The Tapestry of a Career
As you know I’ve been in the security field for 31 years. 20 of them were spent in the security ‘guard’ industry. And of course 23 in all the many facets of workplace violence (WPV). But this isn’t an overview of my career.
Sometime in the early 90’s, I watched an episode of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’. The episode was titled Tapestry. It dealt with Captain Picard supposedly dying and being granted a 2nd chance to re-live his life and career.
As Patrick Stewart, the actor who played Picard, stated at the end “I wasn’t happy with what I done in my youth. But when I pulled on a loose thread in the tapestry of my life, it all began to unravel”. Hmmm
Secondly, my favorite business book, as many of you know, was entitled ‘If it ain’t Broke, Break it!’ So what do these 2 things have in common you’re asking?
I hear constantly people saying that if they had a second chance at re-living their life. They’d do all over again, and this time do it right! They would turn right and not left. They would not get married or just live with the person. Or they wouldn’t have bought that car/gun/whatever.
But the truth is that if you could go back and change history, your history, then one event would inevitably change your entire life by events unfolding in a cascade of unexpected events. And unlike fiction of Star Trek, if you did it would be forever.
So, live your life the way it’s unfolded so far. “You’ll never get anywhere by playing it safe”, even in today’s modern corporate world. Yes, even this world where you can be fired for one, literally, small mistake. That’s why the book.
Since seeing that episode and reading that book in the late 90’s, I’ve never played it safe. I’ve always tried to find different ways of doing things. And while some of those were wrong, most were innovative enough to become standard practice at the accounts I managed or companies I worked for.
One of the biggest buzzwords in the corporate world now is ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, and has been for a few years just like quality service. I’ve been doing that for 25 years. And, again, it’s gotten me into trouble. But most of the time when I ignored the rules and made my own, within legal and ethical boundaries, it worked out. I’ve received commendations for breaking the rules. And I’ve been fired also.
My point is that line in Star Trek “You’ll never get anywhere by playing it safe”. And far too many security officers, supervisors, managers, and directors spend their time playing it safe.
In order to make this world a safer place you need to take risks. Think of the weird and simplistic solutions that will leave people thinking you’re standing in the farthest corner of the parking lot where the lights don’t shine!
Don’t be afraid to rock the boat. State your mind and be steadfast in your resolve in your abilities and wisdom that your solution is right. And if that means you have to break rules, and then break them – “rules are made to be broken!” And never be afraid to evaluate your solution and thought process and say you were wrong!
This is the way we will protect our company’s and clients. If you think your solution is stupid and crazy so what! It may be the one that actually works and stop crime from occurring! So try it. Now go out there and break some rules and live like there is no tomorrow!
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/oneistoomany, Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.