Training and Tech - Toby Darby & Josh Wofford – Using Tactical Decision-Making Exercises to Improve Leadership
Play • 1 hr 6 min


My Guests Today are the creators of the California Association of Tactical Officers (CATO) Decision Making Exercise Program (DME), Capt. Toby Darby and Lt. Josh Wofford.  Toby is a 27-year veteran of law enforcement with 20 years spent in tactical units. Toby is a Board Member for the California Association of Tactical Officers and one of the facilitators of the CATO Strategic Leadership Program (SLP).  Lt. Josh Wofford is an 18-year veteran of law enforcement and current SWAT team leader. Josh has a Doctorate in Education from Vanderbilt University and is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. 


1:02 – Their Backgrounds 

2:35 – Origin Stories for the CATO Decision Making Exercises (DME) 

5:45 – Anatomy of a DME - How DME’s work 

8:25 – Group Structure for DMEs 

12:15 – The Science Behind DMEs 

15:05 – Using DMEs to Share and Retain Corporate/Agency Knowledge 

18:35 – Situational Learning Theory 

21:45 – Group Composition 

23:55 – Challenging Confirmation Bias in Decision Making 

26:30 – Using DMEs to Broaden Perspective 

32:10 – Understanding “The Why” in Decision Making 

35:30 – Commander’s Intent and Leadership Thinking 

37:10 – Facilitating a DME – Choosing an Event 

41:06 – Using DME to Stress Test Your Team 

44:10 – Facilitating a DME - Roles and Responsibilities 

48:44 – How DMEs Affect Culture 

51:49 – Building Trust Through DMEs 

55:16 – The Need for Critical Thinking in Organizational Leadership 

59:50 – Using Close Calls and Body Worn Camera Footage to Create Proactive DMEs 



Books Recommended  

Swans, Swine, and Swindlers: Coping with the Growing Threat of Mega-Crises and Mega-Messes, Can M Alpaslan and Ian I. Mitroff – ISBN:  9780804771375 

The Bass Handbook of Leadership: Theory, Research & Managerial Applications, Bernard M. Bass – ISBN: 7770957532 

Thinking Collaboratively: Learning in a Community of Inquiry, D. Randy Garrison – ISBN: 9781138824317 

The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right, Atul Gawande – ISBN: 9780805091748 

The Laws of Human Nature, Robert Greene – ISBN: 9780525428145 

Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman – ISBN: 9780374275631 

Legacy: 15 Lessons in Leadership, James Kerr – ISBN: 9781472103536 

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More With Less, Richard Koch – ISBN: 9780385491747 

Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation, Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger – ISBN: 9780521423748 

Adult Learning: Linking Theory and Practice, Sharan B. Merriam and Laura L. Bierema – ISBN: 9781118416310 

Six Simple Rules: How To Manage Complexity Without Getting Complicated, Yves Morieux and Peter Tollman – ISBN: 9781422190555 

An Introduction to Theories of Learning, Matthew H. Olson and B.R. Hergenhahn – ISBN: 9780131147225 

Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth At A Time, Jeffrey Pfeffer – ISBN: 9780062383167 

Managing the Unexpected: Sustained Performance In A Complex World, Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe – ISBN: 9780787996499 


Contact Info 

Capt. Toby Darby 

Lt. Josh Wofford 

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