Leadership: Texas Hold 'em Style

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Using poker as analogy for leadership, Captain Andrew Harvey, CPD (ret.), Ed.D. and Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA found the right mix of practical experience and academic credentials to write a definitive book for leaders. Working together, Harvey and Foster have written Leadership: Texas Hold em Style. Most often leaders find they are given a set of resources people, equipment, funds, experience and a mission. As Foster noted, "You're dealt a certain hand. How you play that hand as a leader determines your success."

  • More than a book: A fun and entertaining journey through leadership that includes an interactive website to supplement knowledge gained from the book.
  • Proven and Tested: Not an academic approach to leadership, but rather a road-tested guide that has been developed through 50-years of author experience.
  • High Impact: Through the use of perspective, reflection, and knowledge, provides information that turns leadership potential into leadership practice.
  • Ease of Application: Theory is reinforced with real-life experience, which results in accessible and practical tools leaders can put to use immediately.
  • High Road Approach: Personal character and ethical beliefs are woven into each leadership approach, so leaders do the right thing for the right reasons.
  • Uses Game of Poker:  Rather than a dry approach that is all fact and no flavor, the game of poker is used as a lens through which to view leadership concepts.

Delivering Value for Leaders

Editor’s Note: Richard Botkin is a former USMC Major.

By Richard Botkin

March 24, 2010 - Andrew Harvey and Raymond Foster have crafted an exceptionally outstanding learning resource--it is far more than a 'book' if the reader accesses all that is available through their generous and dynamic leadership website--for leaders of every experience level. "Leadership Texas Hold'em Style" is a great read for the young leader starting out with its wealth of ideas and thought-provoking real-world situations. For the very same reason the book has as much or more significance for seasoned folks in positions of responsibility who simply need to continue to improve their level of expertise and excellence.

Read more about Delivering Value for Leaders

Anderson School of Management Adopts Leadership Book

August 28, 2008 (Alburquerque, NM) David Schmidly became the 20th president of the University of New Mexico in 2007. It is his third university presidency. When Schmidly came to the campus to meet with students he told them he planned to teach as part of his duties. He is an internationally respected researcher who has written 9 natural history and conservation books about mammals and more than 200 scientific articles. This fall Schimidly is teaching a seminar course on leadership at the Anderson School of Management.


There are 53 students enrolled in the course, which will use as a text Leadership: Texas Hold ‘Em Style by Dr. Andrew J. Harvey and Raymond E. Foster. In this lecture, Schmidly talks about how he became a leader.



Read an excerpt

Leadership Book is Hoffer Award Finalist


April 12, 2008 (San Dimas, CA)  Leadership: Texas Hold ‘em Style was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award. According to the Executive Editor of Writers Notes & Best New Writing, Christopher Klim, “While it did not win a category distinction this year, it fell within the top 10% of entrants to be considered for prizes. With respect to the competition, we consider this an honor of its own merit. Less than 50 books each year are dubbed with the title of “Eric Hoffer Award Finalist.”



Building an Organzitional Foundation for the Future

Andrew J. Harvey, Ed.D.


The modern world has become a place of constant change and transformation. In this environment, success depends on how well organizations recognize and adapt to change. Management theorist Tom Peters put it very well when he said that the most successful organizations in the future will be the ones that "thrive on chaos."(1) Those that cannot identify and act on emerging issues are doomed to, at least, inefficiency and ineffectiveness and, at most, disaster and possibly even destruction.


What does this trend mean to law enforcement? With its traditional, paramilitary structure, law enforcement has proven slow to adapt to change. While traditional methods have brought success in the past, relying on these techniques in the future may be dangerous.


To achieve success in the next century, law enforcement agencies must recognize and welcome emerging trends. Part of this means changing the way they operate, from their organizational structures to their management of human resources.


This article discusses the strategies that law enforcement agencies need to implement in order to build an organizational foundation for the future.



Leadership Issues: Managing Change

By Rick Michelson


Changes in Latitudes, changes in Attitudes


             Perhaps Jimmy Buffet had it right; ones attitudes will change with ones perspective. Leadership in public safety agencies, particularly police agencies, is at a critical crossroads.  Early retirement incentives have enticed experienced personnel to leave their departments in mass numbers, creating a shortage of experienced supervisors.   In addition, there has been a graying of the department with the majority of the existing leaders in the Baby Boomer generation (those born between 1943 and 1960) all reaching retirement age at or about the same time.  A third contributing factor in the leadership crisis is budgetary constraints as a result of less government funding and under-funded pensions, resulting in fewer dollars for training.  The exodus of experienced supervisors has created a unique challenge for law enforcement agencies to fill openings quickly, while continuing to manage the daily operations (both administrative and tactical).  Unfortunately, little has been done to develop the next generational pool of candidates in terms of succession management or career development; many agencies have taken a laissez-faire approach to this growing crisis in public safety.  Without effective oversight from supervisors, police agencies leave themselves vulnerable to liability and lawsuits.



What Every Business Leader Should Know about Homeland Security

Leadership in your home, work or some community activity includes preparing your followers for difficult times and situations.  Having ready access to critical information can make the difference between your organization’s success or failure.  A tool to assist leaders in self, organization and follower preparedness has been developed as a web-based primer.


Visit the Web-based Primer.

Jump Start Your Leadership

by Raymond E. Foster


             It’s your first day in your assignment.  Perhaps you are a newly appointed leader, or you have been transferred into a new assignment.  How do you establish leadership?  How do you get things moving in the right direction?  You have the positional authority, the stripes or bars or whatever symbol of leadership. The position is only one type of leadership power and for the most part the weakest.

            As you study your craft, leadership, you will find that there are several types of leader power.  Many people have a difficult time with the word “power;” It can carry negative connotations.  Recall our first article and think of our definition of leadership – “The art of influencing human behavior toward organizational goals.”  In the leader realm, power is the amount and type of influence the leader possesses.  First, let’s define four of the power bases you can work from as a new leader and then we will explore how to combine them into a plan to “jump start” your leadership.



Morale: Whose Job is it Anyways?

By Raymond E. Foster


           Karl Von Clausewitz, a Prussian military general and military theorist, identified morale as a fundamental military principle.  Since Clausewitz published “On War” morale has developed into a concept seen as critical to organizations, including law enforcement.  Unfortunately, morale is difficult to define and in many circles has become somewhat synonymous with motivation.  In this article we will look at a very different definition of morale, its potential effects and how the first line supervisor can affect it.

            Often times, people consider morale the same as motivation.  But, morale is not about motivation.  If it were, negative discipline could improve morale. There are times negative discipline is used to improve performance.  Negative consequences can be a powerful tool in shaping behavior.  So, if morale were about behavior or performance, negative discipline might be a tool for improving morale.

            That is not to say that improved morale does not improve performance; it does.  The point is that there is a clear separation between morale and motivation.  High morale can be very motivating.  High motivation can improve performance.  There is a linkage between morale and motivation but they are not he same.



Defining Leadership

by Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA 


          This series of articles is about small unit leadership.  Not leadership in a wider organization sense, but leadership down in the weeds.  We will be looking at the kind of leadership necessary for employees involved in highly complex problem-solving tasks (tactical situations to interpersonal communication skills).  The primary focus is for those leaders practicing their trade with street cops, small vice or narcotic units, or tactical teams. 

         Our first step will be to work out a definition of leadership.  As we progress through this series of articles we will explore how leadership skills can be gained, honed and applied.

         Nearly every promotional interview panel asks some type of leadership questions.  Indeed, they often simply ask the interviewee to define leadership.  Ask someone.  They will probably work backwards and use the words lead and leader to define leadership.  But, a working definition of the word is critical before we can apply the concepts to small units.



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