April 28, 2020

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How to Make Excellence the Norm and Not the Deviation

Gordon Graham
Category: Public Safety

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And today’s tip is not a tip, it’s a book recommendation.

Taking care of our great public during these trying times is the role of the first responder. You’re out there, doing these great things.

Now, there are a lot of authors out there and a lot of great books on my recommended reading list. My favorite writer these days is Dr. Tony Kern, he’s a B1 pilot by trade, now retired, picked up his doctorate on the side, and I’ve known him for 20 plus years. Probably the smartest person I know, I’m going to be honest with you. He’s got a great book out called Going Pro: The Deliberate Practice of Professionalism, the byline: Making Excellence the Norm and Not the Deviation.

Now I’m hoping you can get his book, I don’t get one nickel for telling you this, that would be unethical, but read his book and if you can’t, I want to give you, with his permission, the six-step approach that he lays out of this book on how to make excellence and not the deviation.

Step 1: Vocational Excellence: We talked about this in our last two tips, getting good at what you do, preventing things from going wrong, better assuring things go right, particularly on those core critical tasks.

Item #2: Professional ethics: Everything we do, everything you do, has got to be done at the highest levels of ethics and integrity.

Item #3: An attitude of, a commitment to continuous improvement: getting better and better and better at what we do. Our public deserves better than minimum standards. Our personnel, our respected professions deserve better than minimum standards. Anything you can quantify, anything you can measure, we’ve got to be constantly looking for the next best way.

Item #4: Professional engagement: Know what’s going on in your respective profession. FireRescue1.com, PoliceOne.com – these are excellent websites of the Lexipol family. Take a look at them, know what’s going on in your respective profession.

Item #5: A professional image: act like, look like, the professional you are.

And finally, Item #6:  Selflessness: It’s not about you, it’s not about your department, right now it’s about the United States of America, taking care of our great public during these trying times.

And that is the role of the first responder, you’re out there, the tip of the spear, doing these great things. I’m hoping that you will make excellence the norm and not the deviation. And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham, signing off.

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