We hear a lot of talk about ‘elite units’ in law enforcement and the military. Elite units are cool. Elite units have cool stuff.
Elite units are not elite however because they have cool stuff.
Elite units are difficult to get into because of their high standards and rigorous selection processes.
Elite units are elite because of selection and their commitment to training (both initial training and ongoing training). The frequency and intensity of training allows members of elite units to master the basics, overcome obstacles and challenges and solve problems.
Yes elite units have cool stuff, but having cool stuff does not make you elite.
So what is the point of all this?
If commitment to excellence in training and mastery of the basics is what makes elite units elite, why are are so many law enforcement professionals infatuated with gadgets and cool stuff, and so few infatuated with training? Why do we not have the same commitment to training as we do with making sure we have the latest stuff? Why are we so gadget focused instead of being training focused? If you take away all the cool stuff from elite units, they would still be elite. They would find a way to improvise, adapt and overcome. Their training would kick in and they would still prevail.
Here are some challenges to you as a trainer:
- Study sales. Find out what equipment suppliers are doing to create the ‘cool’ factor with their products.
- Repackage and rebrand your training. Find a way to make training cool. Find ways to make training fun. Find ways to sell training to your officers.
- Understand you cannot just slap a cool, fancy new name on old training and think you can trick people. You must have a quality product that engages officers and teaches them useful skills and tactics.
- Make training challenging and rewarding. People like to be challenged, but they also like to be rewarded when they put in a good effort and show improvement.
- Be creative. Be imaginative. Be passionate. Be committed to the long run.
It is time to make training ‘cool’.