“Integrity is its own reward”

Another great article from policeone.com. ASU has suffered from a lack of true leadership for years. Beyond the requirements of managing persons and money within the confines of a police department, ASU needs a Chief who knows how to lead his employees other than by coercing them with empty promises and vague punishments. A true leader is one who leads by example…who talks the talk, but can also walk the walk.

10 truths of police leadership

Integrity is its own reward, and other lessons drawn from longtime service

1.) No good deed goes unpunished.
Unfortunately, this negative truth can often mean the most diligent, hard-working officers get more than their share of the workload. As a leader, do you choose the easy way of handing out assignments to known performers who won’t complain, rather than motivating slugs to perform?

2.) It is NEVER so bad it can’t get worse.
Another potential negative, but a turn for the worst must be planned for, especially during critical incidents (a la Murphy’s Law). Plan for the worst and then plan for it to get still worse. You must always have (or be prepared to quickly formulate) a Plan B, C and D. And E.

3.) You can learn more from bad leaders than you learn from good ones.
Sometimes it is difficult to define what makes a good leader “good.” But it is usually very easy to define what makes a bad boss “bad.” Just do the opposite and you’re off to a good start.

4.) You can either DO the right thing or BE the right thing.
Colonel John Boyd (of the OODA Loop) used to deliver this “Do or Be” leadership speech:

“You can say and do the right things, to the right people, at the right times, and progress up the ladder and BE. Or you can DO what is right and make a real difference. It may cost you a promotion or even a career. It’s a decision we all have to make throughout our lives and careers: To DO or to BE.”

5.) Integrity is its own reward.
Telling the truth and doing the right thing, even when doing so could cause you problems, will not endear you to the upper management of some agencies (see #4). So, integrity sometimes becomes an internal reward, a personal choice of how to live your life.

6.) No man is a prophet in his own land.
There is truth in the old joke about an expert being a guy with a briefcase more than 300 miles from home. Whether due to jealousy of their expertise or simply ignorance of their talents, top performers may get brushed aside in their own organization.

7.) God gives each of us gifts, but no user’s manual.
I believe every person is endowed at birth with some special talent. The trick is to figure out your gifts and how to use them. As a leader, identify the gifts of your team members and try to put them into positions suited to their unique talents. All too often, people don’t recognize their own gifts.

“To every man there comes that special moment when he will be figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a special thing unique to him. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for that work, which could have been his finest hour.”
— Winston Churchill

8.) Work and home lives should be separated as much as possible.
Police officers get paid to do and see the things ordinary citizens don’t want to do or see (or even know about). Taking the crap home with you is always a fine balance between inadequate communication and information overload. But you must communicate with your family and share your feelings, if not the details.

9.) Cops rarely invent a bad attitude.
Many cops develop bad attitudes for either a period of time or a whole career. Why? Generally, because someone screwed them over — someone gave them the ingredients for a bad attitude. The measure of the officer is what they do with the attitude. As a leader, try not to give someone a bad attitude, and help the members of your team work through those they inevitably develop.

10.) You can judge a leader by the enemies they keep, rather than their friends.
In ancient times the great room in a castle was decorated with the standards of both the King’s enemies and allies — they were both held in high regard. You can buy a friend for a beer, but you must truly earn an enemy. Over the years I have come to be proud of the men I call enemies, because no honorable man would ever want to be counted among their friends.

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
— Winston Churchill

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5 thoughts on ““Integrity is its own reward”

  1. DoneSon says:

    A good primer for a command who doesn’t know the meaning of integrity, look at what they allowed, what they covered for. There’s a good reason ASUPD’s business is on here with so much support. Employees are pissed, tired of being lied to, tired of being abused, and discarded like garbage.

    How would they feel if they were in that position? There are plenty of highly experienced, far more qualified candidates willing the rejuvenate this place and get it back on track.

  2. Thinblueline1 says:

    Whenever I read these lists of morality, words to live by, I begin to wonder how many people think about them, take higher standards for themselves to heart.

    IF we had a command structure that practiced some sort of moral code uniform to all employees ASUPD could be a completely different workplace, one not repeating mistakes, killing morale, growth, and performance. I guess that’s what miracles are for and this department needs one. How many people are sitting on their hands waiting for it to happen?

  3. Supervisor Facepalm says:

    That’s a good article. Myself, people I have supervised, people who supervised me, would do well to remember simple concepts like this. People get a little big for their britches and need to be smacked down now and then with a reality check.

    Treat other people how you want to be treated, have some humility because we are no better than those around us. If you think you are you are compensating for something and I don’t want to be anywhere around you violate someone’s civil rights, tase a prisoner in handcuffs, or act out against someone at work like this is high school all over again.

    If all of our staffing, especially command, took this seriously the Integrity Report would have nothing negative to report, it could report on the growth of integrity where it has been absent for so far too long.

  4. WheresMy907 says:

    I have seen so many of these saying within law enforcement publications over the years. They start to remind me of motivational posters in the workplace. The more you see them, the more there is a problem, and they are often ignored like wallpaper.

  5. Captain Obvious says:

    If you want a lesson on conflicting standards of integrity look at the Arizona State University Police Department, look at all the hollow promises command makes, the empty statements.

    Look at all the money command blows, that’s not accounted for, and the fact that they would tell you, the “worker bee” employee can’t accept a free coffee, but they can get free lunches and unnecessary trips, all sorts of junk on the state’s dime totalling 10’s of thousands of dollars, maybe more. I can only imagine what’s in the budget based on what I’ve seen before public money was hidden from public view.

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