The Huntington Beach Police get it.
In early August, I spent two days at the Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD). Fortunately for me, I went to the right.
On day one, I spoke at the inaugural Leadership And Education Development Academy (LEAD). Thirty high school students explored with me four leader-skills that increase integrity, ingenuity and collaboration. The students explored the role and power of attention, how our biology affects our actions and relationships, how to solve problems creatively with limited resources, and why curiosity and risk are necessary parts of success.
On day two, I spent four hours with a group of Southern California police leaders—sponsored and hosted by the HBPD. Those gathered explored a collective ingenuity model I developed called, Tribal Alchemy. You can learn more about the framework here.
Law enforcement, like every other sector in society, faces significant challenges and opportunities. I developed the Tribal Alchemy framework because today’s challenges and opportunities are solved when collections of people ingeniously transform what they have into what they need. The law enforcement leaders I spoke to on day two, get this. Everyday, whether it’s an officer called to an emergency or another pouring over budgets, law enforcement leaders must find creative solutions that make the moment (and their communities) better. This kind of creative-solution-making requires commitment to personal and collective excellence. Southern Californians should be proud of their law enforcement leaders and their willingness to continuously improve themselves for the sake of the mission. I saw a powerful example of this in Huntington Beach.
My time with Chief Handy, and the men and women of HBPD, revealed how much they value creative action and positive change. The LEAD program is alchemy at its finest. It exposes high school students—already leaders in their communities—to ideas, mindsets and actions that will prepare them for greater leadership opportunities in the future.
Beyond leadership development, LEAD creates a positive bond between students and police. Because of this program, thirty Huntington Beach student-leaders view police officers as mentors who are willing to invest in their lives. Police departments around the country would do well to consider implementing a program like LEAD in their communities. Chief Handy has been instrumental in developing a LEAD program in two different states. It’s been my privilege to watch both programs influence the life-trajectory of hundreds of students.
My work as a researcher, author, and coach gives me the opportunity to speak to, and work with, a wide variety of organizations and groups (tribes). When I stand in front of a new group, my goal is to reveal the power and inspiration that comes from creating ingenious solutions. The Tribal Alchemy model reveals what we do, as humans, when we are acting together in inventive ways. It was energizing to see Tribal Alchemy at work within the HBPD. Everyday the HBPD works to transform challenging situations through the creative use of resources. I had the privilege of watching a bit of their alchemy in action. Not a bad stay in Huntington Beach.