I paused during a recent hiking trip at Lake Tahoe to record this video on the definition of the word Sincerity.

Character First defines Sincerity as eagerly doing what is right with transparent motives. Lake Tahoe has some of the purest water on the face of the earth, up to 99.994% pure and totally transparent. Although the etymology of the word sincerity is disputed, one legend it that it comes from two Latin words – sine and cere – which mean “without wax.”

As the story goes, the Greeks made the best pottery in the land. In an attempt to mimic their success, certain Roman potters copied the Greeks but had inferior materials and/or craftsmanship. Consequently, their pots would come out of the kiln with cracks. Some unscrupulous potters would coat their pots with wax, filling in the cracks, then paint the exterior so you could not see the defects. Then some unsuspecting customer would purchase the pot. But when they “popped it in the microwave” to heat some food, the wax would melt and the cracks would become obvious.

Certain Roman potters, however, became quite skilled at their craft, making pots free of cracks. So they would post a sign in the marketplace that said, “For Sale – Sine Cere Pots,” pots without wax. So the word sincerity became associated with a mark of quality.

In the same way, if there are defects in our character, they tend to manifest themselves when we are under pressure. A sincere person has a transparency of motives. There is no hidden agenda. In the words of Flip Wilson, “What you see is what you get!” That’s the essence of sincerity.

So, the next time you sign a letter or email with the word “Sincerely,” pause to reflect on what it means. 

Without Wax,

Sheriff Ray Nash
Police Dynamics Institute

I know, I know… It’s been over 9 months since I last posted a Police Dynamics video. Forgive me for being preoccupied with my new business at Focal Point Investigations. However, a recent Police Dynamics seminar for the SC Litter Control Association in Myrtle Beach has revitalized my commitment to training in the character-based principles of Police Dynamics. I want to get back in the swing of things by posting some new videos and letting my subscribers and viewers know that I am available for live Police Dynamics training if your agency is interested. 

In the meantime, enjoy this training video on Boldness and the victory at Fort Moultrie…

Outgunned 10 to 1, the brave Patriots at Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island, SC made a bold stand in 1776 against seemingly insurmountable odds. As police officers and government leaders, we can learn a valuable lesson about the importance of having the moral courage to stand for what is true, right, just, and constitutional…

Many thanks to my videographer and partner from Afghanistan, Gary Curry, for his assistance in producing this law enforcement training video.

I have been remiss in keeping the Police Dynamics website updated largely due to the new private investigative business that I recently founded, Focal Point Investigations.  And I am going to renege again by once again deferring to my friend and colleague Lloyd Thomas for this latest post. His comments are always insightful, thought-provoking, and consistent with the character-based message of Police Dynamics. I hope you enjoy…


Lloyd ThomasIn last week’s column, I wrote about the process of transforming your life. I received many responses that essentially complained that the column was too “complicated” or “too abstract.” So today, I write about some practical steps you can take to engage in that “transformational process” more easily. Here are some of the practical principles for creating the life of your dreams.

1. Consciously choose what you really want. Dream boldly and positively. With photographic clarity, imagine your life the way you want it to be. Trust your own ability to create the life you desire.

2. Always tell the truth. Directly and candidly speak and write only what you believe to be true. Be honest with yourself. Seek the truth about yourself, others and the world. Make certain that what you speak is borne out in how you act.

3. Focus on becoming a Lover in Life. (more…)

Category: Lloyd Thomas

A friend and colleague of mine from Colorado, Dr. Lloyd Thomas, is a licensed psychologist, accomplished author, and life coach. He recently posted an article on Effective Family Leadership. The principles are so consistent with Police Dynamics and other principles of organizational leadership that I asked him for permission to include them on the Police Dynamics site, which he graciously granted. Since it is the day after Father’s Day, I thought it was particularly appropriate to post this new video today…

To subscribe to Dr. Thomas’ weekly leadership newsletter, go to: http://lists.webvalence.com/listmgr/subscribe?lists=practical_life_coaching

You can find his book, “Total Life Coaching: 50+ Life Lessons, Skills and Techniques for Enhancing Your Practice…and Your Life!” on Amazon.com.

Here is the complete text of Dr. Thomas’ article: 

By Lloyd J. Thomas, Ph.D.

Whether you like it or not, when you become a parent you become the leader of your family.  Children learn by observation and imitation.  Parents are the “models” that children first observe and begin to imitate.  You need to engage in the behavior you want your children to imitate and learn.  As a parent, you become your children’s primary leader.  It is a powerful and often difficult responsibility.

Most of us never learned the skills of effective leadership.  In our culture, we have been regularly exposed to the notion that we should become “child-centered” or that “children should always come first.”  If we make children the leaders of our families, our family structure will disintegrate.  As parents, it is not our job to imitate our children.  It is not our job to behave like children.  It is not our job to be our children’s “best friend.”  It is not our job to adapt to their behavior…it is their job to adapt to ours.

As parents, we need to become fully responsible leaders…responsible first for our own health and well being.  Otherwise, we offer less than healthy leadership to our children.  Teaching our children leadership and self-responsibility is only accomplished by becoming the best example of leadership and self-responsibility ourselves.

Here are ten time-honored principles of effective leadership.  To become your children’s best leader, learn and practice these principles. 

1.  Your children are sometimes illogical, unreasonable, self-centered, disobedient, stubborn, and defiant.  Love them anyway. (more…)

After my unsuccessful run for Congress, I finally got around to recording a new Police Dynamics training video. I based this one on a post by Dan Weigold on his blog Coach With Heart. I’ve been following Coach Weigold’s blog for a few years and we have sometimes “chatted” about principles of ethical leadership. And his recent post on Authentic Leadership is so consistent with the principles of Police Dynamics and the SHIELD Program teachings on Reflective Leadership that I asked him for permission to use it in this training session.

Coach Weigold identifies six components of authentic leadership (the components are his and the commentary mine)…

1. Compelling vision (does it inspire others, creating meaning) 

The ability to impart vision is a key leadership skill that is often overlooked. A carefully crafted vision and mission statement, founded on the core values of an organization, are essential for inspiring others and setting expectations. For those of you interested in building a culture of character within your agency, I suggest you take this vision-crafting process one step further by identifying 10 essential character qualities that you consider absolutely critical for success and include them in your policy or standards manual.

2. Employee input and participation (leaders need to listen) (more…)

Barney Barnes

I’ve posted insights from my former Chief of Staff, Barney Barnes, before (we had the running joke that every Sheriff needs a Barney…). In his retirement, he has taken up his passion for writing, including an awesome book (that I highly recommend) called Born to Be a Warrior.

This past Memorial Day, Barney penned the following piece on the Warrior Code that I thought would be particularly fitting for the Police Dynamics site because it incorporates so much of the character-based principles necessary to be a great leader.

The Warrior Code                                 

“The warrior code takes a soldier and makes him a knight.  It connects the natural life of a fighter to the supernatural understanding of the warrior calling.  His duties are transformed into holy sacrifices; his sense of self is reformed into the image of the servant in pursuit of valor.  He becomes part of a fellowship, a noble tradition that flows thru him and carries him beyond the mediocre and the vain.” — Steven Mansfield, The Faith of the American Soldier  

I have worn a warrior suit, of one form or another, most of my adult life–first as a navy pilot, then state guardsman and law enforcement official. Now at age 66 I can say, without reservation, that Steven Mansfield has uncovered a great truth.  In fact, the truth of his statement transcends historical and cultural divides.

A warrior code is necessary in our fallen world because of the presence of evil and the chaos and violence it produces.  We become aware of this violence early on in the Genesis text. In chapter 4, we learn the details of a homicide in which Cain, in an outburst of anger, murders his brother Abel.  This violence continues today often serving as the lead story on local, national, and international news reports from around the world. (more…)

Category: Barney Barnes

noah webster“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate — look to his character.”
Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education, 1789

Well, the race for Congress didn’t turn out the way I had hoped (I came in 8th out of 16 in the primary!). But at least it got me back home and available for a new opportunity. So, now that I’m back in the states, at least on the short-term, I’ve got two things going on. First, I am available for live Police Dynamics conferences. If you’re interested, please send me a message via the “Contact Me” button on the left of your screen.

But an even more important announcement is that the Police Dynamics Institute has partnered with the International Academy of Public Safety (IAPS) and brought me on-board as the VP of Law Enforcement Training and Development. IAPS, and its sister company Readiness Network, are fully integrated Technology and e-Learning companies.  Their iLEARN, iCOMMAND, and iSHIELD portals create an ecosystem that acts as the connective tissue for command and control with comprehensive learning and development tools that enhances readiness at all levels. Dr. Mitch Javidi, founder and CEO of IAPS, contacted me about a year ago while I was still overseas about incorporating some of the Police Dynamics training videos into iSHIELD (SHeriff’s Institute for Ethical Leadership Development). Since then, we have planned to partner together whenever I got back home.

Here’s the introductory video from our series on Reflective Leadership which will be available soon. And we plan to have the entire Police Dynamics program online in the near future.

There is much more to talk about in regards to IAPS and  iSHIELD but I will leave it at that for now. Please contact me if you would like to learn more or to schedule a demonstration of the system.

Sheriff Ray

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Category: Police Dynamics

As crazy as it sounds, it’s true! And it’s the reason I haven’t posted any training videos for the last couple of weeks. I am curtailing my mission in Afghanistan and starting my journey home tomorrow (Jan 20). There is a perfect storm of an opportunity back home to run in a special election for the First Congressional District in SC. That’s the seat vacated by Tim Scott when he was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to fill the unexpired term of Senator Jim DeMint. This short video explains some of my reasons for running and the principles that I will apply to governmental decisions should I be elected. Most of you know that I support the Founder’s view of a Constitutionally limited republic.

There are a few things that my faithful Police Dynamics followers can do to help. First of all, go to the Charleston GOP website and vote for me in the straw poll. Right now, I lead the pack after only being listed as a candidate for the last 48 hours or so. But a comfortable margin would send a strong message that I am a serious contender for this seat.

Secondly, go to my campaign page on FaceBook and “like” it. You can also follow all of the campaign happenings as they unfold. Former Governor Mark Sanford is in the race so it promises to be interesting to say the least.

And of course I can always use encouragement, support, and prayers. If you live in the First District, I also want your vote!

This will be an all-out sprint to the primary on March 19, then the runoff and special general election in the weeks afterward. So it is unlikely that I will be able to give much attention to the Police Dynamics site until after all of this is over.

Let’s send a Sheriff to Congress…!

Sheriff Ray Nash
Candidate for First Congressional District

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Scroll down to check out our Professional Development Series

In this last video from the Aventura Spa Palace in Riviera Maya, Mexico, we look at the four phases of Group Dynamics as they relate to the Relationship Diamond. The study of Group Dynamics has identified four distinct phases in the formulation of a working group. Interestingly, the phases fit very nicely in our Relationship Diamond model as we superimpose them over the dynagram.

Group Dynamics

The Four Phases of Group Dynamics and the Relationship Diamond

The first is the Form Stage and that has to do with structure. Most relationships start with some type of structure. From a law enforcement perspective, it could be a call for service, a traffic stop, a consensual encounter on the street, or a Crime Watch / Community meeting. During this phase, you will begin to establish your integrity, a key component of police ethics, in the eyes of the other party.

The second is the Storm Stage. When you start to open up channels of communication, the relationship can get very stormy. And the more diverse the two groups, the stormier the seas. But you must be willing to weather the storm, just don’t get stuck there.

The third is the Norm Stage. It is here that the group begins to establish their roles and responsibilities as well as lines of accountability.

The final stage is the Perform Stage. This is where the work actually gets done. Resist the temptation to jump around the bases prematurely. So many groups stall out at first base or try to jump from first to third. You can’t do that in a baseball game and you shouldn’t try to do it in a relationship either. In this stage, you will employ strategic problem-solving methodologies to accomplish your community / coactive policing goals — such as establishing peaceful and safe neighborhoods, and stable and successful families.

Building working relationships between law enforcement and the community is a tricky business. But understanding the process so that you don’t get frustrated is a key step forward.

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Sheriff Ray Nash

Sheriff Ray Nash

Free Training Resources

The Benefits of Good Character
49 Character Qualities
10 Virtues of a Law Officer
Police Dynamics Intro Video


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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

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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

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Jerry Martin
Delores County, CO
former Pres - County Sheriff's of Colorado

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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