Getting the Most Out of Your Team

By Dean Crisp

October 27, 2020


“Creating a self-motivated team takes time. If you are not willing to put in the time to create this dynamic as a leader, you will be leading through manipulation and not motivation. When you lead through motivation, you definitely will get the most out of others.”   Dean Crisp

“Effort is directly tied to commitment. No one will ever give more than they can commit.”   Dean Crisp

“Employees want to know where they are going and what car they are riding to get there”   Dean Crisp

In this week’s podcast, I dive into part 2 of a 3-part series on Getting the most out of others. It’s probably the first thing any leader considers when assuming the role of leader. I started with getting the most out of you first, because so many leaders begin in the wrong place – focusing on others. True leadership begins with you. Where is your mindset? Why are you doing what you are doing? Do you ‘want to’ lead others? Once you have a handle on those key components, you can then begin to examine how to get the most out of others.

There are three key elements that must be in place for you as a leader to get the most out of others. First, you have to have followers. If you don’t have followers, it’s really hard to have the influence necessary to be an effective leader. Second, you have to have the ability to get others to work together. By doing this, you produce a better service or product; create a sense of accomplishment among your team; and develop a form of self-directed group motivation that leads to the third element, creating synergy. Putting these elements into place, takes time. You must be willing to put in the time to create a self-motivated workplace

This post recaps what I consider to be the 9 tips I personally recommend to get the most out of others. To get the details, listen to the podcast hearer


9 Tips To Getting the Most Out of Others

1) Stop being a manager and Start being a leader. 

Remember every employee is unique as to their abilities and needs. As a leader, it’s your job to recognize this and adjust accordingly. You always treat everyone fairly, but differently according to their needs.

2) The Goal is to get Optimal Performance out of Employees

Employees you have in your charge as a leader will come to the workplace with different abilities and motivations as to what level of effort you can expect from them. Your job is to get the optimal performance out of each of them. For one employee, it might be 40% is optimal while for another, they can go easily into the 70-80% effort every day.

3) Communication is connecting employee effort  to organizational mission

Leaders are expected to clearly communicate the organizational vision and mission. That is important.  Employees want clear communication as to where they are and where they are going and how they as employees fit into that vision. In other words, they want to see a road map of where they are going and what car they are riding in to get there.

4) You as a leader, has to grow with them

You as a leader must grow with your people. If you don’t they won’t follow you and you won’t become the best leader you can be. You do this through showing authenticity and vulnerability and honesty.

5) Know and Explain Your ‘Why’

Knowing your why is something I cannot emphasize enough for you to have as a leader.  Know it. Believe it. Connect to your people so they understand how it fits with the organizational purpose.

6) Give Your People Purpose

When you are able to connect your ‘why’ to the organizational purpose and connect well with your people, your people understand that their ‘what’ and ‘how’ have options.

7) Recognize Your Employees’ Efforts

Make it a point to periodically and systematically recognize your employees’ efforts and how it contributed to the overall success of the organization. Celebrate individual accomplishment and effort and you will definitely get even more out of your employees.

8) Make Sure your People are compensated both financially & emotionally

For those working in the public sector, it’s difficult to control this aspect as too many external factors contribute. Be an advocate when you can for the best wages for the best performance. Be sure to prepare employees for what the organization can realistically compensate them and let them understand that compensation is both monetary as well emotional and intellectual. Are you providing these avenues for your employees?

9) Remember that everyone wants to master something

Every single one of us wants to feel that we have mastered what we have selected as a profession or skill. It makes us feel accomplished and competent. Get to know your people. Help them identify their personal interests within the profession and then help them set a path to accomplish it. 


Tips For Getting the Most out of Your Day

by Dean Crisp

The first of a 3-part series to co-inside with my podcast on the how to make the most of your day. Next week will be how to get most out of others and the third installment will be about getting the most out of your team and organization.


Dean Crisp

“One good response is worth a hundred reactions.” – Dean Crisp on the importance of leaders staying focused on responding rather than reacting.

This week celebrates our 50th episode podcast! I have to honestly tell you I wasn’t sure we would get to this milestone, but the response of our audience has been tremendous. This week, I’m starting a 3-part series on my tips to leaders to help them get the most out of their day. 

Up front, I want to state as I do in class: If you don’t have the “want to” (the desire and drive) to do what it takes to make the most of your day, you likely won’t be successful long term. As with anything at which we succeed, being intentional is critical to success at anything – parenting, romance, and, of course, what we are going to discuss today, leadership.

“There are no magic bullets.” 



My Tips for Making the Most of Your Day

October 20, 2020

When I think about what helps me personally get the most out of my day, it all starts with making sure I’m taking care of me. Are my mental, physical and spiritual/emotional needs being met? Often, we don’t consciously consider this as being a responsibility of a leader, but it most definitely is. We set the tone and vision for the entire organization we lead. For that reason, how we take care of ourselves in these three key areas is paramount to how our people will view our care of them or our organization. When you show up to work too tired or not feeling physically well, it will impact how you present to those you lead. Let’s take a look at the 3 areas I mentioned and see what some of my tips are. These are not a magic bullet nor are they a prescription for success, but they are what works best for me to be at my best and what I think will inspire each of you to find what works to help you be at your best as a leader

It All Starts with Your Physical Well-Being

First, and foremost, you must take care of your body. This means finding what works best for you to feel at your optimum performance level. Pay attention to your health and find what helps you keep yourself at your best. This doesn’t mean you have to be in Navy Seals performance level, but it does mean as law enforcement officers, that you find what helps keep you feeling your best. Some of the things that work best for me on a daily basis are the following:

  • Making sure I get a good night’s sleep that allows me to rise early enough to not be rushed in the morning. Rushing raises your cortisol levels and makes you feel stressed. Stress makes you do reactionary things (more on that later)
  • I make sure that I am hydrated with a 12-oz minimum glass of water first thing – if you think about how long you have slept and when the last time you drank water the day before, it definitely helps me to make sure I’m hydrating
  • Get a workout of your choice in daily. For me, I enjoy running or power walking and alternate days with weights. This helps to clear my mind and to keep me fit. As I always say, my goal is to live a long, healthy life to be around for my family.
  • Make sure you plan time for nourishing your body in the morning. Whatever your choice, make sure you do something that gives your body the fuel you need to start your day. By doing so, you’ll avoid the negative physical side effects that can come

And Continues With Your Mental Well-Being

The second aspect of getting the most out of your day is mental focus. As I said, many of the physical and emotional well-being recommendations work in tandem with the others, but specifically for mental well-being, it all begins with intentionally beginning your day with healthy activities that allow you time to get your mindset in the right place for the day. Specifically, I find it helpful to do the following:

  • Avoid looking at my cell phone or social media for at least a half hour after waking. Trust me, it will all be there when you get around to it and if you aren’t fully focused or in the right mindset, you will have a tendency to react rather than respond. It prevents you from absorbing negativity too early in the morningLet me tell you, one good response, is worth a hundred reactions. Make sure you’re mindful.
  • Do actions that become a positive habit you will want to do daily. Reading or listening to inspirational or informational ideas are definitely a positive energy thing to do. Journaling is another often based on those readings. Finding that personal “zen” is what will get you where you want to be both in mindset and grow your mental well-being
  • Pace yourself. Know that if you are starting new habits with the intent to make the most of your day, it will take time. Start small and grow as you are prepared to do so. Challenge yourself. If you aren’t a reader by nature, start with audio books while you workout
  • Definitely do NOT deal with really tough issues first thing. Some will disagree, but I find that these often will negatively impact your mindset and your mental and emotional well-being. So, my best advice, is wait until you are focused and intentional on making the right and correct action related to the tough issue. I know the circumstances won’t always allow for this but whenever possible, the results are almost always better


And Comes Full Circle with your Spiritual Well-being

The third and final area of making the most of your day is making sure you are taking care of your emotional and spiritual well-being. I find that when I intentionally focus on the mind and body, it automatically supports the spiritual.  Such things as:

  • By taking care of my body, I feel better about myself which leads to a better self-image that leads to more positive self-talk and then leads to better actions. Period.
  • By avoiding negativity and negative people until you are mentally prepared, you will find that your emotional self doesn’t absorb that negativity. 
  • By pacing myself, I find that I don’t feel the stress and “reactions” that inevitably come from stress
  • When I give myself the time to prepare my mindset before beginning the day, I find that I can give my people the best version of myself.
  • When I take the time to recharge myself in each of these three areas, I find that I get the most out of my days.

In the end, the goal is to do what works best for you in each of these three areas so that you can perform at your optimal level. Your optimal level is sustainable in contrast to your peak level. When you think of a Navy SEALS team or a SWAT team, when they are “on” an operation, that is peak performance, but most of the time, they make sure they are able to perform at optimal levels. When you are taking care of these three elements of you,  I guarantee you will perform at optimal level, set the right tone for your people and the organization. 

Let me know what you do to make the most of your day! Email me at dcrisp@lhln.org or join our discussion on social media!


“A blockquote highlights important information, which may or may not be an actual quote.”



Becoming a Master Presenter

By Dean Crisp

October 13, 2020

Leadership is influence. Pure and simple. John Maxwell says this, I say this. No matter who you are, if you are a leader at any level, you know that one’s ability to influence is critical. One of the biggest ways in which any leader “influences” others is their ability to present information in an effective and convincing way. There is much more that goes into presenting and I will discuss that briefly in this blog post, but since my why is to help instruct others through inspiration and information, I decided to create a master presenter class about this time last year with the primary goal to help my students become the best version of themselves as presenters. Because leadership is influence and influence comes from one’s ability to connect and communicate, this class seemed like a natural evolution of our LHLN offerings.

The first master presenter class was taught in February of this year and, honestly, I didn’t know how it would be received. We had some relatively veteran instructors and leaders in that first class who came to the class naturally skeptical and wondering what in the world they could possibly learn but trusting that if anyone had new ideas in this area, it was me. What an honor to have that kind of faith and pressure to prove something to one’s peers. Well, I’m happy to say that the class was successful beyond our wildest dreams! In fact, it was so successful, that since then, we’ve taught the class about 6 times with 6 already scheduled for 2021.

So, what do I think it takes to become a Master Presenter? Well, in the class, I tell students that it takes the ability to recognize where one is at in their journey to become a master presenter and to take the steps possible to become the best version of themselves. First and foremost, we teach that you as the individual has to decide what type of presenter do you want to be? While there is so much to talk about in this class, it would be too long to cover all of the class in one blog post. So we will stay focused on my three levels of a presenter and what I believe are the three components of presenting: connection, style, and material.

Level I Presenters: Almost all leaders begin at Level 1 Presenter which I describe as unskilled amateurs. Depending on your personality and years in a profession, you can present material and may do it relatively well, but haven’t had enough concentrated practice to develop into a Level II presenter. At the level 1, you are often overly focused on your material and may be somewhat comfortable developing your style of presenting, but fail to make the connection with your audience. In fact, you don’t even think about connecting because you assume that the material is all that matters.

Level II Presenters:  These are presenters who are definitely skilled and proficient and have developed a personal style of presenting the material, but fall short in connecting to their audience. Like Level I presenters, they fail to miss the real goal of presenting which is that if you connect with your audience, you will get them to listen to the material and adjust to your style. Many Level II presenters are comfortable presenting anything, but remain stuck in an intuitive level of instructing. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but it keeps them at a level that prohibits them from achieving maximum effectiveness as a leader.

Level III Presenters: When one graduates to Level III, you have become a presenter that people will pay to listen to talk on any topic. The material and style become less important because your reputation as a speaker proceeds you. You have developed your own ability to connect with your audience on any topic. When you think about great comedians such as Robin Williams, Jonathan Winters, Carol Burnette, they had different styles of presenting themselves but they had an ability to adjust and react and present any material in such as way that you would pay to watch them no matter what the topic was! It’s the same with presenters.

So, the goal with our Master Presenter class is not to change you. We don’t guarantee that everyone that takes the class will go from Level I to Level III presenters in the 5-day class, but I will say that the transformations that take place are phenomenal and affirming to me as a veteran instructor. Trust me, there were many years that I myself was stuck in Level I presentation mode. I thought that my material was the most important thing. I would be so much in my head that I would often freeze when I had to talk in front of large groups. It took years of practice and developing my own personal style to achieve the level I’m at currently.

In this class, our goal is to give our students the understanding that it’s okay to be uncomfortable and, in fact, it’s the only way to truly grow. The class involves a lot of experiential exercises – all week. The synergy that is created in this class is one of the most rewarding things for me as an instructor. In every class, we have at least one student who has never or rarely spoken in front of a group and doesn’t think they can do it. By Friday, they are typically some of our most transformed students! The synergy created comes from the connection created between the instructor and student, the student to instructor, but also the student to student connection. Many of our students continue their relationships with one another beyond the class. Many have organically created small groups to practice a simple exercise I would encourage everyone to try – the one-word game. Zoom with a group of professionals or get together once a month in a small group and each person chooses a word for another in the group. So, person A would choose a word say “enthusiasm” and select another in the group (person B) to say something about that word through a story or visual connection in a 1-minute time frame. You can do this yourself in front of a mirror with a timer on your cell phone. Get in the habit of doing this daily, weekly and you will be surprised how much you start to see both your style (facial expressions, hand gestures, etc.) and your tone of voice. You start to focus less on the content and more on making a connection to your audience – even when you are practicing this exercise alone!


I am really excited about the possibilities of this course. It’s been tremendously successful and rewarding and takes leadership up a notch, something I’m always wanting to do for my students. I hope each of you gets an opportunity to take this class. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us through our website at www.lhln.org and request to host one in 2021!

Dean teaching Master Presenter in Waynesboro, GA 

Thank you to Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams &

Augusta Marshal Ramone Lamkin for co-hosting this event!


Master Presenter

Class Objectives

  • Learn a new paradigm on presentation
  • Understand that it is going to be uncomfortable
  • Learn the three levels of comfort
  • How to connect with your audience
  • Understand infotainment
  • Learn the six steps to becoming a master presenter

Intentional Leadership

Part I of IV

By Kelle Corvin, Director of Business Development

October 6, 2020

Over the next few weeks, we thought it would be helpful to share with you the transformation we are seeing in the classroom. Dean has now created 3 signature classes that he’s been crisscrossing the country to teach. In addition, because of the travel restrictions placed on agencies and leaders to secure the quality training they need, we spent time creating a brand new e-learning class called the Accelerated Leader. You will hear about that as we roll that and our eLearning platforms out over the next few weeks.

2020 has been quite a year. No one could have predicted Covid-19 and all of the fallout from that. It certainly impacted our ability to grow leaders in person during the spring months. By summer, we were back on the road and providing quality leadership development training in those areas of the country that re-opened.

Dean’s first class, Intentional Leadership: Leading with a Purpose continues to be a hit wherever it is taught. Some of the comments and feedback we have received always reinforce that it is one of if not THE best leadership class they have ever taken. With Dean’s unique style of teaching and, really partnering with his students to create a unique learning dynamic, our students leave the classroom feeling they have learned new ways to enhance their own leadership and how to grow others.

In our 2.5-day Intentional Leadership Class, students are taken on a journey to determine what type of leader they want to be; what their “why” of leadership is; and how to grow their team into future leaders through maturity and what Dean considers to be the four pillars of leadership. In today’s workplace, whether it be law enforcement or civilian, your ability to manage your mindset, your emotional intelligence, triage your feelings as a leader and to self-heal are critical.

Dean believes at the root of it all is the importance of looking at yourself. Those who understand themselves, will  end up being the best leaders most especially if they learn how to manage themselves and grow others. The goal of this class is to take the student (be it a new sergeant or potential sergeant to the veteran executive leader) on a journey to understand where they are in their personal growth and development – what Dean calls your GPS Moment.

This class has been taught throughout the United States and Canada over 4 dozen times and every time, students crave more. The desire to do a deeper dive into specific topics discussed during the Intentional Leadership class has informed us to create future online webinars and MasterMind groups that will be coming in 2021.

Please check our website to see where we have this class scheduled for 2021. We are scheduling classes now and would be happy to discuss your department or agency as a possible host site. We offer open enrollment classes and contract classes to our students. Some of the key aspects of the class include:

  • What is an intentional leader
  • The mindset of a leader
  • How your thinking affects your leadership
  • The type of leader you want to be
  • The layered leader model
  • The Diamond Leadership Model
  • Maturity level of leaders
  • Defining your GPS Moment
  • Creating your ‘why’ of leadership
  • The four critical components of a leader
  • How to have a critical conversation vs a crucial conversation
  • Why Mentoring is the key to successful leadership

We hope to see you in an upcoming class. Feel free to reach out to me, Kelle Corvin, if you would like to host one of these classes. Next week, we will talk about one of our most transformative classes, the Master Presenter Course. 

Thanks to all for your support of what we are doing. Together, we will create a leadership network that will continue the growth for all.

You can reach Kelle at kcorvin@lhln.org



“The Intentional Leader is laser-focused on his/her role in developing the people in their charge. They understand that the rent they pay are the leaders they leave behind.”


“We’ve all had a bad mindset about things whether it be a job, a situation, a person, or a task at hand. We have all been there for sure. Remember, most of us have a tendency toward fixed or growth, but that doesn’t make one bad over the other. “

“Remember, most of us have a tendency toward fixed or growth, but that doesn’t make one bad over the other. That said, a fixed mindset is one that will cause you significant difficulties as a leader. Can you change? Absolutely! Is it hard – you bet it is.”

“Scott Shickler & Jeff Waller teamed up some years ago to develop a curriculum for elementary students based on groundbreaking research that discovered seven (7) mindsets. Since writing the book, the two have authored countless curriculums for K-12 schools that help students identify their mindset patterns and teach them how to adjust that thinking.”

” Just as the Fleetwood Mac song says “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” be deliberate and intentional in your goals to improve. “

Developing Your Growth Mindset:      5 steps to success

Our new eCourse has been extremely well-received. So far everyone that has taken it to completion or almost completion, has given it rave reviews. For that we are grateful as we always strive to give quality content to our customers. On the platform we use for The Accelerated Leader eCourse, students are able to dialogue both with me as an instructor and other students. It’s a great community of peers where the dialogue is often interesting and robust. Just what I would want to see when I created Leaders Helping Leaders Network two years ago.

Recently, one student asked a good question about mindset. That if a growth mindset was so desirable among leaders, why were so many law enforcement officers promoted with a fixed mindset? The responses were all good. One in particular referenced a book called Charismatic Leadership and of course Carol Dweck’s book on Mindset. The dialogue showed that there are still many misconceptions and misinterpretations of the importance of mindset as you become a leader. You see, for me, mindset is one of my four pillars of leadership. In fact, it’s the first one that I discuss when introducing the topic to my Intentional Leadership students and why it is a key component of our Accelerated Leader Course.

We’ve all had a bad mindset about things whether it be a job, a situation, a person, or a task at hand. We have all been there for sure. Remember, most of us have a tendency toward fixed or growth, but that doesn’t make one bad over the other. That said, a fixed mindset is one that will cause you significant difficulties as a leader. Can you change? Absolutely! Is it hard – you bet it is. I had to teach myself through many years of practice and trial and error of what worked for me. You see, because of our biochemical makeup, we are predisposed to look for threats in our environment – it’s how we survived in prehistoric times. Because of this, it just comes natural to see the world as a series of problems to solve or threats to manage. This can lead to a very pessimistic view of the world and others.

Carol Dweck describes the fixed mindset as a creation of one’s environment during their formative years. If a child was told that they just weren’t good at a task, they were basically being given permission to give up. Over time, this creates a more fixed mindset of the glass is half empty. Children who grew up being told to try again from a different approach, tended to see the world through more of a glass half full scenario and developed a more growth mindset that anything is possible if I tell myself I can. That said, many researchers have focused on how these patterns develop and how they can be changed. We offer a mindset self-assessment as part of our Accelerated Leader E-course that I believe starts the process for many. Just as with any 12-step program, admitting where you are is the first step.

Scott Shickler & Jeff Waller teamed up some years ago to develop a curriculum for elementary students based on groundbreaking research that discovered seven (7) mindsets. Since writing the book, the two have authored countless curriculums for K-12 schools that help students identify their mindset patterns and teach them how to adjust that thinking. That’s fascinating stuff and I encourage everyone to read their book The 7 Mindsets to Live Your Ultimate Life, but for those of us that are in the workplace and real world, how do we begin to adjust our mindset? Many of us may have been shaped by our childhood role models be it parents, grandparents, teachers or coaches, but we also can be influenced by the work environment in which we find ourselves. Law enforcement can definitely tend to have, by the nature of the work we do, have a more fixed mindset. Breaking free of a completely fixed mindset can be difficult, but I know from personal experience, it is not impossible. So how can someone identify and adjust their mindset to achieve greater success as a person and a leader? Well, let’s look at the steps I believe will start that process for you.

The goal in developing a growth mindset I believe comes from these key things:


  1. Recognize and admit where your mindset falls – are you a more fixed mindset in all things or just work-related functions? Most are a combination of the two. You will find that there are certain situations where you tend toward one or the other more than others do. That’s okay. Recognizing where your mindset is will help you assess which is best for the given situation. You see, I don’t want you to see one or the other as bad or good. Truly there are positives from each type. What you want to see is where you tend to fall and how you can adjust it for maximum effectiveness as a leader
  2. Journal your leadership experiences by describing where your mindset is at the time of the decisions you are making or the mentoring you are doing with an employee. By disciplining yourself to do this on a regular basis, you will be able to go back and see patterns in how you handled situations. As you analyze those patterns, you will begin to see what was effective and what could have gone better. Journaling your leadership is so important – it’s why we give every student of ours a journal so they are encouraged from the moment they take our class to begin that practice of journaling your leadership. I’ve done it for most of my adult life now and it’s truly remarkable to go back through those journals and see where I was at one point of my career versus another part.
  3. If you are a more fixed mindset person, own it and decide how you can practice adjusting your mindset to be more growth-oriented. Start with one aspect of your leadership. Look around at other leaders both within and outside of your organization and observe how they handle that situation. What do you admire? What do you want to emulate? Take note of those characteristics and write down your goals for practicing that new approach.
  4. Practice what you want to change. Just as you will never achieve a toned body without doing the workouts and weights, so too will you not achieve a growth mindset if you don’t practice. Now one of the more difficult things is that old patterns of behavior do die hard. It’s tough to change. One technique that worked for me was to “reframe” the situation. This was a constant challenge that over time actually became kind of fun to do. Take any workplace situation and however you would normally react, stop and reframe it from the other person’s perspective. In doing so, you are not only making your mind think differently, but you are actually practicing empathy by literally putting yourself in another’s shoes.
  5. Finally, don’t give up. Just as the Fleetwood Mac song says “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” be deliberate and intentional in your goals to improve. I talk a lot about finding your GPS moment for leadership growth and development when I teach. Just as you don’t get in a car without know point A and point B, you can’t get to leadership point B without knowing where your leadership point A is. Find your starting point. Realize that it isn’t all bad. By acknowledging where you are, you can begin to get to where you want to be.

Practice these 5 steps and make them part of your routine as a leader or parent. You will find yourself getting better steadily and surely. Will you be perfect all the time? Heck no, but by acknowledging where you are, you are taking the first step toward getting to where you want to be.


The Societal Risk of Mentally De-funding the Police

Since the George Floyd incident at the end of May, there have calls for and actions by city councils across this country to de-fund the police. Here are just a few:

  • Minneapolis, MN led the charge by voting to disband its police department
  • Baltimore, MD city council approved a $22.4 million budget cut for their police department
  • Portland, OR cut $15 million from their police budget
  • Philadelphia PA cancelled a planned increase for their police of $19 million and shifted $14 million to affordable housing
  • New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Milwaukee, Denver, Durham NC, Winston-Salem, Chicago are just some of the more prominent cities to take aim at law enforcement

The “defund-the-police” movement claims that they are diverting funds to other social programs to address the underlying issues of crime such as poverty, mental health and drug addiction. I’m not going to get into an argument on this, but I want to address the larger, societal issue that is taking place with law enforcement and that all citizens need to understand will greatly impact their lives.

The fiscal (monetary) de-funding of police will (and has) cause a major shift in police services. What is overlooked is that it also creates a mental de-funding of police that will lead to a major societal shift. Because of the actions of a few rogue, ill-intended cops, the remaining well intentioned truly good hearted cops have had their mental bank account negatively impacted.

There is grave danger ahead for all of American society when you both fiscally and mentally defund your law enforcement. Let me explain.

Police in the 21st century have made tremendous and numerous strides to implement programs such as community policing and developing proactive strategies and initiatives that, until 2020 and the de-fund police movement, have resulted in the most significant reduction in crime in modern history. The efforts included hiring large numbers of African American and Hispanic officers, more female officers, school resource officers, implementing the D.A.R.E. program, creating and funding community-oriented policing where cops literally lived and certainly worked within some of the most impoverished and disadvantaged communities within our cities and towns. The goal was not only to humanize cops, but to help cops re-connect with the communities they served. In doing so, high school graduation rates increased, violent crime dropped dramatically, and positive partnerships were formed between law enforcement and those communities where crime is a way of life. I’m not sure at all how defunding these programs and diverting them to other social programs accomplishes results like that?

This is no accident.

Results like this come from years and years of building trust within our communities and police being “all-in.” We had spent a generation of police leaders (myself included) creating the guardian model of policing and removing the warrior image.

Unfortunately, because of recent events, law enforcement has been blamed for a majority of the racial ills in America. This is preposterous. Police are not the problem when it comes to race. WE ARE ALL THE PROBLEM! To assert that by de-funding the police, we will somehow all emerge in a post-racist America is foolish and narrow-minded. How did that work in CHOP or CHAZ in Seattle? Two dead teens and millions of dollars in lost commerce not to mention the multitude of assaults, rapes and other crimes just now being reported? That was a perfect example of a police-free society – worked really well, don’t you think?

The false narrative of de-funding the police will lead all of us into an abyss that some might call anarchy and others might see as a daily version of the movie “The Purge.”

Our society is based on social justice that includes a strong military, the rule of law and yes, a police force. These are the guardians of our society. If we lose one of those guardians of freedom, we will cease to be America the great and become America the fallen.

Communities must take a serious look at the damage they are doing to the mental (and emotional) bank accounts of their law enforcement officers who do NOT do the job for the money, but for the right reasons such as serving and protecting. Most cops I know (including myself) care deeply about their communities and the people they serve. They spend countless hours after a shift working with kids or helping an ex-con to straighten up, get their GED and a job. When local elected officials do not support their law enforcement or make incendiary comments about law enforcement such as Mayor DeBlasio has done, the mental de-funding begins and leads to a rapid descent to more and more scenes like we have seen in Seattle, and are seeing in Portland, OR not to mention the continued and increasing  violence of Chicago.

The way we are treating cops today is reminiscent of how we treated returning soldiers from Vietnam, many of whom had been drafted into the war and served their country with pride and dignity only to return to an ungrateful country that did not value their service or sacrifice. It changed the psyche of an entire generation of veterans and led to tremendous mental illness among those veterans. Is this what we want for our police officers? We certainly risk the same with our chants of de-funding the police and that blue lives don’t matter.

The mayor of Seattle was certainly right about one thing when she was quoted as saying this is “the summer of love” as she referred to the protesters who took over the seven blocks in the central business district of her town. It really should be the “summer of love” for what police do every day and for what they stand for as protectors of our great nation and cities.

Citizens should think long and hard about what mentally de-funding cops means. When a profession is so attacked and so scapegoated for all of the ills of society, it will create a crisis. We have one right now. Many current or retired cops were sons and daughters of cops. Today, when I ask an average class I teach of law enforcement professionals how many want their children to become cops, less than a third raise their hand. This week while talking to the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (about 500 professionals) I asked the same question – not one hand was raised. This is a compelling gesture that shows we don’t want our kids following in our footsteps.

Folks and fellow citizens, that’s where most of our law enforcement is recruited. We have a recruiting and retention crisis in law enforcement nationally. The media has made sure of that we daily stories of the “bad” things the 1% of cops do and completely ignoring the great things the rest do. I guess it’s the old adage of journalism that ‘man bites dog’ stories are always more sensational. Well, its reached a crisis. As we continue to mentally (and emotionally) de-fund our law enforcement officials, we risk having a Chicago, a Seattle CHAZ zone, a Portland, Oregon anarchy reign come to a city near you. Our men and women in blue are there for you in your time of need, will you be there for them? Will you back the blue?


Author * Instructor * Mentor

Dean Crisp

“Our men and women in blue are there for you in your time of need, will you be there for them?”


The Law Enforcement Leadership Vacuum

Where Have All of the Leaders Gone?

June 30, 2020

There is a quote from Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that articulates what I believe we are seeing occur in America right now. The quote is listed in the column next to this post. Paraphrased it observes that any society that turns its back on those elements that created its greatness to embrace its destructors is doomed to an uncertain fate at best, and destruction at worst. I believe that law enforcement is a force for good in society.

Last Week I Held the 3rd of 3 Free Webinars on the current events happening in law enforcement with the sheriff of Burke County, GA, Alfonzo Williams. Sheriff Williams is African- American. He is very outspoken on what he thinks are the right things to do in the face of the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis almost one month ago and also his defense of the two white police officers involved in the shooting in Atlanta.

Following the George Floyd incident, Williams’ response was a call for the establishment of several national standards for police. I’ve called for similar measures . These standards are somewhat in line with Senator Scott’s senate bill. I posted them last week in my Blog. My question is where are the National Police Organizations. They have suddenly disappeared and have remained largely silent during this unprecedented times facing their members. I am speaking of International Association of Chief’s of Police (IACP) National Sheriff’s Associations, National Organization of Black Late Enforcement (NOBLE), Police Executive Research Organization, PERF and Fraternal Order of Police, (FOP).

During the Straight Talk on Leadership with Dean Crisp webinar last week (which you can listen to on Spotify or iTunes), I raised this issue: Officers all across this great country give millions of dollars collectively to organizations such as IACP, PERF, FOP, NOBLE, and the National Sheriffs’ Association. Are we getting our a return on our investment? Collectively, they represent a major portion of the law enforcement community and now they are silent. I expected more. I am calling for them to get busy and start leading. Someone has to lead the charge to recapture the narrative of law enforcement and to defend the profession they represent. We need a national task force of police leaders to help lead the charge of cultural evolution and reform. We must seize this opportunity to rebuild the public trust that has been lost due to the actions of a few rogue cops.

The Washington Post on June 28, 2020 published an article entitled “Police chiefs and mayors push for reform”. In this article the Post describes how chiefs and mayors are constantly battling veteran officers and unions when they introduce police reforms. The article made excellent points. This was also discussed in the podcast with Sheriff Williams and other dedicated, true professionals such as the retired chief of police for St. Paul, Minnesota, my good friend, Thomas Smith, the former chief of police for Oakland, California, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Greenville County, South Carolina, Hobart Lewis.

There is a loud cry to defund police and to eliminate qualified immunity for cops. Senator Tim Scott’s bill fell flat in the House of Representatives because it did not allow for qualified immunity. I have a suggestion for Senator Scott. Reopen the debate, call Speaker Pelosi’s bluff on qualified immunity with one twist: include all branches of government to include all appointed and elected officials: judges, prosecutors and legislators. If qualified immunity is bad for cops, then it should be bad for all. I am confident that this will not happen and will highlight the hypocrisy of the eliminate-qualified-immunity movement.

One of the major benefits of membership to the big five police organizations is that they promote advocacy. Advocacy typically means using the power of your membership to drive public policy in a direction that is positive for said membership. It also means that the executive directors and elected presidents of said bodies willingly speak out through the media on the issues of import to their membership. Despite statements condemning the actions of Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, there’s been nothing. Nothing on the accusations against police; nothing on the legislation proposed by Congress; nothing on the multitude of defund-the-police actions in some of the largest departments across this great nation. The lack of leadership from these organizations has created an advocacy vacuum at the most critical time in our history.

 Right now, we are on the verger of crime chaos across this country. You have LAPD officers saying that morale is at an all-time low and that “it’s just not worth it anymore.” The NYPD – has had its budget slashed by over a billion dollars and its entire anti-crime division disbanded.  The violence in cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, Seattle and Minneapolis are driving businesses and residents that can afford to move, to do so. The consequences of a national discussion on this topic is not just a law and order discussion, it’s an economic and community development one as well.

Many, but not all mayors, council-members, civic leaders and the like are all making law enforcement the scapegoat without providing any concrete solutions other than “defund the police and replace with social workers” along with “ issuing stand down orders” rather than allow the police to do their job and control the violence we’ve seen across this nation.

Our President Trump did issue an Executive Order three weeks ago outlining many police reforms with which i agree, but it can only go so far as an executive branch action. We need a national dialogue to help us wade through this difficult time and speak with one unified voice. With over 18,000 law enforcement agencies in this nation alone, I realize that unification is a difficult task. That is why we have the Big 5. Their voice to bring us together is needed now more than ever. If our organizations that we pay to represent us, abandon us in a time such as this, then why do we continue to support them at all? We must demonstrate to local, state, and federal officials that communities without cops are not communities at all. That law enforcement is the guardian of those communities and not just the warrior. This should be a no-holds-barred discussion that addresses all issues from race, to culture, to unions.

I think these are really important issues that deserve an ope dialogue among law enforcement professional. I’d really like to hear from all of you. Take the time to add your voice and to give your ideas and suggestions for a united law enforcement that truly serves our communities. Together we can united we fall. Recapture the Narrative that police are the people and the people are the police.

And together let’s start a dialogue at Leaders Helping Leaders Network and begin to change the narrative. We are setting up a discussion forum on this post later this week on our free band cell phone app at this link here where you can share your thoughts and ideas. Or email me as well at dcrisp@lhln.org. I want to hear your thoughts however you are comfortable engaging.

Remember, even in difficult times, Leadership Rocks.













 “…as long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.”  Edward Gibbon, Gibbon’s Decline & Fall of the Roman Empire








Creating Character-Driven Cops

By Dean Crisp

I’m a cop. I was raised in a cop family. I became a cop as soon as I could at the age of 21 having been through the police cadet program prior to that and even serving as a dispatcher until I was old enough to carry the badge. I chose the profession because I truly enjoy helping and serving others from the youngest to the oldest among us. I also chose it because we live in a world that has bad people in it that are intent on hurting the well-meaning, average citizens who simply want to live their lives in peace.

The profession has been good to me. I rose through the ranks and became a chief at the very young age of 33 years and served as a chief executive for nearly 2 decades with 2 different agencies. I’ve watched the profession go through a variety of changes and evolutions – most for the better. The current situation is disconcerting to all of us who have and do wear the badge and it requires swift yet thoughtful action to reclaim what is an honorable profession.

First and foremost, I consider myself a leader both personally as a father, son, husband, and friend and professionally, where I’ve been a student of leadership, a practitioner of leadership and now an instructor and mentor to future leaders of our great profession.

I love my chosen profession and almost all those who serve, but as a leader and as someone with credibility with law enforcement, I feel compelled to share what I believe to be the most important changes every law enforcement leader can start making today to make the profession better and to make the lives of their officers better.

Not even the most ardent supporters of the police can defend the actions of the officers in the George Floyd case. This single act has pulled the pin on the hand grenade of racial injustice in America, along with a call for police to change how they use force and to be held more accountable.  Police should constantly review their policies and adjust to new standards of community expectations, but real change cannot be as instantaneous as the public expects. It will take courageous leadership, a new mindset, and meaningful training to truly meet the necessary change.

We cannot expect officers who have received years and years of use of force training to instantly change their reactions to a threat because public opinion has suddenly changed.  Especially when Use of Force guidelines for police have been established by law and the highest court has upheld these laws.  All use of force training is based on that standard. It takes time to adjust our minds to the new rules of engagement especially to a deadly threat. By law, use of force by police is allowed and designed to protect the public and the police from the dangerous actions of unlawful persons who threatens the lives of theirs and others.  We cannot do the job of policing without it.  We must remember that police are given the thankless job to protect their communities at all cost. Our way of life depends on it. 

Expecting police to suddenly re-adjust their use of deadly force because public opinion has suddenly changed is as foolish as expecting a instant cure for Covid 19 because you are infected with the virus.  We are all in the midst of a universal shift of police behaviors. This will take time. The best Public policy always needs a softening period to determine what’s best for all not one.   In the case of use of force this is never more true.

In 2016, I had the opportunity to give a TED Talk entitled The Warrior vs Guardian Police Officer. It articulated the difference in the warrior vs guardian mindset.  A warrior sees the world from a threat based perspective and is constantly ready to react to any threat rather perceived or real.  While a guardian sees the world from a servant mindset and is ready to partner with the community and the citizens to whom they serve.  You can be both.  Problems erupt when a officer overly skews one over the other.  You can watch that TED Talk here.

Unfortunately, the image that has been shown by many of law enforcement is a one-sided  and has jaded public perspective to believe all cops are bad. Are their bad cops? Absolutely! But bad cops must not sway public opinion to believe this is not a noble profession.  In fact, I am more convinced than ever that we as a profession have an obligation to not only share our narrative of what we really do, but to proactively rid our profession of individuals not  willing or capable of meeting the new standards.  I’m proposing an eight-point plan to help create character-community driven cops that understand it is time to change.

  • A review of the Use of Force Policies. Use of force policies by police should  be constantly evaluated and reviewed. Due to the increase in public scrutiny and call for transparency the time is now for a complete review those policies  Currently, police agencies base their use of force policies on current law and training.  The standard they are built on is one of what is a reasonable use of force. This is backed by current law and reinforced with training.  I am proposing that we take a hard look at those policies and discuss should we change that to what is necessary? In August of 2019, California, changed their use of force standard to one that is necessary.  This new standard promotes a review of all actions leading to the use of force while promoting de-escalation and crisis intervention methods to induce greater restraint from officers. Using force is  sometimes necessary to arrest and detain certain violators while protecting the lives of the police and the community.  But the time has come to discuss how to ensure that it is only used while meeting the new standards of conduct This will require significant work to change current laws, police  mindset and  culture within our organizations.   But Police Leaders must recognize the time is upon us to openly discuss this standard.
  • Ban All Chokeholds Immediately: I support President Trump’s executive order banning chokeholds unless deadly force is justified. They are simply too dangerous and usually not necessary to use must especially when a subject is already handcuffed.
  • We Must Clearly Define the Role of Police Within Our Communities. Every municipal, county, state and even federal law enforcement agency must do this. Each must ask what do we want Police to do and expect them to do? Sometimes there is a major disconnect between the two. Over the period of many years we have kept adding more and more responsibilities to Police thus fundamentally changing expectations of what our cops really do. This has over burdened Police with being everything to everybody.  We can not expect the Police to be the answer for all of societal ills.  Our communities must remember that Police are trained to take action and not all of the calls they respond to require immediate action.  Some require time and patience and other community services.  Police can rarely walk away from a situation once called due in part to the oath their swear to uphold, the trust they are given by the community and the potential for harm if they just leave. This often puts the Police in a no win situation. Jurisdictional boundaries, laws and service agreements often determine what specific police agency serves what area. The result is over 18,000 police agencies in the U.S. alone.  This creates a major problem with continuity of service and policing standards.  But the general public usually only sees the police as one unit working together to provide law enforcement services.  This is true in m most cases but also creates 18,000 different standards of what policing really is.  This becomes more evident  when we have a bad cop who does bad things.  We are all judged by their actions.  A more unified understanding of the role of police is needed.  It is impossible to be everything to everybody. Standardizing the role of police should be discussed.
  • Need for a Cultural Evolution. Next, I believe there is a need for a cultural evolution within all police organizations. We must find a way to train our police officers to be both the Guardian and Warrior. To much emphasis is placed on hard skills that overly skew the warrior mindset.   We should determine a tenement of policing characteristics that we want our officers to uphold.  Such as Character-Duty-Service-Compassion-Emotionally Intelligent to name a few. Most agencies mention these characteristics in their recruitment folders or mission statements but few actually train for them.
  • New Metrics for Evaluating Officers. Emotionally Intelligent Officers. Selecting and retaining guardian, character-driven cops will require a complete refocus on training of not only new hires but all officers.  The training must be in the soft skills of human behavior.  Emotional Intelligence would be th efoundation I would recommend we build the guardian mindset upon.  Emotional intelligence defined by Daniel Coleman in his Book of the same title: is the ability to manage yourself and your relationship with others.  This is key to helping police officers perform their job functions and responsibilities.  Policing is about People and understanding how to connect with them.  A basic understanding of Emotional Intelligence would be key to moving our organizations forward. 
  • Fundamental Shift in Police Mindset. Paradigms are our lens in which we view the world, where our Mindset is the set of assumptions and attitude held by us at the present time. Our actions are more often the result of our mindset.  Mindset is a powerful tool that directly influences our actions.  Police must find ways to adjust their mindsets to include that of a guardian. The role of police has shifted as with the dangers of policing.  This shift will not be easy.  over 95% percent of Police officers training is based on the warrior mindset.  We will need to adjust our training and expectations to include the service orientation of the warrior.  This shift should not eliminate the warrior mindset but includes a mixture of both.
  • Create a National Database of Unfit Cops. Since no chief, deputy chief, captain, sergeant, hiring director actively seeks to hire a bad cop, we must pro-actively address the institutional dysfunctions that prevent the elimination of individuals simply not well-suited for policing. Establishing a national database that would identify problem cops and those with a troubled past would help us stop passing a problem employee agency to agency.
  • Ability to Rid Departments of Bad Cops and those Not Able to Transition to Expectations. Department leaders MUST have the ability to rid the profession of individuals not deemed to meet the acceptable standards of performance. I don’t care if you are a 20-year veteran or a 2-week rookie, if you are not measuring up to standards, even after the opportunity to grow and learn, you must be removed.  Police Unions have done many positive things for the men and women in blue, but their biggest detriment, is protecting the bad actors that continue to do harm to policing as a profession. Finding common ground with leadership and unions to agree to rid our profession of bad cops will be essential in moving forward.

       In closing, these are some of the key components that need to be considered to accelerate our ability to address the challenges we are facing as law enforcement officers.  We know that 99% of our profession are good people that show up on the job to do their very best every evening. We also know that cultures develop within departments that lead to bad practices and not-so-great routines that ultimately lead to bad department policies being created that result in deaths like George Floyd’s in Minneapolis. Rather than completely destroying and dismantling the profession that has created the safe conditions America has come to enjoy. We must adopt  proactive policy changes that define who we truly are and need to be. 






























Managing Change Starts With You

June 9, 2020

Some time ago, I wrote about the importance of creating room for improvement in your life.

As an intentional leader, you spend a great deal of time working on improving yourself with the hope that it translates into improved leadership actions. As I reflected on my own self-improvement  a while back during a podcast by Marshall Goldsmith (he is the author of  What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There.)   As a personal life coach, Goldsmith was discussing how leaders need to continually work on themselves.

The question that came to my mind was, “Do you know what room in your leadership house should be the largest?” 

The answer should be your self-IMPROVEMENT room!

Now think about that for a second and ask yourself, “How big is my ROOM for IMPROVEMENT?” if it is like mine, your need is huge, but maybe your room is about the size of a small closet. Why?

Because each of us gets so caught up in the day-to-day activities that we often forget to work on our own self-improvement. This has made me rethink my commitment to self-improvement and to consciously expand the size of this room in my own Leadership House.

It has helped me reconnect with what I call the Four Pillars of Leadership: Mindset, Self-Reflection, Self-Healing, and Emotional Intelligence.  It’s made me realize that in order to expand my Room for Improvement, that I need a set of goals and a plan to get there. Do you have a plan? As the quote says, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Wishes cost nothing, but goals actually stare back at you and remind you of what you have accomplished. Don’t let that happen to you. Know why you are doing what you are doing. Set achievable, yet stretching goals that help you expand your personal improvement and grow yourself as a person and a leader.

How about you?…. I would love to hear how you work on self-improvement as a leader every day.

Please, join in the conversation…


“Do you know what room in your leadership house should be the largest?  The ROOM for Improvement!”

“We get so caught up in the day-to-day activities that we often forget to work on our own self-improvement.”

“This has made me rethink my commitment to self-improvement and to consciously expand the size of this room in my own Leadership House.”

“It has helped me reconnect with what I call the four pillars of leadership: mindset, self-reflection, self-healing and emotional intelligence.”