• January 12, 2015
August / 15 / 2013

Leading You To Excellence: The Road Less Traveled

What is the "Road Less Traveled?"


This newsletter was created for public safety professionals and the friends and family members who tirelessly support them. The idea for the title came about for a few reasons. First, a career in this field is a Road Less Traveled because it is a high stress/high demand job where most efforts go unappreciated. Second, many people do not possess the unique skills and abilities required to be successful in this profession. Finally, the Road Less Traveled also has to do with an approach to living life and the choices we make or don't make each day.  


This approach is about striving for excellence, never settling for good enough, and strategically using our strengths to serve others. When we do this we can make an extraordinary impact on the world and bring a special meaning to our life. Although this level of success may be attractive, it's not a road many choose to venture down because many people do not possess the tenacity required and/or are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to focus on excellence each day. Lets face it, this type of daily effort is hard and we don't always have the energy to do it.


So, how can you start down or better navigate a journey on your Road to excellence? I will lay out a six step process that will enable you to more successfully plot a course down what can be a challenging journey. The first step is self reflection. Do you have a goal that has been on your mind for a long time that appears insurmountable? Is there something you want to change about yourself or in your life? Is there a skill you want to learn or an ability you want to enhance?


After you have chosen a goal, make sure you are really "ready to move." We have all dedicated ourselves to goals or New Year's resolutions (e.g., losing 20 pounds, spending more time with our family or friends, taking more time off from work, exercising on a more regular basis, etc.) that we end up not accomplishing. Although there are many reasons for this, the main impediment to achieving our goal is that the comfort of staying where we are is stronger than our desire to move to an improved state. As long as we are more comfortable remaining where we are (even though it might be a dysfunctional or unhealthy state of existence), we will never exert persistent effort toward achieving a new way of being in the world.


The third step is focused on developing belief. Although it may sound clich�, without belief nothing is possible. Whatever you believe or do not believe about yourself will become your truth. Therefore, it is critical that you believe that no matter how challenging or uncomfortable you feel, you will be able to achieve your goals.


After you have come to believe in your ability to achieve your next level of excellence, the fourth step is to obtain assistance from someone who can help you along the way. You need to find someone who can inspire, motivate, and/or coach you toward improvement. Most of us never achieve big goals without the assistance of others and making this type of change is no exception, but be thoughtful in who you choose. Identify someone who has achieved what you desire, can motivate you when it gets hard and you want to quit, and who you are willing to be accountable to.


Following the identification of a coach or accountability partner, it is critical that you "shrink" the goal down into small pieces. Too often we set long-range goals (e.g., lose 20 pounds, get promoted in the next two years) that keep us from experiencing success until the "end." These goals can be difficult to persist in because we don't set up on-going feedback and short-term wins that keep us motivated and enable celebrations of success along the way. As an example, if you are trying to lose weight a first step might be to go to the gym once in a seven day period or shop for healthy food. Note, no weight has to be lost in order for you to get a "win" and these shrunken steps could be achieved rather quickly. Likewise, if you want to be promoted, a first objective might be to seek out someone whose leadership you admire and set a time to talk with them about how they developed their skills. Again, getting promoted does not have to occur for you to be able to achieve a measurable success. Setting these types of short-term, realistic ways to monitor your change will enable you to note on-going progress toward the goal, reduce your discomfort and inspire you to keep working toward the ultimate result you are seeking.


Finally, once you achieve your goal, challenge yourself to use these same steps to find a new area of your life to improve. The more consistently you can apply these steps, the more habitual this way of life will become and the easier your next challenge will be. Additionally, you may find yourself serving as a role model or mentor for others, who just like you, need guidance and support to transform their lives.


Striving for excellence is never an easy road, that is why most of us stay as we are. However, your choice to be a public safety professional demonstrates that you are already committed to being different and standing out from the crowd. Why not take a risk and stand out even more? Make a choice this week to identify a goal that will lead you to your next level of excellence and get to work!


If you are up to this challenge, drop me a line at and let me know how it's going, I would love to hear from you!


Stay tuned for more tips on achieving excellence. In the next newsletter we will explore how you can be an inspiration to others and craft a legacy you can be proud of. Until then, stay safe, and keep to the Road Less Traveled.....


� Kimberly A. Miller, Ph.D. 2014


About Dr. Miller

Kimberly A. Miller, PhD. is Cherokee, a licensed psychologist and an organizational consultant based in Colorado. Dr. Miller has provided a variety of consulting services to law enforcement agencies, non-profits, hospitals, treatment centers, banks and Native American organizations since 2004.
The Doctor Is In
Do you have a question about how to stay on the road to excellence? Are there barriers that are keeping you from your goals?

If so, drop me a note at Dr.Miller@KimberlyMillerCon In each newsletter I will provide an answer to the most frequently asked question.
    View our profile on LinkedIn