Category Archives: Barney Barnes
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…)
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,