Category Archives: Guest Bloggers
I have been remiss in keeping the Police Dynamics website updated largely due to the new private investigative business that I recently founded, Focal Point Investigations. And I am going to renege again by once again deferring to my friend and colleague Lloyd Thomas for this latest post. His comments are always insightful, thought-provoking, and consistent with the character-based message of Police Dynamics. I hope you enjoy…
CREATE THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS By Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D.
In last week’s column, I wrote about the process of transforming your life. I received many responses that essentially complained that the column was too “complicated” or “too abstract.” So today, I write about some practical steps you can take to engage in that “transformational process” more easily. Here are some of the practical principles for creating the life of your dreams.
1. Consciously choose what you really want. Dream boldly and positively. With photographic clarity, imagine your life the way you want it to be. Trust your own ability to create the life you desire.
2. Always tell the truth. Directly and candidly speak and write only what you believe to be true. Be honest with yourself. Seek the truth about yourself, others and the world. Make certain that what you speak is borne out in how you act.
3. Focus on becoming a Lover in Life. (more…)
A friend and colleague of mine from Colorado, Dr. Lloyd Thomas, is a licensed psychologist, accomplished author, and life coach. He recently posted an article on Effective Family Leadership. The principles are so consistent with Police Dynamics and other principles of organizational leadership that I asked him for permission to include them on the Police Dynamics site, which he graciously granted. Since it is the day after Father’s Day, I thought it was particularly appropriate to post this new video today…
To subscribe to Dr. Thomas’ weekly leadership newsletter, go to: http://lists.webvalence.com/listmgr/subscribe?lists=practical_life_coaching
You can find his book, “Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills and Techniques for Enhancing Your Practice…and Your Life!” on Amazon.com.
Here is the complete text of Dr. Thomas’ article:
EFFECTIVE FAMILY LEADERSHIP
By Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D.
Whether you like it or not, when you become a parent you become the leader of your family. Children learn by observation and imitation. Parents are the “models” that children first observe and begin to imitate. You need to engage in the behavior you want your children to imitate and learn. As a parent, you become your children’s primary leader. It is a powerful and often difficult responsibility.
Most of us never learned the skills of effective leadership. In our culture, we have been regularly exposed to the notion that we should become “child-centered” or that “children should always come first.” If we make children the leaders of our families, our family structure will disintegrate. As parents, it is not our job to imitate our children. It is not our job to behave like children. It is not our job to be our children’s “best friend.” It is not our job to adapt to their behavior…it is their job to adapt to ours.
As parents, we need to become fully responsible leaders…responsible first for our own health and well being. Otherwise, we offer less than healthy leadership to our children. Teaching our children leadership and self-responsibility is only accomplished by becoming the best example of leadership and self-responsibility ourselves.
Here are ten time-honored principles of effective leadership. To become your children’s best leader, learn and practice these principles.
1. Your children are sometimes illogical, unreasonable, self-centered, disobedient, stubborn, and defiant. Love them anyway. (more…)
I’ve posted insights from my former Chief of Staff, Barney Barnes, before (we had the running joke that every Sheriff needs a Barney…). In his retirement, he has taken up his passion for writing, including an awesome book (that I highly recommend) called Born to Be a Warrior.
This past Memorial Day, Barney penned the following piece on the Warrior Code that I thought would be particularly fitting for the Police Dynamics site because it incorporates so much of the character-based principles necessary to be a great leader.
The Warrior Code
“The warrior code takes a soldier and makes him a knight. It connects the natural life of a fighter to the supernatural understanding of the warrior calling. His duties are transformed into holy sacrifices; his sense of self is reformed into the image of the servant in pursuit of valor. He becomes part of a fellowship, a noble tradition that flows thru him and carries him beyond the mediocre and the vain.” — Steven Mansfield, The Faith of the American Soldier
I have worn a warrior suit, of one form or another, most of my adult life–first as a navy pilot, then state guardsman and law enforcement official. Now at age 66 I can say, without reservation, that Steven Mansfield has uncovered a great truth. In fact, the truth of his statement transcends historical and cultural divides.
A warrior code is necessary in our fallen world because of the presence of evil and the chaos and violence it produces. We become aware of this violence early on in the Genesis text. In chapter 4, we learn the details of a homicide in which Cain, in an outburst of anger, murders his brother Abel. This violence continues today often serving as the lead story on local, national, and international news reports from around the world. (more…)
I first met Dr. Kimberly Alyn, a best-selling author and international professional speaker, at a SC Sheriff’s Association Conference where she was our guest speaker. I was totally impressed with her ethical vision for leadership and its consistency with the character-based message of Police Dynamics. Since that day, we have remained strong colleagues and email “pen pals.”
I came across this video of her speaking at a leadership conference and asked for her permission to post it here. I thought it would make a great finale to our series on Dynamic Leadership.
She emphasizes the importance of building strong relationships to influence others — a key component of our Coactivity Maxim and the Team Building Roles of a SuperVisor. You will particularly like the example of a Renegade Cop who “overdosed” on some confiscated marijuana. See the video through to the end because the best part is her rendition of “Up Time“…
Thanks, Kim. And keep up the good character…!
As police and government leaders, we certainly don’t want to encourage someone to do something stupid that puts themselves or their families at risk. At the same time, we don’t want our citizens to be a bunch of wimps that are intimidated by the criminals. In fact, fear and intimidation are the very things that criminals count on to establish strongholds. When fear, coupled with apathy and tolerance for crime, are pervasive in a neighborhood, the criminals often have free reign.
I appreciate Wild Bill for America’s videos and he always raises interesting, albeit controversial, issues…
As leaders we are often asked to motivate people. We have our supervisor asking us to “motivate your subordinates.” How many leaders really have some techniques, methods, or theories they utilize in this endeavor? Hopefully, the below information will assist you in motivating your people.
The definition of motivation is: to incite or impel another. Further, the definition of motivational research is: a systematic and scientific analysis of the forces influencing people so as to control the making of their decisions. With those two definitions presented, now let us look at motivating our people.
to incite or impel another
a systematic and scientific analysis of the forces influencing people so as to control the making of their decisions
Good Stuff from the Fire Manager – Al Mozingo…
I recently read a book about Four Star Generals and Admirals. At the end of the book was an article about comments given to a group of new Brigadier Generals. It was given as part of a two-day training session at the Pentagon to brief these new Generals on their promotions. Unofficially it was called the “Charm School.” The presenter was General Louis L. Wilson, Jr. a graduate of West Point, a former Air Force Inspector General, and Commander in Chief for the Pacific Air Forces.
This General looked at the canned speech that was normally given and decided to change it. After going over thoughts of his successes and failures as a leader over the years, he presented the following:
The Ten Points of Leadership
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
I have asked a colleague of mine from the fire service, Al Mozingo, to provide a guest post on leadership. Enjoy…
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The principles of leadership can be taught to a student of leadership in many different formats. One can study the characteristics of great leaders or study their behavior and actions. To take a class, read a book, attend a seminar, or read an article about the subject matter are other methods of gaining knowledge and insight into leadership principles.
In this article, I will describe leadership principles in a different way by presenting a story to show pragmatically the lessons of the principles of leadership. Putting the principles into practical use, by one’s own action, is where the “tire meets the road.” This little story was in a book entitled, Virtues of Leadership, by William J. Bennett.
In January 1956, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., left his home to attend a meeting at a nearby church. During the meeting someone came into the church with news for King; “Your home has been bombed.” Rev. King, upset and anxious because his wife and baby were in the house at the time of the bombing, rushed home to find a large number of people in the house. The bomb had actually exploded on his front porch raining glass into the living room. After checking on his wife and daughter he turned his attention to the angry crowd.
People who gathered outside of the house wanted revenge against whoever had done this terrible act. Some of them were actually carrying guns and shouting at the police. The situation was about to turn to chaos and become violent. He told the crowd in a calm voice that his wife and child were fine.
Silence had fallen over the crowd as he began to speak to them. He indicated to the crowd that violence was not the answer. He explained that violence would harm their cause, it would not solve their problems. As of matter of fact, it would make it worse. He indicated that the Bible teaches, “We must meet hate with love.” He told them to put down their weapons and to go home.
The crowd’s demeanor started to change. People became calm and some said “Amen” and others said “God Bless You.” At a moment of chaos and anger, Rev. King seized the moment to show true leadership. The crowd responded to this and started to drift apart and go home. As events unfolded, photographs were taken and the next morning newspapers across the country ran the photos on the front page. The Civil Rights Movement began to swell; this was a turning point in history! Under pressure a great man put personal virtues into action in the form of true leadership.
Rev. King’s virtues included courage, wisdom, and faith. He had a certain vision and the talent to progress that vision forward with leadership. His virtues also included compassion, perseverance, and faith. We all should strive to have these virtues, character and traits as our own. These virtues will allow us to operate with a calm clear mind when under pressure. They will assist in guiding us in areas of moral and ethical situations. One of the great principles of leadership is one’s own character.
William J. Bennett, The Book of Virtues, W Publishing Group, a Division of Thomas Nelson, In., Nashville, Tennessee, 2001
About the Author
Al Mozingo is a nationally recognized leadership instructor and a 30-year veteran of the Fire Service. Mr. Mozingo teaches for the National Fire Academy, State Fire Training, and Local Fire Academy. He has a wide range of programs available. You can contact him to present a leadership program at your location today: www.firemanager.com or (619) 447-2828
The real test of a man is not when he plays the role that he wants for himself but when he plays the role destiny has for him. – V´aclav Havel
For movie buffs, it is one of the most memorable scenes in movie lore. Harold Francis Callahan, the lead character in Dirty Harry portrayed by Clint Eastwood, has just killed two bank robbers. A third bank robber (Albert Popwell) lies wounded on the pavement near a gun. Callahan approaches him with his .44 Magnum and delivers the line, “…you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?”
The movie ranks 51st on 100 years…100 Movie Quotes for the line Callahan delivers. But for all of the recognition Eastwood received for the role, he was not the one originally cast for the role. Initially, Frank Sinatra accepted the role but eventually backed out due to a hand injury. Burt Lancaster also turned down the role.
As for other famous movies it is interesting to note that W.C. Fields passed on playing the role of Wizard in The Wizard of Oz. Fields wanted $100,000 and MGM offered just $75,000. Cary Grant turned down a role in James Bond, Bette Davis turned down the role of Scarlet O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, Daryl Hanna turned down the role of Vivian, in Pretty Woman, and Al Pacino turned down the role of Han Solo in Star Wars.
Someone once said, “Be willing to give up all that you now are to be all that you can become.” And that is what leaders do. As some actors vacated roles that were handed to them, others stepped up and became stars. The journey of leadership, as in life, is not always predictable. How you respond will determine the role destiny has for you. Consider these three points of destiny as you set the course of your leadership development.
The unexpected; dare to embrace it. In his new book, Nearing Home, Billy Graham shares about his early ambitions in life. His dream was to be a professional baseball player. But there was a greater role that destiny had for him and baseball was not it. While baseball is certainly an honorable profession, the calling upon Billy Graham’s life was a higher one.
An inability to embrace the unexpected can make the difference between a promotion versus a raise, a large new account versus one small sale, or a life that touches millions versus a life lived in the shadows. If the unexpected is treated as an interruption and not seen as an opportunity, it will hold you back. Embrace the unexpected; it could be your blessing in disguise.
Your uncertainties; rise above them. After a devastating fire swept through his lab, no one would have blamed him if he decided to give up and pursue another career. When found in the midst of the rubble the fire left behind, he turned to his son and said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew.” And start anew is what Thomas Edison did. Three weeks after the fire, he managed to deliver his first phonograph.
Whether your uncertainties are born out of tragedy, your imagination, or by skepticism placed upon you by others; your destiny is within reach when you rise above your doubts and conquer your fears. Shakespeare was right when he said, “Our doubts are traitors and cause us to miss the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” The first step towards achieving your destiny as a leader is making the attempt.
The unimaginable; you can live it. In the book, Halftime: Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance, Bob Buford writes, “Most people never discover their ‘one thing.’ But part of what is so unsettling about approaching the end of the first half of our lives is that we know it is out there somewhere.” The unimaginable is the dream you have that will elevate you beyond the traditional definition of success to a more purposeful life of significance.
Regardless of the role destiny has for you as a leader, I am a firm believer that you can achieve it. When you embrace the unexpected, overcome your doubts, you can live the unimaginable. The reach of your leadership rests in the power of the beliefs.
Have you embraced your destiny?
© 2011 Doug Dickerson
Doug Dickerson is an award winning columnist and leadership speaker. He is the author of the book, Leaders Without Borders: 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders. A Lowcountry resident, Doug is available to speak for your civic, business, or church group. Visit www.dougsmanagementmoment.blogspot.com to learn more.
My former Chief of Staff, Barney Barnes (every Sheriff needs a Barney – and I NEVER get tired of that joke…), gave a very well-thought-out response to the request for guidance on aspiring to leadership. I had to include it as a separate post. Here it is:
That is some of the soundest advice that can be given and, if followed, the young man will do well. Taking the path of least resistance will make a mighty river and a mighty man, both crooked. Here area couple points he may want to consider.
1) It is the love and passion of the leader, for the enterprise and for the followers, that creates a soul and brings organic life into the enterprise. This creates the “esprit” were the unit will move as one…military, law enforcement, sports team, or business. That reminds me of a quote I came across–What better expression of love is there than to create life—and how can life be sustained without love? True leaders, as the ancients taught, are followed without any coercion because the leader has “turned their soul to some noble purpose”. The greatest leader put this all together as he spoke of the sacrificial nature of leadership birthed in love…”Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (followers). Jesus. Men and women who go into harms way correctly must possess a love for each other and not be driven by hatred for the evil force they oppose. Love is the stronger emotion…love for the unit and love for each other will sustain them in the greatest adversity.
2) Then there is the little talked about subject of followership. Try to find a book on this subject, yet to be a great leader you must first be a great follower. Remember the childhood game—Follow the Leader? Followership is not only a prerequisite to leadership, it is also a continuing role. When you think about it we must be able to fulfill both roles for much of our lives. In law enforcement/military the Sergeant is following the Lieutenant while at the same time leading the corporals. If the lieutenant is a poor follower then this will taint “the sarge” who may inflict this on the corporal. The lieutenant was most likely a poor follower and should have never been given the additional responsibility—they should have been given the opportunity to be a corporal once again. This is why good leadership at the top is so essential—ensuring that good followership is in place throughout the organization. I call this “bi-directional” followership and it is a close relative of bi-directional loyalty.
Keep your powder dry,