Finders Keepers The Biggest Challenge You Face

by | Leadership


What is your biggest challenge as an uppercase leader in Law Enforcement? The answer to this question is finding and keeping high quality officers. What does a high quality officer look like?

Practices to get better, not to become perfect

Focuses on building strengths rather than overcoming weaknesses

Differentiates between glass and plastic bottles

Understands the power of three: Do, Drop, Delegate

Understands that you cannot give what you do not have

Remains grounded in finding and keeping high quality officers

Strives for competency, but understands that character trumps competency


Why is addressing this challenge so important? Finding and keeping high quality officers is the life blood of an organization. Finding and keeping high quality officers is less expensive than finding, training, and loosing high quality officers, and then starting the process again.

Finding and keeping high quality officers frees you up for other challenges, blesses the entire team, and enhances both effectiveness and efficiency.

How to Find:

The verb on which to focus on is not finding; it is attracting. It is not so much that you find high quality officers, they find you—because  you attracted them. It is a matter of perception. Your organization was perceived positively. They like what you did, how you made a difference in the community, and they wanted to join you.

You market your organization in such a fashion that when others seek a position they think of you. You and your team are building a brand, a magnet that pulls, rather than pushes.

This is your high challenge, but you do not have to do this alone. You build an army of allies and an arsenal of resources.


Keeping high quality officers is a process:

You recognize that this is a perception-issue. Worded another way, paying attention to their perception can equals retention. You understand that two-thirds of team members who quit, or quit before they quit, do so because of a perceived attitude of indifference.

You ensure that strength affirmation is delivered with the same intensity and specificity as weakness confirmation.

You are more likely to keep high quality officers when you focus of servicing their journey—remembering that we do not grow when you remind us of how stupid we are, we grow when you remind us how smart we are.

To a degree, we live by formulae: 1. Expectation minus example equals exasperation. 2. Information minus implementation equals irritation. 3. Assumption minus articulation equals aggravation.

The above “What, Why, How” approach can be worded differently. You describe what the challenge is, you diagnosis why the challenge is being addressed and you offer a prescription for finding and keeping high quality officers. Critical times demand implementation of this vital information. Let us get started. Today is day one!

Stephen is the best-selling author of 26 books, including What Do They See When They See You Coming? He has also written countless articles for a variety of publications and has produced multiple audio books and video programs. Stephen has appeared on PBS Television and XM Sirius Satellite Radio. He continues to hold one of the highest invite-back ratios in the speaking profession.