Leadership: Lessons Learned Throughout a Career

Leadership: Lessons Learned Throughout a Career
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1 Module 1
Recorded on: 2021-04-06
Unit 1 Slide Deck: Lessons Learned Throughout a Career
Unit 2 Transcript: Lessons Learned Throughout a Career
Unit 3 Workbook: Lessons Learned Throughout a Career
Unit 4 Recording: Lessons Learned Throughout a Career

Willingness to learn is a critical skill in any individual. Learning, however, can be a time-consuming process, and in the public safety and helping profession, the gift of time is something that’s rarely granted. With this in mind, leaders take a central role to share with their subordinates some of the lessons they learned in their career in hopes to speed up the learning curve and develop a more efficient workforce.

Brenda Dietzman is back on the Justice Clearinghouse to share lessons she learned throughout her career – from others and through her own experience – to equip new and future leaders with what they need to be effective in their roles. Brenda has almost three decades of law enforcement and corrections background before retiring in 2019 as an undersheriff in charge of jail operations. She then founded Wayfinder Consulting which provides evidence-based training solutions to guide and improve individuals and organizations.

Specifics of the discussion include:

  • The key role that formal and informal leaders play in honing the skills of others.
  • The importance of one’s legacy in shaping an organization’s future and practicing authenticity to live a fulfilling life and career.
  • A couple of leadership principles and practices to learn from.
    • Why the people you work with must always come first, building relationships with them, and how this breeds trust and loyalty.
    • Steering wheel therapy: A daily pep talk before work and self-reflection on the way home.
    • The ponytail principle that highlights the importance of taking space and responding instead of reacting to a stimulus.
    • Practicing self-distancing when amidst difficulties to provide one’s self with objective, non-personal advice on how to best navigate the challenge.
    • The consequence of making promises you can’t keep on the entire organization.
    • The importance of performing at the next level and for leaders to consider a person’s ability to thrive at the next level before giving additional responsibilities.
    • Focusing on the big picture and how leaders can teach this to their subordinates by stepping back.
    • Starting with a ‘yes’ to foster critical thinking in employees over matters that they might not have enough experience yet to recognize why it should actually be a ‘no’.
    • Explaining the why to make others understand the process behind answers and decisions and how this impacts compliance and buy-in.
    • Teaching and encouraging proactive and preventive measures to overcome and combat the trauma, stress, and other forms of negativity that are inevitable in the public safety field.
    • Embracing diversity and inclusion to lead people who don’t look like you.
    • Tactics on how to combat supervisor shopping by ensuring all leaders work as a team and back up each other.
    • Looking out for the individuals who volunteer and using this as a guideline when identifying candidates to give opportunities to.
    • Leveraging practical management competencies and tools to be more efficient and productive at work.
    • The value in tackling the biggest, most challenging tasks first when you have the most energy to do it.
    • Utilizing templates and checklists for low frequency but critical events where thoroughness is crucial, or it’s more likely to forget or miss details.
    • Paying attention to personal leadership lessons that underscore your purpose, mission, and legacy, and prepares you for life after your career.
  • The value in the lessons others learned through their experience, how to assimilate these into your life as if they’re personal lessons to guide your actions and decisions.

Questions from the audience are about:

  • Who influenced and shaped Brenda as a leader.
  • References for studies mentioned and other recommended resources.
  • Handling pushback from executive leaders when incorporating some of these principles and practices into organizations.


Other Presentations with this Speaker


Resources and Handouts


Audience Comments

  • “I had never thought of having a personal mission statement before. That was a great idea! There were so many great nuggets of information in this presentation! Thanks so much!” — Paula
  • “Overall great speaker and a great topic! Brenda was amazing and had a wealth of knowledge, and really touched on things and shed light onto topics some might not think about right away when they think about leadership. Loved her real-life examples and pictures!” — Alanna
  • “Brenda needs to teach all the classes, she is amazing and this was a great class for someone retiring in December and my employee looking at maybe moving into management also enjoyed it a great deal.” — Amy
  • “My 20 years of experience as a supervisor leads me to fully endorse Barbara’s advice. Had to learn many of these things on my own, and some of them didn’t take hold until later in my career. A deep dive into each topic could be helpful for new supervisors, and by extension, beneficial to their organizations.” — Andrew
  • “Fantastic presentation as always packed full of tips and thought-provoking questions. Always an enjoyment.” — Billy
  • “Good presentation Brenda as this is my 2nd one from Canada. Good to connect with you the first time around.” — Bob
  • “If Brenda is leading it, I know I’m certain to learn!” — Denise
  • “Wow, this was a great webinar. It makes me look forward to holding a leadership role one day. So many great lessons.” — Da’Keisha
  • “This entire presentation was very well delivered and the best one I have ever attended. Every piece of information was valuable and useful. Looking forward to more sessions with Ms. Dietzman.” — Denise


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