NTOA Forums Tactical Leadership General Leadership Do You Have to hold a Title to Take a Leadership Position? Reply To: Do You Have to hold a Title to Take a Leadership Position?

mmAaron Springer

Leadership is developed from experience, founded in character. This is true of someone in, or not in, a leadership position. There were several comments outlining examples of successful leadership behaviors of people who are not in leadership positions; critical incidents and training/instruction. I agree with all who stated that a title does not make a leader. Behavior and performance are key to establish an individuals credibility so that he/she is accepted as a leader within the context with which he/she is trying to lead.

Unfortunately, all organizations are not structured to allow for an officer to lead up through the chain of command. This is especially true during the initial crisis response phase of a critical incident and junior officers, who are SWAT members, try to provide recommendations to patrol supervisors.

Rank does not make a leader, however, at times, rank provide the credibility necessary to give an individual a leadership voice.

An example, as silly as it sounds, is administrative issues. I have assigned SWAT officers tasks, only to hear they are not being responded to. Once Lt. Springer makes a call, the problem is solved. I have to remind myself the environment of every SWAT member is a LEADER, is not common practice throughout my organization.