This quote from Franklin’s autobiography (1771) shows the dangers of pride. That’s why the Independent Spirit gets so many officers in trouble.
When I was presenting the Dynamic of Authority at a National Sheriff’s Association Conference a few years back, I had said that our ego (pride) can be one of our worst enemies in a crisis and set us on that most dangerous Path of Destruction. One of the sheriffs in the audience challenged me on this. He said he considered his ego as his most valuable weapon when on the street. When I tried to explain that pride and ego can get in the way of accomplishing the police mission, and that although we represent any number of authorities, the one thing we do not “officially” represent is ourselves, he got up, gathered his things and left the room.
It can be a difficult teaching to accept because it goes against our human nature to a degree. I’m glad that our Founders, like Ben Franklin, were able to put their egos aside as they built the greatest nation on the planet.
Those of you who have attended Police Dynamics training in the past will recognize this image as the Twin Towers of Integrity, a model I use to illustrate how character and competence work in tandem to produce a man or woman of integrity. If the foundation is strong, the structure will stand because it has “structural integrity.” But if the pillars are weak, the structure will collapse under pressure.
Twin Towers of Integrity
The ruins of Beth Shean gave me a great opportunity to illustrate the importance of character and competence and what happens when the foundation is weak. We know officers who have tried to build a life or a career around competence alone. These people know procedure, they know the law, they can cite policies by chapter and verse. They are experts in their field…. But you can’t trust them. And sooner or later the character test will come and their lives will come crumbling down around their ears. How many careers, how many relationships, how many reputations, how many marriages have we seen disintegrate due to a character failure…?
And for you archaeology buffs, one more video from the ruins of Beth Shean…
In another video from our visit to Beth Shean, I discuss how individual character qualities serve as the building blocks of a man or woman of integrity. Without them, our integrity fails and we become “dis-integrated…”
For you archaeology buffs, here’s some more video footage from Beth Shean. You can read more about this fascinating city in the Bible. Check out 1 Samuel 31. Then to see the integrity of King David and the men of Jabesh Gilead put to the test, look at 2 Samuel 2:4-7.
It’s been a long time since I added a post to the blog. I’ve been preoccupied with my extended leave at home (almost 3 months), new job responsibilities (settled in as a Police Advisor working at the US Embassy in Kabul), and working on my Master’s degree (finished my degree from Columbia Southern University the other night).
This micro-lecture was filmed at Beth Shaen, an ancient city where King Saul’s body, the king of Israel, was hung on the wall after his death at Mount Gilboa. Here I talk about the definition of policing as the “regulating and control of the affairs of a community especially as it relates to law, order, health, safety, and morals.”
Here’s some additional video from Beth Shaen if you are interested…