Emerging Leaders Program

ACE Track: Emerging Leaders

ICLD 1.8 Leadership and Power: Discussion Board

Instructor: Dr. Mitch
Replies
14
Voices
9
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. 

14 Comments

  • I am a Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPAC) evaluator and am testing the system.

  • While discussing power in this module, it was a good reminder that you only have as much influence as others think you to have, regardless of your position in the organization. I’ve seen a number of newly promoted supervisors run into issues when they immediately begin barking orders and making changes before taking time to build relationships and trust with their subordinates.

    This has led to stress and difficulties between leader and follower, and shows the importance for new leaders to keep their egos in check.

    In the previous module, Michael Abrashoff demonstrated these concepts exceptionally well through the illustrations in his book, It’s Your Ship. He took the time to meet individually with each member of his crew, communicated clearly and often, and did more listening than talking. I think this is a recipe for success for any new supervisor.

    • I would have to agree to some extent. The point your making about those that may be new to leadership can have a strong mindset that they may have use their position of power to regulate activities in order to get the job done. They base their style of leadership on the coercive style of leadership instead of remembering where they started and using that skillset to have more of a referent style leadership. Having your subordinates getting the job done or specific tasks completed because they know its what you would do or how you would want something done, is as important than giving step-by-step instructions.

    • I would have to agree with you that when a supervisor comes into a new unit or area one of the first things need to do is learn the area of operations before coming in a barking orders and changing things. Having a good understanding of how things are done and why they are done that way will help the supervisor make an informed decision on what procedures need to be changed and prioritize those changes. It is also important for the staff to know the new supervisor’s expectations immediately so they understand what is required of them and what is the plans for the unit. Building a team relationship to include the supervisor is the best way to have a cohesive team.

  • I believe that it is just as important as how your subordinates view you as a leader, as you see yourself. If you believe that you are the “almighty” and “powerful”, your subordinates will obey you, but may not respect you. If you lead like that, you will have a following because they have to follow you, but not because they may want to which Granted, there are always excecptions to the rule. When people work for you, it should be out of a desire to grow, succeed, and improve by way of your leadership.

    • Charisma is an incredibly potent tool, especially in our line of work. There were many people in the world who led to very dark places with great charisma, like Adolf Hitler, Jim Jones, Idi Amin, Osama bin Laden, David Koresh, and many other con-men from A to Z. Likewise, there are many who have used great charisma to do great things, like Jacqueline Kennedy, Charles de Gaulle, Princess Diana of Wales, Michael Jordan, and Jimmy Carter. A lot of decisions made by followers of charismatic leaders have been described as a short circuit of reality. A loss of understanding in the why and entire focus on the how and what needs to be done. Simply performed because of an attraction to the charisma of a leader. It’s very dangerous. Very volatile.

    • I personally dislike the leaders that think just because I have the title of power or rank that I am better than you. I tend to think that people will rebel against you in todays society and workplace. Granted people will still have a job to complete but I believe its going to make your job as a supervisor much more difficult.

      • I agree about not liking a boss that lets power go to their head. You’re right, the people will not respect this boss and are itching to see his demise. We are in a cut throat society and we work in a cut throat profession. There is no love lost when someone loses their position. The next guy is waiting to jump into his spot.

      • I would have to agree, supervisors who believe that they are better than everyone else because of their rank are viewed as arrogant and most subordinates aren’t going to want to follow that individual unless they believe it will help them climb the ranks too. These are the supervisor who show the subordinates how not to act, they are not going to gain any additional knowledge from this supervisor because they are shutting down all interactions that they can and only doing what they have to to complete their job duties. Subordinates are not going to go out of their way to help this supervisor.

    • I agree with you. Your subordinates may do as you say but morale will suffer and with it so will Productivity. I also believe that acting only in an authoritative capacity will severely limit you careers growth.

  • I can’t help but wonder if when John French and Bertram Raven sat down and formulated the five bases of power in 1959 if they had any idea that, some sixty years later, we would be discussing these topics in a law enforcement forum on leadership. The topic in an of itself seems quite simple… You lead because you were chosen to lead (legitimate). You lead because you know what you are doing and you can pass on that knowledge to your subordinates (expert). You influence another person’s behavior because they revere you and thus trust you (referent). Then on that performance, you reward or punish, based on the outcome.

    This then ties in perfectly with Simon Sinek’s metaphor of the golden circle. To find success, I do not believe you can just articulate what needs to be done and how they need to do it. While that might help in achieving compliance, that is short term and really only gets the job done in the now. When the time comes for a new challenge, task, or requirement, you will have to do it all over again. Explaining the why, getting your subordinates motivated and involved in the process, believing in the results, will internalize the goals and change their way of thinking, achieving success in the long term.

  • Sinek’s metaphor of the golden circle puts in perspective that people will buy your ideas if you start with your why. This is why we’re doing this, this is how we’re going to do it and this is what we are going to accomplish from it. Success is to be achieved in the long term goals.

  • One of the biggest statements that stuck out to me during this training was “you only have as much influence as other think you have, regardless of your position in your organization” (Long, 2017). It really doesn’t matter if your title has you as a supervisor or a major, what matters is if your followers feel like you have the influence to make a difference or changes. As a supervisor, I have struggled with this in the past as my upper management wanted me to run everything through them prior to making a decision. It was very hard for my staff to view or respect me as a supervisor when I didn’t have the ability to make solo decisions regarding my staff. I slow began to step away and make the decision and then just inform upper management of the major concerns or issues. This really was the turning point for my staff recognize me as a supervisor who had influential pull.
    Reference
    Long, L. (2017). Leadership and power. 1.8, Week # 3. National Command and Staff College. Retrieved from https://cloud.scorm.com/content/courses
    /NAGVXPB5E6/LeadershipandPower888f84e9-bac9-441a-a2fc-3de02f02e7d8/4/index_lms.html

  • I believe that the most important basis of power are Referent and Expert. By showing that you have the competency and knowledge to carry out a mission goal you gain respect from your men. When that respect is earned they will begin acting on your plans knowing that you will lead them well and because they do not want to disappoint you.

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