Thursday, July 23, 2015

What I learnt from my Senior Sergeant

You know what it's like when you lie there at night, sleep evades you and your mind is as busy as a bee with thoughts about all matter of things. 

Occasionally you have what you think is a brilliant idea.

When I was a police officer working in organisation and methods we spent most of our working days resolving issues and improving existing systems of operation. Our work ended up in a Police Manual on issue to every one of our 5,000 members and included directions from the Commissioner of Police about how to do things. (These are probably online now).

One morning I arrived at work meeting my boss, a Senior Sergeant, in the lift at Police Headquarters. As we travelled to the 11th floor, I told him about this great idea that had come to me like a flash during the night.

"Rob", he said, "It sounds like a great idea, but what I'd like you to do for me is put it on paper."

Always happy to write something - anything, I agreed.

As soon as I arrived at my desk, I began labouring away on my idea. Coffee in hand, pen in another, I beavered away for about an hour. An amazing thing happened.

As I wrote and thought about my idea, it became obvious that, although it had sounded like a great idea at the outset, as I gave it more thought, the idea became less sensible.

No matter which way I tried to write about it, in the end I knew in my heart and mind that the idea was not suitable for the problem it was intended to solve.

When I spoke to my boss later I told him that on thinking about it, the idea I had proferred wasn't really as good as I had thought.

He told me the process of writing requires us to think in depth and that it's not unusual that an idea that once sounded good, when committed to writing, turns out to be a dud.

It was an invaluable lesson. I was attending university doing a management degree at the time and on reflection, it helped me consolidate my thoughts for many of the assignments I wrote.

Older, more experienced employees are an excellent source of helpful advice.

Have you had a similar experience? Do you agree with this? Write a comment and tell us all about your experience.



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  2. Thanks for your comment.


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