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Ensuring leadership fitness: lessons from policing

Ensuring leadership fitness: lessons from policing Purpose – Policing is an enormously challenging occupation. Despite the difficulties, however, the vast majority of police officers are extremely resilient and demonstrate high levels of self‐control, compassion, professionalism and love for the work they have chosen to do. Their dedication to service is inspiring. These officers appear to have the ability to re‐direct their emotionally charged frustrations and use the experiences to create new meaning and compassion. This paper seeks to look at what leaders in all public‐sector organisations can learn from these resilient officers, and to look at what can be done to ensure these leaders are fully fit for the role they have to perform in these challenging times of austerity and cutback. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on extensive research in this area, this paper provides the author's view on lessons from policing that can be applied across the public sector. Findings – The author argues that when the deeper issues are considered, many of the challenges in policing and in leadership are fundamentally of a spiritual nature, and it is vital to include consideration of the spiritual dimension in an holistic approach to leadership. Originality/value – There is a need to develop new leadership approaches in the public sector that can cope with the pressure of rapid change on individuals and within organisations. There is much that can be learned from current approaches in policing and, when considered, many of the challenges are fundamentally of a spiritual nature and so it is vital to include consideration of the spiritual dimension when developing leadership fitness. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The International Journal of Leadership in Public Services Emerald Publishing

Ensuring leadership fitness: lessons from policing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1747-9886
DOI
10.1108/17479881111160122
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Policing is an enormously challenging occupation. Despite the difficulties, however, the vast majority of police officers are extremely resilient and demonstrate high levels of self‐control, compassion, professionalism and love for the work they have chosen to do. Their dedication to service is inspiring. These officers appear to have the ability to re‐direct their emotionally charged frustrations and use the experiences to create new meaning and compassion. This paper seeks to look at what leaders in all public‐sector organisations can learn from these resilient officers, and to look at what can be done to ensure these leaders are fully fit for the role they have to perform in these challenging times of austerity and cutback. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on extensive research in this area, this paper provides the author's view on lessons from policing that can be applied across the public sector. Findings – The author argues that when the deeper issues are considered, many of the challenges in policing and in leadership are fundamentally of a spiritual nature, and it is vital to include consideration of the spiritual dimension in an holistic approach to leadership. Originality/value – There is a need to develop new leadership approaches in the public sector that can cope with the pressure of rapid change on individuals and within organisations. There is much that can be learned from current approaches in policing and, when considered, many of the challenges are fundamentally of a spiritual nature and so it is vital to include consideration of the spiritual dimension when developing leadership fitness.

Journal

The International Journal of Leadership in Public ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: May 18, 2011

Keywords: Leadership; Change management; Fitness; Spirituality; Coping strategies; Emotions

References