There is actually a purpose to this blog

Scott Adams - the writer of the 'Dilbert' comic strip - once described a Mission Statement as 'a long, complicated paragraph demonstrating management's inability to think clearly.' Therefore, I'll not call this a mission statement.

This blog is dedicated to informing civilian Park Rangers about topics routine taught to police officers but almost unknown to most of us who wear a uniform, work alone, and confront potentially dangerous on a frequent basis.

This blog is intended to offer suggestions based on my experience, and on my understanding of Maryland Law. It may be different where you are.

That's my mission.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

On leading... and being followed

Lacking the police authority to compel someone do something, how does a Ranger ensure that they do? I'm not going to get into Voluntary Compliance or The Authority of the Resource - that really isn't what I'm referring to. Remember, this blog pertains to the topics taught to police officers, that would be of great value to civilian Rangers, except we never hear about them.

One of my favorite quotes is from Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. Well into the book, Dagney Taggert, who is Vice President of a railroad, places a man named Jeff Allen in charge of a disabled train. When he asks who he is that people would obey him, she tells him, "They’ll obey anybody who expects obedience."

I believe that the author hit on one of the ultimate truths of leadership, and am astounded that it is seldom quoted in that context. If you arrive on the scene of an incident - perhaps an emergency requiring decisive action - expect obedience. That's not the time to sidle up to somebody and make small talk about his dog. Tell - don't ask.

Expect obedience and you'll get it.

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