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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Legacy of Excellence Conference in Calgary Canada

A couple of weeks ago Chip and I had the privilege of presenting our “Foundations” material at the Legacy of Excellence Conference in Calgary Canada. Brian Willis of Winning Mind Training, hosted and managed the conference extremely well and provided top-notch training. I could tell that the conference is truly a labor of love for Brian and his family!

One of the presenters was kind enough to provide in-depth feedback regarding “Foundations.” A couple of his comments had me thinking deeply for a couple of days before I responded. His concern arose after talking to a couple of younger officers over breakfast the day after our presentation. One concern regarded a need to provide the base motivation for participants, namely “What’s in it for me” WIIFM. The second concern surrounded the fact that Chip and his experience as an S.W.A.T. team leader presented him as practically superhuman and therefore irrelevant to the average officer. Below is a paraphrase of my response, which I thought was worth posting on the blog.

Without a doubt, WIIFM – has been a long standing lever, for our western culture generally and L.E. specifically. WIIFM is a holdover from carrot and stick management practices that are Newtonian in concept and output. (You only get out of something – an amount equivalent to what you are able to put into it). Current research proves this to be true (Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us – Daniel Pink, Predictably Irrational – Daniel Ariely, Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior – Ori and Rom Brafman) all support the same idea. If you appeal to the selfish / pleasure centers of the human brain, you shut down the altruistic center. The altruistic center is where Chip and I want to appeal and work! That is where our profession desperately needs to be. We are calling for a “Revolutionarily Traditional way of being police in the 21st century.” Revolutionary - because we call for a break from the current ME – ME - ME cultural mindset we live under. Traditional - in that we appeal to time-honored concepts of self-sacrificing service for a noble cause, much more inspiring and greater than our own myopic self absorbed, self-glutting motivations. We are pursuing quantum, synergistic, viral, rapid, deep change and outcomes. We can only get there by appealing to the altruistic centers of the brain and heart. If the officers you talked to did not see WIIFM, Chip and I did indeed fail them and for that I am truly sorry, not because we did not cover WIIFM, but because we left them thinking that way!

Please see these blog posts for more thoughts on this: -

As far as Chip not being, a “mere mortal” remember his stories of being a “recovering coward” and an “abject failure as a father”. What others are seeing is the natural outcomes of the quadrants – decisiveness with humility and empathy = synergy (discovering and unlocking the power of existing structure and order to accomplish critical mission – as opposed to always trying to control and subdue the differences and variances we encounter). To the casual observer, this appears superhuman. In reality, the outcomes are merely the exponential results that spontaneously erupt when unconditional respect for others releases their efforts and potential around the mission.

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