Here’s an excellent article about law enforcement leadership that can be translated to any type of organization.
As the article states, the “Five Cs” of leadership include: courage, character, commitment, compassion, and communication. We, at GT, honed in on one C in particular: Communication.
To quote the article author, John Arnold:
“Communication is not simply telling others what they need to do. Effective communication requires that a chief clearly states his or her mission to the organization. Then steps must be taken to ensure that the instructions or directions were clearly understood. Were the necessary tools or procedures provided? Inspect the work to see if the task is being performed properly. Lastly, proper feedback, additional resources, clarifying directions, or anything else that is required must be given. Often, the troops comment, “the chief (or captain, lieutenant, sergeant) never stops by or listens to us.” Communicating with every member of a department can be a daunting task especially for the larger agencies. Yet, this is still important, and steps can be taken to develop a number of communication methods to stay in touch.
As pointed out in “A Fighter Pilot’s Guide to Effective Communication” by Lieutenant Colonel Rob “Waldo” Waldman, the following methods can result in very positive results:
- Have a mass briefing at least once a month. Gather your troops and communicate the latest trends, organizational goals, equipment upgrades, etc. Your wingmen need to hear important news—whether good or bad—from you first. This is also a great time to publicly recognize your top performers.
- Conduct feedback sessions on a regular basis. Sit down with your wingmen [staff] and let them know how they are doing. Are they meeting your expectations? Ask them about their goals and challenges and how you can help. Then solicit feedback on you as a leader. What would they like to see from you? Avoid letting your ego get in the way of their feedback.
- Walk the flight line [your station or police facility]. Get your hands dirty with your wingmen [staff]. Spend time with them on the job and observe how they do business. Ask questions. Show them your appreciation by connecting with them as people first and employees second.
- Debrief your missions. Remove your “rank” and conduct a nameless, blameless, and rank-less debrief after every critical mission. Find out if objectives were met, and analyze why they weren’t. Search for trends and communicate these to the rest of your organization.“
Guardian Tracking clients are reaping the benefits of consistent, transparent, and documented communication to assist in creating leaders from within their organization.
Source: Jon Arnold, “The Five Cs of Law Enforcement Leadership,” The Police Chief 80 (November 2013): 22–27.