The Thing About Standards…

So, the thing about standards is they are there for a reason.

That reason is to ensure you are meeting minimum performance objectives. I prefer on demand and consistent performance as part of our standards. It gives you real time positive feedback, even if you are not meeting the objectives, it’s positive in the sense that you know what needs work. If you are meeting the standards you have just validated your performance and we can continue to push you towards more challenging objectives. If you are not meeting the standards then we can start to dissect your technique to determine what is not working. Through a diagnostic approach we can “peel the layers” away and work on known errors, errors repeated from class to class. Through standards it allows us to weed through the crap that is rampant in this industry objectively.

I find it curious why some folks are afraid of standards. It seems that most of the time it has to do with your comfort zone and for more on that check out this blog: Evicted from your Comfort Zone. You have got to push yourself no matter what the task or action. If you have no way of measuring your progress then you are just spinning your wheels. Maybe some folks like wheel spinning, they don’t have to worry about bruising their egos if they don’t challenge themselves.

In our classes, I am very upfront about our standards. I lay out my expectations of each student and how the standards will keep everyone in check. Some are shocked and start to question what they got themselves into. Others are indifferent and it totally shows in their performance. Still others are trying to meet the standards, but are starting from a bit of deficit. It is the ones who are trying to meet the standards that I care the most about. They are the ones who are putting out the effort. It is no secret that are classes are challenging, sure there is a degree of physicality one needs and most lack, but really it is the mental toughness that surprises most students. Some have come to appreciate that aspect to the classes and continue to train with us because they understand how the standards will keep them honest and give them insight.

Then there are the ones who flat out quit, they show up on day one and realize this was harder than they expected and their mental id is not capable of keeping up with the physical reality. I don’t much mind, it makes my job a bit easier, but what I do take action against is those who because they can’t perform are quick to blast us, the program and our lineage. Theres a reason why they quit and I have neither the time nor interest in the why.

So, standards are there for a reason. They are black & white, it’s a hit or a miss. Again, some complain at first, then come to appreciate the culture they have walked into. The attached picture is of a 2 round drill from the 25 yard line, the shot on the line is a miss and was counted as such. The picture is of my own target and if I count my own misses, you can be damn sure that I will count yours. There is this thing called integrity, this program is built on integrity and that’s for another time.

8 thoughts on “The Thing About Standards…

  1. lukylief82 says:

    I went through the registration process because I felt compelled to leave a comment on this topic. Being a trainer for a local law enforcement agency in Florida and a former operator on that agency’s SWAT team, this issue is running rampant in our society and a large part of why I am a FORMER SWAT operator. I attended a dynamic carbine course a few years ago with Trident Concepts. I will start by saying I have attended many, many trainings in my 13 years and all of them were a lot of fun, and in the end I knew that I would receive a certificate to put into my as Jeff told us in the class, “I love me file.” At the end of this class I was the highest shooter. So I was the first loser as it turns out because my “high” score was not high enough to pass the course. I was upset and let down, but not with the class, with my own performance. We live in a world where “everyone gets a trophy.” While at the time I was not happy with the result, but while attending all the other classes and courses, and while training officers with my agency, I soon realised what I actually learned in the class. While I thought I was an accomplished shooter, I still had much to learn and many skills to polish before I could EARN the blessings from this company. Ultimately I needed to be brought back to earth and this company taught me great respect. If I could get my agency to pay for me to attend again, I would very much like to try that course again. This time I would push harder and continue to do so in order to achieve the goal at the end. Special Thanks to Jeff Gonzalez for teaching this class, I hope to see you again as I now have a strong desire to pass your class. Keep up the good work as one of the last courses that does not subscribe to everyone getting a trophy!

  2. D2 says:

    Very well said Jeff. I was one of the humbled, and got a great deal out of your approach to teaching at your recent two day sponsored by Mayflower Research and Consulting in Fayetteville recently. Keep up the good work.

  3. PaulG says:

    As a business consultant, I couldn’t agree more. The first thing my clients and I determine, is are we meeting the standard to achieve our goals. While standards are different from industry to industry and every organization, they all can / must be measurable. Standards must be derived from the goal, they can not be set up without it.

    In some organizations, goals are lowered because the standard can’t be met. The people become “comfortable” and no one can understand why the business or organization is failing. Same thing with individuals, calorie intake comes to mind when asked, “why am I getting fat?”

    With my clients, I look forward to helping them build a new “Comfort Zone (CZ). The CZ is more about the journey than the end goal. When a standard is exceeded or missed, the question must always be asked “why?”. If exceeded, how do we sustain it. If we fail to meet it, what was the exact cause and how to mitigate or eliminate it. My goal is to get my client asking, how do we raise the standard continuously, not just meet it. We plan, execute, report and review constantly to learn how to become better. We manage toward results and not by personality.

    So many of us are afraid to fail, but it’s worse because we don’t want to leave our CZ and learn why we failed. You will always learn more from failure than success. You hope your failures are in training mode and not in the real-world, but that can’t be guaranteed.

    Being comfortable (meeting the standard) is fine, but you probably had to fight to get there and you will surely have to fight to maintain it if you are not exceeding it.

  4. Pingback: Jeff Gonzales - 3 Day Combative Carbine, Lvl 2 - Naples, FL - 6 Sept 2013

  5. Pingback: Jeff Gonzales 3Day Combat. Carbine 2 - FL - 6 Sept

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *