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.