Command and Staff Program

Versatility Skills

Replies
369
Voices
194
Dr. Mitch Javidi
Instructions:  
  1. Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module.  Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
  2. After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them. 
  • Brian Johnson

    I will discuss Skill # 58, Assessment of Leadership skills and #59, Coach other leaders. Personally, I believe the law enforcement profession (at least in California) is experiencing an incredible leadership void because of the tremendous amount of retirements from the Baby Boomer generation. Moreover, California is experiencing a higher than normal turnover with Police Chiefs. In addition, we have witnessed the impact at all levels within our departments. As another example, our FTOs have less experience, training, and leadership skills; and we are seeing this same issue with our first-line supervisors, for both sworn and professional staff. This has required leaders within every department to create a plan to develop, mentor, and provide on the job training at the various ranks to address this leadership void. To be successful, leaders need to develop younger leaders to help support the growth and development while ensuring we maintain the high standards, build community trust, and implement the necessary changes to optimize operational efficiency and effectiveness.

    I would offer the following key areas that require law enforcement to continue to develop our skills and effectiveness: 1. Crime Prevention, Traffic Safety, and Quality of Life Issues, 2. Community Engagement and Trust, 3. Risk Management Mitigation, 4. Employee wellness and wellbeing, 5. Leadership Development. The concept of the Rule of 5 should be applied to each of these areas. Retired Police Chief, Mark Garcia develops his leadership capacity by using his Rule of 5: "Every day I read, scan, listen, file and think," for personal leadership development. The first person you lead is yourself!

    • Chris Corbin

      Brian - Our Department is also beginning to see the impact of lost institutional knowledge and skill created by retirements, although fortunately, at this point, it has not been severe. Ironically, in line with your suggestion, our Department recently developed a strategic plan containing the following four organizational priorities: 1) Employee Wellness and Development; 2) Disruption of Crime; 3) Community Engagement; and 4) Quality of Life Issues. One of the main reasons behind our placing Employee Wellness and Development at the top of our list is our realization that we must provide the very best in training and professional development to our staff in order to best prepare our team for the many challenges, both internal and external, that are destined to present themselves in the coming months and years.

    • Joey Prevost

      In my agency, there was an idea to transfer the most senior pf each rank in an effort to re-acclimate those nearing promotion. Logistically, it was immediately noticed that this would decimate every specialized section within the department and we hadn't trained up new leaders to be waiting to fill those positions. The plan had to mostly be put on hold and we are playing catch up now as a result.

    • Eduardo Palomares

      Hello Brian. I agree with you about the law enforcement profession experiencing a void in California. While retirements are a big factor, I also believe agencies are growing rapidly and can’t withstand the growth of hiring new personnel. It is true that Sergeants and FTOs have less time, less experience and lack leadership skills. I have seen FTOs with 1 year on the job and Sgts with 2 years on. I don’t really agree with this because other leaders such as senior officers and other Sergeants have to train and mentor them to close the void. I hope to work my peers to institute a leadership mentoring program for my agency to assist those inspiring leaders in developing to those positions. I also agree with the areas you alluded to that required continuous development. In my opinion, Officer wellness and leadership are key to close the void.

      • Major Willie Stewart

        Eduardo, I have seen the same in my department. We have Lt. with less than 2 years of experience. I feel there should be certain time put in for you to move up into rank. This has really dropped the morale.

        • Major,
          I have also seen this in my office. We have FTO's that are training new deputies with less than 3 years experience themselves. I have spoken with some more season deputies that are FTOs and they state that they didn't feel comfortable with the job until they had 5 years on, let alone training someone in our field of work.

          • Paul Brignac III

            Like your departments, we have the same thing occurring at my department. The challenge we face is that most senior employees advance or promote to other divisions. It has been very difficult for example to find individuals who wish to stay in our patrol division long enough to gain the experience we would like them to have before training others. I guess it is a case of supply and demand.

          • Miranda Rogers

            I am willing to say the majority of police agencies across the nation struggle with a high rate of turnover and/or senior officers promoting outside of patrol. I see the need to develop a coaching and mentoring program for entry-level officers to better prepare them for their new role, which may help build their confidence and enthusiasm for their work, thus keeping them longer.

          • Jack Gilboy

            Troy, this is very true. The turnover rate within our patrol division is so high, they have dropped the threshold and started allowing people to become FTO's with one year of experience. They are also allowing people to advance to a supervisor position after just two years.

  • Kyle Turner

    Taking proactive steps toward intentional development of leadership skills is difficult at best. It requires a person to be open to critical feedback and implementation of change. Organizations investing the time and energy in bringing this information and process to their leadership would benefit significantly. It would generate future leaders from within the organization as well as allow exceptional development and growth by those that would be open to the process, further benefiting the organization.

    • Monte Potier

      I agree with the level of difficulty of both receiving feedback and the implement of change. Those are the two hardest things for someone to do. But a lot of times the feedback is not meant to hurt, just simply feedback. If more leaders wold listen to the feedback it would make them better leaders.

    • Frank Acuna

      Kyle,

      Accepting critical feedback is difficult, but often gives you the drive to break down barriers and change perceptions. Early on in my career, I learned that It was better to have someone pull me aside and tell me what I needed to fix, rather than going about my day thinking everything is great. I can't fix, what I don't know is broken.

      Frank

      • Drauzin Kinler

        I agree with Frank. It is critical to accept feedback. Although you may not like what you hear on occasions, it is required to be able to self-improve. It is a tough pill to swallow when you do things for years, and no one ever addresses that they have a problem with it. It is always at that time when you are up for promotion or transfer to another division that those types of things get brought up. As Frank stated, you can't fix the issue if you are never informed that one exists.

        • I agree with both of you. I will add the times it was hard for me to accept critical feedback were typically due to one of three things: I thought I was doing a good job and had not heard otherwise until a problem arose; the manner in which the feedback was delivered; and lastly when it can from a supervisor I didn't respect, especially if they were trying to coach on something they have shown not to use their own advice with (do what I say, not what I do). However, the blow has been cushioned when the feedback is felt from a mentoring standpoint. One of my pet peeves is to hear supervisors talking about an employee with performance issues and they haven't taken the time to talk to or work with the employee. When you ask them if they have at a minimum talked to the employee to try to understand where the disconnect is, you get a blank stare. And typically, I would get the same stare when you ask how is the employee supposed to know if you haven't talked to them. This module could help them work through that...or help me help them.

    • Nancy Franklin

      Kyle I agree that it is important for organizations to be proactive and intentional in the development of leaders. This must begin with our line-level personnel because as others have stated above, the baby-boomers are retiring and taking with them institutional knowledge and life experience. Before this generation of leaders retire, it is important that they work to intentionally impart their knowledge, experiences and skill development to others for succession planning to occur.

    • I think leadership skills are often overlooked. I think that this is something that should be a long term goal and should be well thought out. There are many steps that need to be taken to become a good leader and you certainly can't rush that. The more focus that an organization puts on helping employees reach those steps, the better off they will be in the future. People want to have a goal that they work towards, and being a leader is often one of them at their job.

      • Deana Hinton

        Kari, I agree with you that leadership development is on-going and not something that is mastered after a few classes. There should be a structured and long term program that is presented in phases and tailored to each individual based on what they need to be successful. I have never seen this type of investment in any agency I have worked for. I think with some careful thought and planning it could be a game changer.

  • Monte Potier

    After watching the lecture I learned I really need to strengthen my skill of learning to do better people reading. I believe this lack of reading people comes from my military background where you were given orders and just where expected to get them done. The leaders I had in the military didn't bother to read people, they gave you the order and din't really care how you perceived it. Know that I have learned the skill I will implement it so I will be able to enhance my leadership credibility.

    • Dan Sharp

      I agree with you and am in the same mindset. This is something that i believe is even more important now than ever with the many different generations in the business. Not everyone responds to or intake information the same. We must be able to switch roles and adjust to best get the information across and create trust and credibility.

  • Frank Acuna

    Having a Leadership Development Plan is crucial to developing your own personal leadership skills. By improving your own skills, you can be a better mentor and help others build their own Leadership Development Plans. My primary goal as a leader in our organization is to help develop the future leaders of the department. I will be a blip on the radar within my organization's timeline, but the future leaders of the organization are working for me. If we can impact them and motivate them to develop their own leadership skills, they can ensure the organization continues to seek our Vision of Organizational Excellence.

    Frank

    • Brian Johnson

      Frank, having your own plan demonstrates your willingness to learn and be a more effective leader. Developing other leaders is hard work, but very rewarding. Keep up the great work!

  • Chris Corbin

    For many years, I have worked to help others understand the concept that leadership is built on a combination of skill and character (virtue), and that if either is lacking, so too will the leadership. I was excited to learn about the formula that was presented to describe this concept (C x S = L) as I believe that it will help me to better coach others in this very important principle. Additionally, I really like the concept of a formal Continuous Improvement Team. While we occasionally ask that our employees collaborate to propose improvements to our operations, we have not formalized the process. Forming an actual team would 1) speak to the importance of continual improvement; 2) increase ownership is the effort; and 3) improve our outcomes.

  • Nancy Franklin

    This module reinforced lessons learned in the previous modules and built upon that foundation to give us a better understanding of the importance of developing versatility skills. It is important to understand not only our own personal styles, but also the style of others with whom we work and interact. As leaders we must be able to understand how our own style influences our thoughts and actions, and additionally, how the styles of others drive their behaviors. Having knowledge of and the ability to differentiate styles allows us to shift the role we as leaders play in genuinely influencing and developing the skills of others to achieve organizational goals. Coaching others at all levels to develop their skills and leadership abilities is critical to succession planning for any organziation.

    • Dan Wolff

      Nancy Franklin,
      Definitely see your point and enjoyed reading your response. This goes back to knowing your people and like you stated knowing yourself. Being able to match the needs of your team and organization is a practice we all can get better at. As the module stated, seeing what predominant style the team or organization prefers and shifting into those roles can build credibility and effectiveness. (skill #50).

    • Lance Landry

      I agree these lessons built on Dr. Anderson’s foundation. As a young leader I learned one particular style of leadership did not work for everyone under my command. I had to adjust my approaches to different persons based on different personality traits. This module solidified that principal.

  • Dan Wolff

    As I reviewed this module it made me reflect on the many hats I have wore over my military career and current law enforcement career. Each day is something different whether in the organization or your team and identifying which role, style and skill shifting skill is needed is vital. To identify how you should react utilizing these skills is essential in team and organization enhancement. Also, recognizing what stages your team is in(forming, storming, norming, performing and celebrating) is something I remember from my military time but forgot about it until this module. A refresher was needed to take this tool and utilize it in my current situation. Lastly, for some reason our organization stopped the requirement for mandatory evaluations on employees/subordinates. So, as we go along in our daily duties what message am I sending with out feedback from my team and vice versa?

  • Jarod Primicerio

    The content in this module is useful and a good reminder for me to do a better job at reading my people. I have tried over the past couple of years to be attentive in this arena and delegate/assign projects and tasks accordingly. I realize that when the heat is turned up and timelines become shortened, they are simply assigned on a rotational basis. Thus, by not reading the person appropriately, whether they are task driven or relationship driven, often hinders the progress and causes additional unnecessary conflict.

    • Jason Porter

      I too have tried to be more attentive and delegate responsibilities to those that are looking for a challenge. Being able to count on a job getting done in a timely manner and correctly is crucial in our business. I still have a ways to go as far as letting go of everything and trusting my staff to get it done.

  • Drauzin Kinler

    As an effective leader, the 12 Versatility skills are important in developing my skills to assist me in the changing characteristics of individuals, teams, and my organization. By understanding my style, it will assist with helping me adapt to the appropriate style and role needed to handle a particular situation. It is also important to be able to recognize the individual's needs in order to provide the best response. In addition, I believe that another benefit mentioned in this module is the cross-functional continuous improvement team as this would assist in making change easy to deal with, since those who are affected by the change at least have a voice in the matter.

    • Lance Leblanc

      Drauzin, I agree, by understanding my style of supervision I can adjust it to adapt to the proper situation. The cross-functional improvement team is definitely a good idea when comes to making changes.

    • Travis Linskens

      Drauzin,

      I agree. I also like the cross functional continuous improvement team concept. In my department we currently use a variation of this idea by developing teams to assist administration with making decisions and implementing new ideas. We've found a much higher acceptance level when allow people engage with the beginning stages of any change.

  • Joey Prevost

    I think it is important to start off by assessing your our personal style so that you know where to go from there in dealing with others. It makes sense to me that you then need to read other people to get an idea of what role you need to shift into and what preferences people have. I notice in this lecture that the Continuous Improvement Team keeps being stressed and I see the importance of that in an organization. I also see the importance of a leader conducting a 360 to get feedback on their performance.

    • Judith Estorge

      I agree that a good beginning is to assess your own personal style. It is important to have a starting point with a final location in mind. The CIT indicates the importance of a clear signal to everyone in the team.

    • Jennifer Hodgman

      Joey I couldn't agree with you more that assessing our own personal style is imperative for a starting point when looking at where you need to go from. In reading other people one needs to know our own style so are more equipped to shift skills or roles

  • Jason Porter

    The versatility of a leader can never be underestimated. Being able to adapt to situations that arise with your team or with people you interact with is a necessary trait. The ever changing atmosphere of law enforcement whether it is on patrol, in the corrections setting or just interacting with the public requires versatility. The turnover that happens inside the department requires versatility to the ever changing personalities that come and go.

    • Chasity Arwood

      I agree with you. Versatility of a leader is very important as situations can change rapidly.

    • David Cupit

      i agree that it is important to be able to adapt to situations that arise with your team. It requires versatility to interact with the public and the situations that come up everyday.

    • Laurie Mecum

      Very good point. Our population is getting younger and younger. Same thing we learned back in the Generations module, versatility applies here too.

      • Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

        I agree with you Laurie, as our officers get younger our present leaders need to become for versatile. If they want to be successful leaders, that is.

    • ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

      I agree with that and I would add, they need to be a multi-tasker as well. They must be knowledgeable in all areas.

    • Lt. Mark Lyons

      I agree. Versatility is a must in this line of work. Situations officers respond to (or react to) are constantly evolving. Being versatile in your ability to read others, while at the same time reading your environment is challenging for most.

    • Stephanie Hollinghead

      Jason, I agree. Over the past 5 years, I have seen more turnover in my department than ever before. The fact that law enforcement is changing and the officers who are coming into the profession are younger and of different generations, the skill of versatility is very important for leaders to acquire.

  • Mike Brown

    Jason I agree with your post that the versatility of a leader can never be underestimated. This thing called law enforcement will never stay the same. With new technologies, new laws and younger minds it's an ever changing environment.

  • Lance Leblanc

    After watching the video lecture skills #49 Assessing Your Own Personal style and #50 Learn to do Better People Reading resonates with me. The importance of personal style assessments and style-shifting approaches that match the needs of others are extremely important in my opinion. To me, this coincides with reading your people. After you are able to read your people you can make the necessary adjustments in your supervision.

    • Brian Lewis

      I agree Lance; being able to read your people is vital. What I see with a lot in leadership, including myself, is that when you read someone and can tell they are not happy with you or the situation, we fail to engage them as to why. I'm going to try to interact more when I notice this so that they will see that I care about their opinion as well.

  • Chasity Arwood

    After this lecture, I realized that i have to do a better job a people reading. I have to remember that some employees have different style preferences. Giving orders without an explanation does not work for all types of employees.

    • Magda Fernandez

      Chasity, I agree with you, My thought was the same as I went through this module. I also have to remember that i have to be flexible and do a better job reading people. I have to remember one way is not suitable for all employees and for some i have to really have patience and take the time to explain things to where they understand. People understand differently and once you understand how they learn it is easier to communicate. The challenge is figuring it out and knowing how to deliver the message.

  • David Cupit

    It is essential to understand your own style to be able to assess others to plan for future development as you coach and mentor your team.

  • Brian Lewis

    Skill #49 really resonated with be in this module. I've definitely needed reevaluate my personal style with my current leadership role. Understanding my personal style will help me be more approachable by both sworn and civilian staff. Also, getting out of your comfort zone and interacting more with others will get them to know the real side of you.

    • Clint Patterson

      Brain, skill 49, also resonated with me. I have established a comfort zone within my style and leadership role, as well. I have realized that I must be willing to shift to meet people’s needs and demands of our evolving environment. I also want to work on my predisposed perceptions by eliminating pigeonholing things that I don’t know much about

  • Magda Fernandez

    This module talked about versatility skills. I found it to be very informative as it talks about being considerate and understanding to other people’s styles and how the unique tendencies of other people is a critical factor in transformational leadership. I agree on how they presented the criticality, versatility and appropriate response to people. We can not confuse a person’s personal style or preference with their intelligence, their values and character. We cannot pigeonhole them or label them based on our perceptions of their style or preferences. I also agree that increasing our emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills specifically improving our skills in reading people will help with developing a more cohesive team that builds trust and comradery and works more effectively together.

  • Judith Estorge

    Skill 50 registered with me. This is a skill I want to improve. Confusing a person's personal style because of their perceived intelligence or communication skills is wrong and unfair to that person. It is important to know how a person prefers to communicate and be aware of their individual style.

    • Henry Dominguez

      I agree. I also liked the questions they gave to help with identifying a person's personal style. By utilizing this skill will only help with building better communication with people throughout ones deparment.

  • Henry Dominguez

    As in the other skills being taught in previous modules, it is reinforcing the fact that we need to make sure to learn to stop looking or only focusing on ourselves and focus on other peoples styles in order to build better communication. Skill #50 really caught me in regard to be able to better read a person as to not judge them due to their own personal style.

  • Clint Patterson

    As leaders, we do not have to be charming or attractive. However, we must be competent in shifting to meet the vigorous needs of our people and the changes in demand for a rapidly moving environment. Assessing your own personal style is crucial because most people are predisposed from the time of birth and conditioned throughout life on their perceptions. By having such conditioning, strong influences, and responses to the rapidly moving environment around us, sometimes we assign those needs and changes to particular rigid categories. This results in us “pigeonholing” those needs and changes, especially without knowing much about them. We should further avoid putting those needs and changes aside for future consideration.

    • Christian Johnson

      Absolutely, Clint.

      Constantly assessing ourselves, getting to know the personal style of those looking to us for guidance and shifting our own styles to meet them is going to strengthen our teams greatly.

  • Laurie Mecum

    The skills learned in these modules reinforces how someone’s personal style should not be confused with their intelligence, skills or values. We should understand everyone will have differences and not put them into a certain category based upon that.

    • Amanda Pertuis

      Agreed Laurie! We should also let everyone state their opinions even though we may not agree.

    • In this module we learn that regardless of what we do, it gives the ability to pay it forward to our younger personnel. We owe it to guide and teach the younger LEO's what being a leader entails and how we can make ourselves better by lifelong learning and education.

      • Samantha Reps

        I agree, mentoring and shaping the organization for the future is a something we owe the agency. We should be mentoring our younger staff and encouraging leadership courses sooner.

  • Amanda Pertuis

    This module made me realize how important it is to assess and improve my own leadership skills as well as those of co-workers. It gave some great suggestions and I like the idea of a 360.

  • Roanne Sampson

    I learned about the 12 versatility skills in this module. I also learned about embracing diversity helps others respond to changes in others. Style shifting, role shifting and skill shifting help meet the needs of individuals. We also need to know our own personal style When assessing and shifting into a role, we can use communication, counseling and consulting. I learned about the five stages of development in recognizing and facilitating. Stage one is design. The second stage is making a transition while stage three is building and doing work. The fourth stage is transitioning from entrepreneurial leadership to professional leadership. The fifth stage is learning from feedback. After every event my team has, we have a debriefing and get lots of feedback. This helps us correct minor errors before the next event. My team and I also developed our vision statement. We just need to create an abstract and an action plan for starters.

    • McKinney

      Like you mentioned in your discussion statement that we may need to find approaches when dealing with certain individual’s behaviors and or needs through; Style shifting, role shifting, and skill shifting. I consider myself to be knowledgeable and informed on monitoring my behavior when addressing other individuals, but I do know that everyone is not the same, and we must be adaptable by using techniques (styles shift, role shift, and skill shift) to enable us to communicate better with others.

  • Christian Johnson

    Once again, Doctor Anderson has given us much to think about and work on.

    Initially, my main focus for improvement will be on Skill 50: Learn to do Better people-Reading.

    While I have taken the time to learn all about my personnel, their families, their likes and dislikes, their goals, etc. I have never truly looked at their style. I'll be doing that by using several methods laid out in this module and work on shifting my own style as needed to be a better fit for them.

    • David Ehrmann

      You may actually be looking at their style but not realized it or put a name to it. For example, I’m sure you have certain deputies who, when you need to address an issue with them, respond better to being explained the situation whereas you have others who respond better to you being blunt with them.

    • Brad Strouf

      I agree. I have always considered myself skilled at reading people. This Module has taught me that even if my skills are honed, they can always be better. I really appreciated this portion of the learning.

  • David Ehrmann

    This module was interesting in how it discussed the way leaders need to shift into specific roles to meet better the needs of the team or those who they are coaching. One interesting take away I found was the shifting into the supervisor role was the last thing you want to do. I agree with this; however have seen time and time again supervisors always putting on that “supervisor hat” to get things accomplished, which, as we just learned, is the least effective way possible.

    • Rocco Dominic, III

      As supervisor we have to be mentors, coaches, counselors at any given time. Putting on the "supervisor hat" to get things accomplishes tells me there is a disconnect with that person and he/she may need coaching, counseling or removal from team.

    • Lieutenant John Champagne

      It seems as though when the supervisor hat has to come on is when the team stopped respecting the supervisors' orders, or the supervisor is becoming more of a friend. I see this in smaller units like narcotics sections.

  • Rocco Dominic, III

    In this module I found the areas in need to work on to get my personnel up to speed is Skill #50 learn to read people better. Perfecting this could allow me to better judge my personnel and assist with learning their style and which role they may fit into.

    • Royce Starring

      I agree this is needed because we deal with many different personalities, whether it is with supervisors or subordinates.

  • Royce Starring

    Versatility skills are very helpful in law enforcement. Skill 51 and 52 assessment and shifting roles is one of the traits the is needed. When dealing with different calls and personalities we need to assess and shift into the role to help resolve the situation.

    • Donnie

      I didn’t really catch on to this skill until you put it in that perspective. This is a complex task to see through all while trying to maintain your bearing. It’s not impossible to be in all three roles at one time when dealing with one individual depending on the nature and the dynamics of the call. This interaction can cause you to go from communicator to counselor to consultant in an instant.

  • Lance Landry

    Leaders, that are successful in law enforcement, are inherently versatile in most tasks outside of leadership. Dr. Anderson dove into a whole host of skills that I personally could benefit by their use. By tapping this skill set, I will be able to add more tools to my leadership tool belt.

  • Donnie

    This module taught me to read people with better understanding that they have their own characteristics that help define the team and then the organization as a whole. The generation gaps between the Baby Boomers and Millennials can hinder this important quality. Understanding that my own style sometimes needs to shift in order to communicate with the younger generation, is a well learned task.

    • Burke

      I agree. Being able to shift your style of leadership and they way communicate can be hard when dealing with a much younger generation.

    • jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

      Sometimes its hard no matter what generation you may be dealing with, to change your style or approach. However I see the value in being able to adapt and change your style or role. As supervisors we sometimes fail to shift our style because we want our message to be perceived the same by everyone.

    • Adam Gonzalez

      Very well said! I to have later reviewed how I have handled a situation and noticed that I was more focused on my view and perception while at the same time stunting the growth of the person in my own mind by my narrow perception of their limitations and assumed weaknesses because of age and generation. This is something that I have had to make a very distinct and repeated effort to not further replicate. Thank you for your post.

  • Burke

    This module opened my mind about planning out strategies to influence my subordinates and coach new leaders. While I have been coaching my group, I never laid out a plan of action before. This would give me specific goals and each level and improve my ability to teach.

    • michael-beck@lpso.net

      I have also never really laid out an action plan and look forward to taking on the challenge. I think using the items in this and the other modules, developing the CIT, and getting buy-up (command), will really move my agency beyond what we currently have envisioned.

    • Justin Payer

      Burke, I also need to work on planning out strategies to influence and coach. Until this lesson, I have never thought of it in this way. Having a plan should definitely make it more effective.

    • Scott Crawford

      I never have either. I feel now that once you lay out a plan, it not only helps us as leaders, it also gives your subordinates some direction and goals to shoot for.

  • McKinney

    There was a statement made during the session. “When we interact directly with our members, it allows us to create a relationship which interns reveal ourselves to others.” I like the principle of this thought and know this to be true. I also think that we must be able to shift our approach with others because of differential behavioral styles. Leaders, supervisors, and managers must be adaptable to find a style that is effective for his or her team.

    • Major Stacy Fortenberry

      I agree that we need to be able to know ourselves and then know others. then we can adopt the correct way to communicate in order to obtain the best results.

    • chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

      I agree, because after reading the different versatility skills, we have to adapt and create our own style. We just have to make sure with these skills we are adapting to the needs of people and adapting to the environment to assist our organization.

  • jbanet@bossiersheriff.com

    In this module I really like the discussion about Skill 58: Leadership SKills to Help Yourself and Others. This skill is something I will strive to work on in my leadership style and journey. Being able to assist myself and someone else develop as a leader should be a more focused area of mine. I particularly liked the example of the Sergeant who was going up for a promotion and used his own Leadership Development plan before his promotion to Lt. I will definitely be using that approach in the future.

  • Lieutenant John Champagne

    I enjoyed the module and need to work on learning to be a better people reader. I feel I have a good read on my team since we are a small team. The issue comes with the general public. We spend most of our time reading the criminal element, body language, felony yawn, etc. I feel like I can do better a better job of reading the average complainant regardless of age.

    • cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

      I’m just the opposite from you John. I spend most of my time in the office so I don’t get to read the criminal element. I need to spend more time reading the men and women I work with.

  • Major Stacy Fortenberry

    Environmental scanning lesson was thought provoking. We had a recent retirement that leaves a huge void in this area. This one member seemed to be the person who payed attention to current affairs and researched them in how they would effect law enforcement and our agency well into the future. I'm not sure I can fill this void but I can be a catalyst for the discussion in the department about the issue.

    • I have heard the comment "Everyone is Replaceable" for too often in my career. While it is true that the position is replaceable, the quality and experience is not. Too often we don't appreciate what we have until it is gone. I also have taken a firm hold of the concept it is my job to train my replacement. I have seen where a retirement is known of well in advance, yet the position is not even opened until days or weeks after the person leaves. I feel this is shortsightedness on the part of the leadership to plan for the future.

      • mtroscla@tulane.edu

        Good point, if you lose the wrong person, decades of experience go out the window with no way to get it back. So frequently people are not secure in their own position and fear passing too much experience on to their subordinates lest they be prematurely replaced.

    • cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

      It's something to always look at. We can't do everything and some things we are not even good at. It is important to make sure we have people to fill positions that people will be leaving.

  • The understanding of team concepts and the importance of team involvement is often overlooked. A strong leader is great, but if they do not have the buy-in and support of the team, they will not be successful. It was also refreshing to see the emphasis on the leadership style being fluid and needing to be in response to the team and plans being addressed. It is also important that leaders understand their own leadership skills. Reaching out to other leaders to become more effective is a great strategy. I think many leaders fail to take advantage of this because of their own ego. I have also taken not of the many references to a "Continuous Improvement Team." While I know my agency couldn't have this team as a separate position, I definitely see the benefit of putting this together.

    • dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree with the importance of the team involvement is overlooked. I strive to have my team buy-in and we seem to enjoy some success. But we like everyone else are always looking to improve.

    • mmoscona@floodauthority.org

      I was drawn to the first part of your comment. I honestly never considered my watch as a true team. Every officer works individually and we come together for roll call and end of shift. I think I want to look at this more closely to see how I can incorporate some of these skills to turn my watch into a team.

  • chasity.sanford@stjohnsheriff.org

    The learning in module 11, tells us about our different varies of versatility skills. It helps us develop our own style and become more responsive to the unique and changing characteristics of individuals, teams and organizations. As leaders we do not necessarily have to be charismatic. Just effective in shifting to meet the dynamic needs of people and the changing demands of the environment.

  • mtroscla@tulane.edu

    If you learn how to self evaluate, it will help you become better at reading others and in turn responding and interacting with them effectively.

    • steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

      I would like to find a more in-depth training on self evaluation. seems to be a difficult thing to do in my case.

  • cbeaman@ascensionsheriff.com

    I like skill #50 Learn to do better, People Reading. This is a skill I need to do better on. In my younger days i was a pretty good people reader. As the years went by it has become harder and harder for me to read people. It’s not directly related to my age but more so me not talking the time to talk and observe people.

  • michael-beck@lpso.net

    This module made me think about the number of hats we wear as supervisors and how we need to have them all at our disposal at any given time. The part about how we interchangeably use them on calls for service made me realize how often it is I change, not only while dealing with citizens, but just in conversations with those with whom I work. Another take-away was the personality assessment for personal style. I realized how much of an action (behavioral) person I am, but that I also practice a lot of cognitive (analytic) styles of leadership. I definitely need to work on the other two, interpersonal and affective, in order to become a more rounded person. My main styles manifest themselves in the way I communicate with everyone because it is the way I wish to be spoken to. I need to be more cognizant of the fact that every person has a different style of learning and interpreting and change accordingly.

    • sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

      I agree on the number of hats we wear, but also how fast we have to constant change the hats continuously to match the situation we find ourselves in.

  • sid.triche@stjohnsheriff.org

    Skill 50- Learn to be a better people reader. This skill crucial skill at the beginning of ones career for any encounters with persons on the street and within the group/ shift dynamic. Also Skill 49- Assessing your own personal style its important to your personal leadership style and knowing when its time to shift to other skills when the situation demands it.

  • As we talk about skill #59, we have to look at the role of our FTO Program. They are "hidden" coaches that play a vital role in the training process. I often feel the time we are short on the FTO, and we just toss any employee in the job to fill it. When, in fact, these are the lowest level coaches that mentor our new employees.

    As leaders, we also can not be afraid to reach out to our mentors for coaching help. I think one of the best things that I did as a young chief was to establish a strong coaching network of senior commanders who are available to help me at all times. These influential coaches helped me grow and vent when I needed it. They always seemed to have the answers when I needed help to get back on my path.

    As leaders, we must be versatile, and this was a great lecture series to help us grow.

    • guttuso_fa@jpso.com

      We saw the problems with the FTO issue in our department and have since retooled it. Now, we have deputies put in an "application" to become a FTO. The thought process is that it is them stepping up to take on the role of FTO and not being forced into the spot. It is not a perfect system as from time to time there are still those who are put through the class who don't necessarily want to be there. This has improved our program because we are now getting deputies who want to be FTOs instead of being forced into the position by their rank.

    • Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

      I agree that we must not overlook the first level coaches in our FTO programs, often they are the ones giving our newest prospects their first view of our departments. By instilling leadership traits and skills in these FTO "coaches" we ensure that our department are setup in the best possible way for the future.

    • anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

      I agree. Being versatile will give us a better understanding so we can adapt to the different workers within agency

    • Robert Schei

      I agree, our FTO's are instrumental to our success. They are the first level of coaching provided to every employee and often times they are overlooked. Continuously monitoring your FTO program and carefully selecting it's members is crucial to long term training success.

      • Curtis Summerlin

        That is 100% true, FTO’s have a huge responsibility to the success of an agency. Unfortunately, my agency is in a constant state of flux like most. With growth throughout, our patrol ranks are filled with younger deputies with little experience. We average around 2 or 3 years per deputy at this time. As a stop gap, we currently have a program where we are temporary returning more experienced officers to the road training new hires on a phase-by-phase basis. We would rather wait and develop deputy’s in patrol longer than throw them into an FTO role before they are ready.

    • Brent Olson

      Scott,

      It is nice to hear (I apologize as I know how that sounds) that other departments are struggling with the same thing. I am a supervisor for our FTO program and we have had many conversations around FTO selection. We have many FTO's who have been working for our department for (2) or (3) years and they are now training new officers. We have a brief process for selection which includes submitting a letter of intent and a quick supervisor evaluation / recommendation before being put into place as an FTO. We need these young FTO's to fill our ranks for the future so we spend a lot of time developing their skills and holding training to prepare them for the role as our "coaches."

  • guttuso_fa@jpso.com

    While watching the portion on Assessing your own personal style (skill 49) I found that there were a few of parts of the section I need to improve on and assess myself. I believe that unless you truly know yourself you will not be able to understand others. A big part of being a leader is to understand those under your command. That has become very clear to me as I progress through this course.

  • cody.hoormann@stjamessheriff.com

    Assessing my personal style is something that I have never thought about. It is a good thought that we have to know how we will react with the people that serve under us and what our people's personal style's are. This is a vital part of a team and department doing well.

  • Lieutenant Dustin Jenkins

    This lesson on versatility skills was very informative, and gave me a new insight into skills needed for better development of not only my personal leadership journey but the progression of all members of my team to be leaders. It stressed that in order to be an efficient and effective leader we must be versatile and able to switch between the varying skills and roles with ease and recognize when is the right time to do so to produce the best available outcome. I am excited to being my new leadership develop and implement a plan to strengthen the needed skills.

    • dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

      It is interesting that Dr. Anderson sheds light on skills that often wish we had, we just were unclear on how to use them tactfully.

      • i also agree that over time we have all wanted to implement change but were unaware of how to develop a plan of action or what exact skills would be needed. Dr Anderson provided useful insight on how to apply the correct skills that will produce your desired outcome.

  • ereeves@cityofwetumpka.com

    This was very insightful to what we do and I didn't even realize it until completing this section. It brings out all aspects of a leadership position. If we are not looking ahead we are sitting still and becoming stagnant in an ever changing world.

  • anthony.joseph@stjamessheriff.com

    This lecture has given insight and understanding that doing assessments of leadership and the organization as a whole is vital to the growth and development of the future. This helps keep positive culture and trust between workers and the community.

  • steven.brignac@stjamessheriff.com

    With the lessons of this module I can see how important it is for leaders to obtain a coach and mentor. I have witness the private sector bring in one on one coaches to improve different leaders. I think this would be a great practice in the government side as well. I would say its a great investment in the tax payers money.

    • clouatre_kj@jpso.com

      I have never thought of officially engaging a coach or mentor to help me in my career. Althought I do have people I lean on when seeking advice this is not a very formalized process. I also agree that it is important for me to be a mentor and coach to others on my team.

  • dgros@stcharlessheriff.org

    This module provides a vast array of “tactics” on how to work as a team. Dr. Anderson elaborates very well on several best-case options to reach our targeted audience by first contacting our targeted members to be on a team to accomplish a goal. The most significant part of all of this is understanding how to be versatile in the entire process. I also enjoyed the concept of the 360 assessment. The most significant part of all of this is understanding how to be versatile in the entire process.

  • dpertuis@stcharlessheriff.org

    Out of the 12 versatility skills covered, I think all of them are important in assisting in becoming a more effective leader. People-reading is probably the one that I most feel that I need to improve on, because I believe it goes hand in hand with communication. One of the most important thing is asking questions, such as are you result-oriented or analytical, do you prefer to get information with a lot of details or getting straight to the bottom line. These types of questions being answered can give you more insight to a person's personality and thus communications become better.

    • blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

      I agree and also feel that this skill is the one that I need the most improvement. Then with a wide variety of ages and personalities, there are a lot of different variables. These types of questions, I never thought about asking to know the difference.

    • cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

      I think this skill would also help me become a better leader. I have to sometimes ask the other person what they want me to do in the conversation: do you want me to just listen, are you wanting my opinion or my professional input. I have come to realize that my input or advice isn't necessarily welcomed or appropriate.

      I also find that I sometimes allow myself to get inside my own head and do not stay centered and grounded during the conversation. I agree that this goes hand in hand with communication, both verbal and non-verbal.

  • blaurent@stcharlessheriff.org

    Learning how to be versatile and understanding the different versatility skills were insightful. While watching the module, there were several skills that I need improvement. There are questions and skills that I never thought about or knew about to apply to the workplace. These skills will improve my leadership abilities and allow me to gain more effectiveness and credibility with my officers.

    • dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

      I know one skill that I need to work on the shifting skill. I usually only stick with one style when communicating with officers and I have to work on that.

      • wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

        I agree. I only stick with one style when communicating with officers as well.

  • cvillere@stcharlessheriff.org

    I feel that I should learn to read people better. I feel that I have a good assessment of my personality: I am more task oriented, and tend to stay more introverted in a group setting unless I feel there is no clear leadership, then I try to take the reigns.

    I sometimes have to ask others in discussions, if they are coming to me to just talk, or are they wanting my input or professional advice or direction. I also think me intentionally staying centered and grounded during the interaction will help significantly in my ability to accurate read their expectations of me. In my position, sometimes the lines can be blurred a bit... I think making a more conscious effort to be more self-aware and not afraid to ask them what they are wanting will help with this.

    I am usually comfortable shifting into the communication or counseling role.

  • clouatre_kj@jpso.com

    Dr. Anderson is a wealth of knowledge. The points that he discusses around Style Shifting, Role Shifting and Skill Shifting were very informative. Again, these are skills that I possess and sometimes this shifting happens naturally. The module just makes me more aware of the specifc process that I can put in place to make this shifts more consistent and appropriate.

  • One of the versatility skill we need to work on in my department is developing leadership skills for myself and others. We often learn from the behavior and performance of people that are in a leadership role. It is important for us to have a 360 assessment done on ourselves and members of our team. Therefore, everyone can know what skills they need to improve on. It is important for us to know the perception of others to be effective leaders.

  • dlavergne@stcharlessheriff.org

    I think that we don't coach other leaders enough. We tend to get caught up in the day to day operations and paperwork that comes with a supervisory position. I feel that we often overlook this important skill and let it fall by the wayside.

  • Throughout this cluster, we were reminded of how important it is for a leader to wear multiple hats and understand how to utilize each one at the appropriate time. Some of the skill sets I was familiar with and a few that were entirely new for me. As leaders, we must continuously grow and look towards the future, and this cluster was extremely helpful in providing me with insight and plans on how to become a successful leader for years to come.

    • Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

      I have gain a lot from this module as well. I will be taking skills from this module to improve my subordinates, supervisors/co-workers and future with the agency.

    • Lt. Marlon J Shuff

      I agree, we have to be flexible and adaptive. The keyword here is adaptability. Being able to adjust our style based on the person and situation is critical to our success as leaders.

  • dlevet@stcharlessheriff.org

    The process of wearing different hats is effective. You just need to know what hat to wear, when to wear it and with whom you wear what hats. it is a constant juggling act. Again it comes down to you knowing your people. this takes time to know your people. what makes this even more of a juggling act is that in my division(corrections) there constantly have new people and you need to learn these individuals quickly so you can lead them.

  • Adam Gonzalez

    A change plan, as discussed, impresses me with the preparation necessary to truly formulate before implementation. Nobody likes sudden changes made as a knee-jerk reaction. Many of us have lived through these types of changes that were born out of frustration, uncertainty or just plain anger. These changes are usually not well received and are often held in contempt by many if not all. But a planned change, where buy-in from others is executed before demonstrates a well thought out and discussed conversation born from the need of the upward climb.

    • Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

      If you invite your subordinates to participate with the changes it will help tremendously with buy in. I meet with my team leaders when I want to change or improve procedures, I put out "feelers". It helps me with the direction and planning stages used to implement the change.

      • Mitchell Gahler

        I think it's a great idea to invite your subordinates to participate in change, as we need to pay attention to officer feedback as they identify trends of change in order to get ahead of the curve. They are dealing with the public on a daily basis and identify trends that aren't always identified at an administrative or supervisory level.

  • Lt. Mark Lyons

    I thought the information in this training module was very interesting and informative. I feel like do a pretty good at reading others and shifting styles, but there is always room for improvement. I am looking forward to sharing some of the concepts of this training module with our new deputies during training.

  • The lecture material was a lot to absorb. Many of these things, we were taught to do from the beginning of our career or were at least shown. Whenever someone speaks about coaching, I always go back to the FTO. That is the initial job that they fulfill, and many do a great job, as they transition to counselor, consultant, and /or mentor.

    In the 5 stages of team building, I believe that I skip some steps in bringing in new talent. I the past, I have stayed with what I know, instead of ringing the new guy on board.

    Another issue that was very important to me is shifting roles. I believe we all, especially me, have had problems shifting from one role to another, as needed. Depending on the situation, it can throw us off, a bit, if we had planned what we believed our role should be.

  • mmoscona@floodauthority.org

    This module provided so much information. I think the skills of shifting roles and shifting skills are skills we as police officers use all the time. I never considered this until it was explained in the module. The entire concept of Versatility is excellent and I find myself trying to figure how these skills can fit into my agency. Real food for thought.

  • This module puts the proverbial topping to the last set of skills that were learned in the last clusters. It gives the leaders and students the toolset to implement things that we can use to move our respective agencies forward. The CIT team and its use in modern policing is essential today. It shows that LEO's are perfect and leadership will guide personnel forward to create better future LEO's and leaders. The ability to mend all the skills together is a life long learning skill.

  • wdanielfield@ibervilleso.com

    One of many great thing Dr. Anderson lectured on that my attention was Role-Shifting. I, as Captain of Uniform Patrol, I often find myself alone in front of my computer attempting to update or create new procedures. There is very little doubt in my mind that I will put together a team of employees, subordinates only in title and tackle the issues I would normally feel compelled to do alone. I will stay away from the supervisory role and treat subordinates as equal partners. I will allow each employee to voice their opinion on whatever the issue is at hand.

  • When asked how to get results from my staff, I would often use the analogy of them being like a deck of cards. You needed to know what card to play and where and when it was of the most use. Reading people is a difficult skill to master. If you do it correctly, great but do it poorly, and an essential worker may be mislabeled for the rest of their career. Dr. Andersons models set a solid foundation for getting the most out of those we supervise.

    • Joseph Flavin

      I like that analogy. Reading people is not necessarily an easy thing and it takes time to master. Through my years in law enforcement I have found that it can be a diminished skill when not constantly practiced. Expressing the importance of reading people correctly is a skill I would emphasize to trainees when I was an FTO.

  • Lt. Richard Paul Oubre

    After watching this Module I found skill 49 Assess your own style and 50 Learn to do better people reading to be very interesting.
    Once you figure out your leadership style, you can start to coach other leaders. As you learn to be better at reading people toy will become more effective at your coaching skills and help the person even more.

  • Lt. Joseph C. Chevis

    In this module Dr. Anderson has introduce more ways to work on our leadership skills. I decided to work on a great number of these skills to become a stronger leader. I will also work on skill (# 58) Leadership skills to help yourself and others, and (#59) coach other leaders.
    I take a sense of achievement in building a better place to work. I have an enjoyable time sharing my years of experience with my sergeant. By teaching him how to communicate with his subordinates and being observant to how his team reacts to him as their leader.

  • Captain Jessica Jo Troxclair

    The ten skills covered in this module can greatly enhance my leadership skills. Assessing my style of leadership and how it relates to my team members will create stronger relationships. Being able to shift seamlessly through roles as a leader will help me understand dealing with major issues.

    • Ryan Manguson

      I agree the skills covered are very helpful in being an effective leader. Having the ability to shift through roles or "wear different hats" is essential to be effective.

  • Lt. Marlon J Shuff

    I mainly found Dr. Anderson's discussion of style-shifting to be interesting. For leaders to be effective, they must adapt their leadership style to the situation to bring out the very best in their officers. I feel that being flexible and knowing when and how to shift your style is essential. There isn't a "one-size fits all." We need to be able to shift our style to match with a particular situation or person.

    • Maja Donohue

      Style-shifting is about self-awareness and ability to accurately read others to adjust how we interact with them. There is no doubt that this combination of skills makes us more flexible and more effective, but it also makes people feel understood and appreciated. I agree with you that we cannot use a 'one-size-fits-all' approach.

  • Mitchell Gahler

    In this module, Anderson discussed style and skill shifting in order to approve overall leadership. In Skill 60: Lead Environmental Scanning, I acknowledged a few key points that were discussed in order to implant success. One key point is that we need to continue to evolve as an agency and be better now, rather than looking at how we can be better next time. We need to challenge the process in certain situations in order to be current with the times. We also need to pay attention to officer feedback. Listening to officers' feedback as they identify trends of change in order to get ahead of the curve.

    • I agree with your assessment. Especially in todays environment it seems like we have to change everyday with everything going on right now. Whether it's technology or just better ways to do things we have to keep an open mind and be forward thinking. One of the worst statements that I do not like to hear is that is the way we have always done things.

    • I agree with Mitchell that identifying trends is important if organizations want to be in front of change. I think the idea of building this tenant into a CIT is clearly of value. Until I read this section of the book and listened to Dr. Anderson, I thought my department was doing fairly well in identifying future trends. When I look back, we gleaned a lot of this information from professional periodicals, CALEA, IACP and PERFs. I am not sure we have ever asked our own staff to identify what trends they see in the future of law enforcement and or trends they see in within our our department as a whole. Development of this skill is going to be essential if we want to transition into a truly transformative department.

    • Kyle Phillips

      I agree that officer feedback is critical to keeping with the current pulse. I would wager that one way a department can better achieve this would be to become effective with information sharing from the top down, and back up.

  • These last skills that Dr. Terry Anderson went over I felt really concentrated on skills we can look at as leaders to increase our leadership performance. I did some self reflection on a few of them and I really liked skill 58, leadership skills to help yourself and others. I am going to work on this going forward an look for constructive criticism from those I supervise and evaluate where I can get better. Often times in the day to day grind of our jobs we tend to forget to slow down and occasionally ask others how we can get better as leaders.

    • Great self reflection and I agree. Some times it is difficult as a leader to take criticism, especially from our subordinates, but in the end it is very beneficial (and builds bonds).

    • James Schueller

      I think its a great idea to get that input from those that we supervise. If you have been practicing and role-modeling the skills learned thus far, our staff should feel free to give their honest feedback, knowing that it will be used to continue being- or improving- the type of supervisor they want to work for and strive to be themselves. Feedback should work both ways (up and down the chain of command) allowing us to better each other, solves issues before they become problems, and improve the organization overall.

      • Chad Parker

        James, you took the words right out of my mouth. I feel it's extremely important that we be trained and mentored by our supervisors as well as us doing the same to our subordinates or coworkers. Also, and this has been a problem in the past, feedback or feedforward has to happen both up and down the chain in order to be successful and continue to move into the future. We have to continue to learn from each other.

    • Getting feedback from those we supervise is far more important than feedback from our own supervisor, IF you get honest and constructive feedback. I normally ask those I supervise for their feedback immediately following my evaluation of their performance review. Therefore they know their review is done, they have a plan moving forward and they tend to feel more relaxed and open to talk about giving that honest feedback. Sometimes it can sting, but I can't fix what I am unaware of doing or not doing.

  • Joseph Flavin

    Versatility skills are a culmination of the cluster of skills that Dr. Terry Anderson taught. As leaders we need versatility skills to lead the organization in the right direction down the path of success. I liked skill 58 and skill 59. I will continue to work on my own leadership skills to help myself in my current position as well as coach others to be effective leaders. There is a lot of great information that we can use to pass on to others.

  • James Schueller

    Well it seems to be a common theme among several students, but I also found Skill #58 (Leadership Skills to Help Yourself and Others and Skill # 59 (Coach Other Leaders) to be my favorite skills from this module. This seems to be a tremendous way to not only help another team member, but also for them to help you. In these two steps, you are challenging each other and at the same time holding each other accountable. I think over the years several of my peers and staff have done "informal" versions of these skills, but I can see the value in the more formalized process' detailed here. I think the best part is that if done correctly, I can see these skills continue on through the years as new staff come on board. It seems to me that this is (or can be) a non-formal way of doing succession planning with your work group. Since I feel this step is and has not been formally done to its full potential, this particular module and these two skills in particular can and will be part of the newer group of supervisors as they promote up through the ranks. Promotions should not be all about the individual as many seem to make it, its about bettering yourself, your co-workers, and your organization for the future. I think these two skills promote those ideas and should be the focus as we move forward.

  • Eduardo Palomares

    I have to say that the lessons in this module were very important to me. I feel that If you are able to mentor other leaders you have achieved a very competent level of leadership skills. I was honored to be appointed by my boss as a mentoring/training for newly promoted Sergeants only having one year of experience in the position. Mentoring a new Sergeant made me identify my strengths and weaknesses as a leader. The time spent with my mentee taught me that l need a lot of work in certain areas. As l go through this course, I realize that effective leadership revolves around versatility skills. It is with certainty that in order to effectively lead, we have to develop multiple skills, including grounding, centering, observing, coaching, mentoring and the list goes on. I will work hard daily to make slow but steady progress toward becoming the best version of myself as a leader.

    • Gregory Hutchins

      Often one can learn best through teaching others. Through the years, some of the best supervisors developed their wealth of skills through becoming Field Training Officer. Granted, these individuals put in the effort to be the example, train hard, and maintain a high standard for the recruit. The few that checked the block are terrible officers, and the few promoted, by chance, continue to exude terrible leadership skills.
      These supervisors are notorious for being unable to hold themselves and others accountable, and this character flaw leads to a ton of issues and complaints. As our organization transforms, we are initiating using the FTO program as a prerequisite for promotion. Rigidly demanding a standard will teach aspiring leaders some of the fundamentals stressed in this course.

  • Dr. Anderson started this presentation with one statement that encompasses this block and all the others. He indicated that these skills help the leader develop their own style and be more responsive to changes. Dr. Anderson goes on to say that these skills allow the leader to be flexible, natural and effective. Skills #51 and #52 (Assessment and Shifting into Different Roles) is a key skill set that leaders have to master. The 3 different roles are: communication, Coaching and Consulting. Leaders must learn to assess complex situations and then be able to shift into the role needed to make an impact or the role others want you to be in. One style does not fit all situations. You cannot be a consultant when you are managing a critical incident and some interpersonal situations require more than casual communication. A comment that Dr. Anderson made in Skill #56 (Facilitating of organizational development stages really resonated with me. He said that anyone in an organization can initiate change. I then thought about all the times I brought forth well researched and thought out suggested changes and was immediately shot down by my superiors. Now I am one of the people making decisions. In this role I force myself not to immediately shut down a suggestion about change or improvement. In full disclosure, I have not always been successful in this. I think the manner in which I and other leaders in my agency accept feedback and input directly conveys to the department that we car about what people think. The best part, it a learning opportunity for junior employees to learn about how to put together proposals etc.

  • There were several repetitive points made throughout this section that could not be of more importance to every emerging leader; the need to have a mentor and the need to be able to mentor others as a continuous improvement process for our own development. Dr. Anderson's tips for developing a successful change initiative was a cornerstone for me in learning about these versatility skills. Asking simple questions that "addresses felt pain or frustration with realistic solutions" is huge in not only my own development as a leader, but in understanding what drives others to change as well. I really enjoyed listening to Dr. Adizes and he really makes me want to strive to "be the thumb" and also understanding that conflict does not need to be destructive and conflict and differences can be very positive and purposeful.

  • Chad Blanchette

    I like the simplicity of the 5 stages of development laid out in this module:
    1. Forming
    2. Storming
    3. Norming
    4. Performing
    5. Celebrating
    Being able to identify the stage that you are in and apply the appropriate interventions as needed.

    • Christopher Lowrie

      I also like the simplicity of breaking it down into fewer steps. I get a bit lost and overwhelmed when I look at Dr. Anderson's 60 skills.

      • Ryan Lodermeier

        I agree Chris, the 60 skills were overwhelming. I found myself continuously stopping the recording, taking notes, and replaying the segment again just to be sure I received the message correctly

      • Kelly Lee

        Agreed with you Chris, These are all very good steps and sets up an important base of knowledge for us to be better, train better and supervise better but looking at all of them together (or taking notes on) is VERY overwhelming.

  • Kyle Phillips

    In skill 58, I think the six steps provided towards becoming a better leader will be a great tool towards self-improvement and the self-improvement of others.
    1 360 degree self assessment
    2 interpret the results
    3 build a leadership development plan
    4 share your plan with a supervisor
    5 implement your plan
    6 evaluate your results
    focusing on our desired traits and asking for feedback to become better at those traits.

  • Ryan Manguson

    Dr. Anderson continues to pump out more great leadership skills. Like mentioned in the above comment, I too liked skill 58 and the 6 steps towards becoming a better leader. Skill 59 Coaching Other Leaders was equally great and I feel is one of the most important things effective leaders can do. As Doctor Anderson said, leaders developing other leaders is at the heart of credible leadership.

  • Jennifer Hodgman

    For me, coaching other leaders is a one of the skills that I will focus more attention on as well as learning to do better people reading. I think for communication to be effective, one needs to do good job of reading people and thus being able to shift your skills for the situation or shifting to where the other person needs you to be.

    • Durand Ackman

      People reading is one I found to be an area of improvement for me as well. Coaching other leaders is one that I hadn't put too much thought on before but I'm not getting any younger. I've had people come to me for advice but I haven't put a lot of thought into reaching out and coaching the upcoming leaders.

  • Paul Gronholz

    I thought all of the skills highlighted in the module were fantastic. I especially took to heard #58 and 59. I would like to further build and develop my leadership skills for the purpose of making myself better every day and there in part helping others to recognize the need for self-improvement. Building future leaders is something that I need to do better on. I need to make it not just something I think about but actually, be very intentional and develop action plans to develop the next leaders of the department.

    • Jacqueline Dahms

      I also enjoyed skill 58 & 59. The video by Jonathan Fanning was really good. Focusing on 3 character traits or skills and working on them repeatedly to better yourself and getting feedback on that improvement just makes sense. And it’s so simple. I am currently working on adjusting a team by focusing on character traits. In the past I focused on my expectations in their performance for the team and not their individual skills. I think that is really important to focus on others, which will effectively improve on ourselves.

    • Marshall Carmouche

      Skill 59 was most interesting to me too, I think coaching other leaders can only make stronger leaders in turn making a stronger team.

  • Durand Ackman

    This was module interesting. I found myself assessing my style and looking at my strengths and weaknesses. There are several of the skills described in this section I could improve upon. Shifting my style is something I've always struggled with. Another area I need to focus on in the coming future is team development. There is a lot of change coming to our agency in the coming years with retirements. My division alone is potentially losing everybody but me in the next 2 - 3 years.

  • Christopher Lowrie

    I enjoyed the versatility of this module. It really explained the skills needed to create and manage positive change. We need to have a future focus to develop leaders. Future trends also help us prepare on community needs from the department.

  • Ryan Lodermeier

    All very good points in this module. Skill #60 really drew me in, environmental scanning has always intrigued me. I feel that it is imperative that law enforcement agencies stay on top of the every changing world in which we operate in. Case law, statute changes, policy, even societal perception are points that we must stay in tune with. Agencies simply saying “we didn’t know” is not an acceptable answer when it comes to falling short on our communities needs and wants.

  • Maja Donohue

    Breaking skills into manageable pieces and diving deeper into each one was very helpful. The discussion on role-shifting and style-shifting skills stood out for me in this module. I learned how to effectively shift and transition into communication, counseling/coaching, and consulting roles. Sometimes it is as simple as asking the person which role they prefer, and other times, it is appropriate to tell people that you will put on a different hat to deal with the situation. Style-shifting requires that you pay attention to how others operate and read how people communicate. It also requires a high level of emotional and social intelligence, which once again demonstrates that working on all of the previously discussed skills is a pre-requisite to success at this level. Ultimately though, all skills are perishable if we don’t practice and use them intentionally to be better at our jobs. You can’t get better at something if you don’t put in the effort to improve.

  • Robert Schei

    I liked the Ted Talk with Morgan Spurlock and one comment that he said stuck out to me. "When you train your employees to be risk averse, then you're preparing your whole company to be reward challenged". At times you need to take risks to improve or to achieve greater results. In law enforcement I like to call the calculated risks, but at times I take these calculated risks even in times of crisis. Intuition, training and competency helps with greater successes with risk taking but it can create great results.

  • Samantha Reps

    This cluster brought insight to great leadership in the organization. Younger staff need mentoring and guidance sooner in their careers due to the fast moving environments. I feel some agencies struggle doing this as seniority plays a factor in decision making in agencies. One of the things that stood out the most was from Max DePree "It is fundamental that leaders endorse a concept of the value of a person. This begins with an understanding of the diversity of peoples gifts, talents and skills."

    • I believe we sometimes overlook or just don't acknowledge new personnel because we assume they have less value to the organization. Early mentoring and communication only builds a stronger organization.

    • Sgt. Shawn Wilson

      Spot on. When we as leaders know our people and the talents and skills they bring to the table it takes leadership from the bottom up and instills ownership in day one from our people. The better we know our people the better we are able to adapt to the fast changing environment that we work in.

  • Kelly Lee

    Skill #58 was and is certainly interesting and does make a very good point of how we as agencies do not do enough leadership or supervisory training and yet that is exactly what we need to do and be focusing on as the baby-boomer group gets ready to retire and the next groups step up. I know our organization has just in the last few months seen this first hand, loosing lots of supervisor positions and promoting new ones. As a fairly recent promotion, I have also liked the use of skill #59 (coaching), I agree with the statement when they said this is one of the fastest growing human resource development movements. I find it empowering to coach and help those who are looking for it or need it to preform their jobs better. When you see the improvement working, it instills a great sense of pride and ownership.

    • Andy Opperman

      I agree coaching is a great skill to have for leadership. As leaders we really need to walk away from the command and control model and develop our people, and coaching is an excellent tool. People will follow leaders when they see the leader truly cares about their success. I think we also become much more innovative as a profession when our people feel the ability to go to their leaders.

      • Command and control have their place and purpose. It isn't in everyday instances however as you state. Mentoring and coaching future leaders is a must and it's fun to watch people thrive and learn. This makes our organizations better and it's a testament to our leadership skills.

  • Role shifting, and more specifically the counseling role seemed to really stand out. Dealing with and supporting your team with personal issues is very hard for me. I come from a leave your personal life at home mentality. That is obviously an outdated and not based in reality way of thinking. Helping your people through their personal issues builds a stronger asset for the organization. It is the leaders duty to facilitate problem solving.

    • Steve Mahoney

      I agree with you. I have a hard time with the role shifting as well. I get focused on task at hand and expec toehrs to be exactly like me. The role shifting will help the team as a whole and in return get the task done sooner and better.

    • Denise Boudreaux

      I agree, I was taught to leave my personal life at home and work life at work. As we all know this is really an impossible task. One affects the other and vice-a-versa. As a leader, it is our job to mentor and be there for our employees in whatever capacity they need us to be. This will ultimately make better employees and make for better home life.

  • Andy Opperman

    I took away some important process building skills from this lesson. Dr. Anderson goes into a step by step process of how to facilitate change. The process is broken down to show what you need as organization to develop a plan for change and present it. It covers everything from the summary of needed change, SWOT analysis, vision statements, goals, and action plans, and plans for evaluations of outcomes. This type of structure can really help a department get started on a new collaborative route. I also thought the CIT Team is a great skill that many departments should implement. I learned it creates the ability to let go of the command and control structure, allowing for every officer to contribute but still have buy in for the command staff

  • Jacqueline Dahms

    This section has a lot of good information on steps to take in developing teams. I thought the ten steps in the process of developing a team was well defined. I certainly need to add a few steps into my plans. I am currently restructuring an existing team and it’s nice to see that I started at the beginning instead of following my past practice. I honestly believe I’m going to get more commitment and ownership from my team than before and it makes me very excited to see the end result. I also liked how it included adjusting and responding to changes and returning to different steps to coarse correct.

  • This lesson taught me the importance of leadership skills and how important it is to take the steps to allowing others to build them over time. I think my organization often struggles with this. They often only seem interested in working on these skills once someone is promoted to a supervisor role. In reality to build better leaders, trainings and things like that should be offered earlier in individuals careers. When I was promoted, I was the first to go to a well known leadership program, and now most of our front line supervisors and some administration staff have attended it as well. That was a huge step for our agency. But, now we need to start looking at these types of trainings earlier so new leaders are more prepared and confident in the role they are taking on.

    • Kaiana Knight

      I agree this lesson did stress the importance of leadership skills and training. I can honestly say that I've learned so much from this program. I think that all leaders should have some type of leadership training.

  • Major Willie Stewart

    In my career I have worn many different hats. Some work and some did not. Things that I did with one person I could not do with another. Also I feel that feedback being good or bad helps make you a better leader if you take the information and do something with it.

    • I agree. The hardest part for me is to have a "thick skin" with the feedback. If I ask for feedback, I have to be prepared to not take it personally or get angry. Its difficult, but the only way to get honest feedback.

  • Sgt. Shawn Wilson

    Using my own experiences at my agency as a viewpoint for this; Leadership training needs to begin on day one allowing decision making to occur and mentoring our new personnel in a positive manner. Outdated and antiquated promotional processes stifle new employees and often times contribute to an agencies negativity and low morale. As leaders it is our duty to begin preparing our personnel for leadership roles creating team ownership from within the agency.

    • Part of our promotional process is making a minimum score on a promotional exam from a private vendor. I agree with your idea that some of the process is outdated and antiquated. I see far more value to successfully completing a recognized leadership program as having greater weight for a prerequisite than a promotional test does to get you to the interview stage.

    • Perfectly put Shawn. As leaders, we need to continually train, no different that DT or shooting. Leadership is a skill and one that deserves fine-tuning over a career. Too often I see leaders arrive and tread water. This is such a disservice for the organization. As leaders, we need to demand top-quality performance by up and coming leaders and people who are already in those roles. Continually pushing the envelope is crucial.

    • Timothy Sandlin

      Very good point. Leadership development should be a focus even in the academy. At the agency, or at least at my agency, we need to developing leadership in officers and incorporate it into promotional pathways much more than it ever has. I believe this could be brought about through some of the team planning and feedback in what was taught in this module.

  • I felt like I got a lot out of the beginning of the module. Understanding how my personality type or style has such an effect when involved in conversation was important. I always knew there were times when I had trouble listening and now understand why. I also understand I need to try interpreting the other’s type to be more successful at conveying my portion of the message. I’m typically the type that a conversation that is scattered I quickly start thinking in my head, “Jesus, what does all this have to do with what you really want to say? Just give me the baby! It shouldn’t take nine months of conversation for the point to arrive!” I HAVE to get past that.

    To me the second half seemed like a recap of the previous module or maybe an enhancement of it. I may have misinterpreted that or relating it to other training I’ve been to. All and all it provided good material for getting things started and keeping them going. Our agency already implements a great deal of this, it is just defined slightly different or has its own flare. Good stuff.

  • I liked the last section, skill 60 in this module. Too often the government gets stuck in the "we've always done it that way." I see that as dangerous and complete laziness. I always ask questions about how my organization does things and WHY do we do it that way. It's amazing how often people don't know the answer to the WHY. Progressive thinking is healthy for our organizations. I would think the public in which we are here to serve would demand forward and challenging thinking.

    The other area we're getting better at in the past couple of years is coaching other leaders or up and coming leaders. Mentoring and preparing the next generation to take our roles is crucial in this era of law enforcement. The complexities in risk management alone are something that take years to even begin to wrap your head around fully. Like it or not, one of our top priorities is risk management in 2021 law enforcement. Connect with other leaders and provide honest feedback, then look for that feedback yourself. Then take the input and act upon it.

    • Matt Wieland

      I agree with this statement 100%. We don't spend enough time looking to the future to predict what's next, most of our time is spent trying to best handle what is happening in the present. Making the future scan a part of a weekly or monthly meeting is a very good idea, and starts to adjust our thinking away from the past and toward an emphasis on the present and future.

  • I like the idea of tailoring my leadership style to those that we lead. An agency doesn't care about all the leadership challenges that I have to deal with on a daily basis. They just want results. More and more responsibility is on me to change, manage, improve, or accommodate whatever personality or performance issue that I face. There seems to be no push to have the employee try to adapt to the supervisor's style. Maybe some sort of training for new deputies about how to adapt their style to be a better employee.

    When I was starting out policing, I screwed up. A LOT. I had Sgts who believed in creative punishment rather than paperwork. It kept me from having a disciplinary file two feet thick! Now if make a deputy do a walking beat in the rain for a seriously boneheaded mistake, I get complained upon. I'm left with no choice but to document that mistake with paperwork which ultimately hurts their careers. We all learned to do things the way that the Sgt wanted it done. Yes, I am aware that this is a very "old school" mindset rant, but more than a few of y'all will agree.

  • Matt Wieland

    I especially liked the idea of Cross-functional teams and including members from the highest ranks to the lowest ranks. In the past we haven't been the best at including line staff in committees or CIT's. The insight provided when all ranks are represented can be surprising and refreshing. Giving everyone buy-in can lead to well thought out change initiatives and it is easier to sell the change to the masses when they know the line staff have been included in the decision making process. Having stake-holders within the line staff rank also helps to identify and develop future leaders in the organization.

    • Matthew Menard

      We recently established a "change team" within my agency. Quarterly, people from all different divisions and rank meet and discuss varies topics of concern and types of changes they see as possible solutions. It has so far proven to be very beneficial and brought new ideas to light.

  • Timothy Sandlin

    Again, in this module a significant amount of good information. I liked the information on building a team that is cross functional. This fits into a small organization in my opinion. I think the practice of officers from all ranks participating in such teams will work to develop them to think like a leader while increasing ownership and accountability. I found the information on a leader having to shift roles based on the circumstances and situations face at the time very helpful. It is important to be able to adapt to the scenario and fill the role that is needed.

    • Nicole Oakes

      This is well thought out and expressed. I feel that you are correct. We are currently experiencing a situation with mass change and the line officers and subordinates are not being included in any of the meetings so rumors are running rampant and undermining the entire change process.

    • Ronald Smith

      TImothy
      The cross-functional team and or continuous improvement team are good ideas for the small and midsized agency but, I believe we must be careful in the selections, we all have our favorite people and we tend to over-task them with all of the extra duties. This course has mentioned everyone wants to be part of something special and we can spread out the accountability while we risk developing more people into leadership roles.

  • Nicole Oakes

    I appreciated and learned from the skill, Assessment of Roles and Role-shifting into appropriate tasks. I am glad that Communication, Counseling/Coaching, Consultant were defined and explained in this context. It made it much easier to understand when to shift from one role to the next.

  • Brad Strouf

    While it is important as leaders to provide effective feedback, it is critical to accept feedback as well. This can be difficult to accept, but it absolutely necessary for proper self-assessment of our leadership skills. As a team leader, we must constantly strive to improve for the good of all involved.

    • Jarvis Mayfield

      Brad I agree. A leader is such a hard position to be in . A leader must provide great feed back that will be receptive to the other and still have some form of assessment of themselves.

  • Skill #58 leadership skills to help yourself and others.
    The 360° feedback survey that was brought up in this skill is a great way to self reflect. Sometimes in leadership rules you can find yourself being overwhelmed with all the added duties. I think the 360° feedback survey would be quite useful as a leader. It'll be something that when young inspiring deputies want to know what they can do to help them in their journey at becoming a leader. I will direct them towards 360° assessment. I've told my administration that these young inspiring deputies that want to be future leaders can take all of the classes in leadership abilities, but if they are not viewed as a leader by their peers they will have a hard time being effective, and possibly fail it leadership.

  • Jarvis Mayfield

    Using the 12 "Versatility Skills" as a leader. As a leader we wear several different titles/ caps. Style Shifting was the part of this lesson I liked because is related to all of the difference that we face daily. Role Shifting you have the ability to shift between styles and roles to increase the performance and makes you more effective.

  • Gregory Hutchins

    From the coursework, one can see and understand that new leaders to the profession are coming at a younger age, and a result of this is the lack of experienced and progressive leadership. Another item noticed, as of late, is this new generation of leaders cannot communicate directly. Technology, while it promotes efficiency, is a detriment when it comes to interpersonal communications. Until a mechanism is created to train these new leaders to be direct and a positive teacher/mentor, the ability to hone others' leadership skills will suffer. Additionally, as noted in Skill 53-54, promotions in the profession revolve around skills and proficiencies rather than leadership abilities or potential. This trend combined with degraded interpersonal communications will only support stagnation in an organization's ability to change and meet society's expectations.

  • Matthew Menard

    One of the skills I found most interesting was that of being able to role shift. I previously understood that depending on the situation you're dealing with you need to approach thing differently, however I never thought too much about it. The concept of have the three different modes to shift between (coaching, counseling, consultative) was helpful in giving more context going forward.

    • Thomas Martin

      I found them interesting as well Matthew. As Doctor Anderson stated, when we wear the right hat, it creates purpose. This purpose helps them in solving their problems. By solving their problems we gain their trust and respect. I will pay attention during future conversations and implement this skill to the fullest.

  • Marshall Carmouche

    Versatility is important for a leader to have. The law enforcement profession is fluid and seems always to be changing. Leaders must be versatile to adapt to this changing environment. Law enforcement on a daily basis requires multi-tasking, prioritizing and stress management. Being able to adjust accordingly and having versatility will help. I especially liked the section in the module on coaching other leaders. I think coaching other leaders will build both stronger working relationships and stronger leaders.

  • Ronald Smith

    Knowing one's self well enough to determine the primary skill used with people is a good thing, it allows one's self to see the need for more than one skill to communicate with people. Learning how to determine what skill is the most likely to succeed when dealing with each group or individual is a great way to create a group dynamic or individual relationship that builds trust and leads to success. Identifying and roles and role shifting is a valuable tool. Communicating, Counseling/Coaching, Consultanting are three roles we as leaders need to utilize communication and coaching are the two roles young leaders respond to the easiest. Consulting makes many people feel they are being told what to do and how to do it, young leaders want to figure it out on their own.

    • Sergeant Michael Prachel

      I agree how consulting may be difficult for young leaders – especially those leaders tasked to consult older, veteran officers with more experience. I’ve been there before, and I believe you may have to adjust your tactics depending on who you are consulting. Like anything, being able to adjust and be versatile is crucial.

  • Sergeant Michael Prachel

    One of the facets of the module that I can relate to is the topic of style shifting, and how we use this often, even if we don’t realize it. The ability to assess the unique style of another person, team, or organization, and adjusting your response accordingly, will help better fit your technique to communicate with that individual or group. As a leader in an agency, whether you are a supervisor, instructor, etc, you need to be versatile depending on how you are managing others. If you are a young Sergeant or Team Leader, and you are consulting an older officer who has more experience than you, you may have to adjust your style accordingly. On the other hand, that same leader consulting a young officer with no experience will certainly style shift their approach.

  • Thomas Martin

    When teaching instructor development schools, I always enjoy watching the five stages of development take place within the groups. The assignments are handed out, and immediately individuals within the groups step up, and start the actual design of the project (Forming). Personality conflicts form within the groups, and tensions rise, as the deadline appears on the horizon (Storming). Eventually team members find their place in the group, and develop an understanding of the work that must be done. Tension ease and the real product begins to take shape (Norming). Their individual work was submitted, and the group presentations were executed (Performing). When groups finished their presentations, instructors started giving feedback. During this feedback students began to smile, knowing they had passed at an acceptable level, and typically gave high fives or hugs to each other immediately afterwards (Celebrating). One thing continues to surprise me during these schools. The groups that experienced serious levels of “storming” typically delivered a better product. The strife between them and extra time used was put to good use. I will be on the lookout for these stages of development in our staff members when they execute their next group assignments.

  • Travis Linskens

    Skill 51 and 52 resonated with me in this lesson. Being a newly appointed supervisor and leading many of those I call friends has been an interesting change for me and offers a different perspective for those I once worked with and now lead. I've noticed that when I'm not as clear about "changing hats" between communicating, counseling and consulting, I can leave them confused. Especially during the times when I have to consider the departments best interest and respond as a leader and not a friend. It can leave the employee feeling confused because my response wasn't what they were expecting. This is something I plan to evaluate and work on as I continue moving forward as a leader.

    • Eric Sathers

      I completely agree. I too am recently promoted and also supervise those I call friends. I very much like the idea of role-shifting, but agree that it can be difficult to implement at first, especially with those with whom I've had a more casual relationship previously.

  • Paul Brignac III

    This lesson seemed to "hit home" with me more than most because I am a full time instructor. As an instructor at a Sheriff's office I have to shift and change almost daily, based on the class. It is not uncommon to teach two completely different coursed to two completely different groups in the same day. Paying attention and learning role-shifting is paramount. As a instructor you must be able to shift roles and skills quickly and often.

    • Sgt. Samantha Koscher

      I agree! Being able to shift between roles and styles is very important for a leader. What works well for one staff member or particular issue, may not work well for the next. It is important for leaders to understand their staff and know how to best motivate them.

  • Scott Crawford

    I feel like the most important part of this lecture was Style Shifting. I believe in any organization, leaders must be able to shift styles not only because of the personalities they are dealing with, but also because of the lessons we are trying to get across. The days of the hardcore, my way or the highway type of leadership is fading. I do not belief most people respond to that as they once

    • Buck Wilkins

      You never know which hat to wear, but I have never thought to ask before I heard it in this course. This is something new. But I have learned over the years it is according to who you are dealing with and how they act is what hat you are to wear.

  • Eric Sathers

    The skills that resonated with me the most were #51 and #52, related to role-shifting. I haven't really seen it spelled out so plainly before, even though I've been engaging in these types of roles my whole career. I like the way Dr. Anderson broke it down into the various different roles and explained how they were unique to one another. I plan on being more clear with how I engage in each of these roles with my team moving forward.

  • Steve Mahoney

    I really liked the talk about forming the cross functioning continuous improvement teams. Having a team at my department like this will help us be innovative and will cause the department to thrive in the future. Making sure that we stick to the 4 fundamentals will help in facilitating this. We can't keep depending on the "that is the way we always did it" strategy. our employees and the public expects and want more

    • I agree that having a team motivated for continuous improvement is very important. Changes to make changes are not good, but doing something because that's the way it was always done is almost as bad.

    • Derek Champagne

      Steve,
      I agree that we can't keep depending on the saying of "that is the way we always did it". When I took over my new section, I ensure on day 1 I told the team that was the one thing I did not want to ever hear. If there was a more efficient and effective way of doing something then that what we were going to do.

    • Chris Crawford

      Totally agree. that phrase is seriously outdated. Its sad that every now and again I still hear it. Although I do agree that some tried and true methods from the "Old School" should not be dismissed, however we need to be open minded and open to new ideas.

  • Sgt. Samantha Koscher

    I enjoyed learning about Skill #57: cross functional - continuous improvement teams. I think this provides a unique opportunity to for staff to work together and provide input and work on things that matter to them. This skill can empower the team members and show that their supervisors care about the things that matter to them. Also, by involving staff from multiple positions and experience levels, it provides a good representation of the values among staff members. Change is most often successful when the implementation process is carried out by those who have an interest in the change succeeding.

    • Stan Felts

      Loved your statement, "Change is most often successful when the implementation process is carried out by those who have an interest in the change succeeding". That is probably one of the most overlooked facts when organizations do implement a change.

    • Kenneth Davis

      Samantha- I, too enjoyed the skill 57 review. It is evident the importance of marshaling diverse thoughts and approaches to gain an operational edge in seeking needed change. It is often very difficult to advance change without buy-in, and this approach seems to address such by developing teams covering a wide variety of experiences and considerations.

      Best and stay safe!

      Ken

  • I think developing these versatility skills while trying to put into practice the others will only strengthen my ability to communicate with others and resolve issues. I also agree that reservation until other fails for the use of legitimate authority is important. If we have to go to legitimate authority to resolve issue, detailing out how the other styles did not work and that I had sought their feedback before resorting to legitimate power will be important.

  • Buck Wilkins

    This module discusses the 12 versatility skills to becoming an effective leader. We must first identify our own personal style and learn how to shift it in order to better communicate with out subordinates. By being able to shift out style we can increase our effectiveness, reduce conflict, and enhance our credibility as a leader. This will allow us to play a role the someone is most comfortable with, which will in turn reduce the need to pull rank on them and give out orders. By being versatile it allows us to recognize the stage in which the organization is functioning. This skill will prevent problems such as moving too fast before the organization is ready. Developing a clear plan for the future is very important. We need to make sure that our senior officers are providing leadership and coaching the younger upcoming officers. This will give them the foundation to become versatile leaders and sets up the organization for future success.

    • Robert Vinson

      This is a great point. Learning to "adapt and overcome" is an important skillset, and I have always thought if someone has to "pull rank" they've already failed. I think you hit the nail on the head.

  • Buck Wilkins

    This module discusses the 12 versatility skills to becoming an effective leader. We must first identify our own personal style and learn how to shift it in order to better communicate with our subordinates. By being able to shift our style we can increase our effectiveness, reduce conflict, and enhance our credibility as a leader. This will allow us to play a role the someone is most comfortable with, which will in turn reduce the need to pull rank on them and give out orders. By being versatile it allows us to recognize the stage in which the organization is functioning. This skill will prevent problems such as moving too fast before the organization is ready. Developing a clear plan for the future is very important. We need to make sure that our senior officers are providing leadership and coaching the younger upcoming officers. This will give them the foundation to become versatile leaders and sets up the organization for future success.

    Sorry i posted it twice but i had out instead of our and it would not let me edit it. Please use this one.

  • Jay Callaghan

    Leadership skills to help yourself and others, how to grow as a leader. I will take the 360 assessment and have my staff do the same. We will share the results and develop strategic plans to assist us in our growth as leaders. I liked Dr. Anderson's quote of "verified competence is valued".

    • Jeff Byrne

      Agree, Jay. I think the assessment will provide some very insightful information. I plan to get with our FTO coordinator to see about the possibilities of having our FTO's and younger up and comers take the assessment as well.

  • Kenneth Davis

    When tasked with assessing the need for changes in a public safety environment, it does seem that a viable avenue to do so is the utilization of Continuous Improvement Teams. The use of these teams to assess needs and initiate appropriate change draws upon the diverse experiences of agency members, guided by leaders who recognize the importance of improvement supported by data (Anderson, 2021). Each complements the other and such is the strength of this approach.

    The use of these teams allows for a measured approach that draws from diverse experience groups, varied backgrounds and a cross section of the educational spectrum. Identified needs can be assessed in a myriad of arenas, including operations, community engagement, recruiting, retention and training. Thus, pursuing change from this perspective creates a higher standard of performance and enhances our customer service mode, providing more efficient ways of serving the community (Anderson, 2021).

    Accordingly, it is essential to develop these teams with diversity in mind. Selecting members from a broad scope allows for out of the box thinking and help develop ingenuity within its membership. As proposed change will almost certainly see resistance of some sort, it is important to practice inclusivity and promote diverse thought towards a substantive vision. These approach supports exactly such activity.

    References

    Anderson, T. (2021). Versatility skills. Module # 11, week # 4. National Command and Staff College.

  • Brent Olson

    A memorable part of the lesson from this section was the wide range of personality and behavior characteristics. They included: preferred manner of accomplishing tasks, preferred manner of reacting to individuals, natural reaction to stressful events, preference to lead or follow, preferred manner of functioning in a group, predisposition to be task-oriented versus relationship-oriented, and several others. As I was listening to the lecture, I began to think of the people I supervise and how they fell within these characteristics. I found very quickly that no two people I supervise had the exact same characteristics. It was quite thought provoking when I realized (I always knew this but never thought as in depth about it as during this lesson) that each person I supervise needs to be supervised differently. There is no standard way to supervise them and it is on me to recognize the differences, develop a plan, and provide each what they need in a leader.

  • Robert Vinson

    I have never read or learned anything about the 5 stages of development before, so that was really interesting to me. Seeing it broken down and explained as Dr. Anderson did made a lot of sense, and it was interesting to look back and recognize the progression through the phases for different teams I have been a part of over the years. Recognizing "storming" in particular as the necessary overcoming of obstacles and as a healthy part of the process instead of needles controversy will be especially helpful for me in the future.

  • Derek Champagne

    I feel like the one thing that I don’t see a lot of at my Agency Is leaders coaching other leaders. This could be a beneficial tool if it is done properly and for the right reasons. I also believe that if the Agency had a mentor program for not only young officers, leaders would continue to learn and grow from each other instead of thinking everyone was out to stab each other in the back for the next promotion.

    • Ronald Springer

      Derek,
      I agree with you whole heartedly. I actually had recommend a mentor plan for my agency years ago because as a young deputy I had recognized that attrition was our biggest weakness as an agency. We have a lot of trouble attracting and keeping employees and the ones we do keep still move on to other agencies more often than not. I also noticed that so many of our seasoned veterans were reaching retirement and our agency would be losing all the knowledge and experience of those officers if we didn’t find a better way to pass them on. I felt that if we could recognize that officers have career goals and link them up with mentors in the department that have the skills and resources needed to reach those goals then we would continue to lose both. Unfortunately my mentor program never came to fruition but I will continue to advocate for it because there is a need there.

  • Kaiana Knight

    I really enjoyed this lecture. Coaching other leaders in my opinion is one of the most important skills because it determines how good an organization future will be. I think a strong and dedicated leader will coach others, and teach them the skills they need in order to be successful. I always coach my team, especially when we have something huge happen in our department. I want my team to function at their highest potential even when I am not at work. I agree with the lecture on the coaching skills. I think we always need to identify their skill strengths, enhance strengths, and develop the skills needed for improved performance. Once a leader find someone who performs well at the skills they want to learn, then the leader should coach them with feedback.

    • Burt Hazeltine

      Coaching other leaders is definitely an area I feel that a lot of law enforcement agencies fall short of. I think if we would spend more time coaching we would have to spend less time correcting sand disciplining.

      • Kevin Balser

        Agree that we need to spend more time developing future leadership. Our department seems to lack a sense of urgency of developing those young and up and coming officers that have great potential.

      • What you said is so true, leaders spend more time correcting, disciplining, and counseling; than mentoring a teaching. If our leaders would coach and develop the young officers; it would make their jobs so much easier and the future of the agency brighter.

      • Jerrod Sheffield

        Burt,
        I agree that coaching other leaders is an area that we seem to lack in. Building the foundation for them to build on through us coaching them in the right direction will ultimately help them develop properly while also holding us to the higher level by aiding us in maintaining the course of good leadership practices ourselves.

    • Andrew Peyton

      I agree with this being an important skill. As leaders, it is not just about today, we must worry about tomorrow. There will come a day when we will retire and we want to ensure we are leaving the agency in the best hands possible. This training begins today. Through identifying their skills and strengths, we can prepare them to be the future of the organization.

  • Ronald Springer

    The portion I took the most from was the first section, Skill #49 Assessing Your own Personal Style. I did not grasp the information at first it seemed. I reviewed this portion of the module twice to try to grasp it more clearly and then read the section in Every Officer is a Leader to truly understand it. Because I spent so much time on this skill it gave me the most to think about. I know I need to better understand myself more before I can understand and shift to what others need. So intrapersonal evaluation is my goal and what I wish to improve most so that I can develop and grow to the other skills.
    Anderson, T. (2017). Every officer is a leader cluster 5. Module 11, Weeks 3 & 4. National Command and Staff College.
    Anderson, T., Gisborne, K., & Holliday, P. (2017). Every officer is a leader: coaching leadership, learning, and performance in justice, public safety, and security organizations (3rd ed.). New York: International Academy of Public Safety, Inc.

  • Burt Hazeltine

    Although I do not remember learning about the five stages of group development before I have definitely seen it in action in every academy session. How early the storming occurs is usually an indicator of how strong the bond will be in the class. The sooner they get it over with the sooner they come together as a group and start excelling. There have been a few classes where we, as instructors have to stimulate the process to get it moving. There had been a class or two where the storming did not seem to be resolving itself so they needed some external stimulus to get them moving in the right direction. I have even seen this cycle repeat itself in a single class.

  • Chris Crawford

    Assessing the need to change, and recognizing and admitting it has been very difficult for many people I have worked with through the years. The "That's the way we've always done it" still exist today. And although I still believe many of the old tried and true methods shouldn't be dismissed, I do believe that we should have an open mind and a progressive attitude in todays Police work.

    • Darryl Richardson

      Chris,
      Yes, that statement, “That’s the way we’ve always done it” definitely still exists and sometimes it just kills me inside when I hear it. I remember an instance when I was a Booking Corporal, and I was told to do something that I felt was wrong. When I asked why it was being done, I got that exact response. That statement did not settle well with me at the time. I continued to ask for a better explanation, but I was never given one. All I continued to get was that same statement.

  • Kevin Balser

    Sadly, I am so focused on my job and my daily responsibilities that I have no focus on the importance of cultivating future leadership within my team. As Dr. Anderson said that "leaders help develop other leaders", which is the hallmark of the leadership model. I have historically given praise to the producers within my team but what I have gleaned from this module and especially from the coach the leader section is that I should identify someone that is a not always the producer and is someone struggles with job performance. I should be always looking to that person and coach them on goal setting and talk to them about identifying ways in which they can increase their performance.

  • Darryl Richardson

    After watching this module, I learned even more skills that I need to develop to be a better leader. One of the many skills is skill #50 (Learn to do better people reading). By becoming more aware and learning the correct way to respond to them will help build my team.

  • Andrew Peyton

    One of the most important skills I take from this section is coaching leaders. It is not only our responsibility for today, but we must ensure we are preparing for tomorrow. Coaching and preparing future leaders will the future success of the organization. In doing so, we leave our mark with our agency and with those we are coaching.

    • David Mascaro

      I agree Andrew. We see in our agency a shortage of experience officers in leadership roles and it will only continue to get worse. I plan on implementing this practice with my current supervisors and the rising stars within my division, to better prepare them for the advanced leadership roles they will find themselves in in the near future.

    • Jose Alvarenga

      I definitely agree with you Peyton. Legacy leadership is definitely extremely important. It insures the future of our agency and its success. It is extremely crucial for us especially since we are also part of this community.

  • The lesson on versatility skills was very interesting. It gave me a new insight into skills needed for better development of not only my professional journey, but also my personal life. It emphasized in order to be an efficient and effective leader; we must be versatile and able to switch between the varying roles without hesitation. I will be taking skills from this module to improve myself, subordinates, and the future of the agency.

  • David Mascaro

    My take away from this training was that I need to better assess my supervisors, their capabilities, and their limitations. Through effective communication I will establish and follow a leadership development plan to build upon their character traits with clearly set career goals that we established together. We will participate in a 360- degree feedback at the onset and another in a year to measure our growth. This will assist me and my supervisors in the continued development of our leadership skills, which will benefit us and the agency. We will have a large amount of senior leadership leaving my agency within the next five or so years and there will be a need for qualified, leaders who have been developed for those roles.

    • Brian Smith

      As a sergeant, I wanted more feedback from others around me. I did not get much direction unless it was eval time. Effectively sharing feedback, in an open and honest manner, is a vital way to help leaders keep doing the good and correct the not-so-good. I'm glad to see you're doing a 360 feedback and hope it creates the direction and information necessary to develop your leaders.

  • Jose Alvarenga

    We as leaders must share the knowledge we have learned from those who have helped shape us into the leaders we are today. By coaching them and investing our time, we will produce a more productive and effective leadership team. By sharing our mistakes and our successes, we will also self-evaluate and continue to learn ourselves. The coaching strategy is, in my opinion, the most important of all. By creating influential leaders, we guarantee the continued successful growth of our agency.

    • Zach Roberts

      Jose,

      I could not agree more! I can not tell you how many times I have referred back to what my former boss taught me and how he helped me get to the position I am today. He had a sense of arrogance to him and that I avoid. I try to learn from his mistakes and create my own successes. I would also agree that the coaching strategy is the best by far.

  • Brian Smith

    The textbook very accurately and pointedly states, our organizational leaders “shape the climate that influences performance and morale” (Anderson, Gisborne, & Holliday, 2017). It also boldly claims leaders have the ability to develop or destroy morale. I could not agree more! We can argue the media, the vocal minority, and several bad cops are to blame for our morale, but those are outside influences on job satisfaction. What really creates good or bad morale are the internal conversations and stimuli. Will our Chief have our back in a critical incident? Does our Town have the knowledge to defend a frivolous lawsuit without throwing me under the bus? What, exactly, is the direction of our agency? Is anything being planned to deal with the influx of tourism and crime we will have in two years with the development of a minor league baseball stadium? These are actual questions I and others have shared. Morale is taking a nose-dive as officers wandered around wondering about topics… topics that have answers should leadership choose to share with more transparency.

    References

    Anderson, T., Gisborne, K., and Holliday, P. (2017). Every officer is a leader: Coaching leadership, learning, and performance in justice, public safety, and security organizations. International Academy of Public Safety.

  • Jeff Byrne

    I found the environmental scanning to be a very beneficial lesson. Given where we are as a nation and the political landscape surrounding policing, it is vitally important that we as leaders always be looking down range to anticipate and prevent negative impacts from happening within our organization and community.

    • Jared Paul

      Jeff,

      I agree with your statement about looking down range being important. The field of law enforcement has seemed to be changing very quickly, and it is important to stay on top of that change. There are several ways to make sure this happens and given the tools from this module will definitely help with that.

  • Zach Roberts

    Understanding the team concept and how important it is to have an effective and productive team is important as a leader. This module taught me that you can be the greatest leader in the world but when you no longer have the support and buy in from the team, you have nothing. In order to leas effectively, you need to make sure you are respected and everyone has the buy in and understanding of what you are trying to do. Understanding that everyone may not buy in is when you as a leader need to manage up or manage out.

    • Dustin Burlison

      You are right, Zach. Developing and maintaining solid relationships within your team seems to be one of the hardest things to do in a leadership role, but without it you can call yourself a leader.

  • Jared Paul

    I found the skill of assessing and shifting roles very interesting in this module. I have not thought about asking others what roles they would like me to take or what roles they would want to take. This seems like it can be very effective when interacting with anyone. Being able to recognize other peoples styles will help with assessing what role you might be taking with that interaction and help with you shifting. I have not heard this concept before, so that is why I found it interesting.

    • Donald Vigil

      Jared, Never hearing of this concept either, I found it to be interesting also. It seems rather odd and out of my comfort zone, however, I'm curious to try it and see the results.

    • Andrew Ashton

      Jared you are right. Too often as supervisors we merely assume we are giving our people what they need without asking them what "their" needs even are. Seems almost foreign to many of us but I can really see how that will open more doors of communication and unity.

    • Steven Mahan

      Jared, I agree with you and feel the skill of assessing and shifting is essential. As in previous modules, leadership styles that work today and on one person may not work on another or with another. So we must assess ourselves and who we are speaking with to learn what works. By assessing, we can see if the method is working, and if not, we can shift to a style that achieves the goal we are seeking.

    • Kent Ray

      I agree, I’m usually in such a hurry to communicate what I need to say, so I can move on to the next task that I fail to take the time to put much thought into the delivery or making sure that I properly support the other party’s needs in a conversation. It will be a challenge to learn to do this but it will benefit my communication abilities.

  • Donald Vigil

    The information in this module that stuck with me the most was #49 Assessing your own personal style and the 360 assessment. Although it can be uncomfortable to take a deep look at ourselves along with soliciting what others think about us and our performance, it's important for continuous growth. Reflecting on my personal changes over the last 25 years in LE and the drastic changes in policing in more recent times, I think that these versatility skills are essential in order to be an effective leader.

  • Andrew Ashton

    When I first started my career skill 50, people reading, was my nemesis. As I have progressed and promoted I have challenged myself through the years to strengthen that aspect of myself. I am now very cognizant of the needs of those I work with and their desires. I feel this has definitely led to furthered credibility through mutual understanding and respect. I have shared some of my struggles and victories with newer Sgts in my agency in an effort to bridge that gap. Dr. Andersons statement that "leaders develop other leaders" was very powerful and true.

  • Glenn Hartenstein

    After a review of Module 11, I learned a lot about versatility skills which help you develop your own style and become more responsive to the changing characteristics of individuals. This is definitely important considering the dynamic needs of people and the current environment we live and work in. The skill that got my attention the most is skill 60, lead environment scanning. It is important for leaders in the law enforcement community to have proactive and preventive strategies in place to deal with the turbulent changes and trends we face at this time in history.

  • Curtis Summerlin

    I got the most out of learning about style shifting and the need to develop the ability to assess others in order for me to shift my personal skills to meet the needs of the team or others. It all goes back to communicating with your team and knowing each member so that you can address each as an individual to get the most out of them. If I have worked towards this goal, I can be a more effective leader and have a positive impact.

  • Jerrod Sheffield

    I found this module to open my eyes to see things from a different perspective. I enjoyed getting to learn the 12 skills of versatility. I was drawn to the 11th skill which concentrated on the concept of coaching other leaders to become more effective leaders. Younger deputies coming into a supervisory role need to have that positive influence of how to proceed and become more effective as leaders. It is our responsibility as the more seasoned leaders and supervisors to pass on the positive influences that we can so that it produces a more positive result from the new leaders within the organization. Leaders coaching leaders is an important part to the success of all involved

    • Joey Brown

      Jerrod, I agree with your statement. In addition, I have observed that this tool helps to demonstrate organizational commitment and further development opportunities.

    • Trent Johnson

      Jerrod,

      The section about an officer who had been on the road for 2 years being the FTO for patrol hit very close to home. It is not uncommon for our FTOs to be under 2 years of experience and some of our corporals and sergeants under 5. The issue we run into when promoting higher is we wait for someone to retire or resign, then we post the job, then we fell the slot and then you're thrown into it with little to no training on the job at hand. It is 100% our responsibility, even without a formal program to develop these up and comers as leaders.

  • Joey Brown

    In the module, I learned it is extremely important that leaders equip themselves with versatility skills so they are able to address complex challenges in a fast pace work environment. I have seen when the concepts are properly utilized it will get the most out of your personnel and employees will be able to handle change easier. From experience, having a versatile work environment will protect your agencies permanence, enhance the organizations image, and reduce turnover.

    • Tyler Thomas

      We equip ourselves with all this equipment to do our jobs, but we fail to equip ourselves with these versatility skills. We need to better utilize these skills to get the most out of our employees.

  • Tyler Thomas

    These last three modules have really helped me with a self-assessment and looking at my strengths and weaknesses. Since I have only worked for two small departments that some would consider micro-departments, my promotion history is less than traditional and less than stellar, so I'm behind the 8 ball on leadership development. The skills presented in the module are things I need work on but one thing that stood out was the 5 stages of development: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, Celebrating. I find myself in the storming phase but without utilizing all the other skills learned, that's where I get stuck and then an idea fades away.

    • I completely understand what you are saying Tyler. These last few modules have really helped me to look inward at the issues that I need to improve. These skills are essential and I need to start practicing them to increase my overall effectiveness.

  • Trent Johnson

    I would be lying if I said that I wasn't glad these last skill set modules were complete. These were a lot of information to digest and doing an essay on a single topic didn't feel sufficient for retention. There were all skills that I will be referencing throughout my career in order to better serve those in my department and use to develop the next set of leaders as they come through the ranks.

    • Adam Kronstedt

      Trent, you are not alone in your boat. It took a lot of focus to garner the specifics of each skill during all of those modules back to back. Terry Anderson is obviously a wealth of knowledge and would be a tremendous asset to coach the leaders in any agency. But it sure wasn't easy viewing him on a tiny screen for so long.

      • Rodney Kirchharr

        I cannot disagree with this either, the amount of information that Dr. Anderson puts into these slides is amazing. The ability to digest all of this information was difficult and yet I seem to be able to understand what he was saying in most cases. This information is definitely beneficial to me in the furthering of my leadership within the organization.

  • I really like this module. I found the lecture of style-shifting to be very interesting. For leaders to be effective, they must adapt their leadership style to the situation to bring out the very best in their employees. A leader must be flexible and know when to shift his leadership style to fit the situation, environment, time, and/or officer.

    • Kimberley Baugh

      I agree with you Johnathan. It also gets back to the leader knowing the people under their command. Everyone is different and how you communicate with one of your people can be vastly different the speaking with another person.

    • Kecia Charles

      I agree, a leader must wear many hats. We must be able to adapt our leadership style to fit the situation we are presented with. Flexibility is key to a leaders success.

  • Stephanie Hollinghead

    I realize having a leadership development plan is important for my own development as well as for everyone in my department. My goal is to not only improve myself for my department but to help others in my department to become better and to become better leaders for the future. One of the things mentioned in one of the modeling sessions and was stressed by one of the participants was not waiting until you are in a leadership role to start leadership training. I try to stress the importance of this to some of the younger officers in my department. They are the future of the department. You are never too young to start preparing yourself for a leadership role, in fact, the sooner you begin the better prepared you will be.

    • Tommy “Chris” Weeks

      I think departments should do a better job at providing this leadership training to our younger officers that show the desire and initiative to take on these leadership roles.

  • Dustin Burlison

    This set of skills is often overlooked, especially being engaged enough to coach other leaders. We often work to become better leaders ourselves, and gravitate to those who are already good leaders, but it is much more rare to coach and develop younger leaders instead of just sending them to leadership classes.

    • Dustin, I would start with the informal approach in coaching younger leaders if you do not have a lot of time. You could conduct a brief informal assessment of a young team member to identify their strengths and weaknesses and then just spend time with them, encouraging their strengths and developing their weaknesses. Remember, we are in the people business. You will be amazed at how much this improves your leadership abilities.

  • Kimberley Baugh

    The skills in this module are building on the previously taught skills. Leaders have to be able to role shift. They need to know which “hat” to wear when talking to each of those individuals under their command; which is a reason why you should know the people under your command. Leadership is a constantly developing area and it is incredibly important to organizations. It is imperative to coach our people, as they will become future leaders.

    • Jared Yancy

      I agree, Kim! When it comes to being a leader, you should wear multiple hats. A leader should know every aspect of the job. A leader should know which hat to put on at the needed time. A leader with multiple hats also uses their resources when conflicting issues arrive. Instead of stressing about it, they find ways to fix the problem despite the severity or complexity of the issue at hand. Great post!

  • Steven Mahan

    I enjoyed the short video by Johnathan Fanning. He gave a brief plan for improving leadership in one year and laid out the program in his video. I can daily evaluate my Clarity of Vision, Courage, and Responsibility and write down those observations, focusing on each skill for a week and assessing those characteristics. That self-reflection is what is needed for honest improvement. Focus and Feedback being the importance. I appreciated that it was reasonable, easy to complete, and wasn’t a 92 step plan that likely won’t get finished. So what will I do to daily improve Clarity of Vision, Courage, and Responsibility.

  • Jared Yancy

    Having versatility within your career is always a good thing. This modules made some key points about versatility in the work place and a leader wearing multiple hats when it comes to being a supervisor. When you’re working hard to build your reputation as a professional and to fulfill current objectives at work it’s easy to lose sight of what’s happening beyond your immediate work environment. Yet your versatility as a professional depends on observing the ‘bigger picture’ around you in your immediate workplace and in the broader working environment so that you are ready to act in the interests of your career.

  • Adam Kronstedt

    For me, self assessment and understanding your own personal style has the biggest importance. It almost sounds cliche, but if we are able to understand our own motivations, feelings, and thoughts, we are better equipped to effectively interact with others. I didn't always feel this way, but I believe it is very important for everyone in an organization to take some sort of personal style evaluation. This can be used to help the individual understand how personal styles can conflict with others, and how to leverage personal styles to interact effectively.

  • Rodney Kirchharr

    Several of these skills are things that really show the need for building our team for the future. The ability of our agencies to prepare the upcoming officers to lead is imperative and requires all of the leaders of today to work together to accomplish. Coaching the younger officers is of utmost importance and the skills learned in this module could benefit greatly towards getting those young officers ready to lead. The skills of asking questions to better learn how people want information presented to them is kind of an obvious skill, that most of us do not use proficiently. I know that I do not ask questions but generally assume that everyone wants information given to them the way that I do, and that is a failure on my part.

    • Matt Lindsey

      I had the same thought regarding the skill of asking someone how they want information presented. Reviewing the module, that seemed like an obvious thing to do, but I don't think I have ever asked someone that. I also have presented information in a way that I would have liked it presented to me. When I can just ask how it would be most effective for another person, there is no reason to guess at it.

  • Deana Hinton

    Skill 60, where you lead the environment scanning is so very important in the fact that we need to remember that change is ongoing. To be innovative and progressive organizations need to always be current in the latest trends that fundamentally drive their businesses. If you do not keep up on the latest research, methodology and futuristic goals you cannot plan for the agency's growth and how that change will impact them today and in the days to come. It will not only keep you on the cutting edge, but will allow you to plan fiscally and in terms of staffing changes and growth. Organizations who fail to do this do not thrive in change but die.

  • Matt Lindsey

    The discussion of the 360 assessment within Skill 58 was interesting. A supervisor I work with is interested in improving our current evaluation process. He feels the process is lacking and does not adequately encourage employee development. Currently, our performance evaluations are completed by an employee's supervisor. He is interested in implementing a 360 assessment. I think a 360 assessment potentially has excellent benefits. Receiving feedback from your peers and even those you supervise may reveal weaknesses or blind spots you did not realize you had.

    • Jeff Spruill

      I've developed a version of the 360 tool in my units. Recently, I put together a questionnaire for detectives to fill out on their supervisors. I collected the impressions the detectives had of their supervisors' strengths and weaknesses. I also put together a similar document for each of them (and asked them to fill one out on me). I then met with each of the lieutenants one on one and was able to share with them both my impressions of them, and the impressions their subordinates had of them. I stressed for them that the way they see themselves and the way others see them may not be the same. In this case, what they learn is how they might adjust their behavior, the way they talk to and treat others, etc., so that people can see them as they know they really are. Obviously, this doesn't have the institutional staying-power of the official performance eval, but for conscientious supervisors who want to know how others see them and who are willing and able to adjust their behavior to develop themselves, it's a good tool.

    • Chris Fontenot

      Matt, I agree. This would be great to the leaders that can take critique from the team without getting offended. We try to learn from each other’s mistakes including mine and input is always welcome from any direction. This seems to eliminate a lot of adversity I see other leaders deal with on regular basis.

      • Mitchell Lofton

        I believe many of us were promoted to supervision without being adequately prepared. As a result, we had to find our way and hope we were making wise decisions. As I teach the Field Training Officer course, many of my students have questioned why the agency does not send officers to leadership schools before promotion. This is something we are currently looking at changing. Instead of the old on-the-job training, we want to prepare them for the future.

  • Jeff Spruill

    I appreciated the explanation in Skill 50 of learning our subordinates' styles. One thing I learned several years ago that really changed the way I interacted with others was to be very transparent about by own "style." I learned to tell people what the weaknesses in my personality style are and began giving people permission to point it out to me when I was falling into my bad habits. So while this has been helpful in helping people I work closely with understand me better, it hadn't occurred to me to use questions like these to understand them better. If I can adjust my approach for other people and build better relationships with them through this ability, I'm really interested in doing so. I'm eager to try these questions out and see what I can learn and how I can adjust my style to better match theirs.

    • George Schmerer

      I also found myself struggling with learning the style of those of were direct reports. Early in my career, I fell into the bad habit of not truly listening to those around me. I wasn't as transparent about my faults in my leadership style. As I grew in knowledge and experience it was easier to be more transparent about my personality style and the potential weaknesses that come up from time to time. I have had a much more positive encounter when I slow down, look at the issue from the other person's view. I have been able to have difficult conversations with staff but with a positive resolution by the time the conversation was concluded.

      • Michael McLain

        George I have found myself suffering from the same bad habits. I agree the ability to put ourselves in the other persons shoes, allows for a more positive outcome.

    • Jeremy Harrison

      Jeff,
      I appreciate you explaining to your teams your preferred styles. I am curious the process you took to identify those preferred styles. There are things I like a certain way, but I have never evaluated my specific leadership styles to pass that on to my teams. This module will obviously help me do that more successfully. I am curious how many people have taken up your offer to point out weaknesses. I have not gone down this pathway, but I have opened the door allowing employees to voice their complaints without fear of retribution and frustration. I recently had one employee take me up on the offer. This employee was mad at me over a misperception that was quickly cleared up when they finally came to speak with me. I do believe being open in these ways in contrary to traditional leadership, but it does clearly work to increase morale and communication.

  • Dan Sharp

    The discussion on Style assessment and learning versatility really got me to thinking about how this is something I need to improve on. assessing and identifying individuals style differences and understand how they receive and give information is critical to completing being able to effectively communicate with them, decrease conflict, improve the the relationship and your credibility as a leader. Realizing not everyone learns or intakes information the same way and being able practice versatility is so important when responding to individuals or teams.

  • George Schmerer

    This module on Versatility Skills is very useful. Learning how to put all of the skills from the last several modules together is very critical to becoming an effective leader. Having the knowledge base that not all skill sets will be effective and you as the leader need to be able to read the people who you are trying to get the message to better is important for effective communication, which will decrease potential conflicts and increase interpersonal relationships with the team and leader. Knowing that we all learn or process information differently, a leader who is willing to recognize the 5 stages of development and can adapt to the circumstances will gain more credibility.

  • Michael McLain

    Being a new supervisor, I was amazed at the abundance of skills needs to be a great leader. This module has supplied me with so many more tools to become the leader my team deserves. I just hope I can apply them correctly to achieve success for myself, team and organization.

  • Jeremy Harrison

    Much of this module came down to meekness and grace. Leaders must utilize meekness in the sense they should not allow themselves to be offended as the initial response to interactions they do not appreciate. Leaders must also extend grace to employees, knowing every employee has their own perceptions and preferences which may be different from the leader. When Anderson spoke about shifting our styles to interact with our employees, it could be easily described as grace and commonality (2017). Moving an organization forward has many roads to the same destination. Leaders must not demand employees take certain roads outside their abilities but must instead ensure the employees are taking a route which will end up at the correct destination. I always think of leaders as the rudder of the ship and the employees as the engine. We merely have to make minor inputs from time to time to keep everything pointed in the right direction. It is the employees who provide the energy and work to achieve the goals.

    References:

    Anderson, T. (2017). Every officer is a leader: Cluster #5 [Online Lecture]. Retrieved March 10, 2022, from https://cloud.scorm.com/content/courses/NAGVXPB5E6/Cluster54339d88b-615f-4ce7-aa71-617ea01c2601/4/index_lms.html

  • Andrew Weber

    I found it interesting that my department in particular does not focus more on leadership qualities when promoting but instead focus on the technical side of how well they do their job. I have seen the negative effects of this all to often, where a supervisor may be good at what they do, but have no social skills to go with it and those underneath them end up hating to have to work with them. I have seen it the other way though too. I have worked with one supervisor who I thought did a great job at developing leaders. A couple of years later, I would hear from his employees at how they hate to work with him because he is constantly trying to develop them and that crew did not want that. I guess that supervisor has to do a better job at Skill #50.

  • Kent Ray

    Skill 55: Recognizing and Facilitating 5 Stages of Development is one of many skills and competencies that my agency was missing when we attempted a character-based reset over decade ago. We had the best of intentions be we simply didn’t have the skills or competencies to make any significant change. The skills of this module’s cluster and the previous chapters’ clusters have really allowed me to see the points of failure in our ill-fated attempt at character-based reform.

  • Devon Dabney

    I liked skill 58 and the 6 steps towards becoming a better leader. A Leadership Development Plan is important to developing your own personal leadership skills. There are steps that need to be taken to become a good leader. The more focus that an organization puts on helping employees reach those steps, the better off they will be in the future.

  • Versatility skills: As was discussed in this module, it is important that all team members, not only leaders, have the skills to shift between the different styles, rolls, and skills. However, leaders with all these attributes are like a unicorn (dynamic), I have never entirely seen one. I have always thought of people like this as a chameleon of sorts, this includes me at times.

    I can relate to Versatility Skill #59, coach other leaders. It was rewarding when on the receiving end of being coached in that someone took the time to assess me and to have a hand in developing my skills as a technician and later as a leader. On the other hand, it was both rewarding and insightful to be in the coaching role. I have found that I have learned so much more about myself in the coaching role. If you have never formally or informally coached someone, you are missing a leadership experience that will improve your leadership skills and affect the future of your agency long after your gone.

    • I also tend to admire this skill very much. There is a wall for photos in our department of the officers who have retired from our agency. Many officers pick out the good ones and point out the bad ones. My goal has always been to be the one picked out for good reasons and the younger generations can look up to as role models. Coaching them either in the FTO program or just throughout their career, our goal is to make them better than we were.

  • Todd Walden

    I found this module interesting. I came up in a department where time and job performance were primary factors for promotion. Often, a supervisor would find himself running the show and has never been coached or shown what it takes to be a leader. these modules give some guidance on how to remedy that.

    • Lawrence Dearing

      I agree with you, Todd. I too began my career in such a department, but as I've gained rank and responsibility for the development of subordinates, I have found that the methods and tactics used for my own growth and development do not suffice for these newer generations. I have been challenged to discover ways to reach these young officers and I'm grateful to have found some answers and new skills in this training.

    • Jason Doucet

      I also agree , as I've came up in somewhat a similar climate. As time went on I found myself wanting to be more of a leader and not only a supervisor but had no information other than life skills. This lecture really gave insight on the bringing up the future and what it takes to be an effective leader.

  • Chris Fontenot

    Team and Organizational Skills, throughout this lesson I have ran across many skills that I currently use but never actually considered them a skill set. More like common sense and having many successes and failures in 52 years of life that have developed ways of thinking and operation. This lesson and the others provided me with more foundation to the importance of true effective leadership.

  • Tommy “Chris” Weeks

    The most beneficial skill I found in this module was #58 - Leadership Skills to Help Yourself and Others. We have found ourselves in the position of having a very young department and having to place officers with not a lot of time in service, but who have shown a high degree of competency in their job to FTO positions. I also agree with providing officers with leadership training prior to being promoted to start the development of leadership skills and this is also something officers have requested.

  • Lawrence Dearing

    I liked the observation by Morgan Spurlock in the opening video when he said, “If you take chances if you take risks, that in those risks will come opportunity. I believe that when you push people away from that, you’re pushing them towards failure.” He went on to state that when you train your employees to be risk-averse, you are preparing your whole company to be reward-challenged. There is a lot of truth in that. During the module, I agreed with Dr. Anderson’s emphasis on the importance of skill shifting. Since so many of the skills overlap and are intertwined, and we tend to deal with so many people of different generations and diverse backgrounds, it is imperative that the leaders of today be adept and interchanging skills and style-shifting.

  • Mitchell Lofton

    My biggest takeaway from this module is preparing for the future—skill #60 Lead Environmental Scanning and Initiating Proactive Responses to future trends. Throughout my career, I often find we were placed into not necessarily bad situations but, at minimum awkward ones due to the lack of planning and preparation for future trends. If our past leaders had been looking ahead, some of the issues would not have been issues. We must look ahead to ensure our future leaders are prepared and equipped to handle their situations.

    • Walter Banks

      I agree that a lack of planning and preparation for future trends has been an issue. Another issue I see is a lack of following through on great ideas. I have sat on several teams with proper planning and preparation where the commitment to execution was not there.

  • Walter Banks

    In reviewing this module, I was given a lot of insight into what I need to improve on. My strength has always been in communication. I developed some of the skills discussed in the module in my career as a police officer, but I have not continued to improve or update my methods.

  • Lance Richards

    It is sometimes tricky reading people. I understand the importance of the skills discussed in this module, as it makes for better interactions and brings credibility. I like how they discussed being blunt and sometimes just asking, “Do you want the details or the bottom line?” Some people simply like to get straight to the point, while others want all the facts laid out for them.

    • Jeremy Pitchford

      Session #015
      I sometimes find that I want the details and other times I just want the bottom line. I agree that it is a good idea to ask what the other person wants.

  • Kecia Charles

    The skill I found most interesting was coaching leaders. It is important to prepare the future of our organization by making sure the next generation is adequately prepared to take over when the time comes. This will ensure our organization continues to thrive and be successful.

  • Jimmie Stack

    The versatility of a leader can never be underestimated. Being able to adapt to situations that arise with your team or with people you interact with is a necessary trait. The ever changing atmosphere of law enforcement whether it is on patrol, in the corrections setting or just interacting with the public requires versatility. The turnover that happens inside the department requires versatility to the ever changing personalities that come and go.

  • Jason Doucet

    As a leader, it is important to assess individuals to be able to shift into a role that allows us to be more genuine with them. Very good information and was surprised to learn that having our supervisor hat on should be the last thing we would want to wear given the circumstances.

    • Paul Smith

      I was told a long time ago that your subordinates should respect you as a person not by the rank you wear. But I was also thought I still had to always lead by example. I also do understand why we don’t always want to wear the supervisor hat.

      • Joseph Spadoni

        I was also taught this. I always looked at it as they are a man/woman first then an employee and I found that I get better responses from individuals when approached as such rather than approaching straight as a supervisor.

    • Cedric Gray

      I think the key to this is that it is most productive when those involved are genuine.

      • Kevin Carnley

        I agree with you that you have to be genuine in your interaction with other to be most effective.

  • Paul Smith

    This lesson was able to show me how to assess and shift roles to better serve not only the leaders above but also below my current position. I really enjoyed the skill of coaching other leaders. I know in the military I tend to do this very often as a first sergeant coaching the company commander.

  • Cedric Gray

    The explanations of role-and style- shifting were things I had not considered. It is easy to see how effective shifting can positively affect outcomes. Awareness of this using it, as opposed to wearing only one "hat," can prevent miscommunication and failures to correctly perceive situations.

  • Joseph Spadoni

    Joseph Spadoni Jr.
    Session #15

    By utilizing the versatility skills we will be able to develop our own style and become more responsive to the characteristic changes of individuals, teams, and the organization. Learning about style-shifting taught me that it is important to be able to assess the style of another person, team, or organization and be able to adjust our responses to better fit what is most appropriate so that we can better achieve our purposes.

  • Kevin Carnley

    I found a lot of good information in this module. I am excited to put the skills of facilitating a team into practice. I liked Dr. Adizes' example of the Team and hand showing that being together is a blessing and apart is a curse. I will likely utilize this to demonstrate leadership in the future. I also found the explanation of Communication, counselling and consulting and shifting between them helpful.

    • Jason Wade

      Kevin, I also found the Communication Counseling and Consulting concepts helpful. Knowing how to shift between the three processes and knowing when to shift is one of the key points. In those groups setting being able to shift and utilize them for the whole team is a great key for success for the team and as a leader.

  • Joe Don Cunningham

    I believe was must plan for the future by training our new officers to be leaders. We must constantly make sure that we as leaders are not holding back on the teaching to the up and coming leaders of the future. The agency I work for is a young agency where the average years on the job is about 4 to 5. With the command staff all able to retire now or within the next few years, these officers must be trained to be able to move into these leadership roles.

    • Elliot Grace

      Joe,
      I agree, we had a problem when a lot of our retirees left without leaving us with an understanding of the budgeting process. The staff that replaced the retirees had a difficult time of budgeting and had to consult with the accounting department to gather an understanding. Since then, our current staff realizes what a mess it creates when you fail to pass on your skills and knowledge. The staff now includes lower ranking officers to the staff meetings and are transparent with budgeting information so that they will have an understanding. There’s mentoring and coaching that comes with it now before it becomes too late.

    • Mitch Nelson

      I agree Joe. My agency has started to take this approach as within the next 5 years at least half of our command staff will likely be retired. They have revamped leadership training down to Corporal and above, but I would like to see it all the way down to our newest hire. Because as we have learned, every officer is a leader!

  • Elliot Grace

    This module gave me an understanding of introducing change and realizing there is going to be conflict and stress involved. An assessment and knowing who to include and how the change will be introduced were interesting topics.

  • I constantly assess officers throughout the work day. I even assess them while listening to the radio. This leads me to skill #59 – Coaching other leaders to become more effective leaders. For one, I push every officer to help every officer. If anyone can give constructive advice on performing the job better, they must bring it to other officers’ attention. As skill #49 talks about assessing your personal style, I find myself constantly trying to improve this but also promoting the same skill to others so they can improve themselves.

    • Jarrett Holcombe

      I agree we must ensure those who will replace us are provided with every advantage and opportunity to exceed our expectations. We must also ensure those above us are helping us to be better than they are.

  • Jarrett Holcombe

    Being confident in our understanding and application of all the skills learned throughout this lesson, as well as the ones discussed in earlier modules, is key to our success as Dr. Anderson stated. For me, the most interesting taking away from the module was skill fifty-seven (57). The development and implementation of continuous improvement teams. I believe this, if implemented and facilitated properly, to be critical to the success of any organization. In public safety specifically, I believe reducing this down to a divisional level would be the most beneficial. Implementing multiple teams across each specialty (patrol, investigations, leadership, training/equipment, etc.) comprised of strong leaders and subject matter experts alike will foster growth, innovation, and creativity while advancing our current tactics, procedures, and provided services with the ever changing times.

  • Mitch Nelson

    My biggest take away from this module was Skill 58- Leadership Skills to Help Yourself and Others. I think we as leaders need to self assess first and come up with a plan. Then we can help our people to self assess what they need in a leadership plan for themselves and then we follow up with a progress report for them.

    • Patrick Hall

      totally agree, we need to think before we act many times. By us looking at the skills that we first need to master to enhance ourselves can only have a positive outcome on the product (the plan) that we are attempting to put out and expecting others to adapt and follow. We must be willing to lead ourselves before we can began to lead others.

    • Daniel Hudson

      I agree, Mitch,
      A leader must first ensure that they are effective and can accomplish this by conducting a 360-degree assessment of themselves. Once this has been completed, they can help others evaluate themselves and develop a leadership plan for success.

  • Patrick Hall

    I enjoyed the lecture over versatility. It is key that all persons be able to adapt and overcome any situation that they are faced with. We should always expect resistance and plan for those issues before they arise. Being versatile with our people, plan and expectation will broaden our chances to excel and accomplish the task at hand. I know for me one of my biggest drawbacks in my younger years is that I didn’t plan for the “what if” items which contributed to many failures.

  • Jason Wade

    This lecture really had a focus of longer term strategic planning. In today's staffing concerns and transition from baby boomer staff it always feels that having time to do this level of work is challenging as it feels there is always a more pressing need in a tactical sense.

    One of the more prevailing topics that hit in all chapters of this lesson was that to be successful in this process, is the mastery of the previous lessons and skills. Communication, empathy, and knowing how to utilize the right tactic is essential for this higher level of skills.

  • Daniel Hudson

    Skill 57 (Cross-Functional Continuous Improvement Teams) is something I can learn from and implement as a leader. This is a way for either an individual leader of a small unit or the leader of a large organization to show that they value evidence and intelligence-driven change and that the imposed change will be monitored and adapted for the organization's good.

    • Patrick Brandle

      This is a great tool or skill for our teams or departments. I agree that factual and evidentiary input from an informed, and focused group is a great benefit. Using outside sources with a fresh point of view with expertise could also benefit us.

  • Patrick Brandle

    I appreciated the comments made by Dr. Adizes about leadership. He stated the perfect manager does not exist. He also said that we are all preoccupied with the word leader. Dr. Adizes talked about the title progression of the administration to the management to the executive to the leader, which all mean the same thing. He emphasized the necessity of your team's help and collaboration to lead well because none of us are perfect, and no one is a perfect leader. His statements were helpful and humbling. He compared leadership to a hand. All the fingers do different things but are very powerful when they work together.
    He stated that a leader is a thumb on the hand because it is the only finger that works with every other finger. Those fingers can either work together to accomplish a task or not work together and fail.