How Do You Ensure That Your First Day As A Leader Isn’t Your Last?

My first day as an Acting Police Sergeant was Thursday, April 14, 1988. It was a blue sky day Why has this date remained ingrained in my memory? I was an experienced officer, with 10 years service at that time. In normal life, it would be fair to say that I was an outgoing, confident individual. That is a key word: ‘individual’. Whilst a team player, my focus was on myself, and my performance, rather than others. Life was about to change for me, in ways I could never have imagined.

I was due to start work at 1400 hours that day. Another person, I considered as a friend, Frank Mason was also scheduled to be on duty, with that team, at 1400 hours. Sadly, whilst walking his dog, that morning, Frank intervened in an armed robbery and was murdered. In those days, news percolated rather than being instant. Eventually, that morning, I became aware of the death of Frank. I remember having to use my landline to phone friends and family to confirm that I was alive. These conversations were awful and bizarre.

At 1300 hours, that day, as part of the ‘Management Team’, and its newest member, together with our Inspector, myself and the other sergeants were briefed on what had happened. Our principal purpose was to transform a number of traumatised individuals, back into a cohesive, high performing Team.

The lesson of Leadership that I learnt that day, was that it was essential for me to know those I had responsibility for as INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE, not just by function.

I never forgot this vital lesson that was learnt in such horrific circumstances. The second lesson learnt that day was the critical importance of authenticity in Leadership. This helps create the trust with those you have responsibility for and becomes the cement that binds the team together.

In my view, these two lessons enabled me to understand that Leadership is about accountability and responsibility towards those you have responsibility for. Leadership, in my view, is not self-centered, it is externally focused, on creating the environment that energises the team, and develops people to their maximum extent.

Let me know how this expertise can assist you, today, in your challenges that you face as a Business Owner, or Executive.


Tony Munday
Tony Munday
TONY developed his expertise during his Police career of 34 years. Whilst a Senior Leader, for 15 years, he recognised the challenges and pressures faced by Leaders, including those which were of his own making. Tony was a ‘maverick ‘as a Leader. He became accredited in, and practiced, coaching as a Leadership Style, and Situational Leadership (adopt a style relevant and appropriate to the context). This was unusual amongst colleagues and peers, who maintained a firm adherence to a ‘command and control’ style, on most occasions. Tony recognised that it was impossible for him to effectively lead and micromanage. In order to develop appropriate trust and motivation amongst those he had responsibility for, he ensured that he knew the person behind the role. This enabled Tony to effectively performance manage, with fairness. Where appropriate, Tony practiced a ‘service’ style of Leadership. He saw his role, as providing the strategic direction, the environment, setting the values and developing the people, so they took responsibility for delivery of their own and other’s performance. The subsequent trust gained, enabled Tony to save significant time compared to peers who micromanaged. Tony used this time on strategic planning and development of people, enabling them to maximise their potential, including out of his teams or departments. This was unique amongst his peers. Many peers behaved as if the first responsibility of their team was to make ‘them’ look good. This stifled development of their teams. Tony’s teams and departments consistently outperformed their contemporaries.

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