I’m reading Larry Kreider’s new book “21 Tests of Effective Leadership” and so far have been very impressed. Larry identifies 21 tests that each leader must/should encounter and pass in order to be truly effective. If you do not learn the lesson the first time around, God will keep bringing you back to until you do. Each test is identified with a maxim that explains the principle underlying the test.
The first test is the Calling Test and the maxim is: An effective leader will discover his calling and trust God to manifest it.
According to Larry, “God will not call you to something he does not give you the grace to do.” I have used very similar words in counselling those who are seeking to find God’s call in their life.
And it certainly applies to the field of law enforcement. In the early days of my career, I was an “evangelist” of sorts, always trying to recruit young folks into the profession. Later on, as I began to see the destructive effects of the police lifestyle on the lives and families of officers under my command, I took the opposite approach. I began to encourage them to find something else to do with their lives.
Then, as I matured in my leadership roles, I realized that neither extreme is correct. Now, I counsel would-be officers to examine their hearts to determine if they are genuinely CALLED into the profession. If the answer is yes, pursue it with all of the energy God gives you. If not, find something else to do because you will likely be miserable and unsuccessful.
It ties in with Stephen Covey’s thoughts about the ideals of law enforcement. As you may know, he is the author of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Some years ago he put together a law enforcement version called the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Police Officers. I took my entire command staff to attend the seminar and it had a profound effect on our performance. I highly recommend it.
Go to Larry’s website to learn more about the 21 Tests of Effective Leadership.