A seven-year-old boy in the UK raises $300,000 in a single day for the Haiti Relief project.
A 13-year-old boy with one leg climbs Mount Kilimanjaro and raises $75,000 for Project Freedom in Africa.
A husband-and-wife team takes their Challenge Day program to a single high school in 1987. Since that day, the program has been implemented at thousands of schools around North America and likely saved thousands of young lives.
What do these stories have to do with Below 100? Everything. These are stories about people who could have easily said, “What can I do? I’m just one person. I’m just a kid. We’re just two people with an idea to change the culture in high schools.”
As I speak to law enforcement professionals around North America, I continually hear people start a sentence—an excuse, really—with the words “I’m just a…” I’m just a patrol officer, I’m just a corporal, I’m just a sergeant, I’m just a Lieutenant, etc. What follows is an excuse why they can’t make a difference in their organization, an excuse why they’re somehow not responsible for effecting a change in the culture of their organizations.
When I talk about the culture of an organization, I’m referring to shared beliefs, shared practices and shared attitudes. Below 100 is about changing some of those shared beliefs, practices and attitudes that result in the large numbers of officers killed and injured every year in the line of duty. Beliefs, practices and attitudes such as wearing seat belts, wearing body armor, driving speeds and complacency.
"You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone, which can become a watered-down, occasional hope that you'll get to tomorrow. Intention without action is useless." Caroline Myss
It Starts With You
Ghandi said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Start by watching Derek Sivers TED video on how to start a movement at http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_how_to_start_a_movement.html. Begin with yourself and model these desirable behaviors. If you don’t wear your body armor every day, start a new ritual today of wearing your armor. If you don’t wear your seat belt in your patrol vehicle, start a new ritual today of wearing your seat belt. If you’re in the habit of driving too fast, slow down. If you find yourself sliding into an attitude of complacency, change your attitude and your habits. Then seek out one other person on your shift or in your agency to be what Sivers refers to as ‘the first follower.’
One of the five tenets of the Below 100 program is what I refer to as "Life’s Most Powerful Question": What’s Important Now (W.I.N.)? W.I.N. is for every officer, regardless of rank, position or title to stop making excuses and accept the reality that you are in a position to lead. You can make a difference and you can lead the cultural change within your organization. What’s Important Now is that you can initiate the changes in your organization that may save a life. It may save your life, the life of your best friend or the life of an officer you have never met. You may never know that you saved a life, but if you initiate this cultural change, I’ll promise you that you will.
"Fear of failure and fear of the unknown are always defeated by faith. Having faith in yourself, in the process of change, and in the new direction that change sets will reveal your own inner core of steel." Georgette Mosbacher
The Below 100 strategies are simple. The difference between simple and easy is simple means lack of complexity, while easy refers to lack of effort. It may not be easy to change the culture. You’re going to encounter some resistance to change and that’s ok. As a culture, we’re resistant to change. The result is worth the effort.