Positive Leadership: Invest in People Building a Culture of Innovation

By Fred Leland

‘The basis of courage is individual initiative. If we cannot act alone, we cannot act together.” ~John Maxwell

For a law enforcement organization to run smoothly it needs positive leadership. Positive leadership when a leader interacts with the frontline. Interaction is not just to get to know those a leader works with and serves, although knowing your people is a important component to leading. Interaction is as well to continually develop and train and develop not only ourselves but those the leader serves in an effort to build a common outlook. In the end positive leader understands that a strong common outlook between the top and frontline establishes trust, or even better mutual trust. The leader's true work: Be worthy of his or her constituents' trust. Positive leaders know the side with the stronger group feeling has a great advantage.

Strong trust encourages delegation and reduces the amount of information and tactical direction needed at the top or strategic level. With less information to process and a greater focus on strategic issues, the decision making cycle at the top accelerates and the need for policies and procedures diminishes, creating a more fluid and agile organization. Mutual trust, unity and cohesion underlie everything.

Positive leaders give objective driven orders. Orders that give a commanders intent or end state of operations over methods. This reduces the need for explicit communications (micro-management) between command and the frontline. This causes little overlap of responsibility and good economy of effort evolves throughout the organization, allowing the strategic, tactical and operational elements to influence the environment, and enabling decision making to be much more fluid in handling conventional and unconventional problem(s).

Tactics are not mandated from above but are developed and implemented at each level by those closest to the problem. In other words decisions are made by those reading and feeding off the scene as events unfold. This allows individual insight, innovation and initiative at solving problems, resulting in greater morale and buy in throughout the organization. These factors combine and increase the probability of rendering effective solutions to a vast array of law enforcement and safety and security related problems.

Positive leaders give the frontline broad authority, hence allowing initiative to be the driving factor behind solving problems , by continuously interacting with the environment allowing a fast and fluid decision making cycle on the frontline. Information flows from the bottom, up and influences the organization strategic and operational elements in accordance with the overall commander’s intent.

What I am talking about here is that positive leadership offers s true decentralized control throughout the organization. This decentralized (BOTTOMS/ UP) approach allows freedom to decide at the strategic, operational and tactical levels of a law enforcement mission. The intuitive decisions are made at the tactical and operational levels while the slower strategic decisions are made at the top. Decision makers working cohesively at all levels is enhances successful operations.

Positive leadership takes hard work on the part of all in an organization. Positive leaders focus on developing both themselves and those they lead making themselves the type of person people want to follow and at the same time developing others to be effective at their jobs. A Positive leader let go of their egos and lead to serve others and not for personal gain. Positive leaders build positive relationships in an effort to influence others which in the end “influencing others” is what leadership is all about.

It takes a complete understanding that, leadership is a day to day thing and not an event driven thing! Day to day interaction, training and developing in an effort to prepare and ready all in an organization for any event we may face.

Positive leadership is about sharing whatever power you have throughout an organization, not keeping all you know to yourself. You must teach those you lead what you do and they will become better at what they do! Positive leadership inspires, imitative and action as well as continued learning, unlearning and relearning always striving to be better and more effective at what we do. Positive leaders breed positive attitudes and DOERS.

Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it piece by piece, by thought, choice, courage and determination.” ~John Luther

Stay Oriented!


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