You can only lead others if you can manage yourself.
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I really appreciated a piece he had written about decision making. When a decision has to be made, Moore distinguishes between logical reasoning and his gut feeling. Instinct is kind of a caution light, an early warning, or a gut feeling which can on occasion result in a far better decision than one based on a logical process…When a quick decision is not required, I get all the information, look into the pros and cons, and then back off from it using two approaches.
Do not announce it. Essentially he is saying, if you have the time, take the time and reason it out. If a subordinate staff officer, commander, or staff section leader felt comfortable and qualified to make a decision, he could do so with my authority and my responsibility. But, I made sure my people knew that I alone was responsible for what my staff or command did or failed to do. I am convinced my trust and loyalty downward resulted in better work habits and higher unit efficiency.
If he does, then it will be screwed up. Because the boss said so. There are several valuable pieces of advice on how to respond to problematic persons. If the problem can be fixed—and a remedy instituted—at the lower levels, it will benefit your relationship with your subordinates, improve the health of the organization, and not divert higher-level resources away from other priorities.
As a leader, you should never resort to public humiliation when correcting a subordinate. These are wise words with regards to reprimanding people. I feel that if anyone under me fails, the fault is at least half mine. I had either not put out clear, clean instructions or I had not trained that person sufficiently, or I had given him a task with little or no possibility of accomplishment. Moore made no secret of the fact that he understood a leader to be someone who is committed to learning. The leaders who fail are those who think they know everything—or that they have nothing left to learn.
They resent having to learn something new or adapt to a new situation. Talk is cheap, but Moore emulated the life of a learner by spending hours and hours in the library. Patton, Jr. They were very helpful to me on the battlefields of Vietnam. But learning does not only occur by reading. The irony, however, is that you can learn as much from a bad leader as you can from a good leader. Toxic leaders will set a perfect example of what not to be. Interestingly enough, Moore also finds the act of listening as a learning tool.
When you listen, you know twice as much as the other guy: what he knows and what you know. All of us engage in self-talk. And what am I not doing that I should be doing to influence the situation in my favor? And after that, one more thing. So many leaders today demand loyalty to the top corps, but we are quick to turn on our followers. If things turn sour, we feel we can cut our losses. However, no one is perfect; there is always room to learn and grow, and to help your employees do the same.
Here are eight common mistakes that many leaders struggle with and how to fix them. Holding a position of power may be good for your ego, but it's important that you and your employees know you're not above your shortcomings. When employees recognize that failure is natural, even for leaders, they'll feel more open-minded and confident.
One of the most difficult adjustments a new leader has to make is learning how to handle disagreements or issues. You want to be fair and balanced while avoiding potential conflict, but, sometimes, that's difficult. If there is an issue, it's best to address it right away when the situation is fresh. Feldman noted that many issues blamed for incompetence or poor performance are actually a result of misunderstood expectations. Leaders are typically hired or promoted to their positions because they know what needs to be done and how to do it.
This may be accompanied by the mentality of "if you want something done right, do it yourself," which can be a dangerous attitude to have when managing a team. Completing or tweaking employees' work because it's not to your liking, or not delegating tasks, not only creates more work for you but hinders your team from reaching its full potential. According to Mellard, by getting into this habit, a talented team member may bring a project to only 75 percent completion, assuming the leader will finish the rest. UNPOL has also been a crutch for the serious logistical shortages in the LNP, most notably for vehicles and fuel supplies, but also for stationery and smaller items.
Both officers and citizens expressed trepidation at what might lie ahead when UNMIL is no longer present to assist with logistics shortfalls and regularly monitor the police. The following discussion sets out factors contributing to, but not justifying, police corruption in Liberia. Logistical support and salary were the two leading concerns for all police officers with whom Human Rights Watch spoke. Officers said that poor salaries and insufficient fuel, vehicles, uniforms, stationery, and other equipment contributed to low morale and encouraged corruption.
When questioned about these issues, the LNP inspector general commented:. Almost every officer with whom Human Rights Watch spoke said that they received poor salaries and that this was a primary cause of pervasive corruption. Recently, Deputy Inspector General of Administration Rose Stryker spoke publicly about the link between low officer salary and corruption, and was criticized in the media for seeming to justify corrupt practices.
Human Rights Watch does not try to determine the proper compensation for police officers, but UNMIL officials, LNP leadership, civil society groups, and even victims of police corruption said low salary contributes to police extortion schemes. One police superintendent told Human Rights Watch:. Criticisms of salary notwithstanding, some police officers acknowledged that corruption was a personal choice, not one driven by financial need. One officer said:. A few officers said they engaged in street vending or used other skills, such as car maintenance, when off-duty to earn extra money since their salary was not enough.
Almost all police officers who spoke to Human Rights Watch noted the negative impact that poor logistical support had on their ability to carry out their duties. Many depots, even in Monrovia, did not have working vehicles. Insufficient fuel was also underscored as a perpetual problem, especially in counties where officers would sometimes have to drive long distances to respond to crimes.
As a result, it is impossible to know whether fuel allocations are insufficient, or whether they have been misallocated for corrupt purposes. All over the country, but especially in the counties, officers discussed how non-working vehicles and low fuel supplies compromised their ability to serve the communities under their watch.
A number of officers said that they were compounding the trauma endured by crime victims when the victims were told that they would have to pay for the fuel or vehicle to transport the officer to the crime scene. One officer stationed in Lofa said:. Commanders and patrol officers across the counties repeatedly mentioned a number of other logistics constraints to Human Rights Watch.
Officers said some stations lacked both electricity and candles. Officers reported using their own money to photocopy stationery, writing their reports on public computers, and relying on the goodwill of local businesses and NGOs for extra fuel, supplies, and other needs. UNPOL has helped to mitigate some of the logistics challenges that the police face. A number of officers, especially those serving outside of Monrovia, noted that UNPOL would regularly help them patrol or carry them to the scene of an accident or crime.
Many police officers expressed distress about the condition and issuance of their uniforms. Over half of the officers interviewed had not been issued a new uniform for up to three years and were wearing on a daily basis the same one or two uniforms they had been issued years ago; some had not been issued a new uniform since Numerous officers said that after years of not being issued a new uniform, they decided to use their own salary to purchase new shirts and pants. One officer explained that he had detached the LNP patches from his old uniform and attached them to the clothes he acquired from the street.
When the riders went to search for their bikes at the police stations nearby, they could not locate the arresting officer or the motorcycle. It was not clear to them whether a police officer had stolen their motorcycle, or if a criminal dressed as a police officer had taken their bike. An overwhelming majority of officers interviewed emphasized the negative impact that poor logistics support and attendant corruption had on officer morale. One patrol officer said:. Mid-level management in the LNP indicated awareness of the logistics and corruption issues that face the police.
Two of the officers who spoke with Human Rights Watch had written or were writing university thesis papers on issues of corruption, salary, and morale in the LNP. Absenteeism is a chronic problem related to policing and security across Liberia. These officers expressed frustration that they were not able to adequately respond to crimes because of low manpower at the depots. Some commanders said that they repeatedly reported officers for failing to show up at work, but received little response from senior management.
Several officers described instances where officers had not signed into work for months, and yet they could be seen in uniform on street corners hustling for money. Several officers in Monrovia said they worked hour shifts, meaning they would work for 24 hours and be off for 24 hours. Many officers in the leeward counties—the term used to describe most of the area outside of Montserrado, the county where Monrovia is located—said that they worked seven days a week, often for long shifts, because there was no one to act in their absence. There was no overtime pay or benefits for officers working long weekly shifts.
According to the LNP Duty Manual, shifts were designed in a cycle of three shifts per day on a 7-day cycle, for not less than 40 hours per week five days on, two days off, with shifts lasting at least eight hours a day. Liberian labor law also does not specify the maximum number of hours that certain public service employees, like police officers, can work.
The distance from Monrovia and lack of potential remuneration makes it is difficult for the police to effectively locate staff in rural areas. Decentralizing police from Monrovia has been a key focus for reform within the LNP and the government as a whole. Historically, the center of power and most social services were concentrated in Monrovia; the LNP, along with other government agencies, has had to work to reverse government neglect of the counties outside of Montserrado. The UN Peacebuilding Commission has supported an initiative that aims to decentralize police operations and increase access to police and courts in the counties.
The first regional hub, situated in Gbarnga, Bong, and covering Bong, Lofa, and Nimba counties, was inaugurated in February The hubs have been presented as an important step toward improving access to justice in the counties outside Montserrado. However, establishing the justice and security hubs is proceeding slowly, and even under the hub system, officers are concentrated in five chosen regional capitals, rather than spread throughout county capitals and major towns. The sparse distribution of police, many Liberians said, is unlikely to improve rule of law in communities located far from the hub.
Areas like Duala, Red Light, Waterside, and others were popular locations for enterprising officers to congregate. Some officers who do report to work head to these areas after hours to make extra money.
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One commander explained:. Taxi and motorcycle drivers noted that unassigned officers in these areas would sometimes remove their badges, making it impossible for drivers to report them to the head office. In one interview that Human Rights Watch conducted with a patrol officer, the officer had to briefly interrupt the interview to collect the money that he and a fellow officer had hustled. A couple of officers who work in the popular areas for hustling expressed frustration over the barrage of unassigned officers.
It seems to be common knowledge in Liberia that police officers assigned to checkpoints and other lucrative posts are often required to remit a portion of the money they extorted back to the commanders who awarded them their posts. In addition, many officers told Human Rights Watch that in order to receive any benefit in the LNP—transfers, promotions, or placement at certain favorable posts—they must pay superiors. The LNP has a promotions board, but few officers seem aware of its existence, and even fewer understood how it worked. The board, which administers promotion exams and oversees promotion protocol, was at one time active, but appears to have been inactive for at least the past year.
Many officers who spoke with Human Rights Watch freely admitted that promotions were often not based on merit, but instead on favoritism, or a combination of favoritism and bribery. A number of officers said that a disorganized and corrupt promotions system leads to poor management of officers, which in turn permits officer malfeasance.
You put the bad ones on top of the good ones. Will that supervision be correct? Commanders also assign officers to lucrative checkpoints or patrols with the expectation that the commander receives a portion of the extorted money.
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Most of the police officers interviewed said that they could not challenge corruption in the LNP directly, or they would risk being removed from their posts. As one commander put it:. The current environment in the LNP does not provide for frank discussion about the impact of corrupt practices throughout the force; anti-corruption campaigns have mostly focused on bribery between officers and the public and several national initiatives aimed at curbing embezzlement. Since corruption pressures within the police force are rarely discussed, let alone become subject to disciplinary measures or criminal prosecutions, these practices continue quietly.
Liberia has taken some noteworthy steps to improve monitoring and accountability within the Liberia National Police, and address corruption and human rights violations more broadly. Several leaders of civil society organizations and independent government agencies underscored that Liberia does not suffer from a lack of institutions that focus on accountability.
A major barrier to accountability has been the inability of existing institutions to conduct investigations that would lead to charges and prosecutions against those responsible for corruption or malfeasance. The Professional Standards Division was established in as an internal mechanism to improve accountability in the LNP. The PSD includes three subdivisions: an Internal Affairs section in charge of investigating internal police complaints; a Public Complaints section to receive public complaints about police abuse and extortion; and an Inspection and Control unit tasked with undertaking internal audits, including visits to police stations.
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Civil society representatives said that the PSD is an improvement upon the now defunct Board of Inquiry, which was the internal police oversight body until Police officers with whom Human Rights Watch spoke expressed the opinion that the PSD would hold police officers accountable for misconduct. However, citizens who have tried complaining to the PSD, and even LNP officers within the PSD, have had limited success and largely believed the division needs much improvement.
First, members of the Public Complaints and Internal Affairs sections have themselves engaged in corrupt practices, including protecting officers instead of properly carrying out their duties. The organizations and individuals who filed a complaint or who assisted a victim in filing a complaint with the PSD described the division as unresponsive. They finally gave up. Human Rights Watch asked a number of depot commanders across the country whether PSD officers had ever stopped by their stations to observe the conditions of the stations, staff, and bookkeeping.
None of the commanders, some of whom had been at their depots for several years, could recall anyone from the PSD ever conducting such monitoring. Finally, the government has not done an adequate job of informing the general public about how to register complaints about police corruption with the PSD. For instance, a number of victims reported police abuse to their local police depots, but officers never explained where they could file a formal complaint. In its Poverty Reduction Strategy, the Liberian government emphasized the need for greater legislative oversight of the security sector, as well as the establishment of an independent civilian oversight body that would accept complaints for unlawful activities by security personnel.
These have contributed to monitoring, evaluating, and prosecuting corruption and human rights violations.
But these independent commissions face serious challenges carrying out their mandates. The General Auditing Commission has completed and issued dozens of reports in the last five years. Many of these reports document serious lapses in public sector performance and irregularities in resource allocation.
However, these reports are rarely acted upon by the Ministry of Justice. The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission has brought several noteworthy indictments since its inception that resulted in convictions, but overall its record has been mixed. In February the five were convicted after a jury trial, which the defense appealed. The Munah Sieh-Brown case demonstrated serious challenges facing the court system that are likely to impede successful corruption cases.
Shortly after the verdict was announced, a judge in Criminal Court-C declared a retrial, stating that the jury verdict did not indicate on which counts the jury found the defendants guilty, contradicting the jury instruction. In the last several years, President Sirleaf has encouraged several measures that could improve the operation of the LACC and anti-corruption efforts. In , she submitted a bill to the National Legislature to give the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission direct, but non-exclusive power to prosecute corruption cases,  a change that the LACC chairwoman had promoted.
If the ministry decides not to prosecute, the LACC can proceed with the case. Despite these developments, Liberia still lacks an anti-corruption law. Finally, the institution set up to be the premier national human rights commission remains weak. As a monitoring institution, it has been largely ineffective in recent years. The plan does aim to make government institutions accountable and ensure equal protection under the law.
Additional research and proofreading was done by Marianna Enamoneta, senior associate in the Africa Division. Grace Choi, publications director, Kathy Mills, publications specialist, and Fitzroy Hepkins, mail manager, prepared the report for publication. Skip to main content. August 22, July 5, Summary I went to the police investigation department with a complaint [about how I was arrested, jailed for five days, and told to pay money to be released]. The whole thing was like a trick. They kept saying tomorrow, tomorrow [they would address my complaint]. The culture of impunity [in the police] continues to exist.
It will be worse. Recommendations To the Government of Liberia Call on the legislature to enact a comprehensive anti-corruption law after input from civil society groups, the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission, and legal experts. The president should act on her pledge to establish an independent Civilian Oversight Board for the Liberia National Police that would accept complaints from the public on acts of police misconduct.
To the LNP: Transparency and Strengthening Oversight Implement an anti-corruption strategy based on input from members of the police and civil society, and make that strategy public. Work with UNMIL and other international partners to promptly complete the new Police Act, which should address recruitment and training protocols, appropriate labor limits such as maximum hours per week , and measures to address absenteeism.
Work with international partners to institute a tracking system for all logistics, including fuel, vehicles and vehicle repairs, and supplies. Use the tracking system to report concrete numbers on logistics shortages to the Liberian government for consideration in the budget process. Reinstitute the use of the promotions board and task the Professional Standards Division with monitoring promotions to ensure that they are based on a clearly defined merit system.
Hold commanders responsible for the foreseeable or repeated misbehavior of the officers under their command. Institute transparent investigations and adopt disciplinary measures, including referring cases for prosecution, of the commanding officers of patrol officers who engage in extortion, threats and other illegal acts, or who prevent members of the public from bringing complaints of police misbehavior.
Officers subject to investigations should be suspended without pay, pending findings. Adopt measures to improve the ability of the regional hub system to receive and respond to public complaints originating from outside Monrovia. Conduct trainings with the PSD to make sure it professionally responds to all complaints and can resist efforts to interfere in its disciplinary processes.
To the LNP: Recruitment and Training Recruit more police officers from the counties who are willing to remain in their counties. Ensure that officers deployed to the counties have equal access to promotions and opportunities for training and advancement, similar to those officers assigned to Monrovia. Provide ongoing and appropriate human rights training. To Independent Government Accountability Agencies The General Auditing Commission should complete and publicize an investigation into police corruption and abuse, including both budgetary irregularities and performance shortfalls.
The Independent National Commission on Human Rights should develop the capacity to investigate and take action on human rights complaints, in accordance with its mandate. The Independent National Commission on Human Rights should more actively investigate and document alleged human rights abuses, including those abuses involving the police, and publicize that information. To the United Nations and Donor Governments UNMIL should assist in the establishment and implementation of a logistics tracking systems for fuel, vehicles and vehicle maintenance, and supplies.
Donor governments should require tracking systems for all assistance to the LNP and provide adequate support for such tracking. UNMIL should assist in regular procurement requests to ensure that logistics are arriving to their slated location. Methodology This report is based on research conducted by Human Rights Watch between September and June , including field visits to Liberia from November to February Background The central goal for the security sector is to create a secure and peaceful environment, both domestically and in the sub-region, that is conducive to sustainable, inclusive, and equitable growth and development.
The two most recent inquiries occurred in In April , Sirleaf created a Special Presidential Committee to investigate police violence related to student protests on March 22, , when police beat a number of unarmed students, many of whom had to receive stitches. The commission of inquiry that was formed to investigate the police violence on that day found that at least one person had been shot and killed, and others wounded, when one officer fired live ammunition into a crowd of protesters. In a report, the US Institute of Peace found generally that: Diplomats, aid administrators, and other field personnel report that police corruption wastes resources, undermines security, makes a mockery of justice, slows economic development, and alienates populations from their governments.
Their stories and the findings from general surveys reveal a fundamental obstacle to fulfilling the basic, widely proclaimed objective of most interventions the international community undertakes, namely, establishing the rule of law…. Eliminating police corruption is required for any country that has establishing the rule of law as a national objective.
Ignoring this imperative means that international efforts at nation building proceed at their own peril. They had mercy on me and told me to pay a certain amount. I gave the money to the boss man [the officer in charge of the depot]. It made me feel like I was being cheated [by being jailed with little explanation and no follow-up]. We usually do it to stop them and put fear in them. Sometimes if [the suspects] still have materials in hand, we chase them.
We ourselves are against the police. When [the suspects] are caught [by the police], they are often released. So we feel like any time we catch them, we beat them.
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One young man in Monrovia said that his community had begun to pool their money to pay for a vigilante group to patrol at night: In the community now we have a vigilante group. We pay them, because the police are doing nothing. We have about houses in the community…. In the nights they will be at some strategic points and even patrolling the community…. They can have cutlasses and sticks in their hands. One officer explained: Three to four [of us] are in the office. At the end of the week, we all give it to one person.
The Susu is like a safety…. It is like helping one another. How do you get the money to pay your Susu? It is through harassment. There is no love for the job. Can you imagine? You [the officer] are not in business. Where is that money coming from?
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Even in my office now, [an] officer was transferred to us, [and] he was transferred back. He said—no money here, so I am going back to traffic. Armed Shakedowns The armed Emergency Response Unit and the Police Support Unit appear to be especially involved in robbing Liberians under the pretext of carrying out their duties, misusing their weaponry for their financial advantage.
They use the baton. If you put up resistance, they beat you with it. I have seen them beat somebody with it in front of me. This started last year. When they cause trouble, they wait for people to forget and then they come back. They usually come at 10 or 11 at night. The officer said: On a daily basis, they [the PSU] patrol. Sometimes we get complaints [about] them, but we are not the authority for them.
So we send people to Central. Police Extortion and Other Abuses in the Informal Sector Much of the commerce in Monrovia and other Liberian cities takes place in the streets, with vendors dotting busy corners and countless motorcycle and automobile taxis weaving in and out of traffic. A paper on small, medium, and micro enterprise by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry stated: As the main source of income for the great majority of Liberian people, perhaps 80 percent or greater, microenterprises are the lynchpin of family welfare in Liberia.
Households with successful microenterprises that generate reasonable, steady revenues are positioned to finance better health services, housing and education for their families. Those with marginal microenterprises that generate minimal, unstable revenues manage only to keep from falling into dire poverty. Street Vendors Ongoing ambiguity in Monrovia concerning city zoning policies and national law regulating street vendors has generated confusion that the police exploit to extort money and commit other abuses.
My father died when I was very small. So for me I pay my school fees. I am supporting my brothers and sisters. We always say the strong will survive because nothing else will do. The big one [is] in school [now], but the small one, no. She is 11 years [old], in 4th grade. One street vendor described a recent raid: Last week Friday, was the last time it happened….
I was selling on the sidewalk. When you see the police, you try to run. I ran in the store, and they ran in there and they took the goods [which were in a box]. When I went to them to pay for the market, it was not correct. Seven pieces were missing. I shed tears when they took the goods and when they gave me the goods that were not correct. They told us not to sell in the streets, but this is the only thing we can do to survive…. I had to [borrow] money from my friend to buy food for my family.
Police also sometimes arbitrarily arrest sellers and make them pay for their release: They took my sister and myself to Zone 1…. I was selling in the market and the police came and while we were running they grabbed me, handcuffed me, and put me in the car. He said that the police then arrived: [The police] were running behind our children when they reached [us]….
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