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Next-Gen Leadership: Cultivating a mindset that empowers innovation

Discover how leaders can foster an environment that embraces innovative ideas from officers at all levels

In the fourth of a 10-part series titled “Next-Gen Leadership: Solutions for Today’s Police Supervisors,” Gene Reid, Ph.D., a seasoned police veteran and founder of Reid Training Solutions, explores the theme of mindset from two perspectives within the law enforcement community.

First, Reid discusses the challenges faced by non-supervisory officers who may hesitate to share innovative ideas due to their rank. It emphasizes that all members of a department can contribute transformative ideas, regardless of their official position.

Second, Reid addresses leaders within an agency, highlighting the importance of being receptive and supportive of new ideas presented by their teams, and the necessity of providing mentorship and feedback to foster organizational growth.

Key learning points

  1. Non-supervisory officers should not let their rank limit their potential to contribute ideas.
  2. Preparation is crucial when proposing new initiatives; a well-structured presentation can make a significant difference.
  3. Leaders should adopt a selfless mindset to encourage a continuous flow of ideas and avoid stifling innovation.
  4. Feedback and constructive criticism are essential for refining ideas and ensuring their practicality within the organization.
  5. Mentorship from leaders can help develop promising ideas into actionable plans.

Questions for discussion

  1. How can police departments cultivate a culture where officers at all levels feel empowered to propose new ideas?
  2. What are effective strategies for non-supervisors to present their ideas in a way that commands attention and respect?
  3. In what ways can leaders improve their receptiveness to new ideas, and how can they provide meaningful feedback?
  4. How can organizations balance the need for innovation with the practical limitations of budget and resources?
  5. What role does mentorship play in transforming a good idea into a successful operational strategy?
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Gene Reid is a police sergeant for the New Castle County (Del.) Police Department. Gene is currently assigned to the Professional Standards Unit and is highly active with the department’s officer wellness initiatives. Before being promoted, Gene was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Unit for over six years.

Gene holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice, with a specific focus on stress management and resilience. Gene also has an MS in education and a BS in public safety administration. Gene is an avid fitness enthusiast who trains Jiu-Jitsu and has completed numerous triathlons, including Ironman Maryland.

He is the founder of Reid Training Solutions and recently published “Police Leadership Redefined - The EQ Advantage: Transforming Law Enforcement with Emotional Intelligence.”