Category Archives: Dynamic of Super Vision
During my trip to the Holy Land, we visited the Kidron Valley in the City of Jerusalem. Right at the base of the Temple Mount can be found the remains of the City of David, built by King David. Before he became king, he was hiding out in Ziklag where he assembled an army to defend against King Saul. In the 12th chapter of the book of I Chronicles, the Bible records the number of soldiers who came from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, with only one exception – the Tribe of Issachar. In this case, the Bible only records the number of “chiefs.”
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Team Building Roles are those based upon relationships. It is the Power of Influence.
In keeping with the sports metaphor, there are at least six Team Building Roles that an effective SuperVisor will play:
Team Building Roles of a SuperVisor
The coach is the mentor and the director of operations. He has the Super Vision – the ability to see the big picture, to know the strengths and weaknesses of the team, and the strategic vision to direct the plays. He sees things the players themselves may not be able to see and leads the team accordingly. He hopes that the team players will get the big picture, and it’s his duty to try to pass it on to them, but he can’t count on it. They may not yet have the maturity to see things from a larger perspective.
Organizational roles are those based on policy. It is the power of position. So, an effective SuperVisor will play a number of roles based on his or her position within the organizational structure.
Organizational Roles of a SuperVisor
Part of a SuperVisor’s job is to identify the obstacles that are preventing team members from achieving the highest possible levels of performance. Obstacles to high performance include lack of training, faulty equipment, outdated policies, too much red tape, political interference, inadequate resources, weak relationships, or a host of other issues that require your attention. Many of these may not be immediately evident so you must put on your SuperVision goggles, look beyond the obvious, identify the obstacle, and remove it so that you can pave the way for your team.
When I teach the Dynamic Leadership course, I always like to ask my students this question:
“Are you an Obstacle Remover… or are you an Obstacle?”
This is a question that we should constantly ask ourselves as leaders since one of the greatest obstacles to high performance is often poor leadership.
As a SuperVisor, a leader with Super Vision, you have a bunch of roles to fulfill. And I think you can break them down into two main categories — Organizational Roles and Team-Building Roles.
Organizational Roles are those based on policy and reflect the power of position — your rank, assignment, or position within the organizational structure.
based on policy
Team-Building Roles are those based on relationships and reflect your power of influence.
based on relationships
Both types of roles are important for a SuperVisor to possess and you will find yourself moving from one role to the other throughout your workday. Doing so seamlessly is the mark of a dynamic leader who knows how to use principles of character-based SuperVision.
Finally got the website back up and running again. The crash was a setback but a blessing in disguise because I like the new theme so much better. Although I still have some fine-tuning to do…
Now, on to today’s video training segment… At Police Dynamics, I try to keep things simple. So here is a simplified mission statement for supervisors.
Accomplishing pre-determined objectives through others.
As if just getting the job done was not hard enough, as a supervisor your job is even harder because you have to accomplish the organizational goals though the efforts of other people! So let’s break down this mission statement.
For some time now, I have been wanting to post some training videos from the Dynamic Leadership series. And it seemed like 2012 would be a good time to start. Dynamic Leadership applies the character-based principles of Police Dynamics to the arena of leadership and supervision. That’s why I always tried to make the Police Dynamics series, at least the Dynamics of Character and Authority, a pre-requisite for Dynamic Leadership.
When I first designed Dynamic Leadership many years ago, I wanted it to be something different — something more than your run of the mill leadership or supervision course. The fact that I am often called upon to present it to live audiences makes me think I have accomplished that to some degree or another. But I will let you be the judge of that.
In this first installment, I explore a working definition of SuperVision that might be a little different than what you expect. A good supervisor sees beyond the obvious, he (or she, of course) sees the big picture, how things fit together, the causes and effects associated with actions and decisions, below the surface of behavior into the heart of character. That’s what makes an effective supervisor — the ability to discern the true motivations underlying behavior, the character of the heart.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking that your officers or subordinates share that view. Often they do not. They have not yet achieved the maturity to see things from a broader perspective, to understand the causes and effects associated with their behavior, attitudes, and decisions. Your job as a supervisor is to pass on that ability to the next generation of leaders…
Filmed at the City of David in Jerusalem, in this video I talk about the principle of Super Vision as it applies to character-based leadership. When King David was assembling his army in Ziklag, the Bible chronicles the number of men who came from each tribe. Except in the case of the Tribe of Issachar. The Bible does not give us the exact number of men. It only says that there were “200 chiefs.” These were the supervisors of David’s army. The Bible says they “understood the times and knew what Israel had to do.”
This was a critical dimension in David’s army. And it is a critical component of any law enforcement or military organization today. Police Dynamics is all about understanding the times so you will know what you, and your jurisdiction, has to do.
Editor’s note: I misspoke about the number of chiefs. The Bible says it was 200, not 300. Maybe I was getting it confused with Gideon’s army. Or maybe I was just sleep-deprived from camping in the desert…
I just finished reading Larry Kreider’s most excellent book, 21 Tests of Effective Leadership. It really helped me re-focus on what makes a great leader and recommit myself to becoming the kind of leader I am called to be.
Larry had a bunch of great quotes on leadership, but one that stuck out with me was a quote from former Secretary of State Colin Powell in the chapter called “The Vision Test.” He said:
“… find ways to reach down and touch everyone in a unit. Make individuals feel important and part of something larger than themselves.”
This is a variation of the principle: Know the condition of your flock. An effective leader knows the importance of trust-based relationships within the organization. If you are a supervisor, you should make it a point to touch base with everyone that is directly under your command or a part of your team at least once a day if at all possible. In this way, you will build the relationship and know their condition. This is an essential ingredient for servant-leadership.
Remember: the greatest Leader who ever lived said, “I came not to be served, but TO serve” and “He who would be greatest among you must become the servant of all…”