Comments Delivered by Kelli Bailiff, Lieutenant, Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office
On November 20, 2015
Kelli graduated in May, 2014 from our Law Enforcement Leadership Academy (LELA) Command School. After LELA, she completed extra assignments to earn the Certified Public Manager (CPM) certification. Starting in January, 2016 students of the LELA Command School will simultaneously complete work on their CPM certification.
When we entered the LELA program, we were all excited and prepared to learn more about how we could offer more to our organizations and what we needed to learn to become better leaders and better mentors. But through the LELA and the CPM classes, I realized that the first thing I needed to do was to search within myself and to find out truly who I was, what I wanted, and what I needed to become. It made me take a step backwards and to search within my own being – my heart and soul. I realized in order for me to become a better leader and a mentor, I needed to become a better me.
A wonderful mentor made a comment I cherish, “You will do what you are – so know who and what you are and be comfortable with it.” Thank you, Sheriff Ash.
A leader is far more than a label. Leadership is about taking actions to create sustained and positive transformations within an organization. But we must first align our values and our vision, not only with ourselves but within our ranks and teams. We must prepare and build a productive environment not only for today but for the future. Beth Revis said, “A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others so that they may have the strength to stand on their own.”
During this training, I also learned the true meaning of patience – personally and professionally. Sometimes that means not voicing my opinion until the proper time, if ever at all. We all know that dealing with people requires this patience, but show me a leader with patience and I’ll show you someone whom people will trust.
After I took a hard look at myself and made a list of items I needed to improve, I asked myself what is one word I am taking away from the LELA and CPM programs and what does it mean to me now. I choose the word “Empower.”
The best leaders are masters of making things happen. They create far more energy than they consume and, instead of taking energy from an organization, we must channel and amplify it back to our organization. My goal in becoming a successful leader is to create a compelling vision for our employees to strive for, to communicate our values and mission, and to do my best to get our people excited.
The people you lead may not be the first to follow what you say, but they will be the first to follow what you do. As Ronald Reagan said, “Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; then get out of the way.”
Thank you for allowing me to express what we have learned during this great adventure.
Want to be a part of the 2016 LELA Command School or the 2016 CPM program? Find out more here:
The registration deadline is Friday, December 18, with an early bird registration deadline of Tuesday, December 1.