There are, in my opinion, six basic essentials of leadership: 1) provide clear direction, 2) develop a team spirit, 3) ensure continuing development/improvement of staff, 4) cultivate shared principles and values, 5) promote open communication, and 6) establish controls to ensure execution. In this article, I will address the topic of cultivating principles and values, perhaps the most important aspect of them all.
“Why are we measuring these events or rates?” The answer: To save lives and improve officer safety.
Benefits of Principle-Based Leadership
- Increased willing compliance by followers: People are more likely to follow leadership when they understand the purpose behind the direction they receive.
- More team work when members employing different strategies or tactics can see how they’re linked together by the same principles and policies. Less compartmentalized thinking.
- Support from personnel in specialized units when they can see how their activities are connected to other entities of the department.
- Increased creativity when members are encouraged to help form strategy and tactics based upon adopted principles and policies.
- Shared values. The clarification of the values of the organization is a powerful by-product of the process of developing this model of leadership. The very identification and wording of the foundational principles is a strong statement of what the members of the organization are to value and pursue.