“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”
When I read this quote it caused me to stop and think. I had to ask myself, “As a trainer what is it that I could create that will live forever?” As first it seemed at odds with the philosophies of Excellence in Training, that as a trainer you need to be continually tweaking, fine tuning and improving the content and deliver of the material. In my workshops, seminars and writings I advocate that you need to be continually reading, listening, asking questions of yourself and others, learning, and growing. While the general content of my Heroes Path to Excellence in Law Enforcement seminar, my Dare to Be Great leadership workshop and my Excellence in Training workshops and course remains consistent, I am continually working to fine tune and enhance them.
So what then, can I as a trainer, teacher and coach create that will “live forever”?
As I reflected on this question I came to the realization that the answer is not about content. It is not a lesson plan, blog post, article or PowerPoint presentation. None of those will live forever, nor should they.
What I can create is a philosophy, principle or concept that others can embrace, embody, build on, share, improve on and develop to fit their mission, their strengths and talents, their training, and their life. A philosophy that will stand the test of time as it is something that is never fixed or stagnant.
That is why I describe Excellence in Training as a philosophy. It has guiding questions and guiding principles, but it is a philosophy that is continually evolving, growing and changing. I learn from every class I teach, every book I read and every course I attend. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.
I started the Excellence in Training Academy to help provide weekly growth and learning opportunities for trainers. The value to me is that I get to continually interview people who are smarter than me and I get to learn, grow and challenge my own thoughts, beliefs and assumptions.
What’s Important Now? is a philosophy. I borrowed it from Coach Lou Holtz and talk about it in relation to law enforcement, to leadership, to personal accountability, to personal and professional growth and to training. People who hear the message take it and find new ways to apply it in their personal and professional lives allowing it to live on in ways I never imagined.
What you create that will live forever is not a set of skills, tactics, or facts. Those will likely be replaced with newer and more relevant skills, tactics and facts.
What you create that will live forever are guiding principles and philosophies which can morph, grow, adapt and be resilient over time.
What you create that will live forever is a way of thinking. a love of learning, a love for questioning and a commitment to always be better tomorrow than you are today. What you create is a desire in others to share, teach, coach and mentor as a way to continually pay it forward.
Over time your name will no longer be associated with those philosophies and guiding principles, and that is ok. After all, it is not about you.
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