Category Archives: The Blue Blitz

Crucibles of Leadership (part 1)

What makes a leader

As lifelong students of leadership, we are fascinated with the notion of what makes a leader. Why is it that certain people seem to naturally inspire confidence, loyalty, and hard work, while others (who may have just as much vision and smarts) stumble, again and again? It’s a timeless question, and there’s no simple answer.

But we have come to believe it has something to do with the different ways that people deal with adversity. Indeed, our recent research has led us to conclude that one of the most reliable indicators and predictors of true leadership is an individual’s ability to find meaning in negative events and to learn from even the most trying circumstances.

Put another way, the skills required to conquer adversity and emerge stronger and more committed than ever are the same ones that make for extraordinary leaders.The skills required to conquer adversity and emerge stronger and more committed than ever are the same ones that make for extraordinary leaders.

Take Sidney Harman. Thirty-four years ago, the then-48-year-old businessman was holding down two executive positions. He was the chief executive of Harman Kardon (now Harman International), the audio components company he had cofounded, and he was serving as president of Friends World College, now Friends World Program, an experimental Quaker school on Long Island whose essential philosophy is that students, not their teachers, are responsible for their education.

Juggling the two jobs, Harman was living what he calls a “bifurcated life,” changing clothes in his car and eating lunch as he drove between Harman Kardon offices and plants and the Friends World campus. One day while at the college, he was told his company’s factory in Bolivar, Tennessee, was having a crisis.

He immediately rushed to the Bolivar factory, a facility that was, as Harman now recalls, “raw, ugly, and, in many ways, demeaning.” The problem, he found, had erupted in the polish and buff department, where a crew of a dozen workers, mostly African-Americans, did the dull, hard work of polishing mirrors and other parts, often under unhealthy conditions. The men on the night shift were supposed to get a coffee break at 10 pm.

When the buzzer that announced the workers’ break went on the fritz, management arbitrarily decided to postpone the break for ten minutes, when another buzzer was scheduled to sound. But one worker, “an old black man with an almost biblical name, Noah B. Cross,” had “an epiphany,” as Harman describes it. “He said, literally, to his fellow workers, ‘I don’t work for no buzzer. The buzzer works for me. It’s my job to tell me when it’s ten o’clock. I got me a watch. I’m not waiting another ten minutes. I’m going on my coffee break.’ And all 12 guys took their coffee break, and, of course, all hell broke loose.”

The worker’s principled rebellion—his refusal to be cowed by management’s senseless rule—was, in turn, a revelation to Harman: “The technology is there to serve the men, not the reverse,” he remembers realizing. “I suddenly had this awakening that everything I was doing at the college had appropriate applications in business.”

In the ensuing years, Harman revamped the factory and its workings, turning it into a kind of campus—offering classes on the premises, including piano lessons, and encouraging the workers to take most of the responsibility for running their workplace. Further, he created an environment where dissent was not only tolerated but also encouraged. The plant’s lively independent newspaper, the Bolivar Mirror, gave workers a creative and emotional outlet—and they enthusiastically skewered Harman in its pages.

Harman had, unexpectedly, become a pioneer of participative management, a movement that continues to influence the shape of workplaces around the world. The concept wasn’t a grand idea conceived in the CEO’s office and imposed on the plant, Harman says. It grew organically out of his going down to Bolivar to, in his words, “put out this fire.” Harman’s transformation was, above all, a creative one.

He had connected two seemingly unrelated ideas and created a radically different approach to management that recognized both the economic and humane benefits of a more collegial workplace. Harman went on to accomplish far more during his career. In addition to founding Harman International, he served as the deputy secretary of commerce under Jimmy Carter. But he always looked back on the incident in Bolivar as the formative event in his professional life, the moment he came into his own as a leader.

The details of Harman’s story are unique, but their significance is not. In interviewing more than 40 top leaders in business and the public sector over the past three years, we were surprised to find that all of them—young and old—were able to point to intense, often traumatic, always unplanned experiences that had transformed them and had become the sources of their distinctive leadership abilities.

We came to call the experiences that shape leaders “crucibles,” after the vessels medieval alchemists used in their attempts to turn base metals into gold. For the leaders we interviewed, the crucible experience was a trial and a test, a point of deep self-reflection that forced them to question who they were and what mattered to them. It required them to examine their values, question their assumptions, hone their judgment. And, invariably, they emerged from the crucible stronger and more sure of themselves and their purpose—changed in some fundamental way.

Leadership crucibles can take many forms. Some are violent, life-threatening events. Others are more prosaic episodes of self-doubt. But whatever the crucible’s nature, the people we spoke with were able, like Harman, to create a narrative around it, a story of how they were challenged, met the challenge, and became better leaders. As we studied these stories, we found that they not only told us how individual leaders are shaped but also pointed to some characteristics that seem common to all leaders—characteristics that were formed, or at least exposed, in the crucible.

Crucibles of Leadership (part 1)

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Gun Technology for Cops

Should gun owners be required to apply this technology?

WATSONVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A Silicon Valley startup has developed technology to let dispatchers know when a police officer’s weapon has been fired.

The latest product by Yardarm Technologies would notify dispatchers in real time when an officer’s gun is taken out of its holster and when it’s fired. It can also track where the gun is located and in what direction it was fired.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak, whose agency is among two testing the technology, said it will allow the sheriff’s office to see whether deputies are in trouble and unable to ask for assistance.

“That’s the worst nightmare for any police officer in the field,” he said.

The system will not include a remote disabling mechanism. Yardarm was pursuing that technology and demonstrated it at a conference in Las Vegas last year, but it has since abandoned that effort, according to the Capitola, California,-based company’s marketing vice president, Jim Schaff.

Yardarm’s system would have triggered an alarm on an owner’s cellphone if a gun had been moved, and the owner would then have been able to hit a button to activate the safety and disable the weapon.

Schaff would not say exactly why the company gave up on remotely disabling guns. Gun rights advocates have raised serious concerns that so-called smart gun technology could be used to limit their access to weapons.

The developers insist their latest technology is not creating a smart gun, but rather is “police gunfire tracking technology.”

Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said his organization isn’t opposed to the particular technology Yardarm is developing and other smart-gun technology.

“What we do oppose are government mandates requiring all gun owners to adopt the technology,” Paredes said. “If law enforcement wants to adopt this technology, that’s great. Just don’t make every gun owner adopt the technology.”

Smart gun technology has been around for decades, but technological advances and recent large shootings have prompted more than a dozen smart gun companies to begin developing weapons. Some began selling in gun shops this year, but analysts say controversy surrounding the technology could limit sales.

The technology that tracks an officer’s gun relies on the Internet and requires a small device that can fit in the handle of most police handguns. It connects to the officer’s smart phone using Bluetooth.

“The officer simply inserts it into the back of the firearm, and now it’s installed. They don’t even know it’s there anymore,” Schaff said during a recent demonstration.

Yardarm is paying for the test in the hopes they can develop the technology nationwide and charge departments for it next year.

Schaff said the company has not yet determined a price.

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CALIFORNIA START UP UNVEILS GUN TECHNOLOGY FOR COPS
BY HAVEN DALEY

Associated Press reporter Paul Elias contributed to this story from San Francisco.

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Filed under Author L. Scott Silverii, The Blue Blitz

Lost that loving feeling?

Ways to Reinvigorate Your Passion for Policing

Consciously Adopt a Positive Attitude


police radio smilingIt can be very difficult to maintain a positive attitude and it is made even harder if you let yourself be negative for long periods of time. To begin the shift from negative to positive, start with being conscious of your self-talk. Start repeating positive comments to yourself several times a day to help drown out negative thinking.

Having a positive attitude not only improves your mood, but it has health benefits as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, a positive attitude can have the following health benefits:

 

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

Get Plenty of Exercise
Law enforcement officers must be physically fit for their job performance. While being physically fit is important, exercising is about more than just being fit. Exercise helps to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improve sleep
  • Strengthen your heart
  • Increases energy levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improves muscle tone and strength
  • Strengthen and build bones
  • Helps reduce body fat
  • Makes you look fit and healthy

[Related: Tips for LEOs to Improve Their Physical Fitness Levels]

Set Progressive Goals
Sit down and brainstorm what you really want to achieve in your career, with your family, and in life in general. When brainstorming your goals, speak with your supervisor to get his or her input on your work goals to ensure they align with the department’s vision. In similar fashion, talk with your family members to get their input on your goals.

The outcome of your brainstorming session becomes your target and your primary objectives. Think about your goals in multiple stages and set micro-, midterm-, and long-term goals.

  • Micro-goals are goals that you want to accomplish on a daily basis. These should help you accomplish your short-term goals, which ultimately help you achieve your long-term goals. Maybe you want to be promoted at work, so reading recent news articles, applying to college to get an advanced degree, or reading a book about taking the police advancement test would be supporting micro-goals.
  • Midterm-goals are usually goals you want to achieve in one month to a year. Define the goal as well as what is to be accomplished. Be specific because general goals without a clear and concise timeframe and outcome are very difficult to achieve.
  • Long-term goals usually require about five years to achieve. Again, these goals need to be specific to make sure you work toward them over time and know when you have accomplished them.

Adopting this type of goal-setting strategy is effective because it is the little accomplishments—the micro-goals—that help you build the momentum and self-confidence needed to achieve your short- and long-term goals. As you work toward your goals, be sure to visualize yourself accomplishing each one. A positive attitude will come naturally when you feel that you are on track to reach your goals..

Embrace Meditation
One of the best ways I have found to reduce stress and keep a positive attitude is through meditation. Meditation involves sitting quietly or with calming music for a few minutes a day. As you meditate, let go of the negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts.

I started off with 5 to 10 minutes a day of sitting quietly and reflecting on my life and what I want out of it. I have increased my meditation time to about 30 minutes each morning, which gets me off to a great start. It is amazing how much my attitude has changed and how many positive ideas I have just from meditating very day.

One of the best ways to get started is to find an app on your phone that either plays calming music or features a voice walking you through the process. Whatever method you choose, the key is to get started.

I encourage every police officer to try these techniques. If you find something that works well for you, please comment on this post so we can all learn new strategies for being more positive in our jobs and lives. Such positivity leads to a better work environment, a closer family, and longevity.

 

Matt LouxAbout the Author: Matt Loux has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years and has a background in fraud, criminal investigation, as well as hospital, school, and network security. Matt has researched and studied law enforcement and security best practices for the past 10 years.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

By Matthew Loux, criminal justice faculty member at American Military University

 

 

http://inpublicsafety.com/2014/09/ways-to-reinvigorate-your-passion-for-policing/?utm_source=PoliceMag&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Passion&utm_campaign=Public%20Safety%20-%20ET%20-%20AMU

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FITx50 \ week 12 – SPECIAL EDITION

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Warrior Dash DASHED

Fitness Benchmark #1 has been met.

This weekend was the Warrior Dash in St. Francisville, La. Our team of Cops-n-Kilts sponsored by Liliana Hart’s Warriors started strong and finished even gutsier. There was unexpected difficult terrain, injuries and dehydration within the unit, but no one left the others. I’m still in awe of the effort of each.

No matter how tough, everyone knew we were doing this for the true Warriors committed to kicking the crap out of cancer. No one ever considered letting them down.

I trained for this event by relying heavily on Momentum Crossfit and cycling / running. Though I’ve never gone into any competitive event completely confident, I was surprised at my level of fitness during the grueling runs and strength obstacles. Often coming back or helping team mates through the swimming and mud pits, I knew the hours of training were paying dividends.

Let me encourage you to pick an event before the winter arrives. Find a 5k, Bike ride or friendly game of catch – just make a mark on the calendar and progress towards making it happen. I usually tell people when they ask if they are in shape for a particular activity – you can do it, it’s just how comfortable you want to be while doing it.

Again, let me thank Liliana Hart for organizing the fund-raising activity. We raised money and awareness – but it’s no time to stop. Find your cause and your passion. Do something bigger than yourself for someone else. See you next Friday – once these old bones recoup from the DASH.

I like to grab folks I know and surprise them with the classic “PROM PIC POSE.” Looks like Liliana Hart was ready for it. Great time and looking forward to next year’s Warrior Dash as I expect to rock it at 50.

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Thumbs Up to positive policing

Officers choose their morale. Everyone has a personal life, just make sure you check it at the Squad Room door. The public we serve deserves our best.
Thumbs Up to positive policing

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FITx50 | Wk 9

2014-09-13 09.37.00

Monkey See. Monkey Do

Seems after nine weeks the theme of Cops-n-Kilts has turned into Kids-n-Kilts. The kiddo not only loves his Boston Strong shirt, but sporting his sport wrap. He also loves going to crossfit to exercise after the big kids (adults) do.

One of the major benefit of reclaiming a healthy lifestyle is your Silent Witness. While we ache and creek and moan and stretch – others see the effort, the commitment, the progress. Now as an 18-year-old – I wanted the girl I liked to see the effort, but as life and maturity molds me – it’s the kiddo / family who are the most important observers.

That’s the legacy we can all leave our family and friends – a lifetime of living healthy.

Like any investment, it can be difficult to sustain – Example was the huge slice of chocolate doberge cake I plowed through at a restaurant last night. Oh, and then again at home before midnight.

The long haul effort over the short-term stumbles is what’s key.

Goals:

1. Maintain sensible diet {Not so much}

2. Exercise at least 4 times next week {Only 2}

3. Buy new scale but not obsess over readings. {No longer a factor or temptation}

4. Encourage you to join me and share experience and commitments. {Share what was your favorite exercise this week}

5. Be positive about the quest for fitness. {Kinda lost that loving feeling this week as various deadlines loomed}

6. Crazy amount of Wall Balls this week. Oh, and I still don’t have the courage to wear those crazy finger toe shoes I bought.

Cops-N-Kilts News:

The partnership with mega-author Liliana Hart to raise money funding cancer research has kicked off and doing great. We’ve added new team members and the energy is growing. Please be a part of the effort. I promise, after the Warrior Dash (Oct 11) there will be plenty of great video to share.

I’m still not sure how she convinced us all to wear GoPro cameras – Oh the suffering.

 

 

T-Shirts are also available for sale, with all proceeds going toward our goal of $5,000.

To buy a shirt, or sponsor your favorite Cops and Writers, click HERE

 

 

 

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Extra effort pays off for officers and community

It’s one thing to work your tour of duty, but it takes extra special officers to go beyond the call to join specialized units.
Extra effort pays off for officers and community

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