Stacking the deck: can we better develop future homeland security leaders with formal mentoring programs?
Taylor, Todd M.
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Informal mentoring appears to be the status quo in homeland security agencies for leadership development. However, informal mentoring is flawed due to the lack of organizational input into the quantity or quality of the mentoring relationships, underrepresentation of minority groups, and generational differences. The thesis explores the research question, Is the establishment of a formal mentoring program a smart practice for homeland security agencies to develop future leaders? Case studies of the California Highway Patrol Coaching and Mentoring Program, the Lansing (Michigan) Police Department Mentor Program, and the Henrico County (Virginia) Division of Fire Acting Officer program were conducted in an effort to identify smart practices for other homeland security agencies to use when implementing a formal mentoring program. Research revealed that if properly implemented, formal mentoring programs can assist organizations with employee retention, succession planning, leadership development, closing generational gaps, and transferring organizational knowledge and skill among employees. The outcome of this thesis is a list of smart practices for formal mentoring programs. It will be up to the individual agencies to identify which smart practices fit the culture of their organization when creating a formal mentoring program, as no one size fits all model exists for a formal mentoring program.
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