Why would we seek to implement staff and command and/or police executive training programs for all supervisors?
To avoid micromanagement; the direct supervisors of the department must be supported and educated to ensure we have a number of leaders with the department. Direct supervision is the foundation of any organization and where its future leaders cultivate their executive leadership competencies.
The distinguishing feature of police executive and/or staff and command training, generally a three-week course is a focus on the efficient development of leaders at all levels of an organization – the concept of “every officer a leader.”
In the 21st century, police organizations can no longer rely on an individual or small group of leaders. To develop leaders, law enforcement executives must build a culture in their organizations that is supportive of dispersed leadership. This means establishing expectations that all officers will take leadership initiatives at their levels of responsibility. Besides teaching people how to lead individuals, the training coaches people on how to lead groups, organizations, and efforts toward change.
For any organization or enterprise, group dynamics can be the difference between mediocrity and true success. The knowledge acquired by participants about themselves and others has enhanced relationships both on and off the job, resulting in a profound, life-changing impact on many course attendees.
The course emphasizes applied learning; is very interactive; and utilizes small group case studies, videos, role playing and class exercises to reinforce learning. Officers are taught leadership strategies for use in dealing with practical work place challenges. The course teaches participants how to lead individuals, groups, change and organizations. Participants are challenged to use the theories and strategies taught to increase the motivation, satisfaction and performance within their organization and to support organizational change. Graduates have produced projects changing organizational culture, enhancing officer safety, providing annual budget savings.
The thought that training a subordinate to be a better leader than oneself might be a threat to a current leader’s position is well founded. This serves to act as a reminder that the current executive must strive to meet and exceed the service he/she is currently providing. Failure to do so may accelerate the current leadership’s transition into an early retirement if they lose the initiative.
I would seek to leave the leadership taking my place in a better position to continue improvements for the department when they ascend to the next level of leadership.
Travis C. Marsh
Independent Candidate for Sheriff