Spring is finally here! After a long, and at times, freezing winter, the rebirth of spring is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy the nice weather with family and friends. Our profession requires us to be in a sense on duty around the clock, but commit to detach mentally from the job and experience the wonderments of life with those who love and genuinely care for you. You deserve the break. You deserve to enjoy it. So make sure you prioritize who’s important in your life and spend quality time with them. They and you will be glad you did.
Our cover story “Leaders Help Wanted” written by Chief Joel Gordon (Ret.) is an open and honest assessment of law enforcement leadership today. The article highlights several law enforcement leaders with weak leadership ability, followed by several leaders with excellent leadership ability. It then provides the necessary context to demonstrate how effective leaders lead their officers in our modern times. Chief Gordon’s approach is not to bash ineffective leaders, rather to show the harmful effects of their poor leadership and how desperately some agencies in our country need to hang up the “Help Wanted Leadership” sign.
The stakes are too high for weak, feckless and incompetent leaders. Many times the right person for the lead role is not chosen, because of political interference or nepotism, or other reasons, and therefore the agency suffers. When a department is led with poor leadership, certain personality traits are almost universal. These failed leaders are typically frightened and threatened easily—sometimes paranoid—and believe that ruling through fear and with an iron fist will have their officers following them. In the short run, these leaders are effective, but in the long term, they will always meet someone unafraid of them and will expose them for the cowards they are. Time has a way of bringing down these imposters who destroy lives and careers. What’s that saying: “What goes around comes around?”
I have another observation on this leadership angle. As editor-in-chief of Blue Magazine, I’ve noticed that many officers without rank often have a tremendous amount of wisdom. Our leaders—the ones with the big desks and titles—should take notice of their vision and judgment. Know your subordinates and play to their strengths. A title itself doesn’t come with knowledge and ability. Real leaders can lead those who know more than they do.
There are plenty of great law enforcement leaders in our country who are leading their officers and communities with honesty, integrity, vision, and compassion. To these excellent leaders, keep leading your men and women to have productive, safe, and healthy careers while offering the best policing services to the communities you serve. Your officers are blessed to be working for you. We at Blue Magazine tip our hats to you. We appreciate your work and hope more leaders will aspire to reach your level of success.
As we move ahead in 2019, we have a tremendous amount of new and creative ideas flowing at Blue Magazine. Over the years we have assembled the brightest minds on the local and national law enforcement scene. Our writers are fearless. Their abilities to think at deeper levels with solid logical arguments continue to impress me. I thank all of them for their commitment and hard work for our profession. Together we are advancing the dialogues and pushing back against false narratives to keep officers safe and alive.