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?

Shawn Combs

As previously stated, you do not have to have a title to take a leadership position. Leadership, in itself, is influencing others. Clearly it does not take a title or certain pay scale to influence those around you. It takes a true leader to influence others when they do not have a title, as there is no obligation to do so. I heard a debrief recently where there was a mass casualty event and a chief, sheriff, and lead evidence technician walked in to relieve the tactical team from the gruesome scene. They all walked in aghast at the sight. When the team leader walked up to them and asked who was in charge, the administrators (although they held the position) just stood there. The little evidence technician stepped in front of them after several seconds of their stunned silence and said, “My name is ________ and I’m in charge of the evidence….so I guess it’s me.” While the title may help gain compliance; sometimes begrudgingly, it is not needed. We see this in our everyday lives. I’m sure everyone has that one officer who, good or bad, holds great informal authority at the agency without having a title above officer or deputy.