Law Enforcement Integrity, with special guest: Jim Colbert

We’re back with Jim Colbert, former police officer in the Reno P.D. for thirty years. Yesterday were talking about …

There was a lot more along with that, such as struggling against a public that doesn’t trust you, or having a captain that’s not in tune with the problems of the day, but if you haven’t read it yet I’ll leave it to you. It’s a good read with some great video but not necessary to continue with today’s piece. I would say at this point that Jim gives some excellent examples and perspective of these leadership/management topics I’ve been discussing in this blog. Granted, they are extreme versions of those topics but non-the-less, very applicable to the discussion. Let’s continue with some more great perspective.

This is a great example of how over time, our standards need to evolve. On a vaguely related level, it’s similar to what restaurant owner Mark Estee was talking about: “Never being satisfied,” we need to be pushing for change constantly because it’s going to happen whether we like it or not. The world is banging at the door and the face of that word is ever evolving so it’s up to us to open the door, welcome in that change and assist in its development. If we’re not changing along with it, it’s going to move on down the street to the next door and we’ll be left behind. I’m not sure this is the best metaphor but I believe it makes the point that in five, ten, twenty years’ time, you won’t recognize your business, industry, or those working in it so we can be a part of it, or we can be left behind.

I’m not sure what I mumbled 28 seconds in but it sounded like gibberish. (Haha). My apologies. What Jim it talking about ties directly into what we were talking about yesterday in having the right personnel for the job and how harmful it can be when the wrong person is brought in and the fit isn’t quite right. The difference between today’s and the conversation yesterday along this same line is that the same person hired for the job today is not necessarily going to be the right person for the job tomorrow. As I said previously, the world is changing and we have to change alone with it and that includes how we fill out our teams. We need to be constantly asking: “Has the job changed? Is the job still necessary? Have the people for the job changed?” Let’s keep going with that same discussion.

Maintaining that balance between: “This is what I’m allowed to do and what I can do,” and being cognizant of those boundaries can be so beneficial. Know yourself, know your strengths and especially know your weaknesses. That “knowing” is a strength in itself and it can be such a tremendous asset in dynamic situations similar to what Jim is talking about. It will give you the perspective you need to gather the right kind of help when you need it. Let’s start to wrap up this great two-day conversation with Jim and see what he has to say about his own perspective on a thirty year career.

“The most important part of it is that honesty and integrity that you have to maintain if you want to be able to get the job done. If you want to be able to work with supervisors, fellow officers, and to have the communities support that’s so critical in getting the job done. And if you are lacking in those areas, you’ll never get the job done.”

Well said and nothing more is needed or should be added to that great synopsis, Jim nailed it! And you heard what the result was, how the Chief of Police valued Jim as an officer and what he provided to the force? It sounds like the Chief valued Jim as more than an officer and that kind of credibility can only be gained through your actions, your values, and what you stand for.

So, that’s what honesty and integrity accomplishes, that’s what it gets you on the street as a police office. Without it, there is no way Jim could do his job effectively day-to-day. Armed with that honesty and integrity  not only did he effectively do his job, but he did so much more in the form of projects and in the process garnered the respect and admiration of his fellow officers. Can you imagine what it can do for you in your day-to-day interactions with team members, in your business?

I want to thank Jim for taking the time out of his day to sit down and talk with me about leadership concepts that he faced and dealt with in the extreme. I hope this has added to your perspective of law enforcement and perhaps gives you an idea of what they are dealing with on a daily basis. I know for me, even after forty years as his son, I’m still learning from Jim. About quality leadership, about perspective, and about the life skills necessary to live an effective life. I’m also about the double standard he had when it came to forcing his own kids to eat their vegetables. Haha!

If you didn’t catch that last reference, read and watch yesterday’s post: Police Blue Leadership, with special guest: Jim Colbert

Image Credits: Video by Authro


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