Elements of Leadership

Thomaston Police Chief Tim Hoppe on leadership: ‘Stay honest, be humble’

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 7:00pm

The Penobscot Bay Pilot’s series, “Elements of Leadership,” features leaders in local communities who reflect on the motivations and challenges faced by those in leadership roles.

For the fourth installment of the series, Thomaston Chief of Police Tim Hoppe responded to six questions, in his own voice.


What do you wish you knew about leadership in high school and college?

What I wish I had known at the time is that the biggest lesson is commitment. If you stay committed to whatever you believe in, it will happen. 


‘We all seem to think success involves monitory value but it really doesn’t. It’s about how you live your life.’

What are the keys to developing the next generation of leaders?

When young people ask questions, I believe that a leader in any capacity should take the time to provide them the information needed, sparking interest for them. I can remember asking questions about different careers and being shut down as young person trying to find my way. My philosophy is that I'm replaceable and my function is to train the next generation to take my spot. Let them move on with new ideas.


What steps can the next generation of leaders take to put them on the right path to leadership?

Leadership is relatively simple in my mind: People want to be shown success.  Success can be many things. We all seem to think it involves monitory value but it really doesn’t. It’s about how you live your life. When you do things without looking for acknowledgement or compensation; being part of your community, and keeping a positive attitude no matter what your dealing with. 

But what I have found most beneficial in life is to just listen. We interact with people every day who have something to pass on, if we just listen.


How important is networking for successful leaders? How can the next generation of leaders best network right now?

Networking is one of the biggest keys to success in life. People need people. One thing that I feel has been lost in more recent years is face-to-face communication, building trust. Technology is great but it takes away the personal connection. GET OUT AND MEET PEOPLE.


As a leader, how do you ensure your vision becomes reality?

As a leader you can never ask anyone to do things you're not willing to do yourself and people in your group need to know you have their best interest in mind, no matter what the career or organization is. 


What’s the best advice that has been given to you?

The best advice I've been given is stay honest, be humble and every day you wake up to is a good day. 

Reach George Harvey at sports@penbaypilot.com