What is Leadership

Its maybe more a "correlation rather than causation" thing. More importantly I'd like to know whether "Operational Discretion" has actually taken route in the organisation or is a veneer as some posters on this site insist "Mission Command" is in the Army.

As an aside I think we still lack a definitive sequence of events. People seem to be arguing from differing understandings. I have not been following this issue beyond this thread and what I have googled up because of it and I certainly haven't had time to do anything with the transcripts so where I have argued something both what I have been arguing against and for have been prompted by the thread. I have found new information (to the thread) but only because I had a question which originated from here.

For example, Mackey has been critcised for not acting because he could not be sure others had reacted. However as I understand it he was just departing and had (I think) walked past the Uniformed Firearms officers and perhaps was even aware of the presence of SA74 and his colleagues. Now in the car rolling forwards towards the barriered lane at the gates he becomes aware of Masood. Was he ahead, beside or perhaps even past him at this point? If he decants alongside he gets into the way of the armed officers and potentially exposes the civillians with him to boot.

My picture had assumed that Masood was between the gate and the car and debusing would have put him between the firearms officers (some of who in reality were on there way to the crash site at the fence). The location of the car in the picture that I query upthread (if that is indeed where he was when the incident happened) would suggest that debussing would have put him in the armed officers line of fire but behind the target and that he himself would have had very little reaction time as Masood appeared around the corner. Again AIUI Masood reversed direction at some point having seen officers (I assume SA74 and his colleague) advancing on him so the possibilty of exposing his passengers as well as interfering with a shot comes into play again.
The blokes a chubber fair enough but the idea he couldn't debus because no one would then have an angle on target is a tad far fetched.
 
Explicitly acknowledging that this is in a military rather than a policing context how do you square that with deferring treating caualties untilthe fire fight is own. Further, is all casualty handling the Platoon Commanders job? Its his responsibility yes, but is it his job? Also what about the principle of first aid that states don't become a casualty yourself?
All valid points. Which divide leaders from entitled hats as to how they behave in extremis.
 
I don’t think Mackey’s actions are a leadership issue at all. They are a human issue.

His place as a leader should surely be where he can lead from. I can think of any number of military leaders who placed themselves where they were most effective. Sometimes that was forward, sometimes back. Some successful strategic leaders never went forward; Harris never flew a mission over Germany as CinC. There are plenty of who have gone forward on to extricate rapidly from a fight to do their job.

I don’t think we know anywhere near enough to judge Mackey a coward. I’ve no idea whether he was an effective team leader. He appears to me to be an utterly **** strategic leader. But then he’s the Deputy Commissioner, not the Commissioner. Maybe that role requires a tje highest levels of managerial skill and less leadership.
The moral component is integral to fighting power which, in the case of the police, equates to the use of force and, in this specific case, the use of deadly force. The moral component cannot be sustained by management, though efficiency also plays its part, it requires that quality which is hard to define but you know it when you see it, leadership.

Unless the police are prepared to entirely renounce the use of force, it is an implied task that the chain of command must do everything in its power to ensure that the moral component is as strong as possible. It is therefore incumbent on everyone in that chain to show leadership and they are failing in their job if they do not.

'One rule for them and one rule for us' violates every principle of leadership and is an indelible mark of leadership failure. In the context of what happened in this incident, there is no justification for driving off and leaving his people to it, and certainly not on the grounds that he was some irreplaceable asset who had to be protected at all costs. No business school theory can make it otherwise.
 
The moral component is integral to fighting power which, in the case of the police, equates to the use of force and, in this specific case, the use of deadly force. The moral component cannot be sustained by management, though efficiency also plays its part, it requires that quality which is hard to define but you know it when you see it, leadership.

Unless the police are prepared to entirely renounce the use of force, it is an implied task that the chain of command must do everything in its power to ensure that the moral component is as strong as possible. It is therefore incumbent on everyone in that chain to show leadership and they are failing in their job if they do not.

'One rule for them and one rule for us' violates every principle of leadership and is an indelible mark of leadership failure. In the context of what happened in this incident, there is no justification for driving off and leaving his people to it, and certainly not on the grounds that he was some irreplaceable asset who had to be protected at all costs. No business school theory can make it otherwise.
Is Fighting Power part of how the Police corporately think about this?
 
Is Fighting Power part of how the Police corporately think about this?
Probably not because there seem to be considerable elements which recoil from certain physical realities attached to the job and the promotion ladder seems to prefer those who perform strongly in other metrics. The issue is that they cannot wish these physical realities away and, if they prioritise enthusiasm for diversity over the ability to sustain the rank and file in the face of the more dangerous aspects of the job, they will inevitably have serious leadership failures in their higher echelons. Thucydides was quoted earlier and he puts it very well:

"The society that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools.”

At the core of the problem is the fact that policing in this country is heavily informed by the philosophies of that bit of the political spectrum which essentially deplores traditional policing. You get what you recruit, train and promote for.
 
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Very interesting posts above. I would add only that, atm, climbing the greasy pole is often accomplished by a neglect of Ops that suggests it is a poor relation to things such as diversity, health and wellbeing, etc. Put another way, in the part of the justice system I work in, it's possible to progress career wise on the back of investing time in things such as stakeholder engagement, diversity, etc and not on the back of working on the core business.
Once at a senior level (and even if someone has a background in Ops) work is increasingly focused on the issue of how to maximise performance with fewer resources. This tends to involve looking at staffing and Finance issues and it's easy then to forget to think about the impact of change upon the people in Ops.
For that reason (because of the disconnect that sometimes develops between senior managers and ops)I can see why Commissioner Mackey felt both unable to intervene and unwilling to remain on site post incident. However, should he then be a police officer, if his role is managerial? Could he do the same role without being a uniformed officer?
 
I can confirm the first is true. You're on the wrong track, put the shovel down gracefully.

Like he said, it's not outside the realm of probability that on a military internet forum that some people might have some real world experience of fighting, combat, CT, etc. Sure, it's sensible to be generically suspicious about internet hardmen, but somewhere in the morass are people who do actually know what they are talking about. I know at least three on this thread.



Then what is the point of, essentially, the entirety of infantry, CP, SF, etc etc training? Also extend that to skydiving / parachuting, climbing, scuba diving drills or even driving lessons. All are directed at making certain responses automatic, so that when it matters the chances of flapping or freezing are minimised, and so that the movements required are muscle memory rather than things one has to think about.

The fact that still some people refuse in the door, freeze or flap, doesn't mean that "we haven't really a clue how we will react", it just speaks to the reason we train that way in the first place: the untrained inclination is to freeze. But you can be confident that comparing a group of 100 people with that training to a group of 100 without, there will be a lot more of the first group who respond reliably than the second.

The sentiment you quote is still slightly true, but it comes from a period of conscript armies and little to no training. We've come a long way since then. Among professionally trained groups of all the kinds above, it's not a significant problem.
The post had nothing to do with military training, which I have also mentioned, it was in response to a comment that a poster made about having a think about what they would do if their house was burgled.

But thank you for stating the obvious which explains why the police, who in the roles we are discussing do not carry out military type training or develop instinctive reactions.
 
Is Fighting Power part of how the Police corporately think about this?
Exactly. @FORMER_FYRDMAN is applying military doctrine to a civilian organisation, completely missing the fundamental point that the police, whether it calls itself a Force or a Service isn’t and never has been a fighting force. The concept of fighting power is utterly irrelevant to an organisation that is built around consensus and the Office of Constable.

Even a superficial scan of the Office of Constable would show that Army perspectives of rank, responsibility,
leadership etc etc are utterley irrelevant to the Police. Not that Metropolitan Police officers of Commissioner rank are Constables of course.
 
Is Fighting Power part of how the Police corporately think about this?
No.

Officer Safety Training is partially about safe restraint, tactical behaviour and the law.

What I would say (and I am sure I have mentioned it before on this site), is that I was genuinely told on one of my last annual refereshers that officers had been heard to say they'd rather go to hospital than use their baton in self-defence.

Such was the lack of confidence in the use of back up were someone to use their stick in self-defence

That such an opinion had taken route shows a serious issue for the job.

Perhaps it might be that a senior can lock themselves in a car and not have any official sanction. Junior officers have little confidence that the seniors will back them in the use of force, and this display can hardly help to dissuade them from this opinion.
 
But thank you for stating the obvious which explains why the police, who in the roles we are discussing do not carry out military type training or develop instinctive reactions.
There is no chance for officers to develop instinctive reactions.

With one officer safety training input a year, you would be lucky to have any sort of skill retention.

I'm heavily into martial arts, and there is no way I could remember the entangled thumb lock taught during the lesson. No hope during a bundle on the street.

Sadly the same can be said for the reduction of training on officer safety and emergency life support training that I saw.
 
Exactly. @FORMER_FYRDMAN is applying military doctrine to a civilian organisation, completely missing the fundamental point that the police, whether it calls itself a Force or a Service isn’t and never has been a fighting force. The concept of fighting power is utterly irrelevant to an organisation that is built around consensus and the Office of Constable.

Even a superficial scan of the Office of Constable would show that Army perspectives of rank, responsibility,
leadership etc etc are utterley irrelevant to the Police. Not that Metropolitan Police officers of Commissioner rank are Constables of course.
I am not missing any point at all. The concept of fighting power is about the application of physical force and, at its most elemental, can be applied as much to a contact sports team as the SAS. The principles remain exactly the same, the difference is a question of context and degree.

Ever heard the team coach saying 'make the first tackle count and let the other guy know he's in for a tough afternoon'? That's the moral component. Ever had a game plan? That's your conceptual component. Skills and fitness training on a wet Tuesday night? That's your physical component.

It really isn't as complicated as you're trying to make it.
 
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Also what about the principle of first aid that states don't become a casualty yourself?
Absolutely, and (they probably aren't allowed to do this anymore) but we used to be put through scenario based drills in first aid when unexpectedly people would draw a weapon, step out from behind the curtains, etc.

It always used to be -

D Danger
R Response

A Airway
B Breathing
C Circulation.

I think that they now have catastrophic bleed drills in now as well, I read somewhere non-firearm officers being trained on torniquet and haem-clot techniques.

Partially probably due to advances in battlefield life support coming home, partially lack of ambulance support, partially the likely increase in edged weapon use, I would think.
 
Exactly. @FORMER_FYRDMAN is applying military doctrine to a civilian organisation, completely missing the fundamental point that the police, whether it calls itself a Force or a Service isn’t and never has been a fighting force. The concept of fighting power is utterly irrelevant to an organisation that is built around consensus and the Office of Constable.

Even a superficial scan of the Office of Constable would show that Army perspectives of rank, responsibility,
leadership etc etc are utterley irrelevant to the Police. Not that Metropolitan Police officers of Commissioner rank are Constables of course.
145520de2e02c41eeab1724707d602c0.jpg
george-orwell-author-we-sleep-safe-in-our-beds-because-rough-men.jpg
 
Exactly. @FORMER_FYRDMAN is applying military doctrine to a civilian organisation, completely missing the fundamental point that the police, whether it calls itself a Force or a Service isn’t and never has been a fighting force. The concept of fighting power is utterly irrelevant to an organisation that is built around consensus and the Office of Constable.

Even a superficial scan of the Office of Constable would show that Army perspectives of rank, responsibility,
leadership etc etc are utterley irrelevant to the Police
. Not that Metropolitan Police officers of Commissioner rank are Constables of course.
Utterly irrelevant indeed, but they certainly appear to enjoy the quasi-military trappings of senior rank: rank badges, silver on hat peaks, medals, aigulettes (sp?) and so on.
 
The qoute regularly comes up when the watered down nature of Officer Safety Training, recruiting standards etc comes up.
That's just the first image for the quote I found.
 

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