We have such a limited vocabulary when it comes to character. We routinely praise people for their achievement and their achievement alone, without recognizing the good character that produced the achievement. Learning to make the character connection forces you to become a better supervisor or a better parent. This is THE paradigm shift for understanding how a character initiative works in real life…

BTW: I’m still in Cancun but we have been too “busy” relaxing and stuff for me to produce any more videos from here. But I kept some in reserve that I produced in Kabul…

About the Author

5 Responses to Making the Character Connection

  1. John R. "Barney" Barnes says:

    The “Under Achievement” of Character

    Achievement, as we all know, is an essential, valuable concept in the life of an individual as well as in the life of a nation. In fact the term “under achievement” is indicative of being or operating below established standards. This is a realm that all true professionals would want to avoid, like the plague!

    I have had the good fortune to know a lot of “high achievers” in my earlier professional life as a Naval Aviator and law enforcement executive. Some of them, from whom I learned much, had been prisoners of war for long periods of time. Along the way I learned that achievement alone had some major limitations. For one thing, I learned that honor was a sacred trust, upheld by character, and a term not often associated with mere achievement. “I would lay down my life for America, but I can not trifle with my honor” John Paul Jones, Father of the US Navy

    All combat aviators, as well as civilian, must be intimately familiar with the systems and limitations of their aircraft. That includes engine, air frame, electronics, weapons, and most importantly themselves the pilots. I believe it was that famous police detective
    “Dirty Harry” who proffered that “A man must know his limitations”.

    Taking on an enemy target or a thunderstorm in the wrong way or at a wrong time has ended tragically for many. The same principle holds true in law enforcement scenarios. The Character First folks define “alertness”, one of their character qualities, as “Being aware of what is taking place around me so that I can have the right responses.” Looking back I can testify, under oath, that character not “can do” has saved my life and the life of others without sacrificing the mission or causing the needless loss of life. Discretion, another character quality, really can be “the better part of valor”.

    Sadly,in a few of my life experiences character “under achievement” has been, as the 70’s song, House of the Rising Sun says “been the ruin of many a poor boy”. One high achiever I served under was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor only to die while riding a motorcyle while highly intoxicated. He had established a reputation of “hard charger” and was attempting to jump a draw bridge. Another who I served with was the first Ace in the Vietnam War, an ace is one who shoots down 5 enemy aircraft. He then commanded the famous “Top Gun” Squadron and then became a US Congressman. He now occupies a Federal Prison cell. Sadly, a number of “good” law enforcement officers have likewise lost their careers, to character “under achievement”.

    As professionals we must guard our “hearts” like we would guard a shipment of gold from Ft Knox or Charlie Manson if we were assigned to transport him to a hearing. Our hearts are designed by God to be that deep reservoir where we draw strength and refreshment in times of great stress and challenge. This refreshment and strength enables us to then “achieve”, with honor, the objective before us as stated in the oaths we are sworn to uphold, “so help me God”.

    For “character food” I usually read from King Solomon’s Proverbs the chapter for whatever day it is. Today happens to be the 27th and verse 17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”. Verse 19 has direct application that says “As water flects the face so the heart reflects the man.”

    If your desire is to achieve then first desire to “honor” your oath with your whole heart. Character does count!

    John R. “Barney” Barnes
    CDR USN(ret)

  2. […] character. A wise supervisor, or a wise parent, can use definitions like this to make the “character connection.” This is a huge paradigm shift because it forces you to focus on the character quality that […]

  3. […] can turn out really good or they can turn out really bad. As law enforcement leaders, we can use character-based praise to help minimize the potential disasters associated with high-speed police […]

  4. […] Understanding the Character Maxim and how to make the Character Connection by praising for character rather than achievement makes you a better supervisor. As supervisors, […]

  5. […] First! (click on the link for a free download of the character definitions). The second is Making the Character Connection by praising the character quality that produced the achievement rather than the achievement […]

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Sheriff Ray Nash

Sheriff Ray Nash

What Law Enforcement and Community Leaders Are Saying About Police Dynamics

“A few years ago, we brought the Police Dynamics program to the Cincinnati Police Division and were most impressed with the quality of the training and richness of the program.”
Mike Daly
Character Council of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky

"I have attended training conducted by the Police Dynamics Institute in the past and know Ray Nash both personally and professionally. They have my whole-hearted endorsement…"
Sheriff Larry Williams
Orangeburg, SC

"I cannot tell you how excited I am to see this website. I was introduced to your video on the Dynamics of Authority through my father who is a police chaplain for the FBI and local law enforcement agencies here in Las Cruces. I have taught and applied the Dynamics model to my students when I was a teacher, and now to my department as a fire fighter."
Nathan Carr
Las Cruces Fire Dept.

“One of the greatest seminars I have ever attended in the 33 years I’ve been a Deputy.”
Walter Bolinger
Marion County Sheriff’s Office, IN

"I was so impressed by the (Police Dynamics) program that I purchased your video tape series. All Grand County Sheriff’s Employees subsequently viewed the tapes, and I have also mandated that all new Sheriff’s Employees watch it as well."
Glen Trainor
Grand County Sheriff’s Office

"It is with much enthusiasm that I encourage senior law enforcement executives to make attending the Police Dynamics seminar a key training priority for your agency."
DeWayne Beggs
Cleveland County, OK
former 2nd VP - National Sheriff's Association

"I am convinced of the benefits of the Police Dynamics program."
Jerry Martin
Delores County, CO
former Pres - County Sheriff's of Colorado

"Honestly, I’ve not been more impressed with a police training that I’ve attended in the last 20 years..."
Tom McClain
Chief of Police
Willard, MO

"I am a firm believer that Police Dynamics and Character First! equip the men and women that work for the Oklahoma Sheriff’s Office to do their job and do it better."
John Whetsel
Oklahoma County, OK

"If you believe that good character is an essential element in policing, you will want to send your key staff to Police Dynamics."
David Williams
Tarrant County, TX

"In the three years prior to our character initiative, we had 42 labor and employee grievances, and seven different lawsuits. In the three years since we put the character initiative in place, we have had two grievances and no lawsuits from employees. I think that, in and of itself, is significant."
Rodney Ray
City Manager
Owasso, OK

"This course was one of the best training sessions that I’ve been through. This concept will benefit me and the staff in my division."
Police Dynamics participant

[We have] more awareness of the preventative benefits of a character initiative as opposed to the typical reactive approach to situations. There is a sense of excitement by organization leaders as they begin to see a change in their culture. Bob Powell
Character Council
Fort Collins, CO

"[The Police Dynamics training] brings us closer together, more like a family … it reminds us of why we’re out there and what it’s about.”
Captain John Decker
Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, SC

"This class gave me the vocabulary that I have been looking for to praise and motivate my employees."
Police Dynamics participant

"We’ve built a much better relationship with each other. We’ve seen a decrease in complaints. We’ve become a family instead of a place to work."
Sheriff Howie Godwin
Highlands County, FL

“This shows us a new approach to recognize employees’ character traits - and to acknowledge them for those good traits versus, 'You did an excellent job…' It’s some fresh ideas in an area that we probably all need to change."
Major P.D. Taylor
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

"The Police Dynamics training that Ray Nash brought teaches the things that are at the core of being a good police officer – being trustworthy, being of good character…"
Sgt. Julie Shearer
Cincinnati Police Div.

“In the Police Dynamics training seminar, the officers are able to set a standard in their own lives of the kind of character they want to see in their community."
Chaplain Carl Nelson
Colorado Springs Police Department

"Character is the solution to the real problem in our community of crime. Character supplies the answer."
Hon. F.A. Schad
Former Judge
Burleson, TX

“I want you to know that my international and national career was very much influenced by your lessons and knowing you was of paramount importance for my job and career. Many Romanian police officers are grateful to you and to Character training."
Teofil Parasca
Assistant Superintendent
Arad County Police

"I would like to work more toward management by principles instead of rules – with an emphasis on character and guiding principles."
Chief Lynn Williams
Chickasha, OK

“We need to return to our basic character traits that made this country great. Ray Nash has the program to do it."
Police Dynamics participant

"This shows us a new approach to recognize those employees’ character traits and to recognize and acknowledge them for those good traits versus, “You did an excellent job…” It’s some fresh ideas in an area that we probably all need to change."
Major P.D. Taylor
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

"In the three years prior to our character initiative, we had 42 labor and employee grievances, and seven different lawsuits. In the three years since we put the character initiative in place, we have had two grievances and no lawsuits from employees. I think that, in and of itself, is significant."
Rodney Ray
City Manager
Owasso, OK

"Absolutely fantastic! It reminded me of why I wanted to be a peace officer."
Police Dynamics participant

"the finest value-added training anywhere."
Sheriff David Williams
Tarrant County, TX

"We continue to benefit from your teaching and hire with a strong emphasis on character."
Chief Tom McClain
Willard, MO

"Once again, I feel absolutely indebted to you for the program you have developed and your desire to change the world through the building of better law enforcement officers."
Glen P. Trainor
Grand County, CO

"Sheriff Ray Nash is an internationally recognized speaker that you and your staff will learn powerful principles from, while enjoying the lesson."
DeWayne Beggs
Cleveland County, OK

"Very comprehensive, a great resource manual for the future. The seminar was dynamic in every way. What a great resource for people throughout their day-to-day routines.”
Doug Carter
Indiana State Police