Category Archives: Dynamic 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.

Organizational Roles
based on policy
Positional Power

Team-Building Roles are those based on relationships and reflect your power of influence.

Team-Building Roles
based on relationships
Influential Power

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…

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,


I recently received this email message from a student of Police Dynamics and aspiring law enforcement leader from a western Sheriff’s Office asking for advice. I thought my other readers might like to read his request and my response…

Hi Ray,

I’ve been with the department for 6 years now in the detention facility and am now attending the Law Enforcement Academy. I have been elected as the president of my class, and am wondering if you have any guidance you can provide as to how I can be an effective leader. I know you have a lot of experience and hope that you can share some of that with me.

Here is my response…

I would be glad to help in any way that I can. Just the fact that you have sought me out shows a lot about your character and potential as a leader. First of all, good leaders are humble, teachable, and always putting the needs of others first. Leading by example is not an outdated idea. It is the essence of leadership.

I have always sought to model my own leadership style after others that I admire. Historical figures, like George Washington or Stonewall Jackson, have been great inspirations to me, as well as living examples who have mentored me over the years. One caveat is that current mentors will oftentimes let you down. They are only human too. So take the good and learn from the bad that you find in them.

Read, read, read. There is so much out there on leadership and I suggest you find books and/or videos from authors who you respect. Look for those that approach leadership from a character-based perspective. Steven Covey has some great stuff as does John Maxwell. Doug Dickerson, who is a frequent guest-poster on the Police Dynamics blogsite, offers an excellent book you might want to consider. I have an e-book that is available for sale on the site that you might also consider. Training courses are also good. Take advantage of all that you can.

Remember this, the greatest leader who ever lived said, “I came not to BE served, but TO serve” and “He who would be the greatest among you must become the servant of all.” Follow this principle and you can’t go wrong. Look for ways to serve others, to help them achieve their goals, and to become more successful. Leadership will come when you are ready. It sounds like you are well on your way with the class presidency. Find ways to serve your fellow classmates instead of yourself and you will stand out in a positive way.

Please stay in touch and let me know if there is any other way that I can help you along your path. But also remember this: the path of leadership is the path of MOST resistance. There is heartache and struggles ahead for the true leader. But for those who are called to it, there is no other way…!


You may be familiar with the Peter Principle that states,”In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” First espoused by Dr. Laurence Peter, this principle essentially means that, within an organizational structure, employees tend to be promoted as long as they perform competently. Sooner or later, they are promoted to their highest “level of incompetence” where they are no longer capable of performing well. And here they tend to remain stuck.

The Peter Principle I talk about here is different, however. This Peter Principle involves the Apostle Peter who was one of Jesus’ disciples who lived at Capernaum where I filmed The Centurion video. Peter was a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee and being there gave me an opportunity to talk about this important leadership principle, which I have to credit to my Chief of Staff, Barney Barnes (every Sheriff needs a Barney)…

You can read more important leadership principles from Chief Barnes at his blogsite:

For those of you interested in seeing more of the Sea of Galilee, plus our wonderful meal of St. Peter’s fish, here are a couple of additional videos. Also featured are our guide and Biblical historian, David Dekker, and my travelling partner/cameraman, Gary Curry.

While we were at this restaurant, we had the opportunity to meet a famous Israeli general.



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

A few years ago, the Charleston Post and Courier started a series of newspaper articles called Tarnished Badges. In it, they traced the problem of renegade police officers in SC and how they were impacting the profession of law enforcement.

At the National Sheriff’s Association Annual Training Conference in 2008,  Franklin Smith and Sheriff Ray Nash co-presented Polish the Tarnished Badge – the five steps to setting the standard from a character-based leadership perspective. This video is the first in a series taken from that training workshop.

The Shepherd

Know the condition of your flock

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…”

Sheriff Ray Nash

Sheriff Ray Nash

What Law Enforcement and Community Leaders Are Saying About Police Dynamics

“A few years ago, we brought the Police Dynamics program to the Cincinnati Police Division and were most impressed with the quality of the training and richness of the program.”
Mike Daly
Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

"I have attended training conducted by the Police Dynamics Institute in the past and know Ray Nash both personally and professionally. They have my whole-hearted endorsement…"
Sheriff Larry Williams
Orangeburg, SC

"I cannot tell you how excited I am to see this website. I was introduced to your video on the Dynamics of Authority through my father who is a police chaplain for the FBI and local law enforcement agencies here in Las Cruces. I have taught and applied the Dynamics model to my students when I was a teacher, and now to my department as a fire fighter."
Nathan Carr
Las Cruces Fire Dept.

“One of the greatest seminars I have ever attended in the 33 years I’ve been a Deputy.”
Walter Bolinger
Marion County Sheriff’s Office, IN

"I was so impressed by the (Police Dynamics) program that I purchased your video tape series. All Grand County Sheriff’s Employees subsequently viewed the tapes, and I have also mandated that all new Sheriff’s Employees watch it as well."
Glen Trainor
Grand County Sheriff’s Office

"It is with much enthusiasm that I encourage senior law enforcement executives to make attending the Police Dynamics seminar a key training priority for your agency."
DeWayne Beggs
Cleveland County, OK
former 2nd VP - National Sheriff's Association

"I am convinced of the benefits of the Police Dynamics program."
Jerry Martin
Delores County, CO
former Pres - County Sheriff's of Colorado

"Honestly, I’ve not been more impressed with a police training that I’ve attended in the last 20 years..."
Tom McClain
Chief of Police
Willard, MO

"I am a firm believer that Police Dynamics and Character First! equip the men and women that work for the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Office to do their job and do it better."
John Whetsel
Oklahoma County, OK

"If you believe that good character is an essential element in policing, you will want to send your key staff to Police Dynamics."
David Williams
Tarrant County, TX

"In the three years prior to our character initiative, we had 42 labor and employee grievances, and seven different lawsuits. In the three years since we put the character initiative in place, we have had two grievances and no lawsuits from employees. I think that, in and of itself, is significant."
Rodney Ray
City Manager
Owasso, OK

"This course was one of the best training sessions that I’ve been through. This concept will benefit me and the staff in my division."
Police Dynamics participant

[We have] more awareness of the preventative benefits of a character initiative as opposed to the typical reactive approach to situations. There is a sense of excitement by organization leaders as they begin to see a change in their culture. Bob Powell
Character Council
Fort Collins, CO

"[The Police Dynamics training] brings us closer together, more like a family … it reminds us of why we’re out there and what it’s about.”
Captain John Decker
Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, SC

"This class gave me the vocabulary that I have been looking for to praise and motivate my employees."
Police Dynamics participant

"We’ve built a much better relationship with each other. We’ve seen a decrease in complaints. We’ve become a family instead of a place to work."
Sheriff Howie Godwin
Highlands County, FL

“This shows us a new approach to recognize employees’ character traits - and to acknowledge them for those good traits versus, 'You did an excellent job…' It’s some fresh ideas in an area that we probably all need to change."
Major P.D. Taylor
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

"The Police Dynamics training that Ray Nash brought teaches the things that are at the core of being a good police officer – being trustworthy, being of good character…"
Sgt. Julie Shearer
Cincinnati Police Div.

“In the Police Dynamics training seminar, the officers are able to set a standard in their own lives of the kind of character they want to see in their community."
Chaplain Carl Nelson
Colorado Springs Police Department

"Character is the solution to the real problem in our community of crime. Character supplies the answer."
Hon. F.A. Schad
Former Judge
Burleson, TX

“I want you to know that my international and national career was very much influenced by your lessons and knowing you was of paramount importance for my job and career. Many Romanian police officers are grateful to you and to Character training."
Teofil Parasca
Assistant Superintendent
Arad County Police

"I would like to work more toward management by principles instead of rules – with an emphasis on character and guiding principles."
Chief Lynn Williams
Chickasha, OK

“We need to return to our basic character traits that made this country great. Ray Nash has the program to do it."
Police Dynamics participant

"This shows us a new approach to recognize those employees’ character traits and to recognize and acknowledge them for those good traits versus, “You did an excellent job…” It’s some fresh ideas in an area that we probably all need to change."
Major P.D. Taylor
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

"In the three years prior to our character initiative, we had 42 labor and employee grievances, and seven different lawsuits. In the three years since we put the character initiative in place, we have had two grievances and no lawsuits from employees. I think that, in and of itself, is significant."
Rodney Ray
City Manager
Owasso, OK

"Absolutely fantastic! It reminded me of why I wanted to be a peace officer."
Police Dynamics participant

"the finest value-added training anywhere."
Sheriff David Williams
Tarrant County, TX

"We continue to benefit from your teaching and hire with a strong emphasis on character."
Chief Tom McClain
Willard, MO

"Once again, I feel absolutely indebted to you for the program you have developed and your desire to change the world through the building of better law enforcement officers."
Glen P. Trainor
Grand County, CO

"Sheriff Ray Nash is an internationally recognized speaker that you and your staff will learn powerful principles from, while enjoying the lesson."
DeWayne Beggs
Cleveland County, OK

"Very comprehensive, a great resource manual for the future. The seminar was dynamic in every way. What a great resource for people throughout their day-to-day routines.”
Doug Carter
Indiana State Police