Leadership –What has worked and what has not.

Throughout his career he has had a commitment to Leadership Training for the development of his staff

Previous Event: 15th August 2013

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Leadership –What has worked and what has not.

Appointed Commander at Harbourside LAC in 2011

Allan Sicard
Police Superintendent, Harbourside LAC

Alan Sicard has been a policeman for 32 years. His career has included 14 years as a detective (a job he loved), working in professional standards, and working in both metropolitan and regional NSW (including superintendent at Moree). He is now Superintendent at Harbourside Local Area Command commencing two and a half years ago.

Throughout his career Alan has had a commitment to Leadership Training for the development of his staff. He has run leadership courses for personnel and applied the set of principles he teaches to all aspects of his work.

Reputation – taking a life time to build yet a moment to lose, reputation should be nurtured and guarded carefully as a bad reputation can spread to and affect others. On the other hand, a good reputation can also pull a team together and be a focus for strength and team work. Alan spoke about the ‘Mosman collar bomber’ case and told the stories of several key police officers in that unfolding drama: the negotiator had ten years of experience and had a reputation which allowed the rest of the team to rely upon him in the stressful situation; the dog handlers retrained their dogs to detect a bomb on a person; officer Karen Lowden (nominated for an Australian bravery award) acted professionally and selflessly to support the victim throughout the incident and fuelled the good reputation of women in the police force. Alan encourages all his team to do their best.

One-team approach – Alan is known for drilling in a common message and a united approach for his team and reinforcing it at any opportunity: Respect, Support, and Fairness. These attributes are expected to be the basis of all actions taken by the police under his command. Harbourside LAC is currently focussing on three issues: alcohol related crime, road trauma (including cutting mobile phone use) and customer service. These three principles are applied to all activities relating to dealing with these issues. Respect = to colleagues / team, public. Support = to the team, to members of the public who are victims or need assistance. Fairness = to all.

Clear Goals – Harbourside’s main goal is to drive crime down and the figures are reflective of results in this area. For example, alcohol fuelled incidents in North Sydney have been drastically reduced by police presence and interaction with licensees. Alan applies goals in all areas of his life: work, family, fitness, wealth, spiritual, education. Goals keep you going, striving to do your best and maintaining momentum.

Resilience – Leaders know that when things go wrong, the team will look to you for guidance, direction and leadership. Leaders must be ready to be in charge and make decisions that meet all other principles as mentioned above.  Leaders will analyse why things went wrong and will ask the searching question: ‘What did I do wrong’. Leaders must be honest and own up to their own shortcomings in order to learn from the experience. Leadership can be lonely and Alan encourages us to support our leaders when they make hard decisions. Leaders should be mentors but should also seek their own mentor.

Relationships – Leaders must know their people and just as importantly let them know you. Leaders must support their teams and provide training to allow them to develop. Leaders should identify others who can help their people to achieve not only the organisation’s goals but also each team member’s personal goals for their work within the organisation.


Notes by Sarah Gillis