This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Follow the leader!

Many people in management positions think they can just claim to be a leader. This is not so. Equally people in leadership positions think that they can lay claim to being a manager. This is also not true.

Leadership is an honour that is earned and awarded as a consequence of people following your ideas & example and often being prepared to do so even when this is not easy or comfortable. So no one can claim to be a leader. Leadership is acclaimed.

And then there are leaders (who are not managers but may well be politicians or chairs of boards) who try to claim that improvements (never the opposite of course...) in results with which they have had little or no real influence over, are in fact down to them. But this is not so: good management is performed with due sweat and focus. Management is enacted with people (not wafted down from on high).

There are many managers who become leaders by dint of their vision and inspiration. And indeed there are some leaders who develop a focus and a role which means they edge into management (although I think that this can be hazardous).

But please do not conflate leadership and management: they are not one and the same.

And also be very suspicious of leaders who wish to claim responsibility for results in the good times but are suddenly unavailable when things are not so good.

Meanwhile, here is an extract from a recent meeting of the Home Affairs Select Committee:

Q220 Mr Clappison: In making the case for your posts, may I ask each of you what you regard to be your most significant achievement?

Anthony Stansfeld: I set three priorities, but it is always difficult in an area as diverse as Thames. One was to reduce household burglary, which I have done very effectively, I hope-when I say I have done it, I mean the police have done it. I set another one on vulnerable people. You are aware of what went on in Oxford and the serious problems we had with that. Some 25 extra police officers were moved into child sexual abuse and exploitation. We are putting together multi-agency hubs to sort that out through the three areas, which is frightfully important. It is no good the police and everybody else doing it in isolation; that doesn’t work. You have got to operate together in one office.

I made one that was slightly contentious, which was rural crime, but two thirds of my population live in rural areas or small towns, and we had a massive problem with serious organised crime and the stealing of heavy machinery and plant, allied with intimidation across a wide area. We have reduced that quite a lot, but I have got a long way to go on that. I think that my three priorities have not been entirely achieved, but we have made huge progress on all three.

And here is a link to the most recent performance data for Aylesbury Vale where I live. There are some ups and downs… I wonder why...

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