A few weeks ago Seth Godin (the author of my favorite blog) wrote a post called Plenty of Room on the Island. In that post he wrote:
Have you noticed that authors often happily recommend books by other authors (even though an MBA might call them competitors)?
Not only that, but books sell best in the bookstore, right next to the other books.
He went on to say:
This means that if there’s more good stuff, more people enter the market, the culture gets better, more good work is produced and enjoyed, more people enter the market, and on and on.
So encouraging and promoting the work of your fellow artists, writers, tweeters, designers, singers, painters, speakers, instigators and leaders isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s smart as well.
There is plenty of room on the ‘Island of Training’. There are lots of us teaching leadership, use of force, communication skills, ethics, and any other topic you can think of and there is plenty of room on the island for all of us. While we may all teach the same, or similar topics, we each come at it from different angles, use difference examples and have different experiences.
The more of us teaching a topic, the more pressure there is on each of us to raise our game and deliver a great product. If you are the only game in town it is easy to get complacent.
Is there overlap between all the programs? Yes. Many of us reference the same books and research. My belief is that there has not been an original idea in about 200 years. We all borrow information, concepts and ideas from other people and other sources. What is original is how you interpret the material, connect the dots for people, and make the material relevant to that audience. What’s unique is your delivery style, the manner in which you engage and challenge the participants and the takeaways you provide to the audience. What’s original is you.
Lets be very clear. I am not advocating that you take someone else’s presentation, workshop or seminar, put your name on it and call it yours. Come up with your own stories, find your own quotes and pictures, create your own slide deck and give credit to your sources for the information you use.
Each of us has a piece of the puzzle but none of us have all the pieces. Find the missing pieces and seek to serve that part of the market. In the meantime lets support each other, help each other to get better and mentor each other. The profession and the heroic men and women of law enforcement will benefit as a result.
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