What’s Your Cheese?

By Dean Crisp

December 14, 2020

In this week’s podcast, I talk with our Director of Business Development, Kelle Corvin, about the book, Who Moved My Cheese? Although the book was written more than 20 years ago, the principles in that book hold true for leaders today. In the book, we meet four mice as the main characters. Sniff and Scurry use their unique skills to detect that things are changing with what had been their ever-available supply of cheese. Meanwhile, the other two Hem and Haw fail to see that change is coming. When their cheese finally moves, Sniff and Scurry move along to look for a new source of cheese while Hem and Haw struggle with change.

As we near the end of what has been a year of change – 2020, it is a great opportunity as leaders to reflect on exactly what your cheese is. Defining what you hold dear. Who or what you may take for granted. What would happen if you suddenly found your cheese moved? Many have analyzed and written about the lessons to learn from this book and we certainly discussed them in the podcast. What I want to focus on in this post is how exactly do you define your cheese? You see, many of us never really know what our “cheese” is until we lose it.

  • Determine what your cheese is: know what you hold dear. Is it your job? Is it your family? Is it a prized possession? Take some time to list those things that are most important to you. You can’t really prepare for your cheese to be moved, until you clearly identify who or what your cheese is.
  • Be sure that you understand why that is your cheese: This may be the longest part of this process, but definitely the most valuable. Determining your cheese is often centered around your values and convictions. As an example, if your job is a “cheese” in your life, do you know why it is? Were you instilled with values of hard work and commitment? You may think that as long as you work hard, you will always have a job. However, you may not recognize the changes occurring around you that are signaling that you may no longer offer the skills the organization needs.
  • Once you know your cheese, what are you doing to keep it fresh: So, you’ve identified what your cheese is and why it’s important to you, now you can spend some time understanding what you need to do to keep it fresh. Are you spending time with those individuals that are most important to you? Are you monitoring and opening your eyes to the actions and activities going on around you that may impact a job you hold dear. Putting a system that works for you into place that ensures your cheese is staying fresh.
  • Know that the cheese eventually gets old: Accept that change occurs in all relationships we have be them friendships, romantic relationships and familial relationships. Are you seeing the change and embracing it? Or are you resisting it and keeping your head in the proverbial sand? Those leaders who see the change coming will be able to adapt much more quickly.
  • Finally, embrace the change and know that often your new cheese is way better than the old: Now this doesn’t mean you give up your spouse or your kids, but it does mean that you embrace the reality that relationships are with people and that people grow and change. Accepting the change and supporting the transformation of a child that grows into an adult whom you enjoy spending time with as a co-equal and not lamenting the fact that they are no longer your little girl or boy makes life exciting and is a great example of seeing the new cheese better than the old. You can remember the child and be proud of who’ve they have become. Same with a spouse who wants to make a career change. Are you supportive or resisting? Why are you resisting their desire to change? Most often it is out of fear of the unknown. Talk it through with them and really listen to what their “why” is. It will help you understand and embrace their desire to change. This same process can be applied to the workplace.

In summary, don’t ignore or refuse to see “the handwriting on the wall” Take time often to examine your beliefs and values to see if they are causing you to NOT see the new cheese and to hold onto the OLD cheese. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This year 2020 has certainly taught all of us to do that. Each day, week, month has brought new changes and new cheese. Some good, some bad and many are suffering from what I call change fatigue. To manage your cheese, try to not be so focused that change will come, but are you actually heading in the right direction. Remember, it isn’t the size of the step but the direction that matters.


“Leaders must work on journeys, not just destinations.”   Dean Crisp

“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”         Dean Crisp

Keeping Your Remote Workers Engaged

November 24 2020

By Dean Crisp

In our podcast this week, we took a question and answer approach to answer the many questions I receive and that our staff hears from across this great country. While the questions were wide-reaching and I encourage you to listen and share it with others, there was a topic that stood out – how to make sure your remote, non-essential workers who most have been sent home during the pandemic, feel engaged. The tips I offered were 3. Let’s take a look at each.

  • It will take effort on your part as the leader to keep communication open. Be sure you are spending the time necessary to make them feel engaged. To check on them as to what unique challenges they are facing as they work remotely. Do they have school-age children who are learning virtually? Are spouses working from home? Do they have the information and access to the information they need to perform their duties?
  • Maintain trust – often, our support staff is already viewed as “lesser than” the patrol officer on the beat. Being told they are non-essential can heighten this “fear” factor if you will. Making sure you are maintaining the trust and building on that trust is critical. Communication is a must. During normal work situations, many employees gain knowledge through the “informal” network where they hear about work-related information at the water cooler or at the coffee pot. Make sure you give them the “formal” information they require to do their jobs effectively. It will make them feel connected and allow you to feel that the correct information is communicated to them.
  • Clarify expectations. Make sure they understand what is expected of them daily while in this remote situation. No longer will you as a supervisor be able to walk by their desk and “chat” or “view” what they are or are not doing. Setting clear expectations of what is expected daily, weekly, monthly will help with this. As a supervisor, you have to get comfortable with the fact that you can’t see them for a full workday. You have to have confidence that the work they are producing is what is required. The best way to do this is by clarifying your expectations of them, but also clarifying their expectations of you.

This tips will help beyond the Covid-19 pandemic as many employers will want to keep the remote worker arrangement. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable by doing these three things now and you will find your role as a leader becomes much better, faster.


Current Trends In Law Enforcement

November 18, 2020

When the pandemic started a back in the spring of this year, I sensed we were headed toward unchartered waters. It’s why I held a series of 3, free webinars with key leaders around the country to talk about and provide some suggestions to current, in-the-trenches leaders on how to manage the crisis. Then came the George Floyd death in police custody setting off a summer of protests (most peaceful and some not so much) and the defund-the-police movement combined with civil unrest in many cities. We then moved into the fall with a contentious presidential election where the outcome has been called by media, but remains uncertified by most state legislatures and is under challenge by one of the candidates. In many ways it is the perfect storm of uncertainty in which to lead. In our podcast this week, we had a discussion, what I call a crucial conversation, on these events and offer some best tips for dealing with them as a leader.

First, remember that helping your people navigate, means looking at yourself first. Where is your mindset? What makes you the best leader you can be? Be thoughtful and introspective on the situations in which you find yourself. When you are honest with yourself, you will find the best within and be able to apply that to your leadership. Don’t just rely on your strengths. Use the unusual and challenging circumstances of this year to grow beyond your strengths and to actually improve yourself first. This will help you be resilient to the events and, in turn, help your people be resilient. Remember resilience is not just surviving, it’s coming out on the other side better than you were before.

Second, as a leader, it’s your job and duty to be aware of what’s going on in the organization. Remind everyone in your organization that recruitment and retention is their job as much as it is yours. Ask them to commit to being just 1% better at what they do each day much as James Clear talks about in his book, Atomic Habits. Help them clearly define their attributes and focus on that first. Be a vision of hope with a dose of reality.

Third, as a leader, it’s your job to give a vision of both reality and hope. Give your people the reality in which they operate. Don’t sugar coat it, but then give them the tools and training they need to be the best they can be and then reassure them that there is hope for a brighter future. That the pendulum swings both ways. Encourage them to journal their daily leadership encounters. Remind them that even the most routine functions of their day have opportunities for growth and leadership. 

Focus on these three areas and you will get through this year with flying colors and remember “Don’t say nope to hope.”


“Be a vision of hope with a dose of reality.”

Dean Crisp

















“Have you ever woken up with a fire in your heart, mind, and soul? It’s a feeling that if you don’t do something with it, the fire may just consume you whole. Since I completed the Master Instructor/Presenter class with Dean Crisp, the fire and desire have been running away. “

Christina Martinez


The Power of Inspiring Others to Personal

By Kelle Corvin, Dir. of Business Development, LHLN

November 10, 2020

This week’s podcast is an inspiring tale of how much one person can inspire others to make positive changes in their lives.  About two months ago, Dean, and co-instructor, Tim Plotts, taught Dean’s newest class, Master Presenter, in Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office to several of their commissioned and non-commissioned officers. One of those was Christina Martinez. Christina had been a commissioned officer prior to an injury that placed her in a civilian, non-commissioned role as a trainer with PBSO.  As our business development director, I’m always hearing stories and reading reviews of our classes and Dean’s instruction that talk about how inspirational and motivational the class they took was. I hear how much useful and actionable information they get from Dean’s unique style of teaching. Those are a constant and a given. I’m not overstating when I say, that a Dean Crisp class changes lives.

What made Christina (Tina’s) story so remarkable to us was to see what she did immediately after graduating. You see the 5-day, Master Presenter class in intense. It pushes you to your limits. For those who get the most out of it, they immediately understand that the 5 days will ask them to reach deep within themselves and to find within them something they didn’t know they had. The reward for that is indescribable. In Tina’s case, she immediately saw what was at the heart of a Dean Crisp class – your mindset. The day after graduating from this class, Tina embarked on a 30-day, positive mindset initiative that she chronicled on her Instagram page Tina the Bull. The 30 days is an amazingly inspirational look at what one person can do and how one person can impact your life and inspire you to do remarkable things.

Tina is the daughter of Cuban immigrants who came to this country when there was little hope left in Cuba. She watched her parents meet the challenges of being immigrants in a foreign country where you did not speak the native language. She learned a lot from them. She grew up loving America and wanted to serve as a law enforcement officer. She says that was the only job she ever wanted to do – and that’s what she did. When she was injured, she faced the reality that she could no longer be a commissioned officer with grace and determination. She took a position as a trainer with Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office so that she could continue to give back to the profession she loved and to support and encourage others. She’s taught her two daughters to never give up by showing the way. When she landed in our Master Presenter class in late September, she had no idea what to expect. She thought she would be learning techniques for being a better trainer and presenter. Tina had no idea how deeply the instruction that week would touch her nor how her reaction would inspire others through her 30-day challenge.

I myself have been personally inspired by Tina’s commitment and tenacity. It shows just what can be accomplished with intention and commitment. Her willingness to show her own vulnerability with her very public 30-day mindset challenge was amazing! I honestly don’t know if I could have done the same. However, I will say this, her challenge, inspired by Dean’s instruction and encouragement during the 5 days of master presenter, changed her life, and, as a result changed many others including my own. It shows how every day people doing ordinary things with consistency, commitment and encouragement can inspire others to do the things that make a difference in their life.

For me, Tina’s commitment made me commit to a new diet and exercise plan that has already generated amazing results. Her willingness to show vulnerability by posting on social media about her experience impacted me to re-commit to daily journaling about my own mindset and leadership in what I do every day at LHLN.

So, I’ll end with a couple of questions for our readers. Who has inspired you lately? Who have you inspired lately? What personal transformation are you committed to and are you taking the daily, intentional steps to make it happen? That’s leadership.

When you lead yourself first, others will follow.




THe Twelve tips

  • Processes Must Be Strong
  • Build a Team Around the Organization
  • Your Team Must Understand the Purpose of the Organization
  • Take Ownership of Your Organization
  • Treat Your People Like They Are Volunteers
  • Work On Your Timing
  • Process is King
  • Mindset is Key
  • Challenge the Process
  • Set High Standards for People
  • Hold People Accountable
  • Be Intentional 




“The first role of every leader is to define their current reality.”   -Max Dupree

Getting the Most Out of your organization

by Dean Crisp

In the 3rd of a 3-part series I wrapped up this week on my podcast, I gave tips on how to get the most out of yourself, those you lead, and the organization you lead. The organization is really an organic body made up of people and processes. It possesses it’s own culture born out of the first two. As a leader, you must first define what those are. Who are the influencers within and outside the organization? What are the processes that have been created? Are the strong? How are all of these influencing the culture of the organization as an entity?

In my career, I worked for 4 separate and distinct law enforcement organizations. Each was very unique. I came to those organizations in various stages of my career and had significant leadership influence on the last 3 and ultimate responsibility for the last 2  of which I led as chief of police. The tips I share here are ones that I learned through my career and helped me along the way.


Since the organization is defined by the processes created, you must determine the strength of those processes. Are the flexible or structured? Do they embrace or resist change? Do the processes encourage or discourage creativity? In evaluating this as a leader, you need to determine where you can effectively influence these processes in a positive way.

BUILD YOUR TEAM DAILY: As a leader, it is incumbent on you as the leader to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

MAKE SURE YOUR TEAM UNDERSTANDS THE ORGANIZATIONAL PURPOSE:Employees need to know two things from you as their leader – your ‘why’ of leading them; and how that ‘why’ ties to the organizational purpose. When you accomplish this, you empower people to execute the organizational mission. When that occurs, you are creating great things from your organization.

TAKE OWNERSHIP: Know that you must be an active part of it and own what the organization does. Help all of your employees bloom where they are planted and be ever vigilant of supervisors and managers who negatively influence that ownership whether it be you or your followers. 

TREAT YOUR PEOPLE LIKE THEY ARE VOLUNTEERS: Of course you pay for people for what the do in their job. What this “tip” means is referencing your attitude toward them. Place your mindset in addressing and interacting with your employees as you would if they were volunteer officers. Be inspirational, not manipulative; Be motivational, not transactional in your leadership interactions.

WORK ON YOUR TIMING: As a leader, you often see the changes that need to be made very quickly. Some are easier than others and some will be received better than others. Make sure to be as mindful of your timing for change as you are what needs to be changed. Understand your organization and know when the right time is present to suggest change.

PROCESS IS KING: Remember organizations are made of processes. Process is always king. Understand the process well enough to know which will fight you back and how they will fight you. In understanding this, you have an advantage to effect meaningful change without creating tremendous upheaval.

MINDSET IS KEY: Leaders have to foster a growth mindset wherever possible. From the lowest ranking employee to their executive team, understanding where each member’s individual mindset is will help you set the overall mindset for the organization and help you get buy-in for our 9th tip – Challenge the Process.

CHALLENGE THE PROCESS: When the mindset and timing are in sync, it allows you and your team to look for ways to improve the process. Remember, you will need to expect a battle when you challenge the process even if the mindset and timing are where they need to be.

SET HIGH STANDARDS FOR PEOPLE: Look in the mirror first. Make sure you are setting high goals for yourself before you set them for your team. When they see you walk the walk, they will more readily step you to your challenge for them to do the same. Remember, focus on commitment and you will get effort. What people commit to, they will give effort – every time.

HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE: When you get all of these in place, you then must hold people accountable for their actions (and inactions). Be sure you start with yourself. Leadership is about what you should do; not what you can do.

BE INTENTIONAL: Intentional means focus and attention. Make sure you are being intentional about your organization. In every tip listed above, they only work with consistency, focus, and effort. Just like a diet, when you make the effort to show consistency and focus, you will see results.




Getting the Most Out of Your Team

By Dean Crisp

October 27, 2020


“Creating a self-motivated team takes time. If you are not willing to put in the time to create this dynamic as a leader, you will be leading through manipulation and not motivation. When you lead through motivation, you definitely will get the most out of others.”   Dean Crisp

“Effort is directly tied to commitment. No one will ever give more than they can commit.”   Dean Crisp

“Employees want to know where they are going and what car they are riding to get there”   Dean Crisp

In this week’s podcast, I dive into part 2 of a 3-part series on Getting the most out of others. It’s probably the first thing any leader considers when assuming the role of leader. I started with getting the most out of you first, because so many leaders begin in the wrong place – focusing on others. True leadership begins with you. Where is your mindset? Why are you doing what you are doing? Do you ‘want to’ lead others? Once you have a handle on those key components, you can then begin to examine how to get the most out of others.

There are three key elements that must be in place for you as a leader to get the most out of others. First, you have to have followers. If you don’t have followers, it’s really hard to have the influence necessary to be an effective leader. Second, you have to have the ability to get others to work together. By doing this, you produce a better service or product; create a sense of accomplishment among your team; and develop a form of self-directed group motivation that leads to the third element, creating synergy. Putting these elements into place, takes time. You must be willing to put in the time to create a self-motivated workplace

This post recaps what I consider to be the 9 tips I personally recommend to get the most out of others. To get the details, listen to the podcast hearer


9 Tips To Getting the Most Out of Others

1) Stop being a manager and Start being a leader. 

Remember every employee is unique as to their abilities and needs. As a leader, it’s your job to recognize this and adjust accordingly. You always treat everyone fairly, but differently according to their needs.

2) The Goal is to get Optimal Performance out of Employees

Employees you have in your charge as a leader will come to the workplace with different abilities and motivations as to what level of effort you can expect from them. Your job is to get the optimal performance out of each of them. For one employee, it might be 40% is optimal while for another, they can go easily into the 70-80% effort every day.

3) Communication is connecting employee effort  to organizational mission

Leaders are expected to clearly communicate the organizational vision and mission. That is important.  Employees want clear communication as to where they are and where they are going and how they as employees fit into that vision. In other words, they want to see a road map of where they are going and what car they are riding in to get there.

4) You as a leader, has to grow with them

You as a leader must grow with your people. If you don’t they won’t follow you and you won’t become the best leader you can be. You do this through showing authenticity and vulnerability and honesty.

5) Know and Explain Your ‘Why’

Knowing your why is something I cannot emphasize enough for you to have as a leader.  Know it. Believe it. Connect to your people so they understand how it fits with the organizational purpose.

6) Give Your People Purpose

When you are able to connect your ‘why’ to the organizational purpose and connect well with your people, your people understand that their ‘what’ and ‘how’ have options.

7) Recognize Your Employees’ Efforts

Make it a point to periodically and systematically recognize your employees’ efforts and how it contributed to the overall success of the organization. Celebrate individual accomplishment and effort and you will definitely get even more out of your employees.

8) Make Sure your People are compensated both financially & emotionally

For those working in the public sector, it’s difficult to control this aspect as too many external factors contribute. Be an advocate when you can for the best wages for the best performance. Be sure to prepare employees for what the organization can realistically compensate them and let them understand that compensation is both monetary as well emotional and intellectual. Are you providing these avenues for your employees?

9) Remember that everyone wants to master something

Every single one of us wants to feel that we have mastered what we have selected as a profession or skill. It makes us feel accomplished and competent. Get to know your people. Help them identify their personal interests within the profession and then help them set a path to accomplish it. 


Tips For Getting the Most out of Your Day

by Dean Crisp

The first of a 3-part series to co-inside with my podcast on the how to make the most of your day. Next week will be how to get most out of others and the third installment will be about getting the most out of your team and organization.


Dean Crisp

“One good response is worth a hundred reactions.” – Dean Crisp on the importance of leaders staying focused on responding rather than reacting.

This week celebrates our 50th episode podcast! I have to honestly tell you I wasn’t sure we would get to this milestone, but the response of our audience has been tremendous. This week, I’m starting a 3-part series on my tips to leaders to help them get the most out of their day. 

Up front, I want to state as I do in class: If you don’t have the “want to” (the desire and drive) to do what it takes to make the most of your day, you likely won’t be successful long term. As with anything at which we succeed, being intentional is critical to success at anything – parenting, romance, and, of course, what we are going to discuss today, leadership.

“There are no magic bullets.” 



My Tips for Making the Most of Your Day

October 20, 2020

When I think about what helps me personally get the most out of my day, it all starts with making sure I’m taking care of me. Are my mental, physical and spiritual/emotional needs being met? Often, we don’t consciously consider this as being a responsibility of a leader, but it most definitely is. We set the tone and vision for the entire organization we lead. For that reason, how we take care of ourselves in these three key areas is paramount to how our people will view our care of them or our organization. When you show up to work too tired or not feeling physically well, it will impact how you present to those you lead. Let’s take a look at the 3 areas I mentioned and see what some of my tips are. These are not a magic bullet nor are they a prescription for success, but they are what works best for me to be at my best and what I think will inspire each of you to find what works to help you be at your best as a leader

It All Starts with Your Physical Well-Being

First, and foremost, you must take care of your body. This means finding what works best for you to feel at your optimum performance level. Pay attention to your health and find what helps you keep yourself at your best. This doesn’t mean you have to be in Navy Seals performance level, but it does mean as law enforcement officers, that you find what helps keep you feeling your best. Some of the things that work best for me on a daily basis are the following:

  • Making sure I get a good night’s sleep that allows me to rise early enough to not be rushed in the morning. Rushing raises your cortisol levels and makes you feel stressed. Stress makes you do reactionary things (more on that later)
  • I make sure that I am hydrated with a 12-oz minimum glass of water first thing – if you think about how long you have slept and when the last time you drank water the day before, it definitely helps me to make sure I’m hydrating
  • Get a workout of your choice in daily. For me, I enjoy running or power walking and alternate days with weights. This helps to clear my mind and to keep me fit. As I always say, my goal is to live a long, healthy life to be around for my family.
  • Make sure you plan time for nourishing your body in the morning. Whatever your choice, make sure you do something that gives your body the fuel you need to start your day. By doing so, you’ll avoid the negative physical side effects that can come

And Continues With Your Mental Well-Being

The second aspect of getting the most out of your day is mental focus. As I said, many of the physical and emotional well-being recommendations work in tandem with the others, but specifically for mental well-being, it all begins with intentionally beginning your day with healthy activities that allow you time to get your mindset in the right place for the day. Specifically, I find it helpful to do the following:

  • Avoid looking at my cell phone or social media for at least a half hour after waking. Trust me, it will all be there when you get around to it and if you aren’t fully focused or in the right mindset, you will have a tendency to react rather than respond. It prevents you from absorbing negativity too early in the morningLet me tell you, one good response, is worth a hundred reactions. Make sure you’re mindful.
  • Do actions that become a positive habit you will want to do daily. Reading or listening to inspirational or informational ideas are definitely a positive energy thing to do. Journaling is another often based on those readings. Finding that personal “zen” is what will get you where you want to be both in mindset and grow your mental well-being
  • Pace yourself. Know that if you are starting new habits with the intent to make the most of your day, it will take time. Start small and grow as you are prepared to do so. Challenge yourself. If you aren’t a reader by nature, start with audio books while you workout
  • Definitely do NOT deal with really tough issues first thing. Some will disagree, but I find that these often will negatively impact your mindset and your mental and emotional well-being. So, my best advice, is wait until you are focused and intentional on making the right and correct action related to the tough issue. I know the circumstances won’t always allow for this but whenever possible, the results are almost always better


And Comes Full Circle with your Spiritual Well-being

The third and final area of making the most of your day is making sure you are taking care of your emotional and spiritual well-being. I find that when I intentionally focus on the mind and body, it automatically supports the spiritual.  Such things as:

  • By taking care of my body, I feel better about myself which leads to a better self-image that leads to more positive self-talk and then leads to better actions. Period.
  • By avoiding negativity and negative people until you are mentally prepared, you will find that your emotional self doesn’t absorb that negativity. 
  • By pacing myself, I find that I don’t feel the stress and “reactions” that inevitably come from stress
  • When I give myself the time to prepare my mindset before beginning the day, I find that I can give my people the best version of myself.
  • When I take the time to recharge myself in each of these three areas, I find that I get the most out of my days.

In the end, the goal is to do what works best for you in each of these three areas so that you can perform at your optimal level. Your optimal level is sustainable in contrast to your peak level. When you think of a Navy SEALS team or a SWAT team, when they are “on” an operation, that is peak performance, but most of the time, they make sure they are able to perform at optimal levels. When you are taking care of these three elements of you,  I guarantee you will perform at optimal level, set the right tone for your people and the organization. 

Let me know what you do to make the most of your day! Email me at dcrisp@lhln.org or join our discussion on social media!


“A blockquote highlights important information, which may or may not be an actual quote.”



Becoming a Master Presenter

By Dean Crisp

October 13, 2020

Leadership is influence. Pure and simple. John Maxwell says this, I say this. No matter who you are, if you are a leader at any level, you know that one’s ability to influence is critical. One of the biggest ways in which any leader “influences” others is their ability to present information in an effective and convincing way. There is much more that goes into presenting and I will discuss that briefly in this blog post, but since my why is to help instruct others through inspiration and information, I decided to create a master presenter class about this time last year with the primary goal to help my students become the best version of themselves as presenters. Because leadership is influence and influence comes from one’s ability to connect and communicate, this class seemed like a natural evolution of our LHLN offerings.

The first master presenter class was taught in February of this year and, honestly, I didn’t know how it would be received. We had some relatively veteran instructors and leaders in that first class who came to the class naturally skeptical and wondering what in the world they could possibly learn but trusting that if anyone had new ideas in this area, it was me. What an honor to have that kind of faith and pressure to prove something to one’s peers. Well, I’m happy to say that the class was successful beyond our wildest dreams! In fact, it was so successful, that since then, we’ve taught the class about 6 times with 6 already scheduled for 2021.

So, what do I think it takes to become a Master Presenter? Well, in the class, I tell students that it takes the ability to recognize where one is at in their journey to become a master presenter and to take the steps possible to become the best version of themselves. First and foremost, we teach that you as the individual has to decide what type of presenter do you want to be? While there is so much to talk about in this class, it would be too long to cover all of the class in one blog post. So we will stay focused on my three levels of a presenter and what I believe are the three components of presenting: connection, style, and material.

Level I Presenters: Almost all leaders begin at Level 1 Presenter which I describe as unskilled amateurs. Depending on your personality and years in a profession, you can present material and may do it relatively well, but haven’t had enough concentrated practice to develop into a Level II presenter. At the level 1, you are often overly focused on your material and may be somewhat comfortable developing your style of presenting, but fail to make the connection with your audience. In fact, you don’t even think about connecting because you assume that the material is all that matters.

Level II Presenters:  These are presenters who are definitely skilled and proficient and have developed a personal style of presenting the material, but fall short in connecting to their audience. Like Level I presenters, they fail to miss the real goal of presenting which is that if you connect with your audience, you will get them to listen to the material and adjust to your style. Many Level II presenters are comfortable presenting anything, but remain stuck in an intuitive level of instructing. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but it keeps them at a level that prohibits them from achieving maximum effectiveness as a leader.

Level III Presenters: When one graduates to Level III, you have become a presenter that people will pay to listen to talk on any topic. The material and style become less important because your reputation as a speaker proceeds you. You have developed your own ability to connect with your audience on any topic. When you think about great comedians such as Robin Williams, Jonathan Winters, Carol Burnette, they had different styles of presenting themselves but they had an ability to adjust and react and present any material in such as way that you would pay to watch them no matter what the topic was! It’s the same with presenters.

So, the goal with our Master Presenter class is not to change you. We don’t guarantee that everyone that takes the class will go from Level I to Level III presenters in the 5-day class, but I will say that the transformations that take place are phenomenal and affirming to me as a veteran instructor. Trust me, there were many years that I myself was stuck in Level I presentation mode. I thought that my material was the most important thing. I would be so much in my head that I would often freeze when I had to talk in front of large groups. It took years of practice and developing my own personal style to achieve the level I’m at currently.

In this class, our goal is to give our students the understanding that it’s okay to be uncomfortable and, in fact, it’s the only way to truly grow. The class involves a lot of experiential exercises – all week. The synergy that is created in this class is one of the most rewarding things for me as an instructor. In every class, we have at least one student who has never or rarely spoken in front of a group and doesn’t think they can do it. By Friday, they are typically some of our most transformed students! The synergy created comes from the connection created between the instructor and student, the student to instructor, but also the student to student connection. Many of our students continue their relationships with one another beyond the class. Many have organically created small groups to practice a simple exercise I would encourage everyone to try – the one-word game. Zoom with a group of professionals or get together once a month in a small group and each person chooses a word for another in the group. So, person A would choose a word say “enthusiasm” and select another in the group (person B) to say something about that word through a story or visual connection in a 1-minute time frame. You can do this yourself in front of a mirror with a timer on your cell phone. Get in the habit of doing this daily, weekly and you will be surprised how much you start to see both your style (facial expressions, hand gestures, etc.) and your tone of voice. You start to focus less on the content and more on making a connection to your audience – even when you are practicing this exercise alone!


I am really excited about the possibilities of this course. It’s been tremendously successful and rewarding and takes leadership up a notch, something I’m always wanting to do for my students. I hope each of you gets an opportunity to take this class. If you are interested in learning more, please contact us through our website at www.lhln.org and request to host one in 2021!

Dean teaching Master Presenter in Waynesboro, GA 

Thank you to Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams &

Augusta Marshal Ramone Lamkin for co-hosting this event!


Master Presenter

Class Objectives

  • Learn a new paradigm on presentation
  • Understand that it is going to be uncomfortable
  • Learn the three levels of comfort
  • How to connect with your audience
  • Understand infotainment
  • Learn the six steps to becoming a master presenter

Intentional Leadership

Part I of IV

By Kelle Corvin, Director of Business Development

October 6, 2020

Over the next few weeks, we thought it would be helpful to share with you the transformation we are seeing in the classroom. Dean has now created 3 signature classes that he’s been crisscrossing the country to teach. In addition, because of the travel restrictions placed on agencies and leaders to secure the quality training they need, we spent time creating a brand new e-learning class called the Accelerated Leader. You will hear about that as we roll that and our eLearning platforms out over the next few weeks.

2020 has been quite a year. No one could have predicted Covid-19 and all of the fallout from that. It certainly impacted our ability to grow leaders in person during the spring months. By summer, we were back on the road and providing quality leadership development training in those areas of the country that re-opened.

Dean’s first class, Intentional Leadership: Leading with a Purpose continues to be a hit wherever it is taught. Some of the comments and feedback we have received always reinforce that it is one of if not THE best leadership class they have ever taken. With Dean’s unique style of teaching and, really partnering with his students to create a unique learning dynamic, our students leave the classroom feeling they have learned new ways to enhance their own leadership and how to grow others.

In our 2.5-day Intentional Leadership Class, students are taken on a journey to determine what type of leader they want to be; what their “why” of leadership is; and how to grow their team into future leaders through maturity and what Dean considers to be the four pillars of leadership. In today’s workplace, whether it be law enforcement or civilian, your ability to manage your mindset, your emotional intelligence, triage your feelings as a leader and to self-heal are critical.

Dean believes at the root of it all is the importance of looking at yourself. Those who understand themselves, will  end up being the best leaders most especially if they learn how to manage themselves and grow others. The goal of this class is to take the student (be it a new sergeant or potential sergeant to the veteran executive leader) on a journey to understand where they are in their personal growth and development – what Dean calls your GPS Moment.

This class has been taught throughout the United States and Canada over 4 dozen times and every time, students crave more. The desire to do a deeper dive into specific topics discussed during the Intentional Leadership class has informed us to create future online webinars and MasterMind groups that will be coming in 2021.

Please check our website to see where we have this class scheduled for 2021. We are scheduling classes now and would be happy to discuss your department or agency as a possible host site. We offer open enrollment classes and contract classes to our students. Some of the key aspects of the class include:

  • What is an intentional leader
  • The mindset of a leader
  • How your thinking affects your leadership
  • The type of leader you want to be
  • The layered leader model
  • The Diamond Leadership Model
  • Maturity level of leaders
  • Defining your GPS Moment
  • Creating your ‘why’ of leadership
  • The four critical components of a leader
  • How to have a critical conversation vs a crucial conversation
  • Why Mentoring is the key to successful leadership

We hope to see you in an upcoming class. Feel free to reach out to me, Kelle Corvin, if you would like to host one of these classes. Next week, we will talk about one of our most transformative classes, the Master Presenter Course. 

Thanks to all for your support of what we are doing. Together, we will create a leadership network that will continue the growth for all.

You can reach Kelle at kcorvin@lhln.org



“The Intentional Leader is laser-focused on his/her role in developing the people in their charge. They understand that the rent they pay are the leaders they leave behind.”


“We’ve all had a bad mindset about things whether it be a job, a situation, a person, or a task at hand. We have all been there for sure. Remember, most of us have a tendency toward fixed or growth, but that doesn’t make one bad over the other. “

“Remember, most of us have a tendency toward fixed or growth, but that doesn’t make one bad over the other. That said, a fixed mindset is one that will cause you significant difficulties as a leader. Can you change? Absolutely! Is it hard – you bet it is.”

“Scott Shickler & Jeff Waller teamed up some years ago to develop a curriculum for elementary students based on groundbreaking research that discovered seven (7) mindsets. Since writing the book, the two have authored countless curriculums for K-12 schools that help students identify their mindset patterns and teach them how to adjust that thinking.”

” Just as the Fleetwood Mac song says “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” be deliberate and intentional in your goals to improve. “

Developing Your Growth Mindset:      5 steps to success

Our new eCourse has been extremely well-received. So far everyone that has taken it to completion or almost completion, has given it rave reviews. For that we are grateful as we always strive to give quality content to our customers. On the platform we use for The Accelerated Leader eCourse, students are able to dialogue both with me as an instructor and other students. It’s a great community of peers where the dialogue is often interesting and robust. Just what I would want to see when I created Leaders Helping Leaders Network two years ago.

Recently, one student asked a good question about mindset. That if a growth mindset was so desirable among leaders, why were so many law enforcement officers promoted with a fixed mindset? The responses were all good. One in particular referenced a book called Charismatic Leadership and of course Carol Dweck’s book on Mindset. The dialogue showed that there are still many misconceptions and misinterpretations of the importance of mindset as you become a leader. You see, for me, mindset is one of my four pillars of leadership. In fact, it’s the first one that I discuss when introducing the topic to my Intentional Leadership students and why it is a key component of our Accelerated Leader Course.

We’ve all had a bad mindset about things whether it be a job, a situation, a person, or a task at hand. We have all been there for sure. Remember, most of us have a tendency toward fixed or growth, but that doesn’t make one bad over the other. That said, a fixed mindset is one that will cause you significant difficulties as a leader. Can you change? Absolutely! Is it hard – you bet it is. I had to teach myself through many years of practice and trial and error of what worked for me. You see, because of our biochemical makeup, we are predisposed to look for threats in our environment – it’s how we survived in prehistoric times. Because of this, it just comes natural to see the world as a series of problems to solve or threats to manage. This can lead to a very pessimistic view of the world and others.

Carol Dweck describes the fixed mindset as a creation of one’s environment during their formative years. If a child was told that they just weren’t good at a task, they were basically being given permission to give up. Over time, this creates a more fixed mindset of the glass is half empty. Children who grew up being told to try again from a different approach, tended to see the world through more of a glass half full scenario and developed a more growth mindset that anything is possible if I tell myself I can. That said, many researchers have focused on how these patterns develop and how they can be changed. We offer a mindset self-assessment as part of our Accelerated Leader E-course that I believe starts the process for many. Just as with any 12-step program, admitting where you are is the first step.

Scott Shickler & Jeff Waller teamed up some years ago to develop a curriculum for elementary students based on groundbreaking research that discovered seven (7) mindsets. Since writing the book, the two have authored countless curriculums for K-12 schools that help students identify their mindset patterns and teach them how to adjust that thinking. That’s fascinating stuff and I encourage everyone to read their book The 7 Mindsets to Live Your Ultimate Life, but for those of us that are in the workplace and real world, how do we begin to adjust our mindset? Many of us may have been shaped by our childhood role models be it parents, grandparents, teachers or coaches, but we also can be influenced by the work environment in which we find ourselves. Law enforcement can definitely tend to have, by the nature of the work we do, have a more fixed mindset. Breaking free of a completely fixed mindset can be difficult, but I know from personal experience, it is not impossible. So how can someone identify and adjust their mindset to achieve greater success as a person and a leader? Well, let’s look at the steps I believe will start that process for you.

The goal in developing a growth mindset I believe comes from these key things:


  1. Recognize and admit where your mindset falls – are you a more fixed mindset in all things or just work-related functions? Most are a combination of the two. You will find that there are certain situations where you tend toward one or the other more than others do. That’s okay. Recognizing where your mindset is will help you assess which is best for the given situation. You see, I don’t want you to see one or the other as bad or good. Truly there are positives from each type. What you want to see is where you tend to fall and how you can adjust it for maximum effectiveness as a leader
  2. Journal your leadership experiences by describing where your mindset is at the time of the decisions you are making or the mentoring you are doing with an employee. By disciplining yourself to do this on a regular basis, you will be able to go back and see patterns in how you handled situations. As you analyze those patterns, you will begin to see what was effective and what could have gone better. Journaling your leadership is so important – it’s why we give every student of ours a journal so they are encouraged from the moment they take our class to begin that practice of journaling your leadership. I’ve done it for most of my adult life now and it’s truly remarkable to go back through those journals and see where I was at one point of my career versus another part.
  3. If you are a more fixed mindset person, own it and decide how you can practice adjusting your mindset to be more growth-oriented. Start with one aspect of your leadership. Look around at other leaders both within and outside of your organization and observe how they handle that situation. What do you admire? What do you want to emulate? Take note of those characteristics and write down your goals for practicing that new approach.
  4. Practice what you want to change. Just as you will never achieve a toned body without doing the workouts and weights, so too will you not achieve a growth mindset if you don’t practice. Now one of the more difficult things is that old patterns of behavior do die hard. It’s tough to change. One technique that worked for me was to “reframe” the situation. This was a constant challenge that over time actually became kind of fun to do. Take any workplace situation and however you would normally react, stop and reframe it from the other person’s perspective. In doing so, you are not only making your mind think differently, but you are actually practicing empathy by literally putting yourself in another’s shoes.
  5. Finally, don’t give up. Just as the Fleetwood Mac song says “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” be deliberate and intentional in your goals to improve. I talk a lot about finding your GPS moment for leadership growth and development when I teach. Just as you don’t get in a car without know point A and point B, you can’t get to leadership point B without knowing where your leadership point A is. Find your starting point. Realize that it isn’t all bad. By acknowledging where you are, you can begin to get to where you want to be.

Practice these 5 steps and make them part of your routine as a leader or parent. You will find yourself getting better steadily and surely. Will you be perfect all the time? Heck no, but by acknowledging where you are, you are taking the first step toward getting to where you want to be.