The FTO Quarter Step

The FTO Quarter Step

In his latest Moment of Clarity, Chief Leadership Founder, Charles Celano, pays tribute to his late friend Del Pickney and a valuable leadership lesson he passed along. He called it “The FTO Quarter Step” and for those who don’t know FTO stands for Field Training Officer.

The FTO Quarter Step is a real life leadership action that quite literally forces a young officer to take the lead, step up, make decisions and learn on the fly. But it is also a metaphor for how we should all lead regardless of the occupation. As leaders it is our job to give our team the space necessary, to delegate and empower our people so they can step up, apply what you’ve taught them. If you never give them the opportunity and the room to grow, they never will.

Click the video to hear more for Charlie on this leadership and police training tactic. Click here for more leadership training tips or click here to learn more about our leadership training programs.

Video Transcript:
Hello everyone! Hello in the middle of my run I just need to take a break, so I figured I would you know shoot a video if i’m taking a break. I want to tell you a little story today about a lesson I learned 30 years ago from one of my training officers who became a good friend who sadly passed away back in 2018. His name is Del Pickney and he was a legend in our department and he was one of my training officers. I remember vividly when we would get out of the car and walk up to a call he’d start walking with me and then by the time I got up to the front door the house or by the time I contacted the person I looked around and he wasn’t next to me anymore he was actually you know eight or ten steps behind me. And finally I got the courage uh to ask him one day I said sir why why you always walk behind me when we walk into a call and he said Charlie that’s called The FTO Quarter Step, field training officer quarter step and he said for every step that you take I take a quarter step that way by the time you get up to the call you have to make the decisions you have to make the initial contact you have to take the initiative. And what a great lesson to learn and I carry that through the rest of my career you know all the way up through the different ranks up to the Police Chief job. And you know what I learned from that is as a leader it’s important to take that quarter step and let your people step out in front of you let them take the lead let them make mistakes sometimes let them fail sometimes it’s okay and if you take that quarter step you’ll find that your people feel empowered that they’ll feel like you trust them and that’s incredibly powerful. So as I reflect on Del and I miss him so much I’m thankful for that lesson and for so many lessons that I learned from him along the way. So I hope you get something from that as well and I hope you have a great day!

Chief Leadership
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