Dr. George Reed now serves as Dean at the School of Public Policy at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. A U.S. Army military veteran, George retired as a Colonel in the Military Police Corps. George had assignments that included MP posts, Criminal Investigation Command (CIC, formerly CID) leadership posts, and correctional facility posts. His last assignment was as a faculty member of leadership studies at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA.
Dr. Reed also worked at the University of San Diego focused on leadership studies. Our chat focused on leadership, relationships, and their value in police organizations.
[00:00:02.520] - Intro
Welcome to The CopDoc Podcast. This podcast explores police leadership issues and innovative ideas The CopDoc Podcast thoughts and ideas as he talks with leaders in policing, communities, academia and other government agencies. And now please join Dr. Steve Morreale and industry thought leaders as they share their insights and experience on The CopDoc Podcast.
[00:00:32.240] - Steve Morreale
Well, hello again, everybody, this is Steve Morreale, and I'm coming from Boston today, we are talking with a colleague from Mountain Standard Time in Colorado. We have Dr. George Reed.
[00:00:42.930] - Steve Morreale
George. Good morning,
[00:00:43.910] - George Reed
Dr. Morreale, it's good to see you today.
[00:00:45.470] - Steve Morreale
Steve and George is going to be the names we're going to use here. I might call you a couple of other things, but they call I've been called worse, I'm sure. So let me explain to the audience how this happened in the first place, what is happening. And for those of us who are academics and scholars at this point in time, one of the ways that you can conduct some survey work or interviews is through the snowball effect or the snowball sampling.
[00:01:08.060] - Steve Morreale
And that's exactly what happened here. I was speaking to Darl Champion, former professor, retired professor from down at Methodist in North Carolina. And when we were done, I asked, as I will ask you, George, who else should I be talking to? And your name came right to the top. The first thing he said to me is this is a guy who was an MP officer. He is now a faculty member. He was strong in leadership studies.
[00:01:31.220] - Steve Morreale
And this caught my attention. He wrote a few articles on toxic leadership. And so we are so happy to have you here. Thank you. Tell us about yourself and where you are now and how you got there.
[00:01:41.960] - George Reed
First of all, Darl Champion is appropriately named because the man is a champion and he's a good friend and he's done a lot of good work for criminal justice for many, many, many years. And I'm glad to know him as a friend. I'm the dean of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and that school includes Criminal Justice Department at the undergraduate and graduate level. It includes public administration at the graduate level and then social work at the undergraduate and graduate level.
[00:02:07.760] - George Reed
And I've been here for about six years now. Before that, I was at the University of San Diego, a member of the Department of Leadership Studies and University of San Diego has a wonderful leadership program. It's one of the few in the country that is a non-contextual interdisciplinary leadership program. So it was real fun to be there and to explore the mysteries of leadership with that faculty and those students. We had a doctoral program in leadership studies and a master's program as well.
[00:02:36.170] - George Reed
And before that, I was an Army officer for twenty- seven years, had a great run in the army.
[00:02:41.190] - Steve Morreale
Thank you for your service, sir.
[00:02:43.190] - George Reed
And you it was it was a great run. Like I said, the Army was very good to me. I forget how much it hurt. That goes away and memory. But I remember the great times. I had the opportunity to command the 82nd Military Police company. Imagine, if you will, two hundred cops who are also paratroopers and trying to keep up with them. That was my job. I wouldn't say I'd let my try to keep up with them and meet their standard every day and help them achieve their goals.
[00:03:07.880] - George Reed
And you know, I was selected for a fully funded forensic science program at George Washington University that led me to CIA assignments. I was the executive officer of the European Crime Laboratory. Then I served as the director of custody of the United States Disciplinary Barracks, the military's maximum custody prison.
[00:03:26.690] - Steve Morreale
Where is that?
[00:03:27.230] - George Reed
[00:03:28.610] - Steve Morreale
Well, of course, that's all you had to say, is Leavenworth and everybody knows where that is. Yes.
[00:03:32.390] - George Reed
That's the big house. Learned a lot in that assignment, went back to some more CID assignments and commanded the 10th Military Police Battalion, which included Fort Bragg, CID, Fort Jackson and Fort Gordon. And then I was selected for the Army War College. I went there and they had this wonderful program. They were selecting people to go off and get PhDs and come back and join the faculty.
[00:03:52.880] - Steve Morreale
What a tough life.
[00:03:54.650] - George Reed
I mean, it was the best deal going. It really was because I loved Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. It's like living in a Norman Rockwell painting. I got the opportunity to go to any school that would accept me and study a Ph.D. at government expense. And I did that, got a PhD in public policy analysis and administration out of St. Louis University and taught at the War College for six years and then retired, went to San Diego.
[00:04:20.540] - Steve Morreale
So let's talk about that. A couple of things. As you intimated and I have I served for a short time. I was an MP, actually. It turns out in our discussion beforehand that I was in Frankfurt, probably at the same time you were similar, but I'll never forget and this is a story I don't tell very, very often. But when I came down on orders to go overseas, I did not want to go. I was one of these New England guys.
[00:04:41.750] - Steve Morreale
I don't want to leave. I was at Fort Devens. I was in AWOL Apprehension. I mean, great experiences. And so anyway, George, as you know, it's networking at its best sometimes. And so my sergeant was somebody who knew somebody, a real person. And I get a call. They say, so where you want to go? I said, you're going to Europe. Okay, where do you want to go? It really doesn't matter.
[00:04:59.450] - Steve Morreale
I'll go anywhere in Europe. And so ultimately, I think you probably remember I'm in the 21st replacement battalion, meaning you get on a 747 and you go from wherever to rain mine to Frankfurt and you're sitting, if I can if I can bore you with these details. But it's just kind of fun to walk down memory lane. I'll never forget how petrified I was, 21 years old, E-4 at the time. And I'm sitting and sitting and sitting and sitting and it's four and five o'clock and everybody has been dispatched and there's about seven or eight left.
[00:05:29.330] - Steve Morreale
And I and I'm kind of afraid to rock the boat, I don't want to go over and say to whoever. Have you forgotten us? And so ultimately the guy comes in and he says, OK, Morelli, no sir, it's Morreale, OK, get on bus 75. I got in a Mercedes bus. I was the single person on the Mercedes bus. I had no idea where I was going. I go to Mannheim, right. You know. You know Mannheim. Right. Just beautiful castles.
[00:05:51.380] - Steve Morreale
And so by the time I get there, whoever I'm supposed to meet isn't there. So they put me up in a billet next morning. I'm in uniform. I show up, major shows up and said Morelli said, no, sir, it's Morreale, really for sure. Is that Italian? Yeah. Do you speak any Italian? No, sir, I don't speak any Italian. You don't know any swear words.
[00:06:08.210] - Steve Morreale
Fungool, which is Via un culo, I didn't know. He goes, great, you're going to Italy and that's what happened. It's exactly what happened. So that's my story. You must have a few of those.
[00:06:18.080] - George Reed
Oh, that's a stroke of good luck right there. Really. Well, one of the things that I observed early on in the United States military, which is a leadership laboratory, let's just put that out front. It's almost a randomized controlled experiment in leadership as it's set up, because you've got a Squadron A, B, C and D all lined up. People are randomly assigned into those units. Largely, they're exactly the same in terms of authorized equipment and personnel.
[00:06:45.920] - George Reed
And yet you walk into Squadron A and the place is uplifted. There's a lot of pride and you go in a squadron DEA and the place is a soup sandwich and you can feel it, you know, with a sack. What's the difference? Well, the equipment's the same. The personnel allocation is the same. The difference is leadership.
[00:07:01.490] - Steve Morreale
Well, that's a great way to start, because things that I want to talk about is about leadership, a leadership relating to policing. And you've written about toxic leadership. But it also strikes me you work with police now. I know that. And police agencies in the fact that you were in the military. It strikes me this way, George. And by the way, we're talking to George Reed, Dr. George Reed, who is the dean and a professor at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, which just happens to be the home of the Air Force Academy, which let's be a little bit weird because you're an Army guy.
[00:07:29.780] - Steve Morreale
But I used to love those Air Force billets, and the food.
[00:07:32.420] - George Reed
Well, there's five military installations around us, including Fort Carson, Colorado, which is a large infantry division installation. And it was my first duty assignment was Fort Carson, Colorado. So, you've come home. It's bringing the circle all the way.
[00:07:45.310] - Steve Morreale
Where are you from originally, George.
[00:07:46.480] - George Reed
Originally from Missouri. St. Louis, Missouri.
[00:07:48.290] - Steve Morreale
Oh, well, that would make sense why you'd go back to St. Louis University. You went home for a little while.
[00:07:53.120] - Steve Morreale
That's an idea. That's neat. So the point I was going to raise is this. It it really strikes me as we talk and I do so much training and when I walk into training, I will ask the first thing is whose serve and some are reserves and some are full and in other words, full time, they were full time military. Some are National Guard. Any of the service in my mind works and counts and we all go through the same rudimentary process of getting there.
[00:08:15.770] - Steve Morreale
But the point is that we in policing think that we have been made in the likeness of the military. And while we might have been in the 40s, here we are in the 21st century. And I'm fearful that the military has changed dramatically in the way it trains its leaders, prepares its leaders, and policing has yet to do that
[00:08:34.790] - Steve Morreale
You know darn right. Well, you do not prepare to be a leader. In many cases, you are anointed a leader and then will prepare you. That could never happen in the military. Speak about that.
[00:08:44.690] - George Reed
Yes, I think one of the core technologies of the United States military is it brings people from all walks of life, all colors, shapes, sizes, ideologies, crams them together, puts them through this crucible of basic training and advanced individual training, and then wraps them around this thing called the mission, which becomes the most important thing in the world to every soldier, sailor, airmen and Marines and Coast Guardsmen.
[00:09:07.340] - George Reed
But they just live and breathe the mission. And as long as you're when you're focused on that, these differences tend to sluff off. They're still there, but they're suppressed for the sake of this common purpose, the mission through an external threat upon that, like someone trying to kill you and you bond pretty deeply and quickly and quickly. And but there have been a lot of changes. You know, as people change, basic training has changed. There used to be the shark attack from the from the drill instructors.
[00:09:36.050] - George Reed
And everybody looks back on that as a rite of passage. And I remember reporting to my first day at airborne school and the first sergeant chased me all the way to the barbershop, yelling at me. That was a different time. There's different approaches today. There's much more focus on explanation and content and bringing people along and making them understand the whys of what we're doing. You still have to strip some of the civilian off of them in order to make them a soldier.
[00:10:03.140] - George Reed
That's still an important process.
[00:10:04.820] - Steve Morreale
In the same way, I don't mean to interrupt you in the same way. Military, police academies, police academy, do the same thing.
[00:10:09.620] - George Reed
Not exactly the same way. I mean, you do not foster loyalty and teamwork by humiliation and degradation. Yes. And that's been well understood. And you talk to any contemporary drill instructor and they'll talk about being loud. But the reason they're being loud is so everybody hears the mistake that was made so they don't. It's not about demeaning people and humiliating people, that probably never was a good tactic, and it certainly recognized is not a good tactic today.
[00:10:39.050] - Steve Morreale
Well, it sounds like it's attempting to nip it in the bud. In other words, let people know George screwed up, telling everybody George is going to be called out. But George will probably learned a valuable lesson. In fact, sometimes I'm doing that in the classroom. And I'm not saying I'm calling people out except to say, you know, George, what do you think about that? I agree. You do? Well, exactly how do you agree?
[00:10:56.900] - Steve Morreale
And then, like, wait a minute, I thought yes or no or I agree would be sufficient. It's not. You know, I want you in it. Exactly. Go ahead.
[00:11:04.010] - George Reed
And not every opinion is a good opinion or well supported by facts or data, those sorts of things. And that's what we do in the classroom, right?
[00:11:12.200] - Steve Morreale
[00:11:12.440] - George Reed
Well, the drill instructors are doing that in a very practical way as well, you know, pointing out mistakes. And, you know, they're trying to create soldiers out of slightly overweight young men and women who have been spending the last ten years on the couch playing video games.
[00:11:27.230] - Steve Morreale
So it's a challenge. Well, it's interesting. I ended up ironically, my nephew was sworn in and delayed entry and he's in his 20s. But for the Marine Corps and I had to write a letter for him. So I went down and many years later, like you and I did it perhaps over at the recruiting station and talked for a while. But it sounds like what you're talking about is something you talk I talk about all the time we have to do in the classroom. We had to do it with our soldiers and airmen. We have to do it with our faculty. It is about setting expectations. You know, it is. And I like the common mission theme that you're saying, but you have to set expectations. And quite frankly, George, I think you learned over the years so many would say I already told you this once. I don't want to repeat myself. And that pisses people off. But the fact is, you have to repeat it.
[00:12:11.960] - George Reed
Yeah, I mean, explanation is a start, but people that have never done something before are going to require a lot of control, an awful lot of direct engagement from their immediate supervisor. And that has to be given. Otherwise, they chart their own course. And that's unacceptable. It's unacceptable to people that are, you know, have the power of life and death in their hands. So once in a level of experience is obtained, once knowledge about the task is obtained, then the role of the leaders to be less directive and more supportive and more encouraging, which is a lot of flexibility on the part of the leaders.
[00:12:49.640] - George Reed
I mean, it's a mistake. It's a real mistake to take a person who has done something, who was really good at something, who does it every day, who's done it 500 times and have their immediate supervisor get in there and try to help him and direct them, because you're going to get a reaction from that. And it looks kind of like this Aizu. You know, I only do this every day. This is my job. I'm really good at it.
[00:13:08.600] - George Reed
But you want to do my job, you just step up here and go ahead and take a crack at it. You know, I'll step back over here and get a cup of coffee. You get feedback. They don't appreciate that kind of Hands-On direct level of leadership. But on the other hand, you know, you take somebody who's new and you just turn them loose and don't direct them, don't correct them. You're going to have a potential disaster on our hands
[00:13:29.300] - Steve Morreale
There's a bit of situational leadership that you're talking about there.
[00:13:32.000] - George Reed
It's absolutely, absolutely. Sit Lead.
[00:13:34.580] - Steve Morreale
So part of what I think a good leader is, whatever that leader is, I know one of the first things that I do when I talk, we're simpatico with this. But as I'm walking into a new Sergeants group and we talk about management versus leadership, first thing is I throw up management versus leadership by Bennis. Bass Handbook of Leadership. What has to be the biggest book I've I own? It's like seventeen hundred pages that says, go ahead, George.
[00:13:55.730] - George Reed
It's one of the best you'll ever have on your bookshelf.
[00:13:57.590] - Steve Morreale
It is for sure. It's interesting to me because I have been a student and remain a student of leadership as certainly you have. But when I walk in and I am doing this even in my undergraduate classes, what's the difference, the subtle differences between management and leadership and so many supervisors have to do both. They have to be a manager, but they also have to lead. And so since your world is now leadership and leadership studies, talk about that evolution, talk about the discussions that you have from the very beginning, you yourself as an executive coach, what are you talking what kinds of questions are you posing with people to try to get them to think deeply?
[00:14:34.400] - George Reed
Wow, that's a great . . . Generative questions are really important when you're dealing with people who have a lot of experience. And I believe in a graduate classroom, for example, if you are simply throwing out theory and ideas, you're only doing part of your job as a professor. What we need to do is solicit and extract from those individuals how their lived experience connects with those theories and ideas. So, you know, in a graduate classroom, you want students to be doing a lot of talking and you want them to connect and process what we're giving them as professors with what they're experiencing and living and making sense of it in their own way.
[00:15:17.000] - George Reed
I think that's a key and that's a seminar approach. That's as we learned in the Army War College. It's not the sage on the stage. It's the guide on the side and facilitating those types of discussions.
[00:15:28.430] - Steve Morreale
Ah, you know, I just I just wrote facilitator's. As I was just going to say that I do not consider myself an instructor or a teacher, but a facilitator, and let me ask you this, George, because so let's get let's get a theory here for a moment.
[00:15:38.820] - Steve Morreale
I have such trouble sometimes bringing the concept of andragogy into the classroom because so many of my colleagues will say, what do you mean, andragogy? You know, we use pedagogy. Yeah but, pedagogy is is based on young people. What about the adult learner? And I'm seeing your headshake, so talk a little bit about that, because I like I like that you said the guide on the side.
[00:16:00.070] - George Reed
Yeah. It's a patriarchal approach to walk into a classroom as a professor and say, you know, here is truth. Here is reality is here's this theory. Here's that theory. What we really want to do is create a learning community, a learning environment where we can wrestle with a subject and everybody on the room can elevate everybody else's understanding and exploration of that subject. And it's hard to do. I thought when I was on the faculty, the workshops, we did a pretty good job of that.
[00:16:30.330] - George Reed
You bring in 17 or so lieutenant colonels and colonels, including two or three members of foreign countries. These people have done a lot, almost a lifetime of service already. And you're going to sit them down in a seminar and tell them about their profession. No, but there is a task that they have before them. They have to go to the next level of leadership. And that's a hard thing to do because they're really good at what they do.
[00:16:53.910] - George Reed
They're consummate operational and tactical leaders and they're really good at that. They've been reinforced by what the institution is going to ask of them. Next is different. We call it strategic level leadership, executive level leadership, if you will. And it's different and it requires a transition. You know, George Marshall said it best when he said at the age of 53, I had to learn a whole new way of doing business. I could no longer bark out orders.
[00:17:17.940] - George Reed
I had to leave through convincing people and persuasion. And it's a different game. He recognized that he was a four-star general.
[00:17:25.980] - Steve Morreale
Well, I've got so many notes here. I'll never get to all of them at the same time, at the same time. But what I'm trying to do is to ask you or to draw you towards the experience you've had at the War College, the experience you have in a college setting. We want to talk a little bit about San Diego. And you had a part of helping develop a criminal justice or public leadership program. But how do we take these ideas that we're talking about and begin to have these conversations with leaders of police academies, with standards and training councils, where it strikes me as exactly that the experience I have had, it is changing.
[00:18:03.420] - Steve Morreale
But is that sage on the stage? I'm a cop. I did this. Let me tell you what happened. And the engagement is minimal. We're losing most people around. To me, reflection, so important, right? Talk about what you did, what you could have done different. There's a couple of things that come to mind. Start with Why I love Sinek's work, but start with why speak to that for a moment from your perspective.
[00:18:23.970] - George Reed
Well, I'd like to . . . I think the purpose remember, the military's engine, if you will, is is this dedication to the mission. It really makes everything work. And in all organizations, there's a purpose. Why are we here? That is a fundamental question. Why are we here, especially as a more senior leader and organizations? And I've worked predominantly in my later years with senior leaders and I'll say, why are we here? What are we doing?
[00:18:47.010] - George Reed
Put it in a sentence for me, what's our purpose? And then the next question is, is what we are doing leading us toward accomplishing that purpose or not? And if it's not, then we need to focus on it and do something about it, here's a fundamental mistake that we make in all organizations and I think especially in police organizations, and that is we focus on the technical and and to be sure, it's a technical job. You have to you have to be good.
[00:19:14.760] - George Reed
You have to have the skills. You have to have the legal understanding. You have to it. It's an incredibly demanding job from a technical perspective. But we look at someone who's a great technician and we say, you know what, because they're a great technician, because they're a great backup, they're going to be a great search. And it's untrue. It's untrue. And it's in every profession, it's an education. You take a great elementary school teacher and you say, oh, that teacher is going to be a great principal because he's a good teacher.
[00:19:43.680] - George Reed
No, no different set of skills. And we have to prepare leaders for leadership positions as assiduously as we have to prepare them and equip them with technical skills. But confusing the two is a huge mistake. I mean, you take that really great elementary school teacher and put her in a principal position. You end up with a bad principal and a less experienced teacher in the classroom. So we have to think about leadership as its own set of skills and competencies that we have to develop.
[00:20:11.280] - Steve Morreale
What troubles me is that we don't really exercise knowledge management. We don't retain knowledge in in police organizations. It's almost like united. Thanks very much. Move on to the next the next job. And don't worry about teaching the person before. And that happened over and over again in the military. You're bounced somewhere. You're going to leave and there's a vacuum. And here comes a new person with a new. But the skill, the skill set, generally not personality, but the skill set can be the same.
[00:20:33.810] - Steve Morreale
But it seems to me, George, what I really want to ask is when you're talking to leaders and you're asking them about meetings, how do you run your meetings? Are they top-down meetings? Are you leading through questions? You use the term generative questions, and I love that, but I love Mark Watt's work with leading through questions. It's something it's interesting because as an investigator, you're an old MP and a kid. We learn how to investigate and yet we're very, almost petrified to investigate our own organization.
[00:21:03.750] - Steve Morreale
Right. What are we doing? What could we do? How could we do it better? Why are we doing it that way? What's on the horizon? What do we have to do? What are we missing? I mean, all of those questions we could have conversations forever, but it pushes the thoughts forward in a progressive or a forward thinking mode. And that when I'm sitting and talking with a number of people, I have to realize as the boss you have to realize is the boss.
[00:21:26.130] - Steve Morreale
I'm sure you do. This is the Dean and that is where are we now? What's wrong? What needs fixing and where should we be in the future? Don't you have to be the one who drives that conversation as a leader to engage others?
[00:21:37.650] - George Reed
Yeah, some people that are in leadership positions or newly or trying to figure it out as they go, faking it until they make it, if you will. You know, they're looking for specific answers. What do I do? What's my first step sort of process? But the question that I'd like to ask is, what's your style? What's your style of leadership? And it's an important question because style is a pattern of behavior over time as perceived by the targets of influence is perceived by the followers.
[00:22:06.360] - George Reed
Right. So you don't get to tell me really what your style is. The people that work for you get to tell me what your style is. It's the adjectives that come before your name when they're talking among themselves. So if you want to be a better leader, don't look for step by step guides because there's no simple formula to leadership. But start by asking yourself, what's my leadership style? And it's going to be different because we're all different as human beings and we all bring different personalities.
[00:22:33.540] - George Reed
But generally there are some rules of thumb around leadership. There's no formulas, but there's rules of thumb. So generally, if you treat people with consideration and respect, you will get a better response than if you humiliate and belittle, which goes into the whole study of toxic leadership in the negative impact of that.
[00:22:51.570] - Steve Morreale
Yeah, we're going to talk about that separately. But I want to go back to policing in some of the contact you have had with police organizations while you were in the military and now that you are in higher education. And let's go back to San Diego and talk about that conversation we had. I had Eric Fritsvold, who is the director of a program on a Master of Public Safety Leadership. And you were there and sort of helped on the side talk about that.
[00:23:14.890] - George Reed
I worked with Eric because I was in the Department of Leadership Studies at the time and an associate dean of the School of Leadership in Education Sciences. And my thing was leadership. It always has been. I've been fascinated with leadership from a very, very early age. I was coached actually to study leadership as a topic at a very, very young and early age. So I'm a leadership scholar at heart and Eric was putting together this magnificent program. He really he really drove that to a really good place.
[00:23:44.340] - George Reed
And my perception was we don't need another criminal justice program. What we need is a leadership program. We need a contextually focused leadership program that is based upon the. Perceived needs of people in the profession and to his credit, Eric went out there and conducted way more interviews than I would have in order to put up the curriculum and ask them what do we need more of, what's going wrong? What things in the leadership arena do we need to do better as an organization?
[00:24:13.170] - George Reed
And then took those answers and built a curriculum around it. It was brilliant. It was a brilliant approach. But because I was a leadership guy, I was happy to throw in with him on that one and try to move the ball forward. And he did.
[00:24:23.670] - George Reed
So what are you doing at UCCS to get the ball forward.
[00:24:29.310] - George Reed
There you go. Well, one of the things that we've done is we have a philanthropically funded institute, if you will. We don't call it is to call it initiative, the public safety initiative and a very generous donor step forward with about a million dollars and go forth and conduct high quality, low cost training and education services to first responder agencies, which includes law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical and so forth. And so taking the methodology that we used in San Diego, we go out to organizations in the Pikes Peak region and say, what do you need?
[00:24:59.490] - George Reed
What do you want? And they tell us. And then we go find the experts around the world who are the best at that. And then we bring them in and we conduct seminars. We don't do driving, we don't do shooting, and we don't do self-defense. But just about any other tactic or topic is fair game. Wellness and first responder agencies is a big topic for us. Digital forensics and raising the tide of departments abilities to conduct digital forensic examinations is a high priority for us.
[00:25:28.050] - George Reed
You know, whatever they say. Here's an example. We had our local sheriff and police chief said, if you can bring somebody in that will be able to help us reduce our liability where the rubber meets the road, these dumb mistakes that are costing us millions and millions of dollars in lawsuits, if you can help us with that, will fill the room. So we went out. We found a person that was really good at that. Former California highway patrolman then brought him to Colorado Springs.
[00:25:52.410] - George Reed
And true to form, they filled the room and they were very grateful for that. So that's just one example of moving the ball forward. You don't have to study a degree in order. You got to find out what a problem is and then bring great minds together around that problem. And I think universities do that very well. At least great universities do that very well.
[00:26:09.330] - Steve Morreale
I think that's wonderful to hear because so what I'm hearing is two. So this is what's considered in my mind, as you're saying, that in both places, San Diego and University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, one of the things you brought forward and I'll ask if you did it, the War College do is to go out and conduct focus groups a needs assessment. Instead of telling people what they need to know, you're finding out what they need to know when you find or you fill the vacuum as it comes to community policing.
[00:26:34.770] - Steve Morreale
Isn't that the same thing? Don't bother telling the community how you're going to police them, talk to the community to ask what they need, what troubles them, what can we do to allay their fears to reduce crime, to improve their quality of life and such? There's some tremendous lessons, but I think we've lost our way a little bit by saying we know what's best.
[00:26:55.500] - George Reed
Yeah, you know, I was Steve. I was part of the police productivity movement of the 1980s, OK? I'm an old guy. And I remember back in the day we were looking for metrics and the push was metrics. You got to find the metrics, comps that came out of that and so forth. But we were looking at things like response times and trying to find all of these numbers that we could collect to tell us whether we were doing our job well or not.
[00:27:17.550] - George Reed
And we almost always left out the most important metric of all, which is the faith and confidence of the people we serve. That's the most important metric. Right. And because of we're doing everything else right and we're not getting the faith and confidence of the people we serve, then the whole thing just doesn't work. Right. We've seen that over and over again. So response times are cool until you're running over kids in the crosswalk responding to a shoplifting call, those types of things.
[00:27:41.730] - George Reed
And then then the gaming of the system follows that which tends to have a negative moral impact on the organization. When people see the whatever the metrics you're collecting as a game to be played and it's a slippery slope.
[00:27:54.540] - Steve Morreale
Well, what happens is if you're going to change behavior, you are going to get what you inspect. So in other words, if I want more drunk driving arrest, then I'm going to get more drunk driving arrests. but I was going to be ignored. And I think one of the troubling practices is that we got into this habit in policing to count output, not measure outcomes. And I think what you just said is really very important. And as many times as I've sat in rooms or stood in rooms with dozens and dozens of officers, sergeants, captains, chiefs, and ask them, are you a customer service organization?
[00:28:28.560] - Steve Morreale
Sometimes they don't raise their hands. And that's troubling. Well, wait a minute. If you don't think your customer centric or customer service, then how can you expect that from your people? Number one. Number two, what are you counting? And number three, are you asking the end user how you're doing? I think so many police are afraid of the answer.
[00:28:47.670] - George Reed
I think you're dead on. And it goes back to that original question that I think should be driving all of these metrics. And that is, why are we here now?
[00:28:54.210] - Steve Morreale
What's the core mission? George, what I'm going to do is we're running out of time. And I want to ask a couple of questions before we leave. So again, ladies and gentlemen, we're talking with George Reed. He is a dean and a professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He is a military retiree, left as a colonel in the United States military and a leadership scholar. George, as you continue at U.S. says what's on your bucket list?
[00:29:21.140] - Steve Morreale
What is it you want your people, you know, your team, your colleagues to accomplish in the next few years?
[00:29:27.980] - George Reed
That's a great question. You know, the first thing anybody in a leadership role, I think who's going to be good at it needs to understand is it's not about me. This is a game, not a game. And so my job as the dean is to work with my faculty and make sure that they have everything that they need to be the best faculty member that they can possibly be. And I think about that every single day. And they have aspirations and I have aspirations.
[00:29:53.270] - George Reed
There are things that I want for the School of Public Affairs at our university. I see an evolution in our near future where we evolve from a school of public affairs to a college of public service and all that. That entails a little bit of an ideological shift associated with that. And but it's not what the leader wants. It's what we want. And their desires and aspirations are really the energy behind any possible change. If that's not there, it's not in an academic unit.
[00:30:24.470] - George Reed
That's one of the interesting things about higher education. If you want to go somewhere in the faculty, doesn't want to go there, there's a thousand ways that that direction that you're so passionate about will fall apart. It has to be in their hearts and you have to harness that. So, it's a real indirect form of the leadership. It's a real gentle and collaborative form of leadership. You come into a group of faculty members and start giving them a lot of direction and they're going to push back on you pretty hard because they're trained to do that and they're good at it.
[00:30:52.110] - Steve Morreale
They sure are. So, in some cases, you've had to adapt.
[00:30:54.590] - George Reed
[00:30:54.590] - Steve Morreale
Because you've had to you had to change from your military mindset to a more collaborative mindset. And certainly, I had to do it from policing to that. Right. But part of the role of a leader is to set vision, except in academia, as you are. It seems to me what you end up doing is to begin to plant seeds and see what germinates.
[00:31:12.480] - George Reed
It takes a long time to do things in higher education.
[00:31:15.260] - Steve Morreale
[00:31:16.790] - George Reed
People have to be on board and you have to bring them along and it can't be manipulative because they'll see right through it. You really, truly have to adjust yourself to their context, their needs and desires and bring them along again. It's a great leadership laboratory, just like the military is just very, very different. People ask me all the time, what's the difference between academia and the military? And I say a couple of them.
[00:31:38.630] - George Reed
One is that the military ran on a stopwatch. Academia runs on a calendar. So the pace is completely different. And secondly, in the military, there was a period of time we were getting ready to consider a course of action where all these different ideas and you could argue and fuss and disagree. And then there was this thing called a decision. And once that decision was made, everybody moved out. And you may not have liked it, but it was now you embraced in academia.
[00:32:03.920] - George Reed
The debate begins after decision.
[00:32:06.460] - Steve Morreale
Oh, my God, you're preaching to the choir. Yes, sir.
[00:32:10.970] - George Reed
Not telling you anything you don't know.
[00:32:12.530] - Steve Morreale
No, no, no.
[00:32:13.910] - Steve Morreale
So last question. If you had the opportunity to talk with somebody who in your mind has inspired you, has written, has spoken dead or alive, whose brain would you like to pick so many? Do you know you know, Chip youth? I don't know if you had him on your show. No. Yes, I would bring Chip on. Chip is a practitioner extraordinaire of policing in Iran, special enforcement unit at the Kansas City Police Department. Been promoted since.
[00:32:39.200] - George Reed
But he's done it all. He's seen it all. And he is a thinker, a deep, deep thinker. And I think he would bring a lot to the table for you. I also very much respect a gentleman out at Claremont University, Claremont McKenna. His name is Ron Regio. And Ron actually worked with Bernard Bass and co-wrote a book called Transformational Leadership.
[00:32:59.420] - Steve Morreale
Yeah. With Avolio?
[00:33:00.560] - George Reed
Different. He did work with Avolio as well. But initially it was it was him and Bernie Bass and is an amazing scholar. Again, a leadership guy, a leadership scholar start to finish. And I think he would bring a lot to the table as well.
[00:33:14.400] - Steve Morreale
Well, thank you very much again, ladies and gentlemen, we've had the pleasure of talking in Mountain Time while I'm on Eastern Time with George Reed, who is a Dean, a retired colonel from the United States Army and now dean of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. So thank you very much, George, for being with us. I appreciate your input. It's very valuable.
[00:33:36.110] - George Reed
[00:33:36.590] - Steve Morreale
It's been a pleasure. So, ladies and gentlemen, thanks very much. That's this episode. Please stay tuned for other episodes coming up. We appreciate you listening to The CopDoc Podcast. If you'd like, please reach out to me at [email protected] Love to hear from you. There is so much feedback I'm getting that is very valuable and it helps to drive the content. We appreciate it. Very much. Hi, everybody, a few things before you leave.
[00:33:59.450] - Steve Morreale
First, thanks for listening. I'm so gratified to see the downloads rising in the last few months, not only from the U.S., but from across the globe. It's surprising and humbling to find students, colleagues and practitioners listening. We have a growing number of listeners in Canada, Ireland, England, Northern Ireland, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Colombia. We appreciate your time and energy and welcome feedback. Please feel free to reach out to me by email at The CopDoc Podcast at Gmail dot com.
[00:34:26.480] - Steve Morreale
Check out our website at CopDoc Podcast.com. Please take the time to share podcasts podcast with your friend if you find value in the discussions. We've had so many amazing guests and more to come who have shared their wisdom, their thoughts, their viewpoints and their innovative ideas. Most importantly, a huge thank you to those of you who show up for work in policing every day, not knowing the kinds of calls that you'll be sent on or the kinds of situations you'll find yourself in, you risk your lives for people, many of whom you don't know.
[00:34:53.810] - Speaker 2
And for that, we owe you a debt of gratitude. A big thanks. Hope you stay safe, healthy and look forward to hearing from you and hope you'll continue to listen to upcoming episodes of The CopDoc Podcast.
[00:35:04.970] - Outro
Thanks for listening to The CopDoc Podcast with Dr. Steve Morreale. Steve is a retired law enforcement practitioner and manager turned academic and scholar from Worcester State University. Please tune in to The CopDoc Podcast for regular episodes of interviews with thought leaders in policing.