Using life’s lessons, experience to help others lead
Former Summerville Police officer, Lt. Blaine Locklair of Summerville, has taken his life lessons – most often learned from his dad – and his years of police experience, and written a book about police leadership titled Police Leadership & Supervision.
However, he notes, it could be applied to all leadership situations.
A father himself, of an eight-year-old son, Ryan, he continues to learn the best methods of dealing with others. And these days it is often his son who unknowingly is his teacher.
“I am passionate about leadership,” says Locklair. “I’m a firm believer that any organization’s effectiveness is based on the quality of its leadership.”
Studies suggest, says Locklair, that three-quarters of employees who leave a job, “do so because of hardship with their immediate supervisor.”
“In a police organization and, in fact, most organizations, there is only one person at the top. Everyone else leads from the middle.”
His philosophies “most certainly are applicable to any leadership situation.”
With the exception of the draft into the military, all employment is voluntary.
The book, he says, deals with working with people – it is an abstract of motivating and building up people.
“It is not a textbook, not an instructional manual,” he says. He notes he constructed the book in what he calls a 10 by 10 format – 10 or fewer pages per chapter, 10 chapters – which, he says, will make it easy for a cop on duty to read and put down when he is on a short break, etc.
“Cops work long shifts – 12 hours – and the last thing they want is more to read or wade through. So I made the book for working cops to be able to pick up and put down…quick blurbs of information.”
So will it be of interest and use to members of law enforcement?
“When I wrote the book I handed it to people [other law enforcement colleagues] and asked ‘if your police supervisor did these things, how would you feel about it?’ and overwhelmingly they all said ‘it would be great!’”
Colleagues said they would love it if their corporals, lieutenants and sergeants followed the management styles outlined in the book.
Locklair, who currently works for Trident Technical College Public Safety, published his book last week.
“It’s all about inspiring, motivating, coaching, discipline and retaining employees,” said Locklair.
“As a police officer,” he continues, “I can deal with all the negativity that comes with the police profession as long as I know that I have the appreciation and support [of my superiors].”
My dad taught me to always sandwich discipline between compliments and support.
“Cops don’t want glamorous cars and fancy uniforms and they don’t expect big raises…all they want is their supervisor’s and chief’s praise and respect.”
Locklair says he wrote the book in part because many middle management leaders are frustrated and struggle with trying to get the people they manage to do what needs to be done, they way it should be done. But also, he emphasized, because he wants to add value to police officers because that filters through in so many ways.
“The goal of police officers is to help people and this is one of my ways [of helping others].”
The filtering through are the benefits of good leadership for the officers, for the leaders, for the department as a whole and, ultimately, for the community they serve.
Locklair says his son teaches him every day. He finds himself putting himself in his son’s shoes, understanding what his son wants out of something and, by discovering what that is, he can reward his son’s behavior with something of value to his son.
He emphasizes surrounding discipline with love (in the case of a child) and respect and praise (in the case of an employee).
Locklair is currently pursuing his Master’s in administration and leadership.
His book is available electronically online at www.blainelocklair.com, in print, iBook and Nook format at www.Lulu.com, and will soon be available for Kindle at www.amazon.com and both print and eBook through Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is listed in the Ingram Catalogue which means bookstores can order it as well.
The price of the book is $11.95 for print and $8.95 for eBook.