Seven keys for successful tactical leadership

A leader should have the vision to see beyond the current dilemmas they are faced with, and the strength of character to stay the course as they command in the face of adverse conditions. Remember these principles to command by and enjoy your unit’s success:

1. Empower subordinates to be creative
2. Set standards that give your officers goals to reach
3. Provide challenging and enlightening tasks
4. Identify and develop people with leadership potential
5. Recognize unit and individual successes
6. Encourage and facilitate professional growth
7. Begin developing and training future commanders

Tactical leaders should work hard in the eyes of their officers. Gen. Colin Powell put it this way, “If you want them to work hard and endure hardship, you must work even harder and endure even greater hardship. They must see you sacrifice for them.”


Editor's Note: Look for Glenn French’s upcoming article on tactical leadership, which will run in our Special Thanksgiving Weekend Edition of the PoliceOne Newsletter. Read his past articles here.


About the author

Glenn French, a retired Sergeant with the Sterling Heights (Mich.) Police Department, has 24 years police experience and served as the Team Commander for the Special Response Team, and supervisor of the Sterling Heights Police Department Training Bureau. He has 16 years SWAT experience and also served as a Sniper Team Leader, REACT Team Leader, and Explosive Breacher.

He is the author of the award-winning book Police Tactical Life Saver, which has been named the 2012 Public Safety Writers Association Technical Manual of the year. Glenn is also the owner of Rubicon Tactical Strategies and can be reached at

Glenn has instructed basic and advanced SWAT / Tactical officer courses, basic and advanced Sniper courses, Cold Weather / Winter Sniper Operations and Active Shooter Response courses, Terrorist Response course, Tactical Lifesaver Course and others. Sgt. French also served in the U.S. Army. During his military tenure Sgt. French gained valuable experience in C.Q.B., infantry tactics and explosive breaching operations.                              

Contact Glenn French.

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