Tag Archives: emotional intelligence

Seven Leadership Lessons from my Ride-Along with Officer Jayce Gutzler


I am incredibly proud of each of my three kids. This story is about my eldest son Jayce. He is a police officer in the Seattle area. Along with his patrol duties, he also serves on SWAT.

I have been privileged enough to do some ride-alongs and witness up-close and in action his professionalism, excellence, and attention to detail.

Recently, I did the graveyard shift with him and took note of some of the great leadership lessons he and his unit demonstrated. It is truly an amazing thing when a father can learn from his son.

Seven leadership Lessons from my Ride-Along

1. Personal presence

Make no mistake, when then the uniform is on Jayce has a different look and presence. His posture, eye contact, and voice gain certainty and clarity. He does not try to intimidate, but he clearly is carrying himself with confidence. People follow his lead because he is sure of his decisions.

My take-away: Personal presence and confidence in my leadership is a must!

2. Get briefed and follow your checklist

I was eager to get started with the ride, but before we hit the road Jayce had to attend a squad briefing, followed by a very detailed checklist with his vehicle, equipment, weapons and computer systems in the car. I was especially grateful for his sergeant’s reminders on officer safety.

My take-away:  I have begun developing my own leadership checklist to start my days. Rather than jump into email or social media, I map my day around my desired outcomes.

3. Observation skills

Jayce has a keen ability to observe small details. I had ridden with him before so I was being extra-vigilant in an attempt to match his level of observation. I could not do it. He saw the smallest of details and sifted through them all to catch the relevant ones. He identified the car of a wanted criminal by noticing its rims matched the description provided in the briefing.

My take-away: I am intentionally slowing down and really taking notice of how people are responding to my leadership. I am also beginning to notice small details in my work than can be improved. Finally, I am taking even more time to study and learn from other excellent leaders.

4. Stop for training

In the course of his shift, half of the patrol squad stopped for a 45 minute training on accident investigations. The following day, he spent a full day training with his SWAT unit. I have noticed how they are always learning, reviewing and practicing aspects of tactics and procedures.

My take-away: I am committing to constantly searching out my own training. Everyone can grow from looking to new educators and coaches to aid in their leadership development.

5. React quickly, but do not rush

There were around seven timesJayce was called with a message to respond quickly to a situation. While he was driving fast with the lights flashing above us, he shared how is able to think through the possible scenarios of what will play out when he arrives on the scene. He spoke about being able to slow his thoughts even though his actions cause him to physically move quickly.

My take-away: Slow my emotional response even though the events around me can happen fast.  We should all be more deliberate and thoughtful; take a minute and think through how to make each scenario a success.

6. Show compassion

A trait of Jayce’s which I really admire is his strength of character. He has always been able to demonstrate and offer honest empathy and compassion. On this ride, I observed three separate times where he gave a person a break. It was his respectful tone and human compassion which shined through.

My take-away: Lead with love and compassion. It is as simple and as difficult as that.

7. Have emotional self-management

Each ride-along I witness Jayce self-manage his emotions. When dealing with heated and volatile people his poise has allowed him to defuse situations that potentially could have gotten out of control. Emotional intelligence in law enforcement is critical.

My take-away: Emotions drive behavior. My own leadership is best demonstrated when I self-manage my emotions. Stay calm for the best result.

You do not have to be an officer to be a leader; apply these lessons to your daily life and I think you will be better equipped to take charge in every situation. Thank you Jayce for some great lessons.

Ten Ways to Think, Feel and Act Like a CEO


It’s not easy to climb to the top of an organization and it’s even harder to stay on top.

I recently sat down with a group of Presidents and CEOs for a luncheon meeting. It was informal with no hard agenda. The discussion centered on leadership in shifting times. Each of the leaders had weathered significant storms these past few years. Yet, now there seemed to be a renewed sense of energy and optimism among them. They were like veteran generals hungry for a new battle and ready to take on new territory.

As I furiously scribbled notes on all the insights, strategies and business forecasts, one story stood out to me. One CEO began to describe how he had started his business in his garage and from there built himself a multi-million dollar company. His words echoed with authority as he said, “I don’t care who you are. It’s not easy to climb to the top of an organization, and it is even tougher to stay on top.”

My greatest takeaway from our meeting was observing how these CEOs think, feel and act about their business, their life and their leadership.  In order to become a powerful individual, I believe it is important to imitate those who are already on top.

I would like to share ten ways you too can think, feel, and act like a CEO.

  1. Be free to be you – The most effective CEOs are comfortable in their own skin
  2. See beyond turbulence – No one at the table was chattering about what was lost. They were all enthusiastically focused on their new vision.
  3. Be a competitor – All of the people at that table liked to win are and were not afraid of competition.
  4. Listen to good ideas – Everyone was taking notes and welcomed new best practices. They all gleaned good ideas to take home.
  5. Be a talent finder – People still matter. These leaders were constantly on the lookout for talent, networks, and were leveraging their relationships for success.
  6. Make no mistake, you have to know what you are talking about – They were knowledgeable about the economy, business trends, political impact, and financial reports.
  7. Don’t underestimate emotional intelligence – These CEOs understood how their attitude, moods, and emotions affected their company culture. They had strong self-awareness, people skills, and emotional self-management.
  8. Always be a salesman – The people at that table were all persuasive and had their own genuine style.
  9. Think big – Not too many of these leaders spoke in terms of survival. It was all about how to thrive. CEOs feed off big ideas.
  10. Be confident – I did not see timid or weak attitudes. These people exuded a confident presence.

No matter who you are, imitating the world’s most successful individuals will help. You can think, feel and act like a CEO. Let’s go get it. It’s a great day to take on new thoughts, feelings and actions! Welcome to the mind of a CEO.

Photo Credit: www.idemployee.id.tue.nl

5 Important Reasons Leaders Should Slow Down

Kid fishing

Have you ever gone fishing? With a real fisherman? They are a special breed, a lost breed. The one thing I know about fishing and fisherman is they’re never in a hurry. I suppose it is because you simply cannot fish in a hurry. There is a lot of sitting around, gazing, waiting, and (of course) plenty of fish stories from years past.

Last summer, I went fishing with my son. The whole process was excruciating. Well, everything except being with him, that is always a treat. But the fishing thing was so slow! There were no texts, Tweets, or emails out there. No incoming calls to break the silence. My phone sat alone in my Ford Expedition. Kyle and I talked every twenty minutes or so, we caught a few bass, but mostly we sat out on that lazy lake alone in our thoughts. About half way through our day I could feel myself relax. I was moving from my machine-gun pace to a more human, soul-designed pace – one that moved slowly with the soft breeze.

What Fishing with Kyle Taught Me and 5 Important Reasons Leaders Should Slow Down

  1. Slowing down connects you to a soul-based pace that sustains a leader’s life. I have witnessed in my own life and scores of leaders I have worked with, a pace that teeters on unsustainable. As a result of this desperate speed, you can lose soulful reflections and the inner course adjustments that sustain your life and work.
  2. Slowing down connects you to inner peace. I recently spoke with a spectacular leader who is facing significant challenges in his health and in his company. All the while we spoke he had a soft smile and a gracious tone. I had to pause and ask him, “How are you handling all this?” His response was simple and profound, “Steve, I used to start my days fast, now I start slow to recalibrate my heart and spirit.
  3. Slowing down connects you to your best thoughts. I always tell my coaching clients to block out an hour a week for thinking time. Next to a leader’s energy, great thoughts are their greatest asset. Those thoughts must be captured, seized and implemented. Slowing down allows you to think your best thoughts and claim them.
  4. Slowing down connects you to your heart.Both your physical and spiritual hearts need some slowness. My family and I have a little beach cabin on the Oregon Coast. There is no flat-screen TV or loud sound system. The place is a simple, small cabin with lots of good books.  There have been many summers where I arrive at that cabin in need of heart repair. It is there that I find a soft voice, “Steve, slow down, listen, and readjust.”
  5. Slowing down connects you to those you love.Who is important enough to you that you will slow down and connect with them? When I was a kid, my parents would take Sunday afternoon drives. It might seem odd, to just get in the car and drive. But now when I think about that, I think about a couple in love. The drive was about putting aside time to be together – to talk and dream of days past and days to come. Simple time to connect in love.

Can you apply these today?
How will you grant yourself permission to slow down?
As always, appreciatively,
Steve Gutzler

Time for me to go slow down.

photo credit: Homeoftraditions.com