Leadership - What does it mean?
Andrew J. DuBrin describes it as "a way of influencing people beyond routine compliance with directions and orders". Another describes it as "interpersonal influence directed toward attaining goals through communications".
The Delta Police Department views leadership as an activity and not a position, which brings with it the expectation that everyone, the Management team, civilian staff, officers of all ranks, and volunteers, play a role in forging the Department ahead in the pursuit of delivering excellence in policing.
Purpose of becoming a leadership organization
In order to meet the ever changing needs and diversity of our community, while continuing to deliver excellence in policing, it is requisite to effect organizational change. This loss of accumulated experience through retirement must also be supplemented with an investment in increased training.
Process of developing a leadership organization
In 2000 Chief Cessford established a leadership development committee to move the department toward achieving its strategic goal of becoming a leadership organization.
This committee was comprised of a cross-section of police officers and civilian staff. It was under the guidance of a professional management consultant that the group became involved in an extensive process of designing a "For Delta Police Department" leadership model that would be implemented in a practical way to everyone in the Department. A matrix was developed that identified the attributes of a leader; definitions of those attributes; and behaviors to achieve them.
Attributes of a Leader
Ethics: The continuing pursuit of defined standards expected of each person in the organization.
Communication and interpersonal skills: Use two-way communication to motivate others to embrace an idea; turn that idea into practices which achieve organizational and individual goals.
Decision-making: The ability to identify problems and needs, then determine solutions are measurable.
Development: Combining professional and personal development to contribute or bring about the desired leadership qualities of the organization.
Teaming: Developing a team environment where team members ultimately achieve established goals.
Visionary: Ability to assess present state, foresee an ideal and provide an environment for continual growth, achievement and pursuit of the ideal.
Once the leadership attributes were identified and defined it was incumbent on the committee to develop a leadership training program. This program would be available to all associated with the Delta Police Department.
The training was developed as follows:
- Level 100
- Every person a leader
- Effective supervision
- Personal and professional development (health and wellness)
- Managing people
- Essential administrative skills
Although this leadership matrix was created by Delta for Delta it withstood the scrutiny of outside organizations through a validation process. The Delta Police approached organizations (law enforcement as well as the private business sector) seeking critical feedback on the leadership program.
This provided the committee with the confidence that this process was successful and that the model would effectively serve its purpose—developing leaders within the organization.
The Leadership model is the foundation that serves as the center from which all aspects of the Department flow from. For example, the leadership attributes are the standard in which recruitment of staff is measured, the standard in which performance management is held to, the standards in which the promotional process is built on and the standard of day to day conduct, all of which are measured against the identified leadership attributes.
This model demonstrates that leadership is an activity not a position and every person at every level and in every area of the organization is expected to be a leader.