Leadership is the communication of moral energy to a human herd that needs it. It is not about blind obedience to rank and authority. Unlike formal rank and authority, true leadership is not imposed on a human herd but instead desired by it. What makes a successful leader in the Police Service whether a Chief Constable, Superintendent, Chief Inspector or Inspector?

First and foremost senior police officers who wish to be successful leaders must possess those age old fundamental strengths to which other people will respond: willpower, character and personality. They must have an aura of confidence and certainly springing from an inner faith in themselves or their mission. They must be technical masters of the policing profession in all its complexities. But they must also be blessed with the vision and judgement to place their role in a wider context, whether within their own organisation or in regard to the outside social and political environment.

They must enjoy the ability to communicate to their officers-not just in terms of verbal fluency but in terms of genuine human warmth and concern. Successful senior officer will therefore spend more time among their officers than at their desk: more time talking listening than talking.

Above all, they will understand that the secret of leadership lies not in managing “Human Resources” but in cherishing human relationships.