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Who Runs Your Agency: You, or Your Ego?

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 70 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2003 Pages: 79-81
Stephen F. Garst
Charles E. Higginbotham
Date Published
August 2003
3 pages
This article explores the quality of law enforcement leadership by posing several questions to those in top leadership positions to aid in distinguishing between a true leader and someone who is simply the head of an agency.
It is known that behind every successful leader is an ego. Ego is a component of the driving force behind a leader. However, the ability of one to control his/her ego is the difference between a person who is a true leader and one who is simply the head of an agency. This article presents five questions to help law enforcement officials in top leadership positions determine which they are. These questions include: (1) do you give credit where credit is due; (2) do you allow your commanders to make routine decisions; (3) do you avoid giving employees preferential treatment; (4) do you have an open-mind policy; and (5) do you care about your employees and show it? If the answer to all five questions is no, than one’s ego may be in charge. The answers to these questions can determine the quality of one’s leadership while in a leadership position and determine one’s legacy after they have left.