Webinar Notes: Making the Character Connection – The Dynamic of Virtue

Resource Speaker (00:46)

  • Ray Nash

    • Founder/CEO – Police Dynamics Institute
    • Sr. VP – Training & Development International Academy of Public Safety
    • Director –  Sheriff’s Institute for Credible Leadership Development
    • Commissioner – National Command and Staff College
    • 38+ years law enforcement
    • Police Chief x2
    • 3‐term Sheriff
    • Criminal Justice Adviser US Embassy – Kabul, Afghanistan


Overview (04:22)

  • Principles of character and leadership are applicable to any arena you're in, it's universal.


The Dynamic of Virtue (06:00)

  • Dynamic is your principle that can be applied to your life, career, agency, etc.
  • Definitions:

    • CHARACTER: The inward motivation to do the right thing regardless of the circumstances. And regardless of the costs.

      • “Who you are and what you would do when no one else is around.”
    • COMPETENCE: The knowledge, skills, and abilities to get the job done well.
  • Competence has been emphasized more than a character in the workplace.

    • Those who couldn’t pass competency tests are often dismissed.
    • Character-based issues and failures aren’t noticed as much.
    • Hire for character, train for skills.
  • Achievement/success is the result of both character and competency.

    • The law of the harvest

      • You reap what you sow.
      • You reap it later, and in great abundance.
      • Achievement as the fruit on the tree, and character is the seed that produces the fruit.
    • Character maxim

      • Maxim: a basic fundamental truth
      • If you focus on achievement to the exclusion of character, you encourage bad character.
      • People lie and cheat their way when we put too much emphasis on competency.


Case Study (23:08)

  • 1997, Ray’s first year in office as sheriff, an armored car hijacking

    • The bad guy jumped in front of the armored vehicle and hijacks it.

      • At the back of the vehicle is one million dollars in cash.
      • Also, at the back is a 77-year old bank guard, three weeks away from his retirement.
      • Bank guard pulls out his revolver and shoots the bad guy in an effort to stop the robbery, putting himself at risk as killing the driver will endanger him too.

        • Between the bank guard and the hijacker is a heavy gauge ballistic screen designed to stop bullets.
        • It did not kill the hijacker but it disoriented him that he abandoned his original plan, and drove into a deserted dirt road.
      • Hijacker pulled out an assault rifle and returns fire to the bank guard, through the ballistic screen.

        • Assault rifle killed the bank guard. But the bank guard is the only one capable of opening the back of the armored van.
        • Hijacker shot into the lock which did not give in.
        • Hijacker couldn’t open the van, didn’t have a getaway vehicle, and police is on the way.
        • Hijacker threw the rifle in a creek, took off his bloody ski mask, and escapes.
    • Sergeant Asbel of the forensic team processed the crime scene, from the ballistic materials, shells, rifles, and DNA from the blood in the ski mask.

      • The hijacker was caught later through investigative efforts, convicted and got death penalty.
  • In such scenario, conviction is seen the achievement.

    • If competency is emphasized, law enforcement could lie under oath, falsify documents, planted evidence so they get a conviction.

      • “End justifies the means”
    • Sergeant Asbel was commended not because of the conviction but his character for practicing attentiveness, thoroughness, and diligence.

      • Shifting the message from we need to get more convictions to we need more of these characteristics to be successful.
    • Commitment to character and truth can even force you to lose a case.


Three Keys to Building a Culture of Character (36:14)

  • Gain a new vocabulary

    • Usual praises based on competency

      • “Good job”
      • “Keep up the good work”
    • Start talking about character
  • Make the “character connection”

    • Connect the achievement with character qualities
  • Anticipate the “character test”

    • Things that pop-up in your life unannounced that tests your character.

      • Temptations
      • Pressure
      • When authority is challenged


Virtues of a Law Officer (43:32)

  • A lexicon of character qualities to recognize and commend.
  • Vocabulary to use when dealing with peers, superiors, subordinates, etc.
  • The Virtues (not exhaustive)

    • Attentiveness

      • Demonstrating value by giving undivided concentration to the person or task at hand.
    • Compassion
    • Contentment
    • Dependability

      • Meeting your commitments even when it requires extra sacrifice.
    • Faithfulness
    • Forgiveness
    • Gratitude

      • Expressing appreciation for the character, acts, and attitudes of others that have benefited you or the team.
      • By recognizing a person’s virtue, you are likewise demonstrating gratitude.
    • Helpfulness Honor
    • Humility
    • Initiative
    • Integrity
    • Justice
    • Loyalty

      • Unwavering devotion to a cause higher than yourself amid difficulty or challenge and without compromising moral excellence.
    • Moral Courage
    • Nobility
    • Patience
    • Perseverance
    • Positive Attitude
    • Prudence
    • Resiliency
    • Respect
    • Responsibility
    • Self‐Awareness
    • Self‐Control
    • Situational Awareness
    • Thoroughness
    • Thoughtfulness
    • Truthfulness

      •  Earning future trust through the accurate and complete reporting of past events.
    • Wellness
  • Example

    • NYPD, Credible Leadership Initiative

      • A sergeant, near retirement, working for the academy serving as the coordinator of the event.
      • During the event, asked the attendees to provide virtues that the sergeant demonstrated.

        • Virtues mentioned by the class included:

          • Dependability
          • Helpfulness
          • Initiative
          • Patience
          • Positive Attitude
          • Responsibility
          • Thoroughness
        • The sergeant was presented the character coin for her virtues, and she broke down with the level of appreciation given by the participants.
    • Character connection is a deep connection


Poll Questions

  • How many people are joining this webinar from your logged in location? (02:38)

    • Just me            85%
    • 2-5                   15%
    • 6-10                 0%
    • 11-15               0%
    • 16+                  0%
  • What percentage of your training has been competency-based vs what percentage has been character based?

    • About equal, 50/50                                         16%
    • Mostly competency, some character             77%
    • What is character-based training?                 7%





For questions and clarifications, contact:

Sheriff Ray Nash, ret.

Email: ray@policedynamics.com

Phone: 843.200.0800


Other Police Dynamics Training Programs: 

Police Dynamics

Inductive Interviewing

MAGNUS Leadership

BulletProof Spirit

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