Professionalism: it’s a lifestyle not a paycheck

Integrity is the root of professionalism, and the one thing there is no room for compromise. It is fragile and easily broken; and even if it is repaired, it’s original structure is never the same. It is shaped by our purpose in understanding why we do what we do each day. We are all here because we are people of integrity, but it doesn’t mean that our integrity cannot be compromised. We have to stay mindfully aware, remembering that every time a standard is compromised a new standard is set.

In law enforcement, the scar tissue of the daily grind is inevitable. This is why taking care of our health and well-being is critical, in keeping our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual batteries charged. Staying resilient is the heartbeat of our professional character. Each beat of energy either depletes or renews it’s source, so we have to be mindful in where we spend that energy. We have take care of ourselves and stay fit for duty, so that we can best serve those we have been entrusted to protect.

Similar to integrity, discipline and consistency is what holds us firm in virtue and principle, keeping us the same professional each day despite the physical, mental and emotional wounds we experience. And being spiritually grounded and rooted in integrity allows us to stay fair and reasonable, giving us the ability to make wise decisions that are legal , professional and safe. A foundation that’s unwavering, yet a virtue that filters through the black and white, and speaks to the gray of each individual situation.

We are professionals, and we must keep our influences positive and our decisions wise, doing the right thing for the right reason, all of the time. Our success will be built upon the sum of all of the unconditional service and unrecognized professionalism we live out each day, ultimately retiring when and how we want to. While the surface of our professionalism will be scared, the foundation of our professionalism is what we have 100% control over. So, like a boot, keep the surface shined, making each step one closer to success. We are writing a legacy each day, as our professionalism is who we are and a way of being.

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