Excellence Is Not An Accident

If you look at successful people in any occupation you will see one common thread. Excellence is not an accident. If it were easy, everyone would attain it. Many who have reached a pinnacle may not remember every step made along the way; most will tell you that they love what they do, but all will say it took hard work.

So, what goes into excellence?

Passion: You have to have passion for what you do. You may never make any money doing what you are passionate about, but it’s not about money, it’s about your own fulfillment. Without passion you will not be able to truly give it your all. You may be committed but passion reaches down into the marrow of the bone. You alone are responsible for your inspiration and fulfilling your asperations.

Skills and ability: Whether you are a writer, actor, painter, mechanic, or simply the best parent in the history of parenting, you have to have skills. Some are inherently gifted and come easily. Other skills have to be worked at. Excellence means you make the most out of the gifts you were given and then your work your tail off to improve. To achieve excellence, you must strive to be your best. It’s an individual choice; you alone determine when to stop.

Curiosity: You must be curious to achieve excellence Curiosity leads to new discoveries, creating something new, or improving on something that already exist. Excellence means to challenge the status quo. It means to ask questions, to push the bounds and ask a simple question: “Is this it?” Then one provides the answer to the question, “No!” Now, let’s see how far we can take it.

A plan: A plan: You need to have a map for achieving your goals. You could not become a doctor without first excelling in an undergraduate school and then at a medical school. Some serendipity may factor into your excellence as you go along, however it cannot be a factor in your plan. Your passion may be so evident to people you know that they themselves assist or they can introduce you to people that can assist your attaining your goals, but that is not something that can be planned. Only you can map out and follow your plan, overcoming obstacles as they arise.

Don’t cave in to others’ opinions: If everyone stopped at the first sign of criticism, then we would still be living in caves, “Don’t go out into the wild it is dangerous.” There will always be people who try and hold others back. They say, “You’re are foolish, or wrong” in order to hold you back. Frequently, the people criticizing you are the people trying to hold you back. Their criticism is caused by their own internal faults, weakness and fears, and not you. There are times when constructive criticism is warranted and should be heeded. Constructive criticism should simply be another vehicle for you to challenge yourself. To look critically at what you are doing, make improvements, and boldly charge forward. You are your own keeper of talent. Excellence is in you not in the others who pass judgments.

Guardian mentality – We are in this together.

Police Community Relations

The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing-Final Report recommended Moving from the Warrior to Guardian mentality in police. Many law enforcement officers around the country have voiced the opinion that the “Guardian” mentality is some sort of slap to their efforts to protect their communities. In truth, it is just the opposite. Before officers used patrol cars, and Community Policing was the norm, officers walked the streets and neighborhoods. The walking beat officers knew everyone, the neighbors, children, criminals, the ones who were doing well, and those who were struggling. Everyone worked together to protect the communities. The officers were in tune with the community; the Guardians.

In the 1940’s and 1950’s communities began placing officers in patrol cars, and so the slow end of the Guardian relationship began. Placing officers into cars had an economic impact; officers in cars can cover more area. Therefore, you didn’t need as many officers. Unfortunately, the positive economic impact resulted in decreasing community connectedness. Officers drove past neighborhoods rather than getting out of their cars to meet the residents. Slowly, officer’s mentality became less Guardians working with the communities and more Warrior like with the officers forming a tribe within their shifts. The mentality became our tribe versus everyone else. Likewise, communities who no longer knew their officers began to distrust the police

To stop the tide, Community Policing efforts were begun to reconnect officers to the communities they serve. Much of the success in reconnecting officers back into their communities resulted from the Community Policing efforts. However, simply having a Community Policing program is not a panacea. It takes time, effort, and must be tailored to each community. Moving away from the Warrior mentality will also take time. Officers will still be in cars, and constantly running calls for service. High call volumes create fewer opportunities for the officers to make the connections necessary to build community relationships. Officers may feel guilty when they walk and areas knowing their brothers are out running calls. However, the impact of walking officers is significant. Research indicates that walking officers have a positive impact on the fear of crime. Walking officers get to know the residents and who is committing crimes, and therefore make the communities safer.

The Guardian mentality should be looked to not as a slap to the officer’s hard work, but as an opportunity go get back to the roots of policing. Back to the days when officers work made an impact not by arrests but connectedness and mutual responsibility for the community.


Picture from: http://www.columbiatribune.com