“If we live in a culture of mediocrity, there is a real risk we will ease back to our lowest performance. Only a small percentage of us are strong enough to sustain excellent performance in an environment of mediocrity.”
Erie Chapman, nationally renowned hospital/healthcare executive
So here is the question of the week. Where are you at in your training? Have you created a culture of excellence, or have you been lulled by complacency and eased back into mediocrity?
Are you doing what you have always done because it is the easiest thing to do? Researching new material, exploring new ideas, rewriting lessons plans is hard work. The payoff however is well worth the effort. The payoff is excellence in your programs and excellent performance in your officers. Excellence for them may be the difference between winning and losing a fight for their life on the street or in the courtroom.
Change often brings resistance so you have to be prepared to fight the good fight. There is not always going to be a fight but if there is go well armed. Armed with research, references and the knowledge that you are doing the right thing,for the right reasons. Fight for what is right. Fight for excellence.
It is easy to fall into the trap and to blame the economy, the department, the Chief or Sheriff, the budget cuts, the attitude of your officers, the citizens, the police commission, the city council, the media and every other possible person or group who may have some measure of influence in your life. If you have, and we all do at times, then take a minute and feel bad…………Ok time is up.
Life is about choices. Excellence is a choice. Mediocrity is a choice. Which do you choose?
Accept that those that choose excellence will often become a target for those who are comfortable with mediocrity. When that happens rejoice in being a target. If you stay the course, others will join you in the pursuit of excellence and over time excellence will become the norm mediocrity will be unacceptable.
The key here is to focus on what you control. You do not control the economy, the Chief, the city council, the citizens or the media. You control yourself and how you respond to things that happen in the environment.
Remember we are seeking excellence and not perfection. That means it is ok to make mistakes. It is ok to fail. It is ok as long as we learn and grow from those experiences. If you model the pursuit of excellence then your officers will often follow your lead and you can create a legacy of excellence within your agency.