Characteristics of good leadership in public safety

Leaders make decisions that affect individual employees and the organization as a whole. Who do you look to as a leader?

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for everybody in public safety. 

What Makes a Good Leader?

Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people in leadership positions. Some were great leaders. Some not so great. And some, frankly, were terrible. In talking to the fine women and men in public safety across the country, certain leadership traits stand out. 

Let’s review these leadership qualities so you, too, can be an excellent leader. 

Utilize good communication skills and listen with empathy. Be a leader who articulates your message clearly and meaningfully, and, in turn, listens with understanding and compassion.  

Lead by example and with vision. A good leader’s behavior can guide, inspire, and motivate others to work together to achieve a shared goal. 

Have a sense of humor. Working in public safety can be stressful. It’s natural, and even healthy, to have some fun at work. 

Be adaptable and open minded. Few people want a boss who is rigid and set in his or her ways. Accept change and really hear other points of view.  

Be humble. Admit your mistakes and don’t play the blame game.  

Show you’re motivated by continuous learning and continuous improvement. Getting better and better and better at what you do. Challenge others to rise to your high standards and they won’t disappoint you.  

Please don’t micromanage. Delegate tasks and show confidence in the people you work with and for.  

Advocate for your team. And maintain an open-door policy that makes you approachable and accessible. If you keep your door closed or are never around, you’re sending the wrong message. 

And finally, work with integrity at all times and completely be honest with yourself and your personnel.  

Remember, leaders make decisions that affect individual employees and the organization as a whole. Who would you look to as a leader? Strive to be that person each and every day.  

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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