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The Integration of Supervision, Management & Leadership, Part One

Three different parts of same puzzle

Randy Means is a career law-enforcement legal advisor, trainer and consultant. He worked as head of the legal department of a state law enforcement training center, as in-house counsel to a major city police department, now for 25 years as a partner in the national consulting firm of Thomas & Means. He is past head of the national association of police legal advisors (IACP-LOS) and can be reached at

Travis Anderson is a 22-year veteran of Colorado law enforcement. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Law Enforcement Administration and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management. He can be reached at S

management is about things. Still, his approach ignores the possibility that one person can be both a good manager and a good leader. Moreover, most law en- forcement agencies can’t afford to have two horses pulling every mission accomplishment load, nor should any organization have to. Not only can one person be both a good leader and a good manager, one should be. The goal should be to fi nd, in every supervisor at whatever level, an effective mixture of lead- ership and management abilities. As General Norman Schwarzkopf fa-

mously said, “Leadership is a potent blend of character and strategy.” The point: Discussing the needed overlap of leader- ship and management dynamics is far more important than surveying their differences.

uccessful risk management and liability pre- vention efforts in law enforcement require a marriage of good leadership and good management. Supervisors at all levels—from sergeant to chief and sheriff—must be both good leaders and good managers. Much is made in academic and professional literature of how leadership and manage- ment are very different things but there is relatively little discussion of their needed overlap and correlation. Truth told, really good leaders must be good supervisors and good managers and, to be really good at supervision and man- agement, one must be a good leader. Part Two of this article will lay out more than a dozen specifi c examples of this truth. In his 1992 book, Mind of a Manager, Soul of a Leader, organi- zational consultant Craig Hickman contends that both manage- ment and leadership are critical to the success of organizations and that, therefore, organizations need both kinds of people— leaders and managers. He suggests that these two kinds of people have two distinct personality types—but that they can complement each other.

A tandem approach to organizational dynamics is needed, he posits, harnessing the two “types” of people in a two-horse team in order for organizational successes to occur. Thankfully, his thinking avoids the implication that good leaders are the truly important people and that managers are a form of second-class administrators who lack vision and mostly count beans. He also avoids the clichéd position that leadership is about people and

10 LAW and ORDER I July 2015

Overlapping Dynamics In the midst of growing emphasis on leadership in law en- forcement, it is important not to minimize or subrogate the correlated importance of good supervision and management. Indeed, many of the same activities necessary for effective leadership are also required for good supervision and man- agement. For example, all three involve setting goals, work- ing with others, and solving problems. When supervisors and managers are involved in motivating others to set an objective or to achieve a goal, they are practicing leadership. Likewise, anytime a leader engages in planning, organiz- ing, staffi ng, or controlling, they are performing management. Instead of focusing on the differences among and between these activities, it is better to think of leadership, supervision, and management as all part or facets of accomplishing the same organizational mission and objectives. For example, if the senior management of a law enforce- ment agency decides that changing long-standing scheduling practices will result in a more effi cient use of resources (i.e., more uniformed offi cers in the fi eld during peak hours), mak- ing the change successfully will require a mixture of good management, leadership, and supervision. The organization and planning required to reallocate resources are manage- ment activities, while infl uencing and motivating offi cers to embrace the change are leadership challenges. Without appropriate planning and organization, the change is bound to fail. However, there is more to success-

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