PoliceManagement and Supervision
Throughthe years, the supervisor-leader debate has resulted in manydifferent arguments. As a general rule, I believe that you can leadin many techniques without being a supervisor but to be a goodpolice supervisor, you have to possess good leadership skills!According to Whisenand and McCain (2015), leadership is essential tothe existence of an organization. Supervisors also have an importantrole to play in the success of an organization, but supervisors andleaders are not necessarily equals. Let’s start by closelyexamining the responsibilities of a supervisor and a leader.
Policesupervisors are tasked with the responsibility of managing the workof others (subordinates) to ensure that any designated task iscompleted in the right manner and on time. Generally, policesupervisors carry out formal administrative duties over the policethat are obliged by their employment status to abide by the commandsfrom supervisors. In contrast, leadership has both formal andinformal roles of management. Formal leaders are those bearing titleslike country manager, district manager, or department manager.However, there are those police leaders that inspire people to followtheir visions without a formal title of “leadership.”
Thepoint that I am trying to drive at by delving into theresponsibilities of a police supervisor and leader is that both havethe power or authority derived from their job designations. A policeleader, just like a supervisor, is the “head” of a team. In theirtop positions, leaders and supervisors employ their authority andpower to influence the actions of their team members. All the same,informal police leaders also have the powers to influence the actionsof other police without a powerful position (Whisenand and McCain,2015). To influence the actions of others, police leaders andsupervisors have to frequently interact with their team members.Although police leaders are not always entrusted with theresponsibility to oversee the performance of others, they doinfluence the actions of their team members in line withorganizational objectives. Police supervisors, unlike leaders, aretasked with the responsibility of helping their subordinates setgoals and develop strategies to achieve these goals directlyinfluencing their performance in the process.
Atthis point, it becomes palpable that both police leaders andsupervisors inspire and motivate police at all levels to act in a waythat benefits them and their company. I strongly support the ideathat you cannot be a good police supervisor and a bad leader. For apolice supervisor to get the performance he or she desires, he or shehas to possess the ability to influence and motivate his or her teammembers to cooperate and yield their best performance whichbasically depends on a supervisor’s leadership qualities. Goodpolice supervising leaders are more expected to inspire theirsubordinates to give the finest, not like those supervisors lackingworthy leadership skills and therefore have to depend on the powerderived from their positions in their organizations (Whisenand andMcCain, 2015). Hence, you cannot be a good supervisor and a badleader all at once. Alternatively, you cannot be a good police leaderbut a bad supervisor for the reason that as a good leader, you willbe in possession of positive leadership traits the elements thatmake you a good supervisor! Therefore, I am of the opinion that agood police leader can double-up as a good police supervisor becauseboth professions warrant the possession of good leadership skills forthe leadership practices to be considered “effective.”
Itis the opinion of Whisenand and McCain (2015) that organizationalleaders are expected to be perfect. The fact is that in reality, youcan be a professional at one particular area only despite the arrayof academic qualifications. That is your strength. However, we dohave weaknesses too. As a leader, you also have your weaknesses. Theoption of whether to employ a strength-based leadership approach or aweakness-based approach in your leadership approach depends on yourliking. I am of the opinion that an excessing strengths approach ismore beneficial than the excessing weakness approach. Theclarification of my thinking is that once a police leader knows hisand his team’s strengths, he can invest in other people’sstrengths by delegating responsibilities. Additionally, a policeleader that clearly understands his strengths and weaknesses can getthe right people on his team because he knows exactly what he wantsin them. This improves the selection method (Whisenand and McCain,2015).
Furthermore,a strength-based leadership approach inspires creativity andinnovation among team members because of passing on responsibilitiesto team members. The only drawback with this leadership approach isthat it only focuses on the strengths and not weaknesses.Consequently, the performance, skills, or knowledge gaps that mayexist in an organization are ignored. The end result of such an erroris that the team members’ development process can grind to a haltbecause of a weakness that has never been diagnosed. For instance, amarketing manager can over emphasize on the educational adeptness ofhis team members, but overlooks the idea of coaching them on how tomake effective selling presentations. Such a team will exceltheoretically, but will miss the mark when it comes to securing dealsbecause of ineffective presentations. In the long run, such a teamwill fail because the manager did not factor in all the elements ofsuccess.
Onthe other hand, you can choose to employ a weakness-based leadershipapproach. The police leader, in this approach, focuses on improvingthe weaknesses of his team members. Therefore, it is the duty of thepolice leader to instill the desired work decorum in his team. Thisapproach is not as beneficial as the strength-based approach becauseit is often costly to train the team members. Additionally, theprocess of improving on team members’ weaknesses can lead to lossof motivation in weaker team members. Frail team members can feelpicked-on whenever they do not grasp one or two work relatedconcepts. It is benign to argue that this potentially damages themotivation of police, negatively affecting their performance. Thus, Ican confidently state that a strength-based leadership approach ismore advantageous because it offers more benefits to the managementof police when compared to an excessing weakness approach.
Accordingto my perception of management, I can define a manager as anindividual that is responsible for the administering of all or partof a company. To me, being a manager means making the necessarydecisions regarding the planning, controlling, organizing, orstaffing of an organization. The specific traits of a good policemanager are: good communicator, ethical, fact decision maker,trustworthy, critical and creative thinker, emotional stability,self-assurance, enthusiasm, and fast problem solver. I would arguethat a transformational style of leadership is the best. The policeleader, employing a transformational leadership approach, emphasizeson the worth of attaining organizational goals, then mobilizes theefforts of his subordinates to implement change, and then sets amoral example that builds further on the professional ethical motivesof other police. All the items of discussion in this essay are mypoints of perspective.
Whisenand,P. M., & McCain, E. D. (2015). Supervisingpolice personnel: Strengths-based leadership (8thed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall