It has long been accepted that it is hard to be a prophet in your own land. The ‘experts’ always seem to come from outside the agency and often show up preaching the same message. Organizations often tend to overlook the expertise that exists within their own ranks. This is not unique to one agency or organization. It is rampant throughout North America.
As I travel around North America speaking on the topics of Harnessing the Winning Mind and Warrior Spirit, The Pursuit of Personal Excellence and Excellence in Training I hear similar stories from officers and trainers regarding this issue. I have spoken to great trainers who are recognized as experts in their field, yet not allowed to teach for their own agencies. I have spoken to officers who have been recognized at a national level for their heroic deeds and great police work who are treated like crap by their own departments. The stories are too many to list and I will not reveal the names although some of you know who they are.
The question I always get asked is why? There are many possible answers, none of which make it any easier to accept. After hearing so many stories from so many great trainers and officers about their being ‘black listed’ by their agencies I have come to view it as a sign that we are doing something right.
I caution people to about the use of the phrase ‘my agency’. My experience is that the majority of the people in the agency appreciate the work you do and support you. There are always a few however, who feel threatened. I believe it is partly a leadership issue. The leaders Jim Collins would refer to as Level 5 Leaders celebrate the success of people within their organizations, the greatest martial arts masters celebrate the day their students are better than they are, and great trainers celebrate the day their students become better trainers than they are. Why? Because they are confident in themselves and their abilities and they know their role is to develop their people and put the spotlight on their people not to outshine them. There are others however, who lack that confidence and want the spotlight for themselves. They want everyone to say “Look at how great that leader is.” rather than “Look at all the great people in that organization.” Great organizations are lead by great leaders who celebrate all the great people they have in their organizations. If you have not read Good to Great by Jim Collins then take the time to read it. You will gain some great insights about the traits and characteristics of Level 5 Leaders.
If you are one of the many who have been blacklisted by your agency or are being treated badly by them, first make sure it is not warranted. If the treatment is legitimately due to your success my advice is you can choose to let it bring you down, or choose to allow it to lift you up.
When you ask yourself What’s Important Now? the answer will be clear. Keep seeking excellence, keep sharing your message, see your mistreatment as a sign you are on the right track and choose to allow it to lift you up.