is a supervisor class on communicating with the Millennial generation, and really focus on how we align the Millennial's work, goals, and purpose. This may account for why this new generation is parking and waiting for a call to come in, rather than looking for work. Our sergeants are not doing a good enough job outlining the Millennial's work, their goals, and their purpose.
Brian, it's unfortunate that your Department is struggling with this problem. I would suspect that most departments experience it to some degree, but the degree to which it is present may vary greatly from one department to another. Our Department has intermittently endured similar challenges in the past, but at this time I do not believe that it is a significant problem for us. I believe that first and foremost, our on-going efforts to build a positive, professional culture are the biggest difference maker for us. Within those efforts, we regularly reinforce our mission statement, core values and vision, both in words and more importantly through action. I believe that it is this reinforcement of our core values, especially "integrity" (i.e. do the right thing at all times) and "accountability" (i.e. hold yourself and others accountable to our mission, values and vision) that has helped to reduce this problem at our Department as we find that our officers are now holding each other accountable to perform their duties at a high level.
Definitely agree and see the same response from the new(er) generation of street cops. The "firefighter" response is definitely become the culture. I often need to have discussions with officers after they believe they are done with their shift once they've made an arrest. Also seeing the problem as this generational mindset absorbs the supervisor rank.
Brian, this is an interesting trend and one that is not unique to your department. Our agency has become quite busy and on my shift at least, there is not much time for proactive police work. I do find that these Millenials CAN in fact be motivated to be proactive and it has to deal with the WIIFM mentality (whats in it for me). Most of them have goals and aspirations which can be used to motivate them to do more than just respond to calls for service. Most of them are also motivated by "fanny patting" (not literally of course) but in the manner in which they are motivated by verbal recognition in a group of their peers. Sometimes a simple "great job on that dope arrest last night" gets them looking to gain more of that attention. Strange and it is not what you and I are used to, but some of these things seem to work at least at my agency.
The biggest takeaway for me from the Pew Research Center survey is that 1) inadequate training; 2) poor communication; and 3) a lack of respect for the individual and their colleagues are the biggest stressors in the law enforcement workplace. I had previously believed that stress caused by external factors such as risk and politics played a greater role in creating the environment present within many Departments, and felt somewhat limited in my ability to respond to this challenge as we have limited control over such external influences. The significance of these results is that we, as leaders, have near-total control over each of the areas highlighted in the Pew survey, and therefore, have the opportunity to take immediate, meaningful steps to create a more positive professional culture in our workplace
I agree that it was surprising to see satisfaction levels so low among newer officers. Creating a positive culture is very difficult both on the larger scale of an entire department and on a smaller scale of individual work groups. Although, when examining typical police culture for new officers, they are often mistreated, even hazed, and expected to do a significant amount of work with minimal breaks. They are often disrespected and mistreated as a right of passage. But this approach is , in context of this section, absurd and counterproductive when the goal is to establish a positive culture in a department. New officers treated in this manner lack ownership which likely results in a lack of caring about the job and decreased productivity.
I agree that it is critically important to set expectations of all personnel very early in their careers. It is equally as important to keep a pulse on the manner in which our new personnel are treated. Taking responsibility for ensuring a positive culture in our organizations by taking ownership of our own behaviors and leading by example are important to maintain the desired professional environment.
I am not seeing or hearing of mistreatment or hazing at my department, but what I'm seeing is a sense of entitlement from this new generation. I get the feeling the reason there is no ownership, is because the law enforcement career for the Millennial generation is not a calling, it's a job. They're not invested and if doesn't work out, oh well, they'll go try their hand at something else.
Brian agree with you the Millennial generation has sense of entitlement. The Millennial's have no loyalty to the department and they only think about the now and not the future.
I agree with your post, some of the departments have majority of millennial's only. That is a very true statement that it's just a job to them, but they don't understand and realize it takes more to endure this job as a police officer. It takes passion and dedication. I totally agree with this response.
You are exactly right! We are experiencing the same at our agency. This is not a career for them but a job. They are not invested and some are moving from department to department looking for exactly what they want in an employer. The loyalty to a department and sense of belonging seems to be lost on this generation. One of the things we have noticed is their desire to work a structured job with uninterrupted time off. As we know, this is not a Monday to Friday eight to five kind of job. We have officers who will not come in on an off day when we are short staffed, need extra officers, etc., which results at times in having our least senior officers (who are consistently forced in by seniority) being burned out from working multiple off days.
Kyle, you are right on point. Our job is to break this cycle of the "right of passage." We have too much invested in our new employees, at all classifications, to allow this to continue. We all remember our best and worst FTO. This speaks volumes and we need to end this draconian practice.
I am glad to see that "hazing" has stopped being the norm. I recall when I started with the agency having to eat a sandwich in the car because the FTO refused to have a rookie sitting with him at the diner. Although I am only in charge of a hand full of officers, I have tried to create a positive culture among them. I wish I had the ability to make positive change in a larger scale within the organization.
The lecture regarding culture in law enforcement agencies was a bit eye-opening after the discussion of statistics. I was surprised to see the low percentages for job satisfaction, especially for officers with less than 5 years on the job. This is a long career to make it through - but it would be even more difficult knowing that the vast majority of officers with less than 5 years on the job are ALREADY not satisfied. The importance of establishing and maintaining a positive culture in your organization is critical, not just for the employees, but also for the community being served. If an officer is not happy in their job, there is no doubt is will affect the manner in which they perform this job in the public. I believe that we all have a responsibility, no matter what level in the organization, to contribute to a positive culture. This can be accomplished by having the right mindset and looking for ways in which to improve processes, improve performance, and improve oneself. As the lecture stated, culture travels laterally so it is important to start with YOU and work to influence those around you. Ownership is critical to authenticity - we must own our mistakes and genuinely work to make ourselves and others around us better.
Nancy, I agree with your post. It is our responsibility to try and change the mindset of everyone who wears this uniform to become leaders. We must be accountable for our mistakes and correct the culture that has been created from the neglect of leadership within the law enforcement profession. We need to set up our organizations for success, so that the future leaders can continue the successes we leave behind.
I also found it very discouraging to discover there was such a low percentage of job satisfaction. I agree as leaders we are responsible to find ways to improve processes and improve performance. We must be accountable to those that have been on the job for a number of years to help change a mindset, get them enthusiastic once more, and develop them as leaders. However, we can lose sight of the new recruit’s development.
I have seen this. I think that they new officers with this attitude are mirroring the attitudes of senior officers, who should be leaders. We must ensure that our leaders and senior officers are leading by example, because they will be followed by the newer officers. I definitely agree with the presentation that the culture starts at the top.
It used to bother me to hear four, five year officers or deputies complaining about being dissatisfied. Some of it was because of the judicial system, Some of it was a different generation disagreeing or at odds with some of the laws they were expected to enforce, but the majority of their complaints were supervision and lack of leadership. These classes and lectures need to be available to officers and deputies BEFORE the are put in a supervisor position.