Pursuing Excellence in your Current Position
Bob Bogue was 17 years old and entering the cadet program for the Garden Grove Police Department in Garden Grove, CA. He had a dream to be a police officer ever since a policeman visited his “Teens and Law” class in high school. The desire to serve on the police force was sparked and it only grew over time. After a few years as a cadet he became a police officer, a “beat cop”, and he loved it. Bob, didn’t look for promotion. He loved what he did.
Now, 27 years later, Bob is Lieutenant in charge of Professional Standards and Garden Grove PD’s Public Information Officer. Over the course of his career, Bob has served many different positions. He worked as an undercover cop in an underground Russian crime ring, a detective solving crimes like murder, an examiner who conducted lie-detector tests, a hostage negotiator, and many more. His career has taken many different paths, but there is something special about Bob and his approach to each one. When asked about each role he has played over the years, Bob’s response is something like this: “I loved doing that. I really hated leaving it.” “Leaving it”, by the way, was always due to promotion.
Bob references the adage, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
That was something that stuck with me more than anything Bob said to us in our conversation. (Including the murder and Russian mob stories!)
Bob, never looked for promotion. He has a quality that follows someone who is living their passion. He fell in love with each step of the journey and allowed himself to grow in the process.
Man, if we could all grasp that.
How often are we looking forward to the next big thing in our lives? How often are we trying to figure out how to get our next promotion or to move on to something bigger and better? I know I’m guilty of that. We need to learn that many times we are in a position or place for a time because we need to grow.
In one of our first interviews on the podcast, our guest, Joe Bogue, said, “Grow where you are planted.” Bob is such a great example of that. (By the way, Bob is Joe’s brother. No surprise there!)
So how do we position ourselves for promotion in our lives? How do we prepare ourselves to get to that next level? How do we “upgrade” who we currently are? Well, if we follow Bob’s example it’s quite simple. We pour ourselves into our current position. We give all that we have to where we are right now. Don’t focus on the process. Focus on the position. Process will happen anyway and it is preparing you for the next position.
I think a big part of “excellence” in our work and in our life is exemplified by our passion. If you are passionate about something, you will become excellent at it. It will take time, but excellence is the fruit of persistent passion. Bob Bogue was passionate about each stage in his career and excellence followed. That excellence was recognized and promotion followed. I think a big part of the reason he was always promoted was not simply because he “earned” it (although he certainly did), but because those promoting him knew that he would produce the same excellence in his new position.
This message is really a simple one, but it seems to be often forgotten. In a world full of “life hacks” and “shortcuts to success” we easily forget that real success in life doesn’t come from reaching our next “promotion.” It’s all about how you view where you are right now. Take the time to grow. Be passionate in your efforts to produce excellence where you are right now. When your promotion comes, you just might find yourself like Bob, saying, “I really hated leaving that.” Oh, that we would all be so fortunate.