occupational socialization

Why are police funerals good for the profession?

Last month I visited the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC. I stood over the granite wall with the carvings of more than 20,000 names of officers killed for no other reason than reporting for duty. I knelt at panel 38-E:25 and ran my fingers over his name – Octavio Rafael Gonzales. The feigned smile exchanged the grief I’ve carried over the years for a public show of respect. On the very next panel, number 36-E: 27 – Timothy Bergeron elicited []

TPD Celebrated 3rd Annual Blue Summit

“We are a shining example to the nation that you can combine compassion and policing to achieve great things.” Those are the words heard by Thibodaux Police Department personnel as Thibodaux Chief of Police Scott Silverii spoke at Blue Summit, the agency’s annual departmental meeting. The entire department gathers once a year to share a meal, receive awards, and hear from Mayor Eschete and Chief Silverii, who recap the previous year and share a vision for the next. “We’re going to continue []

Crucibles of Leadership (part 4)

The Essentials of Leadership In our interviews, we heard many other stories of crucible experiences. Take Jack Coleman, 78-year-old former president of Haverford College in Pennsylvania. He told us of one day, during the Vietnam War, when he heard that a group of students was planning to pull down the American flag and burn it—and that former members of the school’s football team were going to make sure the students didn’t succeed. Seemingly out of nowhere, Coleman had the idea to preempt []

Crucibles of Leadership (part 3)

Geeks and Geezers We didn’t set out to learn about crucibles. Our research for this article and for our new book, Geeks and Geezers, was actually designed to uncover the ways that era influences a leader’s motivation and aspirations. We interviewed 43 of today’s top leaders in business and the public sector, limiting our subjects to people born in or before 1925, or in or after 1970. To our delight, we learned a lot about how age and era affect leadership style. Our []

Crucibles of Leadership (part 2)

Learning From Difference A crucible is, by definition, a transformative experience through which an individual comes to a new or an altered sense of identity. It is perhaps not surprising then that one of the most common types of crucibles we documented involves the experience of prejudice. Being a victim of prejudice is particularly traumatic because it forces an individual to confront a distorted picture of him- or herself, and it often unleashes profound feelings of anger, bewilderment, and even withdrawal. For []

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 []