It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do. -Steve Jobs
This concept is not utilized enough in the policing profession. Culturally, we continue to equate competency with rank. We continue to blindly assume that the higher the rank of an official, the smarter (or competent) they are. This idea is outdated and is often overplayed. Some of the smartest employees that can make major contributions benefiting the organization and their communities are at the line level. Unfortunately, because of the ego of some managers, these individuals are often underutilized. The most successful people often share that they constantly surround themselves with people smarter than they are. They do this because they never forgot where they came from. They recognize that the higher they move up in the organization, the more their leadership is centered around the employees. Too often, leaders get it backwards and think the higher they promote, the more it is all about them. This “backwards” thinking, if unchecked, starts the erosion of morale in an organization.
If you want to be a successful leader, make sure you put a premium on your people FIRST. If you do, they will make you (as a leader) a rock star!