Some recent correspondence I had with a trainer I highly respect was the catalyst for this post. The discussion centered around a trainer who deliberately isolated his academy by cutting out any instructors outside his unit who did not think and act like he did. This trainer has some good skills but has allowed his ego to become a roadblock to excellence in his training program. he has decided that he is the ultimate authority and no longer needs instructors from other agencies to help teach this two week instructor school. The school was historically taught by a group of highly skilled instructors (including the one in question). The group approach allowed for different experiences, inputs, strengths and talents, and instructional methods to blend into an exceptional learning experience for the participants.
This particular instructor has decided that he is somehow the ultimate authority and has cut out the rest of the instructor cadre as some of them do not agree with some of his less desirable training tactics. In fact some of the things he advocates go beyond less desirable and in my opinion are flat out wrong.
The purpose of this writing is not to go into detail about the things that need fixing with his instructional methods it is to make this point – Do you allow your ego to stand in the way of excellence? Do you allow your ego to isolate you from others who could offer valuable input into your programs? Do you shut out others who may offer insights and ideas on how your program could be improved to make it better for your officers? Do you allow your ego to potentially cost one of your officers their life?
None of us has all the answers. We all need to seek out people who are willing to look at our training program and ask us the important questions. Questions about our content and our delivery. Questions about the rationale behind drills, and the learning objectives of scenarios. It is those questions that will continue to lead to new insights and improved training. It is those questions that will lead to excellence in training and provide the best possible opportunity for our officers to go home to their families.
Albert Einstein understood this when he said, “You cannot solve the significant problems of life at the same level thinking that you were at when you created them.”
P.S. Until September 1 we are offering a discount on the tuition for the Excellence in Training Course October 19 to 22 in Mount Prospect Illinois. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.