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Thread: Leadership: How and When to use email effectively

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    Default Leadership: How and When to use email effectively

    When I read this news story it made me think of our 5MT buddy who so terribly missed the boat with that awful email on memorizing the Air Force Creed a few years ago.

    Not every situation calls for an organization-wide email and more importantly when you do choose that method of communication, you’d better make sure you craft a message that gets to the point quickly and brings the organization together.

    I’d say the BPD Commissioner did a pretty good job in this instance. I can’t recall seeing a mass email from an Air Force official that hit the mark like this one, can you?


    =================

    Commissioner: Baltimore officers found sleeping 'will be held accountable'
    City's top cop sends his officers an email admonishing sleeping on the job after television news reports


    By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun
    3:52 p.m. EDT, August 9, 2013


    Reacting to recent television news segments showing multiple Baltimore police officers asleep on the job, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts sent his officers a stern warning.

    The commissioner's email to all sworn officers comes after WBFF-TV Fox 45 began recently putting pictures on its newscasts and website of pictures sent in from viewers of uniformed officers in squad cars allegedly snoozing behind the wheel. In the email, Batts notes the strain police are under. Many patrol officers are working overtime, struggling to fill the void left by 200 sworn vacancies attributed to years of attrition. Another 260 sworn staff positions are empty due to suspensions, military or medical leave, police say. At full strength, the force would number 3,100 officers.

    The email, leaked to The Baltimore Sun, was verified by police.

    Here it is in its entirety:

    "Earlier this week, an officer was publicly ridiculed on television when a citizen took a picture of him sleeping in his vehicle. Tonight, another story will run with additional photos and videos citizens have taken of our officers sleeping while on duty.

    Let me make it perfectly clear – this is unacceptable and those found sleeping on duty – be it by a supervisor or the public – will be held accountable. Sleeping on duty is not only an egregious violation of the public trust; but a serious safety issue. I never want to have to officiate over a funeral or visit the hospital because a felon walked up to a car with a gun rather than a citizen with a smart phone.

    I know you are working harder than you may have ever possibly worked before and the hours have cut into your personal lives. Know that I am extremely proud of the excellent work you are doing each and every day.

    Please – look out for each other. If you are tired, get out and talk with citizens in the neighborhood – they are obviously out and about. Supervisors be supervisors – lead from the front! Ensure your officers are engaged at all hours of the day.

    There is no doubt this additional media attention has created a 'photo-opportunity hunt' for officers neglecting their duties. If you thought we weren't under the microscope before, take heed – we absolutely are. And in the name of every officer who has worn this badge with pride, and those who have died wearing it, do what is right – stay alert, be safe, and take pride in the work we are doing for the citizens of this City."

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    Default Re: Leadership: How and When to use email effectively

    Back in the day (before email) each shop had a read & sign clipboard. Letters, info, etc. was posted to the the clipboard and there was a cover sheet for the weekly read & sign (signifying that you had read and understood all the info during that week). If it was important, there was a memo that was posted. Each morning started with a short shop meeting, 5 - 15 minutes.
    Email is a good/bad thing. As a leader I would make sure the word got out...but I usually took the time to see if the To line already included everyone to eliminate the duplication, but sometimes the CC, CCF, and I would all forward within a few minutes of each other. What I discovered was that too many of the section NCOICs would not have a shop meeting or forward on staff meeting notes to their folks, so it became more important for me to disseminate information.
    I too wish we could do better at sending out short 2-3 paragraph emails that get right to the point...maybe that should be part of the new EPME-next curricula. The other side of that coin is exactly what you have hear, an internal email that is leaked outside the organization...that is why email is so rarely used as it could/should be.
    "Never force a fart in Djibouti"..."Always marry your second wife first"..."If anyone says that you're not a team player, maybe they're on the wrong team"..."You can gold plate a turd and it's still a turd"

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    Default Re: Leadership: How and When to use email effectively

    Quote Originally Posted by Chief_KO View Post
    Back in the day (before email) each shop had a read & sign clipboard. Letters, info, etc. was posted to the the clipboard and there was a cover sheet for the weekly read & sign (signifying that you had read and understood all the info during that week). If it was important, there was a memo that was posted. Each morning started with a short shop meeting, 5 - 15 minutes.
    Email is a good/bad thing. As a leader I would make sure the word got out...but I usually took the time to see if the To line already included everyone to eliminate the duplication, but sometimes the CC, CCF, and I would all forward within a few minutes of each other. What I discovered was that too many of the section NCOICs would not have a shop meeting or forward on staff meeting notes to their folks, so it became more important for me to disseminate information.
    I too wish we could do better at sending out short 2-3 paragraph emails that get right to the point...maybe that should be part of the new EPME-next curricula. The other side of that coin is exactly what you have hear, an internal email that is leaked outside the organization...that is why email is so rarely used as it could/should be.
    I suspect that it was leaked purposely to the press; however, that is another fundamental rule about email, ALWAYS assume that your email will be forwarded far and wide!

    You are correct that almost any method of communication can fail, even the time honored morning meeting or roll call can turn into a farce.

    Balutski’s email was a failure on so many levels that I’m having a hard time understanding them from a lessons learned perspective. I think you’d need the equivalent of a NTSB crash scene investigation team to put all the pieces back together on that one.

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    Default Re: Leadership: How and When to use email effectively

    Quote Originally Posted by Chief_KO View Post
    What I discovered was that too many of the section NCOICs would not have a shop meeting or forward on staff meeting notes to their folks, so it became more important for me to disseminate information.
    I too wish we could do better at sending out short 2-3 paragraph emails that get right to the point...maybe that should be part of the new EPME-next curricula. The other side of that coin is exactly what you have hear, an internal email that is leaked outside the organization...that is why email is so rarely used as it could/should be.
    Thats impossible! How to conduct a section briefing is taught at NCOA!!!

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    Default Re: Leadership: How and When to use email effectively

    Quote Originally Posted by Airborne View Post
    Thats impossible! How to conduct a section briefing is taught at NCOA!!!
    And the second thing the recent PME grad hears when he/she returns to the workcenter: "Forget that PME stuff...this is the real AF"
    "Never force a fart in Djibouti"..."Always marry your second wife first"..."If anyone says that you're not a team player, maybe they're on the wrong team"..."You can gold plate a turd and it's still a turd"

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