IPSLEI was developed to bring the concepts of leadership and ethics to the forefront of an individual’s career, rather than waiting until a person is promoted into a supervisory position. This program is based on the belief that one need not be a supervisor or manager to understand leadership principles and contribute to the leadership process. A cornerstone of the program is that effective leadership skills and influences are needed at all levels of the organization.
IPSLEI is focused on an established Vision, and supported by the Mission Statement and a Statement of Values and Beliefs. The flag ship program consists of four courses designed to lead the student on a learning journey about exercising leadership. Each course is 40 hours of facilitated learning and an 8 hour practicum.
Course 1: Developing a Personal Philosophy of Leadership and Ethics
Course 2: Leading Others Ethically
Course 3: Ethical Leadership in Organizations
Course 4: Ethics and the Challenge of Leadership
This program utilizes Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society’s Leadership Development Studies: A Humanities Approach as a foundational component to the learning process. Through a variety of learning methodologies such as written case studies, video case analysis, and interactive learning processes, the student will not only study leadership, but will experience leadership within a nurturing, learning environment.
Ideally, this course will be presented to an integrated group of students from public safety professions. A focus of this program is to provide public safety members with a greater understanding and appreciation of the mutual concerns and issues, which exist within public safety leadership. Further, it is the goal of this program for each student to exercise effective leadership in all aspects of life.
The IPSLEI approach is applicable in a range of cultural and structural settings. The application is well placed to embrace and encourage a diverse range of cultural and ethnic stakeholders in an empowering, empathetic and learning orientated environment, an essential ingredient for any organization to thrive in a multicultural society
Facilitated Learning Concepts
As previously stated this program is intended to be an interactive learning process. To assist in this process the curriculum has been specifically designed with a minimal number of PowerPoint slides. Experience has indicated the use of extensive PowerPoint detracts from the interactive learning process and allows for a more lecture based presentation. This curriculum utilizes a significant number of activities that promote dialogue and development of relationships between the students to each other and the facilitator. A key point of the program is following the simple learning process of -
Do – Reflect - Learn
Utilizing this process encourages the individual student to take action, to reflect on that action, and through the reflection process the student will learn from their actions. For the facilitator, the difficult part is often in allowing the students to learn through their specific activities and not interfere with the activities in progress unless needed. The facilitator serves the student as an observer to the activities and guide in the reflection process.
A key component of facilitated learning is in the debriefing that occurs following every activity including readings, games, and videos. In the debriefing it is the facilitators’ responsibility to encourage open and honest dialogue to ensure that all students are included. Debriefing processes are enhanced when prior to and during the activities the students follow a basic four step learning process. This four step process has been adapted from the original work of Dr. Sivasailiam Thiagrajan, Ph.D.
Step 1 Observation:
Note factual (objective) behaviors, actions, and outcomes of the activity/event.
Step 2 Interpretation:
Based on your factual observation, what meaning (interpretation) can you assign to your observations.
Step 3 Correlation:
Using your results from steps 1 and 2, make any correlations to previous experiences, observations, incidents, etc.
What is similar, what is not?
Step 4 Action:
Based on your interpretations and correlation, what actions would you take to influence the observed or similar situation now and in the future?
Critical Thinking Development:
A significant part of the IPSLEI program is the development of critical thinking processes related to leadership concepts, practices, and self-awareness. In addition to the four step process, facilitators utilize a method of inquiry to further assist the students in developing critical thinking skills. The simplest way to accomplish this is to simply ask the question “Why?” This simple question causes the student to think as to why they responded in the manner that they did or why they see a particular situation the way they see it, etc.
Public Safety Academy – Exploring Personal Leadership and Ethics
Exploring Personal Leadership and Ethics is a 40 hour course designed by the International Public Safety Leadership and Ethics Institute to specifically support the development of personal leadership and ethics at the very beginning of a person’s career in serving the public safety. The opportunity to exercise leadership is just as present everyday in an academy environment as it is in all elements of life.
Exploring Personal Leadership and Ethics should be presented at the beginning of a public safety academy, which allows the concepts and tools for exercising personal leadership and ethics to be applied for the duration of the academy and beyond. It is hoped that persons taking this course will continue to purse personal ethical leadership development by completing the entire IPSLEI program as they continue in their career.
Exploring Personal Leadership and Ethics is designed as a 40-hour course with an optional 8-hour practicum. While it closely follows the design of IPSLEI’s traditional Course One (Developing a Personal Philosophy of Leadership & Ethics), this new course specifically allows for recruits to explore the ethical leadership challenges that most certainly face in the academy setting and within the early time following the academy.
Given the exceptional cost associated with recruitment, testing, and conduct of recruit academies, organizations can ill afford to not start off a recruits career with a focus on the invaluable lessons associated with developing an understanding of self-leadership and the exercise of ethical decision-making. Exploring Personal Leadership and Ethics assist the recruit as an individual, as a member of the academy, and as a new member to their organization, to recognize and reflect upon their personal and organization values, their responsibility to act in accordance with those values, and to hold themselves accountable to the highest traditions of person serving the public safety.
Exploring Personal Leadership and Ethics is currently being used in the recruit academies of:
Los Angeles Fire Department
Sacramento Fire Department
California State University-Sacramento – Paramedic Academy
Eastside Fire and Rescue, WA