I want to make a few comments and also thank the UK Department for International Development Justice for All Programme for collaborating with the Nigeria Police Force in putting together this three day leadership retreat.
This retreat will ensure that the Force Management Team have a deeper understanding of our policy direction and the best way to achieve our objective.
In my maiden speech I stated that, the Nigeria Police Force will henceforth be guided by the international core values of policing with integrity, ensuring that the rule of law prevails in our actions and activities, and to strictly respect diversity, courage, rights of citizen, compassion and professionalism. I want you to deliberate on the best way forward considering how your respective departments will support the attainment of our vision. We also need to understand roles of the various oversight bodies, the national and international partners, and perhaps more importantly, finding ways to engage with the ‘hard to reach communities’ while actively sustaining existing relationships with the wider communities.
My speech this morning centers’ on “Strengthening and sustaining Police reform through Pro-Active leadership style”
We have been given a unique opportunity to lead one of the largest and most diverse police organizations in the world. Though our task may appear daunting and complex, I am certain if we work together as a team, we will be up to the job of modernizing and reforming the Nigeria Police Force.
To be a leader in any organization requires confidence and a willingness to try new approaches and involve others in the process. For many people in leadership positions, they believe that because they were promoted or appointed to positions of authority and responsibility they have a right to make all decisions alone. Having said this, it should be noted that, leadership involves much more than independent decision-making. Successful leadership includes understanding of issues related to generational differences, diversity, empowerment, collaboration, and transparency to the people served. Planning, critical thinking, communications, evaluation skills and also understanding the culture of your organization are very important leadership skills we must embrace.
So, to me leadership is a process, not a position. Many in leadership positions demand respect based on their rank and title. However, we need to understand that respect is earned. It cannot be commanded or forced on the rank and file.
The decisions made by police leaders are distinct from those on-the-spot decisions often made by officers in field situations. In most instances, there is time to reflect, assess, and collect data in order to make more informed decisions. Engaging in a systematic decision-making process can be beneficial if the process includes collecting and evaluating information and data, giving other stakeholders the opportunity to review and provide input, and reviewing previous best practices in organizational decision making.
While it is easy to maintain the status quo, the challenge is to identify the need for change, and encourage people to support and keep pace with change.
There are some universal leadership principles that should guide each of us as we take on the mantle of leadership. We need to always keep the following principles in mind.
1. Leadership Is Behavior; Not Position Leaders are the ones who take responsibility for making decisions and bringing change. Leaders are the ones who empower people to discover and use their greatest potential. If you want to be a leader, then you must act like a leader and shape a better reality.
2. The Best Way of Influence Is Setting an Example. Each leader wants to get the best out of their team. Excellence orientation is great, as there is always need for development. But here is the simple truth. Instead of telling your subordinates what to do, show it to them by your own example. They are following you each and every moment. Practice what you preach, and the results will astonish you. Especially during hard times, when chances to give up are very big, you should be the one who faces obstacles with confidence and determination towards success. Be sure, that they will do the same and stand by your side.
3. Leading Means Making an Impact Think about the greatest leaders in history. What was the one thing they had in common? Yes, they all made an impact. Leadership is not just setting goals and effectively achieving them with your team. Leadership is not just brilliant public speaking and great communication skills. If you want to be an authentic leader, you should have your unique contribution to the welfare of the people you lead. You should make a positive change.
4. Leadership is Chasing Vision, Not Money Without a vision, your activities are meaningless. Each of you can be very busy implementing various tasks, but the key is devoting your efforts and time to the realization of your vision. Vision is what inspires people to take action and go forward. Discover your unique vision and coordinate all your activities towards it. Inspire each and every member of your team with that vision.
5. Actions Speak Louder than Words It’s not a secret that much talking and less acting has nothing to do with effectiveness. What people see affects them many times greater than what they hear. So, choose actions. Don’t waste your and other people’s time on endless conversations about your plans. Just realize that plans and be sure that everyone will see it.
6. Flexibility May Refer to Behavior, Not Values Depending on circumstances you may choose a different style of leadership or communication. Flexibility is a truly effective trait, if it doesn’t affect your values. Each and every decision of yours, no matter the situation, must be based on your value system. As long as your actions are value-driven, you will have the trust and respect of people around you.
7. Leadership is All About People Could you be a leader in an empty room by having profound goals and skills? Of course, not. Leading means communicating, influencing and engaging. Communication skills are the foundation of effective leadership. Constantly improve your relationships with people, and you will be amazed by the results of their performance.
8. It is Fine To Admit Mistakes If everything has always been done perfectly, we would have somehow lost the ability to analyze and improve. Mistakes are proof that you are doing something. You won’t become a worse leader if you admit your mistakes. By doing that, you will show that you are wise enough to learn from your each and every experience.
9. Unity Is Strength Team is somehow the most important resource for each leader. Embrace your team and devote your energy to care about its unity each and every day. As long as your team is splendid, nothing can stay on your way to success. Make sure that all people in your team consider themselves as members of a strong, unified family.
10. There Is Always Room for Growth
Remember, satisfaction should be a short-term feeling. Life would become useless without ongoing improvement. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t appreciate what you have. This means that you should be thankful for everything you have achieved, but still try to do a little more for this world.
It is my hope that at the conclusion of this three day retreat, we shall be in a better position to chart the way forward and justify the trust and confidence of all Nigerians in our leadership through improved administrative and operational effectiveness.
Finally, please remember, leaders that works together achieve more.
Thank you for your support and have a fruitful deliberation
SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE Ag. INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE, IBRAHIM K. IDRIS, psc, mni AT THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE MANAGEMENT RETREAT HELD ON 27TH – 29TH JULY, 2016. AT THE NEW CHELSEA HOTEL, AREA 10, ABUJA.