NTOA Forums Tactical Leadership General Leadership Discuss the Most Common leadership Problems in Law Enforcement. Reply To: Discuss the Most Common leadership Problems in Law Enforcement.

Frank Richards

I believe some of the most common leadership problems have to do with a loss of touch with the rank-and-file, which also results in a snowball effect. Often, when a leadership role is assumed, many priorities shift to the administrative aspects. As a result, less time is spent in the field, which frequently leads to a loss of situational awareness and perspective. This leads to a disconnect, and often, results in decisions are made that directly impact road officers. While the decisions may be made for the intent of the greater good, the adverse consequences can lead to a sense of distrust and create a divide.

As time progresses, the team aspect breaks down and morale begins to suffer.

I believe that if leaders remain cognizant of this idea and make a conscious effort to remain in touch, this can be avoided, especially, if the right first-line and mid-level supervisors are in place. When egos are put aside and subordinate leaders have the freedom and ability to bring this to light to superiors, it acts as a check-and-balance for the chain of command. By serving as an azimuth check, it helps leaders keep each other on course.

While it is understandable to not be able to be at every call and maintain your assigned responsibilities, just having some face time and showing a degree of care can go a long way in maintaining relationships and teams.