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The three Cs of leadership.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

--Theodore Roosevelt

Effective leaders understand the need for obtaining and properly wielding power within their organizations. If they think of their position as the vehicle that enables them to make an impact in their agencies, then power is the fuel that moves them along. Regardless of how big the engine is, if the fuel tank is empty or the octane is not high enough, chances are they will not go very far. So, how can law enforcement leaders increase their power bases and accomplish more? Developing personal character, competence, and commitment is a time-proven method.

Character, in terms of doing right versus wrong, is obvious. To build their power, leaders can focus on aspects of character that might not get the attention they should. Follow-through represents one area. Often, leaders make promises while on the run, to the effect of "I'll get back to you on that." At that moment, leaders may have had every intention of keeping those promises. However, time and circumstances often overcome their best intentions, and they find themselves down the road realizing they failed to follow through. More powerful leaders remain deliberate and develop a system for ensuring that they keep those well-intentioned promises.

Competence proves crucial to building the trust on all levels that increases leaders' power. Effective leaders continuously develop new skills while honing old ones. As others observe their leaders' demonstrated competence, they more likely will follow their lead and invest more authority in them.

Commitment to the mission and to the people always will serve to increase trust levels and fill leaders' power tanks. Leaders find that choosing to be exceptional is a daily decision, as is opting to empower and develop those around them. Those leaders who always seem to be building momentum have found a way to practice the maxim of "Mission first, people always." Making an ongoing investment in the three Cs of leadership is an excellent way not only of keeping leaders' power tank full but of boosting the octane in them.

Jeffrey Lindsey, special agent instructor and program manager in the Leadership Development Institute at the FBI Academy, prepared Leadership Spotlight.
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Title Annotation:Leadership Spotlight; Character, Competence and Commitment
Author:Lindsey, Jeffrey
Publication:The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2006
Previous Article:Police education for the 21st century.
Next Article:Breaking the bank.

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