Evidence 101

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cops and Organizational Dogs

When does an internal war signify the failure of an organization, or the deterioration of a management system and justify a new beginning? The answer: It depends. Another answer: Sometimes during the changing of the guard when there is opposition or resistance to the new change. Most of the time it is a rough transition which smooths out later.

Wars occur for many reasons, usually over religion and land, and in law enforcement organizations.  Yes, wars inside law enforcement. Now, mind you, they don't bring the swords out of the scabbards as was done in ancient Roman times, but modern day closeness to the idea.

Maybe when wars occur within an organization like a police department, union, or similar organism, it shows the structure was on a weak foundation or the exact opposite and those within are trying to hold on. It could also be a mixture of both coming from two groups of thought amongst the employees: those that are unhappy, unsatisfied with leadership and those that are more afraid of what is to come, but not totally satisfied with everything from the previous reign. I guess you could also add a small portion of those that were happy with things the way they were, so make it three points of view.  All of that is up to interpretation of those within and the interpretation could be varying.

Great leaders carry a nation, an army,  or an organization into FORWARD motion with vision. Ineffective leaders stagnate a band of people which often leads to upheaval, discord, and ultimately failure. Failures derive from a leader who over manages, under leads, or displays both, and that is only touching the surface of their ineffective leadership style or methods. Degrees and intelligence do not make a leader smart nor effective.

Daniel Goleman coined the term "emotional intelligence" in his book which became a study guide in the business world read by many in management striving to attain the book's very ingenious points. They really were revolutionary at the time and became reference material. They were revolutionary because they were kind of warm and fuzzy, directing those leading their employees to take a softer approach and have some empathy, social skills. What? You don't need to graduate from an Ivy League school to get to the top? You have to be a person with "emotional intelligence"? You don't have to have the best technical skills to run the place?



Goleman defined emotional intelligence into 5 subgroups: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill. If you want more, you should read the book. Wrapping all these components up, an effective leader would have all of them and would also not be afraid to motivate his/her people to be greater in their line of work than he/she is themselves. I believe they also have to be visionaries and be able to carry out the process of moving forward in POSITIVE motion.


In law enforcement, one of our greatest motivational speakers is Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (retired) and his reinforcement of the sheepdog and it's selflessness but alert nature. This applies to street survival. Add all that into law enforcement and try to effectively manage a bunch of egos toting guns. Yep. It's like having kidney stones.

I have seen my share of great leaders and very bad. I have also seen some good things willy-nilly in all of them, but the entire package was not desirable as a whole. Finding a perfect leader really is like finding a needle in the haystack. It is rare. Not all will ever be happy with one leader as a whole, but some parts may feel positive for the most part about certain leaders. It is subjective. If the majority are satisfied with a leader and suffer no major discord, you may move forward with some successes. Divided, you will fall. It's a lot like Humpty Dumpty.



The beauty of democracy is the voice of people. Sometimes it doesn't matter if employees agree with management, it is the fact they have positive productivity and respect for their leader. They will work for the person in charge despite their personal feelings toward him or her. Law enforcement is supposed to work for the greater good. How many of us in law enforcement didn't like our chief, but worked hard anyway? A leader doesn't have to be liked.

Pride and a hard work ethic are also paramount. Great leaders will clean up the messes and take care of the problems, but maybe not in the way we on the underneath would like to see or believe it should happen. Perhaps some will slide through and others will be hit hard. It really isn't about fairness either. Life isn't fair, for Pete's sake.

Lao Tzu said, "Be the chief, but never the lord." This statement echoes in law enforcement and truly is the heart of a chief's position. It's my blog. It's my opinion.

Why are there uprising in departments? Corruption? Discord? Morale problems? Why are the nonconforming picked on, pushed out? Is it always the bad egg? Is it the one that doesn't fit in? Is the one that refused to be bullied and is selfless?

What hurts any organization is leaving the poison there to fester,  promoting incompetence, or promoting a poisonous leader. We all have different viewpoints of what poison is and incompetence, for that matter. Incompetence doesn't mean they are a bad cop, it means they can't lead.

Lead. That doesn't means control anymore. It has a different tone. It has depth.

What defines a great leader to you? What qualities do you admire in a great leader?

5 comments:

Old NFO said...

And don't forget the Peter Principal... Good 'leaders' do what is best for not only the organization, but also do all they can to promote self betterment of the troops. And yes, those two ideals can and are often mutually divergent. A good leader will also get his/her hands dirty with the troops, not stand off to the side and criticize... I could go on and on, but the last is a good leader accepts blame if something happens on his watch, he doesn't dump it down...

Coffeypot said...

I agree with the Old NFO says, and as for me, tell me the objective/goals, what you expect from me and leave me alone and let me work miracles. I tried very hard to do that with my people, too. But sometimes double sob (spelled backwards is BOSS) would make it more difficult. But my favorite saying is, "The Beatings Will Continue Until The Moral Improves." I never had to bring out the whip, though.

Slamdunk said...

Goleman's thoughts sure changed many people's perspective on "smarts."

For me, a great leader listens and then improves all those around him/her. Employees want to perform at a high level because they trust and respect their leader. It is something that money or education can't produce on its own.

Enjoy your weekend MF.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Momma Fargo,

Glad to hear from you again...I was fixing to spam your email:).
Old NFO pretty much nailed it, What I like is a leader that truly gives a damm, you can overlook some personality quirks. A leader is one that will get as dirty or greasy as you...not hide in the office and run some bullshit on you when you go to the office to ask him a question. A leader will KNOW what is going on at all times, how else is he/she expected to lead and give proper guidance when the time comes. A leader will not arbitrarily screw some over in a fit of pique. To be a leader, you have to give a damm about the people. People will accept crappy assignments if they know that you are being impartial and face it...there are days you are the bug...and there are days you are the windshield. it happens. Also a boss will NOT let other people screw his people over.

I could go on and on...but you get the gist.

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
I guess for me (personally) a GOOD leader is one who comes up through the ranks, understand those under him/her and is not afraid to get his/her hands dirty (again) if need be.

They set quality standards for themselves, live by good, solid values and principles, refuse to compromise them, and expect the best from those under them.

In a nutshell...THEY LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

Good post.
Roll safe down there, dear.