NTOA Forums Tactical Leadership General Leadership What are Your Greatest Leadership Strengths? Reply To: What are Your Greatest Leadership Strengths?

mmRyan Kiefer

I believe that my greatest leadership strengths are integrity, accountability and a desire to be ever improving. My integrity has always been one of, if not the most, important thing to me. I was taught from an early age that, at the end of the day, I have to be able to look myself in the mirror and be happy with the person I see looking back at me. As such, I have made it a point to not sacrifice my integrity for the sake of being liked, being accepted to specialized assignments, or “getting ahead” within my organization. Accountability goes hand-in-hand with integrity for me. No one in this world is perfect, least of all me. I have made more than my fair share of mistakes throughout my career and it is certain that I will make mistakes in the future. I have always accepted responsibility for my mistakes and, recently as a Field Training Officer, I have started accepting the mistakes of my trainees. The way I see it, if my trainees make a mistake on training or ever after training, then I did not do a sufficient enough of a job as their trainer to ensure that they had the knowledge and confidence in their job. Finally, I have always pushed myself to improve from where I am. As a young officer, I was told by my father (a retired Sergeant) and I quickly realized that I could not expect my organization to provide me with all of the training I wanted, or even needed. My organization, like any other, operates on a budget and has 91 other sworn employees who also need and want various trainings. As such, I spent (and continue to spend) a lot of my own money and vacation time to attend trainings on topics I found interesting and/or that I felt I needed to help me improve as an officer. My self-improvement has not been relegated to trainings alone. As a Field Training Officer, I meet with each one of my trainees at the end of our time together and I ask them for a no-holds barred assessment of my as a trainer, specifically what worked and what didn’t for the trainee. I have taken the feedback I had gotten from my trainees and used it to develop my own teaching and training style for the next trainee who comes to me. I feel that without this constant self-development, we cannot grow as individuals and organizations, and are doomed to repeat the most horrific mistakes of out past.