Showing Up Is Overrated. Necessary But Not Nearly Sufficient. Can Taking An "Interest" In What You Do Enhance Performance?

Seth Godin has a short but powerful blog post today titled "Beyond Showing Up" I thought I would share here with a few remarks as the quote pertains to cops.

"You've probably got that part nailed. Butt in seat, smile on your face. We often run into people who understand their job to be showing up on time to do the work that's assigned. We've moved way beyond that now. Showing up and taking notes isn't your job. Your job is to surprise and delight and to change the agenda. Your job is to escalate, reset expectations and make us delighted that you are part of the team. Showing up is overrated. Necessary but not nearly sufficient."~Seth Godin


This short post got me to thinking about a reoccurring topic that has been on my mind since my good friend Scott Shipman brought up the word "INTEREST" and how it pertains to driving insight, imagination and initiative a few months ago in an email thread. Insight, imagination and initiative are crucial to us being able to see the situation for what it is which drives the decison we make and actions we take. Interest in a tactical problem or any situation hightens our senses, which makes us more observant and hence more situationally aware. This also allows us to use our past experience and creative abilities to apply tactics that help us gain an advanatge and seize the initiative to a host of problems.

I won't speak for Seth Godin but his words remind me of the power "INTEREST" has on how we perform the job we do. Interest in policing for example means more than showing up, going to roll call and then waiting for calls for service. It does mean we take advantage of downtime to connect with the public, to follow-up on un-resolved cases, to look for evolving problems and threats, to critique ourselves in an effort to become more effective. For example: When it comes to officer safety, interest means doing more than talking about, manning, back-up and overtime issues and instead should mean we discuss how we work shorthanded, ill-equipped, and develop more sound tactics, policy and procedures that fit what our resources are. We also work through these problems, with organized planning and discussions and use tactical decision games or tabletops. We should also be using shift debrief and after action reviews to identify any lessons learned day-to-day. If there is a problem effecting the community we reach out to resolve it or even prevent it by taking the initiative to do so.

Interest in the problem, or crisis on the street, or an internal problems within the organization and how it works, its effectiveness at working together, it processes, policies and procedures, interest in any situation, or set of circumstances gives us a better chance to successfully BE the types of cops we want to be and to DO the type of job we know we are capable of. Interest helps us see the situation for what it is and hence we explore it more deeply and come up with problem solving solutions, tactics, etc, that make sense, to the given situation. How much safer would we cops be? How much more effective would we be handling crisis situations? How much better at tactical responses and approaches to scenes would we be and how many ambushes would this prevent? How much better would we cops be at handling traffic stops? How many less cops being killed in the line of duty would there be? How much better would training to deal with these types of issues be? Taking an interest in what you do can make the difference?

As Seth Godin mentions; Showing up is overrated. Necessary but not sufficient. Take an interest in what you do, and go beyond showing up, the benefits of doing so will certainly make a difference you can be proud of.

Stay Oriented!