- Post a new discussion related to the topics covered in this module. Your post needs to provide specific lessons learned with examples from this module helping you enhance your leadership capacity at work.
- After posting your discussion, review posts provided by other students in the class and reply to at least one of them.
In the lecture we were provided many ways a leader can be successful and how we can in fact identify what type of leader we are or in some cases will become. General Powell I thought provided the key note in the realm of leadership and that is with the word “trust”. The word trust does not only apply to me personally in my professional life but also through my personal life.
In my personal life I do believe the foundation of leader starts at a very young age. The reason I say this is because we will surround ourselves with the people we beleive help in that process like our family and friends. Another way in the building of a leader are clubs and sports we join to deciding what school we are going to attend and in what we are going to get involved in. This is a blue print of the beginning of a leader that wants excel. Sometime, along the process we may get lost and eventually discover someone that lights another candle that leads to another trail of learning to become a leader.
When I finally discovered what type of profession I wanted to pursue I noticed that I started to surround myself with leaders in that field. I was hungry to learn and wanted to feed on every word or idea they had. I wanted to understand what it took to become a leader and how I could succeed. The lecture captured some of those findings. Leaders can not be dictators. Leaders need to be able to do what he/she asks others to do. Your team will follow you when they believe in you. It is important as a leader to establish a goal that everyone can be apart of and also important to allow your team to feel as if they are important in the process of achieving the overall goal.
No matter how a person achieves their leadership ability I think it is important to understand that at some point in our professional career we may fail and that is ok. Because the true leader will rise and will succeed. For me when I realized this is my life, I was able to look at myself in the mirror and say; “I was blessed to have great leaders in my life and through out my journey the true mentors/friends stayed with me all the way and I was able to acheive my personal goal. Now I want to be the person that will help others recognize their leadership abilities and grow with them.
The concept that leadership is the art of influencing behavior towards organizational goals which is accomplished through building trust in the organization and of the leader (Powell) is critical. While these are not new concepts it serves as a great reminder and this lesson provides good insight on how to motivate those who work with us. We need to partner with our staff, lead by example, share expectations and objectives with those in the agency. As a leader we need to be consistent, predictable, and live morally. When we are practicing these concepts then we will gain the trust, confidence and respect that is needed to be the leader.
The concept that I took most from this lesson was what Colin Powell said. I believe he is correct that the fundamental core of leadership is trust. Even as a leader, I have followed many others in the past and still do. The leader/follower dynamic is a fundamental part of any organization or structure. It is a concept that applies our entire life. The leaders in my past that I respected most were the ones I could trust and were willing to do the same hard work I was being asked to do. The leaders I disliked were the ones I couldn’t trust and were hypocritical.
The concept I liked the least in this lecture was that the people follow leaders for their own personal gain. People follow for different reasons. Drawing from past experiences, I was always willing to go above and beyond for a leader out of respect and for the greater good. I agree that at the end of the day people go to work for money but they follow and will excel for other reasons. I believe most people will far exceed expectations if they respect and trust their leaders.
To me, one of the most important concepts identified was “Lead by Example.”
As a leader it is critically important that your subordinates know not only can you talk the talk, but you can walk the walk. Therefore I believe a good leader must consistently lead from the front and not ask anyone to do something they are not willing or able to do themselves.
Here is an example to consider…. As the Chief of Police, your accident data suggests that there is an increase in accidents in a particular area and the contributing factors point to speed and distracted driving. As the Chief (with the “Authority”) it would be very easy to simply give an order to increase enforcement in that particular area. But as the Chief (and true leader) he or she may address the problem with his or her subordinates then go out and lead by example by assisting in the enforcement detail.
Now I know many are thinking that they can’t imagine the Chief out there stopping cars while there are other pressing issues, but it is critical that your followers know that you are ready willing and able to carry out any of the functions you would ask of them.
I believe that the lesson provided good insight into what being a good leader is. A person of authority is not always a leader in the eyes of their subordinates depending on his principles and actions that they take to engage them. A good leader needs to be a person who commands the trust of his followers by showing that he is able to take charge in a situation and get his team out of the fire in a sense. It is also crucial that the good leader is able to determine what their followers intrinsic motivations are. By knowing what a subordinate or peer wants can help you craft mission goals in a way that inspires the most motivation and efficiency.
I thought the video of General Colin Powell contained the most value. Trust is key part of leadership at both ends. If the leader trust their people to complete their mission or job then the leader is not micromanaging them. For those being lead knowing that their leader trust them to complete a mission or task without being told how to it. This topic was mentioned on a slide. It said something to effect of give your team a task, just don’t tell them how to complete it. I think this is true is most situations allow people to develop their own way. Sometimes a leader might need to show a team how to complete a task but other it may not be necessary.
The course continued two other that feel or very important respect and positivity. Everybody has seen that negative person who has nothing good to say about the job, employer, or whatever. Negativity is so hard to overcome. Leader should always present a positive attitude. Respect is also a giant key and a simple thing to do. Be respect to the people you work with. Listen and value their ideas and thoughts.
This information provided a unique perspective on leadership. It defined a leader as more than just an individual who gives orders, takes corrective actions, has a title and gets paid more than others.
Trust and confidence play an integral role in effective leadership. While any subordinate may be inclined to do as they are told and follow orders to avoid reprimand, they may not be encouraged to go above and beyond if they do not trust their supervisor enough to approach them for answers and advice. If subordinates are encouraged by trust, respect, and positive reinforcement, they will tend to go above and beyond to accomplish the goals set forth by their leader.
A leader’s reputation can also play a significant role in the effectiveness and trust their subordinates have in them. It is without doubt that anyone would prefer not to work for someone that they have heard more negative things about than positive things. Reputation can affect whether or not a leader can be a motivating force to others. A negative reputation can also deplete trust and confidence.
Leaders will lead by example whether they recognize this or not, so both their positive and negative interactions with their subordinates will have the same impact. Effective leaders serve as examples to future leaders, and eventually our subordinates may find themselves in a leadership position. Thus, setting the standard of an excellent leader directly impacts the future of an agency. It is vital that leaders understand and appreciate the importance of trust.
Dodd, I want to thank you for highlighting how a leaders reputation can also define how ones is received. There are many individuals in our world that have leading roles from government positions to the manager in a grocery store. But there are times many who are in those positions deserve that recognition. However, when they abuse their position and power that is when they should held accountable. I was always told that even though I am off the clock, as a law enforcement officer back in the day, we were still on and required to manage and police ourselves because the commander would not be happy if the next day he heard of one of his being out of line. I also understand that leaders will lead by example. No matter what type of leader a person is set out to do others will follow especially if they believe the person sending the message with action.
Having a title of a leader doesn’t make you a “leader”. I agree that it takes clear direction, motivation, along with trust and respect to earn followers to become a true leader. Also having a positive attitude will affect the work environment and how others perceive you. A great example given was making the agency’s ethics and objectives your own, instead of talking against it and causing a negative atmosphere.
I like your point. “Make the agency’s ethics and objectives your own” I this show the importance of the and by the leader making them theirs it reinforces the value of the agency’s ethics. It show support for the agency. The negative atmosphere is killer just like positivity is contagious so is negativity which makes anything non enjoyable.
There are many different definitions of what a leader or leadership can be, however, Chief Benthin, explained a leader as someone who has the ability to influence the thoughts and reactions of another individual (Module 1, Part 1). By having an understanding of what defines a leader the foundation can be laid to build the appropriate skills and techniques for an individual to become an effective leader. Each member of the team may have a different desires or needs; so it is imperative for the leader to learn what each one of their members wants so they can have a better understanding of what is going to motivate them. It was interesting to learn that the stronger motivators were things the member may not realize they want; such as success, self-esteem or fun. As a leader this is a great way to look outside the box on ways to motivate individuals or the team. Having the ability to motivate a team to accomplish a goal is extremely important on all levels; it increases the productivity of the unit, increases morale of the team and affects the overall mission of the division. As a leader of a smaller team of six individuals I am always looking at different ways to motivate my team and to increase productivity. Many of the times I feel as though I am falling flat. The idea of having the members agree to the goal and then assigning specific tasks to achieve the goal may be a better approach instead of allowing each of them to self-regulate to try and reach the goal.
People always say relationships are built of trust so why wouldn’t trust be a key factor of being a good leader. If a leader is unable to gain the trust of their members and the leader doesn’t trust their members then the team as a whole is going to fail. One of the biggest takes away for me was to communicate my plan so the team knows my vision for the unit, even if the plan doesn’t pan out the way it was intended at least they know there was a plan.
“Attitude reflects leadership.” I believe being a leader with great attitude will affect greatly on how your followers will act upon your attitude towards them or others in the work environment. I would not want to come to work if my leader was negative towards myself or others. Followers will mock that behavior. Being as I am a becoming a leader myself, I know that being trusted is key to having a successful team. Your followers come to you as a leader for advice on how to do objectives. Willing to show them how, rather than telling them how to do such objectives.
I liked the statement that “leadership is ACTION not position” as our actions speak louder then words and a true leader doesn’t have to be someone who has a title or rank. Part of actions include our daily attitude; the video clip nailed it by saying, “attitude reflects leadership.” If the leaders walk around with a poor attitude about the department or the mission then their members are going to start to exhibit that same behavior. If the leader continues to allow its members to have a bad attitude about duties or responsibilities then eventually that is going to affect the other member’s perception of the leader.
Couldn’t agree more… to be a great leader you must have a great attitude. There is no question that your subordinates will emulate your attitude and actions. It is critical that you are positive, and adopt the “glass is half full” attitude. Everyone has a bad day, but as a leader you must control your emotions and come to work with a positive attitude.
I thought the lectures were motivational. I reflected on my own behaviors under the chain of command and I do know that I perform better when I trust the leaders. I am fortunate to have worked under knowledgeable supervisors and managers and I am aligned with their goals which makes the work tasks easier. It was mentioned in this forum that we are forced to work under supervisors that we have not chosen however I think if we maintain the general ethics of law enforcement in our daily lives one could find themselves within a chain of command that is a better fit.
I believe the topics presented in Foundations & Principles were basic for building a strong foundation on Leadership. A lot of leaders expect people to do things because they tell them to do it. There’s no foundation or explanation of why. I think we forget to start with basic information and knowledge when we are given a leadership role/position. I thought this topic was informative and my take away was explaining your direction and plan to your team.
I feel in order to be a great leader you must be kind and have a level of trust. Praise and acknowledge the good and correct the bad while allowing people to redeem themselves. I’ve noticed when correcting someone they tend to be discouraged in their performance. It is up to a true leader to uplift, motivate and guide their staff in the right direction in order to be successful. I’m not implying that you coddle them, but try to get them to focus on moving forward and not repeating the same mistakes.
I agree with your comment. Leaders need to build up and motivate. Some leaders don’t “pay attention” to their team. Knowing who works for you, what they want, what they need, and what they’re looking for, goes a long way in leadership skills.
I agree completely when correcting someone they tend to be discouraged. I know that if I do some thing wrong, I would like to be told that I did mess up. But show me the correct steps or manner in how to approach next time so I do not make the same mistake again.
Two quotes that stuck with me in this lecture were, “Authority is a poor substitute for leadership” and “Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” I’ve witnessed people in a leadership role use their authority as their motivator to lead, which is very ineffective. It’s makes subordinates quickly lose respect for their leader. On the other end, encouraging someone who continues to make progress, no matter how slow, is a quick way to get your subordinate to follow you. I will used those quotes (any others) as a way to base my leadership capacity at work.
I believe leadership at my capacity is highly effective when being able motivate and influence your subordinates by using more of the intangible motivators. By using teachable moments or alternative “ideas” can improve a thought process and provide a positive modification in their behavior. This reinforces that motivation in some cases by including them in the process when possible by inspiring creativity and thinking outside of the box. Being able to address those situations as they arise is more effective as it helps to build and reinforce the intangible bond of trust and companionship that breeds from a healthier environment.
At the beginning of taking a leadership role with a smaller agency with having only a few years of experience, I was taught that giving constant direction, maintaining a set structure, and not allowing my subordinates to make mistakes of their own was the acceptable practice. The job was getting accomplished, but I do not believe that there was much “respect” or “trust” due to a lack of motivation to improve without constant critique. I have been privy to multiple leaders and managers since moving to a larger agency who have used a wide range of leadership styles. I have seen them apply many different styles of motivation used throughout, both positive and negative; which helped me realize there are more aspects to becoming a leader then simply getting people to complete tasks correctly and efficiently. If you can gain and give trust, reinforce creativity, and lead by example, growth will follow suit and create a better environment overall.
I also found the concept of TRUST being the foundational aspect of solid leadership relevant especially to this career and my position. Although, I don’t think it is the only aspect I believe it is absolutely the foundation by which leadership is built. If my men don’t trust me, they won’t come to me, and they won’t heed my warnings, my advice, and my guidance. Likewise, it might cause hesitance in their own actions which could prove to be incredibly dangerous in this line of work.
I think with trust, we should also strive to be as transparent as possible. Transparency breeds trust. Transparent leadership is inherently open and honest and encourages buy-in from our subordinates. If I want to affect my goals and visions, I need my men to believe in me and trust that what I am going to provide is, not just the truth, but will positively impact them and their careers.
No matter how clear and even compelling our visions might be, if our men don’t trust us, they won’t follow us.
I agree with trust being extremely important with not only our leaders (both above and lateral), but amongst everyone below as well. Trust is one of the cornerstone morals that most relationships in life are governed by. By being up front and honest with your members, it reinforces that while taking action in those split-second moments; they will not be left out to dry and that we will ultimately have all parties best interests in mind pending the outcome. I have seen instances when guys cannot trust a leader, more so a manager; which will eventually effect morale amongst the squad/platoon and then lead into productivity and confidence issues after.
I agree with Johansen assessment of the power of trust. But I want point out the lack of time we may have to build that trust with each other. Between the work schedule, working separate zones and just lack of time between calls, I see a challenge with building this trust element which is so vital to being a good leader.
I agree with your comment that trust is the foundational aspect of solid leadership. Look at our Commander-in-Chief, President Donald Trump. He is a leader like none other in our lifetime and his followers trust him like we’ve never seen before. His leadership speaks volume.
I found General Powell’s remarks the most helpful in reminding me what is often the most important component of leadership, trust. Through my career I have repeatedly found that trust has been the most important component in motivating employees, especially employees who have been deemed poor performers by others. It is my experience that if you take the time to build trust, even lower performing employees will begin to follow you and work toward your goals for the team.
I too appreciate General Powell’s comments, and take them to heart given his reputation. It is important, in my opinion, to place those who struggle with those who flourish. We should remember that even slow success and improvement is still just that – success and improvement. Those who are willing to struggle through and not give up deserve to have an effective leader behind them.
The information provided was a decent foundation of leadership. I do believe strongly that TRUST is the foundation to great leadership. When people trust their leaders, they will do whatever it takes to accomplish the task and goals at hand. This is built over time, the reputation you bring, and the consistent, fair and predictable behavior followers see from their leaders.
I also like that information that leadership is fluid. Great leaders are examples to future leaders. Great leaders do not need to lead in everything.
General Colin Powell is a leader of men and his section was great. I could watch and listen to him all day.
The section focused on leadership being about human behavior was relevant, in that it acknowledged that people cannot be changed.
I’ve seen a number of individuals who have never exhibited meaningful change, even when working under different command structures or on different assignments.
Those who have successfully managed these individuals have had to focus on modifying the behavior, on providing measurable goals, and on clearly setting expectations for specific outcomes.
Even then, while the desired work products may be obtained, the core beliefs and attitudes of the individuals almost always remain unchanged.
The course material stating that “a leader must accept that all they can do is modify a human beings behavior and not necessarily change it” is probably good advice, and may save those newer to leadership positions some headaches down the road.
I agree. Leaders modify behavior but seldom change it.
I am a Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPAC) evaluator and am testing the system. As an introductory lesson to the Emerging Leaders Program, the material was presented well and gives a great explanation of what it means to be a leader. The program, thus far, has challenged me to reflect on why I am pursuing leadership.
I am a Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPAC) evaluator and am testing the system.
I am a Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPAC) evaluator and am testing the system.
I found that the only really applicable segment of the entire lecture was Colin Powell’s explanation that the essence of leadership is trust. I found that much more applicable than all the other “people follow you because you have something they want.” I find that untrue. In the military and police work, people don’t follow you because you have something they want, they follow you because the chain of command structure forces them to. However, to effectively lead them, that is where trust comes in. People follow because they are drawn to the person or because the structure forces them to. Trust is what changes those that follow because they have to into those that follow because they want to.
I wish the lecture focused more on this and less on the Chief speaking randomly about weird scenarios and motivations. What makes a good leader and how to become one. That is what this course is about.
This is good insight. In most cases, people don’t get to choose their supervisors, and as mentioned, the chain of command is in place and alive and well.
I appreciate the statement that “trust is what changes those that follow because they have to into those that follow because they want to.”
The chain of command will contain both effective and ineffective leaders, and trust is a key differentiator between the two. The effective leaders under whom I have served have each invested time and energy into building trust, consistency, and predictability into the relationships with their subordinates. The ineffective ones have not.
I agree the General Colin Powell’s statement that trust is the foundation to leadership.
I find it apt that we always use the phrase about someone having a fire lit up under their butts… it means they’re working and working hard. I appreciated Colin Powell’s remarks on someone being willing and able to do what’s required of them, or what they are instructed or ordered to do, but that trust being that spark that gets them to put in that extra mile because they know you are leading them down the right path. Trust is the spark that gets the fire lit under these guys because they know and believe you’ve got their backs.
I would say that although it is true that a subordinate is obligated to follow a supervisor by chain of command as you have said, I took the lesson as saying how a good leader finds how to best motivate their subordinates. There is a difference between making someone do something and making someone want to do the things you are telling them. This comes into play when thinking about a subordinates mental health and burnout rate, and how your actions will effect the efficiency of how the subordinates accomplish your mission goals.
Its also good to note that a leader is not always a supervisor. It could be a peer that takes charge or situations and leads a group to accomplish their common goal. In this situation there is no obligation to follow the leader, they are being followed because the group trusts in the leaders direction.
Runolfson, you hit the nail on the head. I agree. What Colin Powell said resonated with me. I thought back on what were the main attributes of a leader that inspired me to follow. It was trust and the respect that someone was willing to do exactly what they were asking me to do. A true leader would be willing to get his hands dirty and suffer with me. The leaders that I was least inspired by was those that I couldn’t trust and would never do what they were asking me to do.