Last year two of the great books I read were: Legacy: What the All Blacks Can Teach Us About the Business of Life and Worth Dying For: A Navy Seal’s Call to a Nation.
Legacy is about the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team. The All Blacks are one of the greatest teams in the history of sport and legendary in the rugby world. The book is about rebuilding the All Blacks team, culture and legacy after they experienced a slide from the greatness that had always been their standard. One of the lessons they talk about repeatedly is ‘The Legacy of the Jersey’ and the challenge to every player to “Leave the jersey in a better place.”
Leave the jersey in a better place is a reminder that you are part of something bigger than yourself. It is a challenge to honour those who have gone before you, those who serve as your teammates and those who will follow after you. To remember who and what you represent when you wear that jersey.
Worth Dying For is written by Navy SEAL Commander Rorke Denver. In the book he reflects on his experience in combat, in training and in life to answer questions about what makes a hero or a leader, why men kill, how best to serve your country, how battlefield experiences can elevate us, and most importantly, why we fight and what it does for and to us.
Denver talks about the challenge to all SEAL’s to “Earn the Trident every day.” The Trident is the Special Warfare insignia, the symbol of the Navy SEALs and few members of the US Navy will ever earn the right to wear the Trident. The work and commitment however, does not stop once you successfully complete BUD/S and SEAL Qualification Training. The SEALs have a proud and honourable tradition and when you wear that Trident you represent all those who have gone before you, all those currently serving in the SEAL teams and all those who have yet to wear the Trident. You represent all those who have died in service while wearing that Trident. As a SEAL you are part of something bigger than yourself and you must earn that every day.
While the “Trainer Polo” does not have the same mystique and prestige as the All Blacks jersey or the SEAL Trident, it is no less important. As a trainer you are part of something bigger than yourself. You are entrusted with the training, the careers and the lives of the men and women who have chosen to serve as law enforcement professionals and who you have the honour and the privilege to serve and train. What you teach them may save their life or the life of someone else. What you teach them may save their career. What you teach them, they will pass on to others through their words and their actions. You are a role model and a mentor.
You have a responsibilty to leave your training, your unit, your officers, your agency and the profession – the Jersey – in a better place. In order to fulfill that responsibility you need to make a commitment to always be better tomorrow than you are today. Fulfilling that commitment means you must continue to learn, to question, to grow, to read, to listen, to train and to commit to the pursuit of excellence personally and professionally.
The Excellence in Training Academy was created to help you on that journey. Take time today to go to www.excellenceintrainingacademy.com, watch the free webinar, listen to the featured interview then use the code eitmonthfree to join and get the first month’s membership free. In addition to exclusive access to ongoing professional development training any time from your computer, tablet or smartphone you get access to a variety of great member benefits.
Wear your’ Trainer Polo’ and your uniform proudly. Be proud of your service and commit to leave the jersey in a better place.
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