Leadership Series - All Levels Responsibility

Most often, when we first think about the topic of leadership, we make an immediate association with a person holding a formal position or title. This is often described as positional leadership. Fully understanding "leadership" requires us to understand that the responsibilities of leadership are not limited to those holding a position of authority. Fundamentally, leadership is about persuasion. Those "in leadership" must understand that, to succeed, they must strengthen the leadership abilities of those they lead.

In fact, the best positional leaders, draw upon their own informal (or relational) leadership abilities, and they do not rely upon the power of their rank alone to get others to act. They inspire. However, leadership is more than ability to give an inspiring speech. Leadership is more than words – it is the full expression of all of our actions.

The best leaders also draw upon the informal leadership displayed by others surrounding them, and from those they formally supervise. This builds from a fundamental truth – in life, none of us can do absolutely everything ourselves. This is true for the newest police officer, and for the chief of police.

Highly-effective organizations are comprised of highly-effective individuals that are performing at all-levels within the group. Each individual officer – for their part of the mission – is the "key piece of the puzzle” that makes it all work. It is a responsibility of those holding formal leadership positions, to help everyone within their organization understand this core principle. In policing, leadership is an all-levels responsibility.

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