Fishing for Leaders

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07 July 2010

The second of the four 2010 CEPOL TOPSPOC VIII modules took place in Tallinn, Estonia from 31 May – 4 June 2010. “Future of policing in Europe, an area of freedom, security and justice serving the citizens” was the theme of the module that reunited the 29 participants from 20 Member States.

After a welcome speech from Priit Männik, Rector of the Estonian Public Service Academy, Piet De Brouwer, course coach from the Belgian National School for Senior Officers, divided the participants into five working groups and assigned theoretical, as well as hands-on exercises aimed at strengthening team building, one of the course’s prime objectives.

This module saw Lenno Reimand, Head of the Criminal Intelligence Bureau for the Estonian Criminal Police, give a keynote presentation about the sustainability of centralising cross-border and international police cooperation in the European Union. Klaus Rösler, Director of the Operations Department at Frontex, introduced the EU agency’s mandate.

One very original hands-on exercise used during the course was “Lead or Starve” which saw all participants involved in simulating living conditions in local villages hundreds of years ago. Each group member was given a role such as village leader, spiritual leader, fisherman, hunter or house keeper. The task was to provide for the village without the use of modern commodities such as supermarkets, credit card or cars. Luckily, through team work and good leadership skills each group managed to catch fish in a river and “survive” the day’s exercise.

Among many things, this exercise lead participants to discuss Peeter Druker’s definition of a manager:

“A manager sets objectives, organises, motivates, communicates, measures and develops people. Every manager does these things – knowingly or not. A manager may do them well or may do them wretchedly but always does them.”

On the module’s last day Gerhard Haberler, course manager for the third module, gave a short presentation about the aims and objectives to be reached in Vienna, Austria during the TOPSPOC’s third module which takes place on 20-24 September 2010.


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