NTOA Forums Strategic Leadership General Leadership Do You Have to hold a Title to Take a Leadership Position?

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    • #4605
    • #6811
      mmWayne Griffin

      I firmly believe that you do not have to hold a title to be in leadership role. I personally have taken a leadership role where I was a junior officer to my subordinates, and I had no issues. Some guys just have natural leadership skills, and people want to follow them no matter of rank, age, seniority, etc…

    • #7360
      Anthony Kies

      The short answer to this question is no. There are several employee’s within our agency who are great leaders. Our Multi-jurisdiction Team has several team leaders who are not ranking officers. As I described my leadership values earlier in discussion this still stands the same. One who can be credible and ethical will make a great leader. There are several attributes that come with being a great leader, but in my opinion it takes some time and classes to learn how to be a great leader. To be a supervisor to be is simple compared to being a leader.

    • #7426
      Jeffrey Brown

      I don’t believe you need to hold a title to take a leadership position. Leaders will rise due to training, experience, natural ability, or because people want to follow them. The best leaders are not necessarily the ones that hold titles. It is not uncommon for rank to be trumped by position in our world. On my team, rank and position are two different animals. We use rank as a courtesy when addressing our operators, but that does not necessarily mean their rank has any bearing on who is making command decisions. Key leaders are placed in their positions because they have demonstrated the ability to lead men and make decisions. We have found that rank does not universally make one a good leader for our purposes, or even a good leader at all.

    • #7974
      mmJacob Taylor

      Absolutely not. Every member of my team is a leader in their own right. Quality individuals with problem-solving skills always rise to the top. They communicate well and are able to direct others to a common goal. I have been around a number of officers who will never test for rank, but are far and away better leaders than most in our upper management.

    • #8158
      Max Yakovlev

      Title means nothing just like years of service. To me, what matters the most is what you did with those years of service and sometimes officers know more about topics than supervisors; and that ok. use them as resource.

    • #8242
      mmChris Eklund

      No you do not. In my opinion, the title only helps in finding who may be liable. For a true leader, it would seem impossible for someone to get the title without first having obtained a leadership position. There are those who want the title, get the title, and believe that mandates obedience. Leadership values should be in place well before the title is given. Although we should respect the rank, without the respect of the person, there is no true leadership.

    • #8386
      Jon Thompson

      Absolutely not. I have seen that some of the most effective leaders in our agencies are the old-timers who simply set a good example for the younger officers by doing their jobs professionally and to the best of their abilities. They are having an impact on potential future leaders just by their example.

    • #8613
      Jesse Laintz

      Do You Have to hold a Title to Take a Leadership Position?
      No one needs to hold a title to be a leader, but it does help. The ‘help part’ has a lot to do with authority and power. A person who holds the title of a leader has legitimate, reward, and coercive power over a person. In other words, they have the position by title which the job requires we obey, and they can give awards and punishment. The leader that has these three abilities could be missing the referent to lead. Referent refers to the qualities that are desired by others. These can be leaders with the title, but this power can also be the leaders without the title. When operators are placed in a situation where their lives are in danger they will no longer care about reward or punishment they will look towards the leader that they want to follow not that they have to.

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