At the 2009 ILEETA Conference I had the great pleasure of meeting and spending some time with a fine gentleman and exceptional speaker by the name of Stephen Gower. At the conference Stephen gave a great presentation on leadership and perception called What Do They See When They See You Coming. Recently while reading two of his books – Traveling By Detour! and Lessons Learned From the Nation’s Top Cops – I had a moment of insight that I felt I needed to share in this weeks blog.
- The effort to make a difference will not always be successful.
- The effort to make a difference can be successful, but not apparent.
- The effort to make a difference can be successful, but not at the point you intended or suspected.
- The effort to make a difference is process, not event.
Being a trainer is about making a difference in the lives of the people you train. That powerful goal is, or at least should be, our reason for being a trainer. After 20 years of training law enforcement personnel across North America the four legs of Gower’s stool certainly resonated with me.
- Sometimes we just run out of time to get people to where they need to be to meet the standards. We will not lower the standards to allow people to graduate. They can come back and go through the process again but, if they do not meet the standards then they do not graduate.
- Some people are truly not meant to be law enforcement professionsls. That does not mean there is anything wrong with them, or that they are any less of a person. It simply means that this profession is not right for them.
As a trainer you will seldom know the impact you have had on people. Occasionally you will get a call from an officer who wants to thank you because something you taught them saved their life. Occasionally you will get someone who tells you that they became a trainer because of your inspiration. Those moments are very powerful, but they are often few and far between. Generally you will never know how many lives you have impacted, and how many lives you have saved.