Penn State’s Leadership and Command course is an important part of the successful progression from supervisor to commander. New supervisors should first attend our Acting in Rank, POSIT, and High Impact Supervision courses to learn the basics of being a first-line supervisor. Leadership and Command then allows them to take the next step, building the foundation for command-level positions and preparing them for our POLEX and Advanced POLEX course offerings.
To meet the diverse needs of the community, supervisors must guide their patrol officers with strong leadership and sound management decisions. The Leadership and Command training program focuses on developing skills on a command level, incorporating effective leadership skills to create a positive working environment, and creating a connection with communities.
This course examines the science of leadership. Students will learn to identify cognitive bias and its effect on the decision-making process and explore the effects of stress on the cognitive process. The program promotes effective communication skills, the basics of operational planning, and problem-solving techniques. Participants are provided real-life problems from which they will develop operational plans for high- and low-risk situations. They will also explore the importance of diversity in the workplace and in the communities they serve.
Morale and professional bearing can affect how an agency is perceived from both the inside and outside. In the Leadership and Command course, participants explore the benefits and drawbacks of performance evaluations. The program examines the importance of properly administered assessments and evaluations, with the focus on minimizing risk and promoting professionalism. Participants will also develop strategies for performance development plans.
Key concepts and topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Psychology of leadership — cognitive bias, anchoring, adjustment, emotion, heuristics, and their effects on people
- Leadership and command — definition, contrast
- Operational planning — goals, objectives, tools
- Communication — basics, barriers, platforms
- Problem-solving — manager’s role, identifying problems and causes
- Delegation — when and why you should delegate, barriers to delegation, accountability factors
- Organizational change — internal and external environments that require change, asking questions to determine the need for change, how changes affect dynamics, why changes fail
- Organizational diversity —create action plans to bring diverse cultures together to support the mission of the agency
- Performance evaluations — common problems, rating characteristics, how they may affect performance and morale, rethink the way evaluations are completed and managed, create a performance development plan
- Strategic planning — purpose, vision and mission, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, develop timelines of a strategic plan
- Shared leadership — key steps, concepts, break down barriers