Speaker Notes – Ed Densmore

Leadership Johns Creek has been a part of mine and Jackie’s life since 2012. It is exciting to see the increase in the overall education which it is providing to current class members and the extensive alumni group. We have created the Leadership Johns Creek Speaker Series to create opportunities for additional personal growth, leadership training. These quarterly events will also serve as excellent networking opportunities.


Over the years I have tried to be an avid learner and note taker. Archiving them and sharing them has been a habit that I have enjoyed for years. Creating a place for them to be able to refer back has proven to be helpful in my own leadership development. I will be sharing my notes from each speaker in the series here on my personal site.


It was an honor to introduce our inaugural speaker, Johns Creek Chief of Police Ed Densmore. Below are some of the notes and thoughts from today’s message but feel free to learn more about Ed Densmore’s background on the Speaker Page Located Here or on his LinkedIn Page


Ed Densmore has spent his entire career in law enforcement but never really set becoming Chief of Police as a career goal. He claimed that he continued to just evolve into the leadership role. Over the years he has taken numerous leadership style assessments, yet believes that an effective leader must remain flexible among many different styles of leadership. One statement that stood out to me was that in his past he has worked for numerous bad leaders. Chief Densmore stated that he has probably learned the most over the years from those bad leaders.

One of the worst types of leaders is the Autocratic or Dictator style of leader. However, he did state that there are times when he is required to make the tough/hard decision and it is non-negotiable. Certainly due to the line of work I would agree, lives are at stake.


I’ve worked for the autocratic leader. They do not last! Most aren’t in the business any longer.

                                                                      – Chief of Police, Ed Densmore

One great take away for me was his points about managing to the various groups. He mentioned that he personally had three distinct groups that he managed towards. Each of these groups has different desires.

  • The Citizens, Approximately 82,000
  • The Officers within his unit, which is at 70+
  • The Mayor and City Council Members, a group of 7

He encouraged each of us to pay attention to the groups that we must influence and that you sometimes have to treat them differently.


Technology and the very nature of criminals utilizing technologies forces him to continually be looking towards the horizon. Constantly evolving and being adaptive to change has allowed him to remain in the position that he has held since 2008. The force and staff that he developed from scratch looks and feels very different today than he originally envisioned due to the ever changing circumstances that law enforcement professionals face each day.

The overarching piece of advice that he has ever received regarding leadership came from a Navy Seal. During a 1999 Continuing Educational Training Session, which seems to be frequent for the Chief, he learned something that has stuck with him ever since:

You arrive as a leader when people come to you with their personal problems. Because you have developed a level of Trust with them, don’t ever lose it.


Chief Densmore is a valuable asset as a leader in Johns Creek. His even keeled demeanor and the trust that he has obviously earned from those who serve along side of him proves his leadership is honest and earned each day. I am thankful that I had the honor of meeting him and introducing him as our inaugural speaker. I can truly say he is a guy that I would love to have as a leader and a friend.


He spoke a lot about leadership style today. There are numerous tools to measure your style as a leader. Here is one resource, Your Leadership Legacy, to utilize and assess your style. I look forward to hearing from you on Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn with your comments.


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