We have teamed up with Steve Cooper Police Promotion coach to bring you free tools and resources to help with your Police Promotion prep, Steve Cooper is one of the leading police promotion coaches in the United Kingdom.
Thanks to Steve and his company Rank Success is able to offer Police Hour readers free promotion tools that other coaches would charge you for, thanks to our great relation with Steve we are able to offer you this advice, information and valuable police promotion information and advice absolutely free of charge for the Police Hour readers looking for Police Promotion.
The focus of this exclusive editorial feature written by Steve Cooper is the ‘7 Things interview boards also look for in promotion candidates’ is knowledge of the policing environment you aspire to lead in. As a reminder, here are the 7 key traits which police promotion boards inherently value:
- Good awareness and understanding of vision or mission
- Self-aware, understanding personal values and development areas
- Demonstrates awareness of the current policing context
- A response that goes beyond the theoretical
- Able to evidence leadership impact in & beyond your team
- Well-structured and considered responses
- Demonstrate strong leadership skills grounded in service delivery
Thing 5: Able to Evidence Leadership Impact Within and Beyond Your Team
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” – Henry David Thoreau
Being required to write or talk about oneself in a leadership context can be difficult. Those who can do it confidently and pro-actively and who prevail in a promotion selection process are usually those who focused beforehand on developing their ability to do this.
In simple terms, that’s it.
Enter the Dragon’s Den
“I am far more likely to invest if the founding entrepreneurs have already invested in themselves.” – Duncan Bannatyne
I recently coached an officer to change their perspective of the interview panel, while developing their confidence to verbalise sound responses. Initially, they thought of their impending promotion interview opportunity as a ‘Dragons Den’ experience. On this TV show, entrepreneurs enter the ‘den’ to seek investment in their business ideas. Before they do that and in order to exploit the opportunity fully, they will practice their ‘pitch’. Some clearly do it better than others, and it shows. Competence in delivering their pitch is often underpinned by weeks and days of practice beforehand to maximise potential.
In this respect, leadership expectations of Sergeants and Inspectors include leading people, leading change and managing performance. Unsurprisingly, a promotion board may ask a couple of questions about them!
The leadership impact of Sergeants is essentially focused around team effectiveness. As police forces and other organisations become ‘flatter’ in hierarchy, it is likely Sergeants will also be leading ‘beyond their authority’ as ways of working develop and change.
For leadership impact of Inspectors, expectations may stretch beyond and across force wide teams, specialist departments, partner agencies or wider afield. It may include developing and implementing plans to influence organisations.
Considered practice and effort helps get this across well in your promotion application or interview responses. A few ‘dry runs’ practising your pitch to ‘the dragons’ ahead of your opportunity will help influence and impress them! More importantly, it will boost your ability and with that, your confidence.
If that is something that sounds worthwhile and you’d like to make a meaningful start, here is one way to practice taming the dragons before you have to. Imagine this as the very first question you are asked on your promotion board:
Why should anyone be led by you?
An effective response to this could easily put clear blue sea between you and other candidates. But you are unlikely to deliver an effective response without laying the foundations for it today, because it’s a hard question to answer.
Did I mention that it was a hard question? It’s probably the hardest leadership question for anyone to answer. Leadership academics Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones wrote a book with the same title. They found whenever they asked that particular question over ten years of research, often to a room of executives, the result was a sudden stunned hush. It’s difficult because it’s introspective. In order to do it and yourself justice, you have to reach inside yourself for the response.
As a promotion candidate seeking to be appointed to a formal leadership position as a Sergeant or Inspector, you might agree that whilst it is a testing question, it is also a fair one. Practice in answering this can prepare you well for any other leadership-based questions at any level of leadership.
Reality check: Nothing you have read about above matters in the slightest, if you are not taking action right now.
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart
Taking action is the one thing that will move you closer to achieving any goal. You can choose to start right now.
- Treat it as a question in your promotion application.
- Grab a pencil, get to work and start constructing a response.
- Now imagine it as the only question in your promotion interview.
- Consider and rehearse a verbal response.
This is one good way to start laying solid foundations for your promotion success. A valuable tool you’ll need to hand is the promotion framework that you will be assessed against.
Structuring your evidence: An example (Inspector level)
Lets take the Policing Professional Framework (PPF) to look at one example of leadership impact at Sergeant to Inspector level. It was used successfully to achieve promotion to Inspector after the officer contacted me for some assistance. This example is from my downloadable guide 25+ examples of what works in promotion applications.
The PPF very helpfully divides the vast subject of police leadership into three ‘personal qualities’ (aka behaviours/competencies). Here’s the framework guidance:
Leading change: [Positive about change, adapting rapidly to changing circumstances and encouraging flexibility in others. Ident