Guest Blogger: David G. Benner, IACP Master LPO Instructor
Traveling is one of the great joys in my life. Having the opportunity to go places and see the things that postcards are made of can be highly gratifying. Meeting people of differing cultures is both enlightening and fun. During my 12-year tenure with IACP’s Leadership in Police Organizationssm (LPO) program, I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to over 60 different cities in the United States and Canada. In many cases, spending several months on site. The people who take on the leadership responsibilities within law enforcement organizations are an amazing lot!
The amount of travel can take its toll. Especially if there is a family waiting at home for you. Often people want to know why a person would subject themselves to this lifestyle, there must be other options? Turns out, for me, travel is just a mechanism to helping facilitate what you truly love in life. There is nothing more gratifying than going into a law enforcement organization and listening to the people resolve long standing issues. By applying concepts that initially seemed overly theoretical and not useful, they find themselves in new territory with a deeper understanding of how to help others. LPO becomes a natural state of working to better what people experience at work each day. Often, a person will talk about an epiphany they had about what leadership really is and what they are truly supposed to be doing with their lives at work each day. You can see the excitement about what they have discovered and almost a calming effect come over them as they relate their new-found abilities and successes.
LPO students incorporate concepts and theories during the LPO class into their daily lives. The knowledge gained enhances both their professional and personal relationships. Those relationships are the foundation upon which they are able to do their work of leading within the organizations they serve. Being a small part of those transformations and getting to build relationships with these people makes traveling seem trivial. The true heart of places you go are the people who live there and time with them could not be better spent. Those people have returned to me gifts of life I can never repay. It is because of these people and what we have experienced together that my family life is as healthy as it is. Every trip and every room full of people offers a new type of and level of satisfaction. And so, it’s off to the next location!