Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Monday, June 22, 2009

Forensic Investigator

On July 24, 2009, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will feature a discussion with Esther McKay, a former Detective Senior Constable and Forensic Investigator with the New South Wales Police Force (Australia).

Program Date: July 24, 2009
Program Time: 2100 hours, Pacific
Forensic Investigator
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About the Guest
Esther Mckay served seventeen years in the New South Wales Police Force, attaining the rank of Detective (technical) Senior Constable. She worked in the area of Forensic Services for fifteen years, attaining expert status in crime scene examination and vehicle identification. She also worked in Training and Research, as well as Document Examination. She has a Diploma of Applied Science in Forensic Investigation (NSW Police), and was awarded the National Medal for service in 2001 and the Ethical and Diligent Police Service medal with fifteen-year clasp in 2008.

Esther Mckay was discharged from the force in 2001 with post-traumatic stress disorder as a direct result of her forensic work. Her best-selling autobiography, Crime Scene: True Stories from the Life of a Forensic Investigator.

Esther Mckay works actively in supporting traumatized serving and former Police and is the President of the Police Post Trauma Support Group. She was awarded the Pride of Australia Medal in 2007 for Community Spirit for her work with traumatized Police, and regularly speaks to various groups and schools about her life experience, writing and former forensic work. Esther is patron of the Australian Missing Persons Register and has been an Australia Day Ambassador since 2007. She lives in the Southern Highlands with her husband and two children.

About the Watering Hole
The Watering Hole is
Police slang for a location cops go off-duty to blow off steam and talk about work and life. Sometimes funny; sometimes serious; but, always interesting.

About the Host
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster was a sworn member of the Los Angeles
Police Department for 24 years. He retired in 2003 at the rank of Lieutenant. He holds a bachelor’s from the Union Institute and University in Criminal Justice Management and a Master’s Degree in Public Financial Management from California State University, Fullerton; and, has completed his doctoral course work. Raymond E. Foster has been a part-time lecturer at California State University, Fullerton and Fresno; and is currently a Criminal Justice Department chair, faculty advisor and lecturer with the Union Institute and University. He has experience teaching upper division courses in Law Enforcement, public policy, Public Safety Technology and leadership. Raymond is an experienced author who has published numerous articles in a wide range of venues including magazines such as Government Technology, Mobile Government, Airborne Law Enforcement Magazine, and Police One. He has appeared on the History Channel and radio programs in the United States and Europe as subject matter expert in technological applications in Law Enforcement.

Listen, call, join us at the Watering Hole:

Program Contact Information
Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Defining Leadership: Trying to Understand

By Darnell E. Patton, GySgt/USMC

You can ask ten different people what their definition of leadership is and you will probably get ten different answers. Leadership doesn’t have a specific definition. By giving it a definition, you are putting restrictions and limitations on the word and the true value of leadership. Leadership is something that is complicated to explain and understand. It is formless; it doesn’t take on a particular shape or form, nor does it go in one particular direction. A great leader can adjust to any situation at any given time, under any circumstance, and still come out successful.


Friday, June 12, 2009

Mullen Offers Leadership Lesson to National Defense University Grads

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

June 11, 2009 - Flanked by rows of professors cloaked in traditional academic regalia, the nation's top military officer offered one final, brief lecture to a group of graduating senior military officers at the National Defense University here today. But Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen stood at the steps of the Defense Department's premier scholarly institution offering not a lesson on international security, national strategy or campaign planning, but instead a discourse on leadership.

As the nation draws down from the war in Iraq and refocuses its efforts on the war in Afghanistan, Mullen told the 582 graduates from three of the university's top leadership colleges that the skills they've learned over the past year now have a "great and immediate purpose."

"Not just to write strategy or think through problems, but to lead," Mullen said. The graduates, he added, would set the example in the field, and their leadership would determine the success of the U.S. military.

The admiral broke his lesson into three parts, noting that leading commanders, senior enlisted servicemembers and junior officers each need different types and levels of leadership.

Commanders, he said, want the opportunity to make a difference, accomplish the mission and innovate along the way. "They need to be able to question like you did, and debate like you," the admiral said. "Their ability and desire to think critically will begin with you as their leader. And like you, their opinions matter."

Opinions and advice matter most when those giving them are able to be held accountable, he noted, and change is best led by people in the fight who set the example from within.

"And by giving them credit for their ideas, and involving them in your decisions as you lead them," said he added.

Few in the military believe as fervently in its traditions and in taking care of families and troops as senior enlisted leaders, Mullen said. "What we can never do is take these leaders, or their convictions, for granted," he said, as they work to keep up with a new generation, mentoring them and ensuring they grow in their profession.

"Our senior enlisted best understand our troops, the sources of their motivations, and their hopes for the future," Mullen said. "You may lead your units from a strategic level, but these professionals really lead your units. You should measure your commitment by theirs."

Junior officers are the future of the military and the future of the nation's security, he said. How they are grown in the service is the key to the military's success.

"If you break their will, extinguish their passion, or squelch their dreams, you will be taking something that does not belong to you," Mullen said. "They want responsibility. They want the chance to make good and to do good. They want you to care – not for them, but about them."

Mullen said this group has been hit hardest by frequent deployments in the past seven years. But in those deployments, he added, they have gained insight that is valuable to the military and to the nation.

"They may be tired, but they are wise beyond their years," the chairman said. "It's up to us to keep as much of that wisdom as we can inside the institution, where we need it most. Their decision to stay or leave is a matter of national security."

Mullen said military leaders have yet to realize the full impact that the wars have had on troops and their families. He implored the senior officers to listen to troops and families, and to help to reduce the stigma of getting help for war-related stress.

Finally, Mullen asked the group to advance the fundamentals of learning they have enjoyed in their classes at the university.

"You will recall how you were inspired to think critically and to question without fear to seek out radically different solutions, and to voice them without reprisal, to read widely and deeply, and to examine without end and grow intellectually," Mullen said. "What I ask is this -- pass it on."

Those graduating today were from the College of International Affairs, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and the National War College, all at the university at Fort McNair. More than half are military officers, and the rest are federal government civilians, international students and private-sector senior civilians.

This was the university's largest graduating class, officials said.