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
Obstacle Remover
Resource Officer
Problem Solver
Change Agent
Risk Taker

Obstacle Remover

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 Obstacles to high performance include lack of training, faulty equipment, outdated policies, too much red tape, political interference, inadequate resources, weak relationships, or a host of other issues that require your attention.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.

Resource Officer

You may not always have control of the resources that your officers need to accomplish the mission set before them. But you had better know where these resources are and how to mobilize them if they exist. I have often said that the resources to solve your community problems are already present in your community. They just aren’t mobilized effectively.

Problem Solver

So much of what we do in law enforcement and organizational management is window dressing. We spend way too much time, effort, and resources dealing with symptoms rather than actually solving problems. To identify the problem, you have to again look below the surface. Often the true problem lies with a lack of character. And the solution to the problems we face can be found in the character-based principles of Police Dynamics and Dynamic Leadership.

It would be like me going to the doctor with a splitting headache. If the doctor gives me a painkiller, is he dealing with the symptom or the problem? The symptom is the headache but the problem could be a tumor or an aneurysm. If I take a painkiller, I might feel better but I’m still going to die! An effective SuperVisor sees beyond the symptoms to the problem, then takes action to solve it.

Change Agent

This is such an important role that we have a whole dynamic dedicated to it – the Dynamic of Change. But accomplishing pre-determined objectives, by definition, involves change. It means moving from where we are today to where we would like to be tomorrow in terms of our organizational and community goals. So an effective SuperVisor must understand the dynamics of change and use them to his advantage. As an instigator, as well as a manager, of change, you can shape the organizational environment so that it encourages a willingness to change.

Risk Taker

I don’t mean this in the sense of taking physical risks – like driving without your seat belt or patrolling without a ballistic vest. I mean risks within your relationships with your officers and staff. The most important risk I ask you to take is the risk of letting your people make well-intentioned mistakes. Not malicious or ill-intentioned mistakes. But those where you know their heart was in the right place, you know their intentions and motivations were sound, but something still went wrong and they failed. If you, as a SuperVisor, deal with the situation correctly, you can restore the officer or employee without breaking their spirit.

Too often we see supervisors beat up an employee when they made a well-intentioned mistake and it trashes their morale and motivation. Think about your own experience. Most people have been in a situation where they were disciplined by supervisor for making a well-intentioned mistake. Think about what it did to your motivation and initiative. If we want officers and employees that perform at the highest levels then we must be conscious of crushing their spirits when they are trying to do the right thing.

I always like to ask two questions at this point when I am presenting Dynamic Leadership:

“How many of you have beaten up by a supervisor when you know your intentions were sound but you still made a mistake?”

“How many of you have been that supervisor?”

We tend to treat our own people the way we were treated with often devastating results when it comes to morale and performance. Put on your SuperVision goggles and look into the heart of your officer. Were their intentions and character pure? If that’s the case, restore them gently so that they do not repeat the mistake without crushing their spirit.

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2 Responses to Organizational Roles

  1. […] the player should be restored and the error corrected for the future just like we discussed in the Organizational Role of […]

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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