Posts Categorised: Leadership

Remaining Objective Is Hard, But the Best Leaders Figure Out How to Do It

“There is no single leadership trait that guarantees success in any profession, but there is, based on my experience, one that many of the best leaders share: a fierce commitment to objectivity. And yet I realize it’s often not easy for leaders to remain objective.

In my nearly three-decade career in the intelligence community, I have worked for and with 11 Directors of CIA and all five Directors of National Intelligence. Each has brought their own personality and skill set to the job, and each in their time has faced their own set of challenges, from deeply contentious relationships with the White House and Congress to unforeseen terrorist attacks on the homeland and U.S. diplomatic facilities overseas. I think each would agree that leading in the intelligence community is a daily exercise in crisis management, whether at the helm of CIA with its global analytic and operational responsibilities, or at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence with its oversight responsibilities for the entire intelligence community.”

Source: Michael P. Dempsey (2018). Harvard Business Review, available here (open access).

Structure That’s Not Stifling

The Bower/Flickr

“Leaders know they need to give people room to be their best, to pursue unconventional ideas, and to make smart decisions in the moment. It’s been said so often that it’s a cliché. But here’s the problem: Executives have trouble resolving the tension between employee empowerment and operational discipline. This challenge is so difficult that it ties companies up in knots. Indeed, it has led to decades’ worth of management experiments, from matrix structures to self-managed teams. None of them has offered a clear answer.”

Source: Gulati, R. (2018). Harvard Business Review and available from this link (open access with personal registration).

Leading for Change: A Blueprint for Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Leadership Revisited

Coral tree flower

“We have revisited the Leading for Change exercise for a number of reasons. Since Australia does not yet officially collect comprehensive data on cultural diversity within organisations and institutions, independent research is crucial to ensuring we know the state of play. We also believe it is important to highlight what leaders and organisations are doing to support cultural diversity and inclusion. We hope this report challenges readers to think deeply about cultural diversity. Ultimately, we hope it will be used by leaders and organisations as a blueprint for action – because our national success and prosperity depends on us getting the most from our multicultural talents.”

Source: Soutphommasane, T., Whitwell, G., Jordan, K., & Ivanov, P. (2018). Australian Human Rights Commission and available from this link (open access).

“Yes, sir”: Leadership and blind obedience in hierarchal organisations


“The paper will contribute to understanding how subordinates and leaders interact and will be of value to all who lead, particularly in structured organisations like the police, where rank plays a factor in establishing a strict hierarchy. It introduces the concept of blind obedience into police leadership and warns that police leaders, and indeed leaders in all hierarchal organisations, must be on constant guard against it.”

Source: Drummond-Smith, I.  (2018). International Journal of Emergency Services, and available on request for AIPM students.


Categories: Leadership, Police

Interview with Dave Grant, Former Associate Administrator of FEMA’s Mission Support Bureau

Native Daphne/PaperMonkey

“It is…important for senior government leaders who are moving on from public service to share their reflections on the work they did and the missions they pursued. Dave Grant, Former Associate Administrator of FEMA’s Mission Support Bureau reflects on his public service career and his leadership roles.”

Source: The Business of Government Hour and available from this link (open access).

Feeling the Heat? Management Reform and Workforce Diversity in the English Fire Service


“Reforms of human resource management practices were regarded as a key policy tool in the drive to make fire brigades more representative of, and responsive to, the communities that they serve. HRM reform was largely undertaken through the introduction of the Integrated Personal Development System, which sought to reduce the ambiguity around the roles of all fire service staff at every stage in their professional development, from entry to retirement. Crucially, the IPDS was introduced to ensure career progression was linked to ability rather than rank and hierarchical position.”

Source: Murphy P., Greenhalgh K. (eds.). Fire and Rescue Services: Leadership and Management Perspectives. More about the ebook see this link. Chapter available on request for AIPM staff and students.

Julie Bishop: women in leadership

Little Manly

“It’s a target because we don’t want to impose a quota, so that any woman appointed to such a position believes that she is only there because we had to fill a quota. A target means that people think consciously about who they’re appointing or the group of people they’re interviewing for a particular position, and its addressing that unconscious bias. You can address conscious bias, because you can see it, you can hear it, you can feel it, you can smell it.”

Source: Bishop, J. (2018). The Mandarin and available from this link (open access).

IWD 2018: key facts about women and work


“Thursday 8 March 2018 is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme, Press for Progress, is an opportunity to reflect on progress to date and priorities for the future. Here are some key facts about women and work in Australia.”

Source: Workplace Gender Equality Agency and available from this link (open access).

Leadership, life and legacy

Manly dawn/Griffin

“Prior to joining Qantas, Steve Jackson enjoyed a career with the Australian Federal Police spanning some 21 years during which time he played key command roles across a wide range of policing functions. Steve was the AFP’s operational commander for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the AFP’s Field Commander during the joint AFP/Indonesian National Police investigation following the Bali bombings in 2002. Steve was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his work in Indonesia. Between 1979 and 1982, Steve served as a Commissioned Officer in Royal Navy (UK). Steve Jackson has a long and distinguished history of service to his country. As he approaches the end of his working life, Steve is contemplating his legacy.”  Vale Steve Jackson 1960-2018.

Source:  Jackson, S. (2017). TEDxCanberra and available from this link (open access).

Categories: Leadership, Police

Categories: Leadership, Learning, Police