Have a Plan – Work Your Plan – Execute Well

Have a Plan – Work Your Plan – Execute Well

I would like to thank Michael Warren and Command Presence for giving me the opportunity to submit a guest post.  Full disclosure, I have known Michael for a decade.  He is an incredible trainer and an innovative police-thinker.  I have learned so much from him over the last ten years.   

A common theme in most of the Iron Blog posts is being intentional.  Intentional about your career, your safety, your training, etc.  Why is being intentional so important?  Here’s why.  The vast majority of American police departments, nearly 90%, have less than 100 officers.  Smaller still, nearly 50% have fewer than 10 officers – yes, fewer than 10!  So, when we discuss career needs, safety needs, and of course, training needs, we need to recognize the difficulty in managing all of this on the limited budgets available to these smaller departments.  The training money necessary for adequate training simply may not be there.  The money for the latest and greatest equipment may not be there.  Career development, as a program, is probably non-existent, and likely not even on the agency’s radar.  Even though the training money may not be available, the risks are still there.  So, you can either complain about what your agency isn’t doing for you, or you can be intentional and go get what you need. 

I have spent the last 20 years in leadership and career development.  My advice to those who seek my counsel is, “Have a plan – work your plan – execute well.”  Having a plan means deciding what it is you want to do.  Working your plan means doing something – every day – toward your goal.  Executing well of course, is accomplishing your goal, preferably in an outstanding manner.  The key to having the plan is working the plan.  For example, if you plan to lose 30 pounds by Christmas but you don’t change your diet or throw in some exercise, you are not working your plan.  You will fail to execute.  Simple, right?

Let’s apply this to a recent Iron Blog by Michael Warren, Have an Exit Plan (July 16, 2020).  In his post, Michael suggested practicing a passenger side vehicle exit.  You may think it is easy.  Now, consider all the equipment between the driver and the passenger door.  Still think it’s easy, give it a try.  Going back to have a plan – work your plan – execute well; plan on practicing the passenger side exit.  Work your plan by performing that task until you can – execute well.  There are no training dollars needed.  Just 10 minutes of your time, several shifts in a row until you can perform the task without having to think too much about it.  You may even learn a different way to manage the equipment you keep on the passenger’s seat.   

I assure you that at the moment of truth, your competence will breed confidence.  Your confidence will breed more confidence – and so on we go.  That applies to almost everything you do in life.  Do not leave your survival, or your success, to chance.  Do not wait for your agency to send you to training or to manage your career for you.  Take responsibility for your future.  Don’t leave it to chance.

Success is not passive.  Success requires action.  Get after it – intentionally.  You’ll be surprised at how things will come together.

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