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Industry structural strain

When I was in college I was a criminal justice/criminology major with a minor in sociology. My studies were heavy in behavioral social sciences. To that end I had to study and write about countless theories and sociologists particularly about the theories as to why individuals choose to envoke themselves in criminal behavior. One theory specifically I still weigh against why people do what they do is Robert Merton’s “Structural Strain” Theory. Two of the core principles of the theory is the “self-fulfilling prophecy” and “Role model” a term in which Merton is credited for. In their basic definitions is a process whereby a belief or an expectation, correct or incorrect, affects the outcome of a situation or the way a person or a group will behave.” That’s the basic understanding but the entire theory is far deeper than than the one sentence written here.

The core of what I have been blogging about is based off of this theory and portions thereof. The industry has evolved into poor role models as well as devolved from the role models in which the craft was founded. Aspirants coming into the industry build their own expectations based of (unfortunately) what they see rather than what they are taught or told. The catch phrase, “I wanna be like Mike” echoed in all of our households instantly. But how the phrase was perceived could be broken down in two basic intended outcomes:

  1. I want to play basketball like Mike
  2. I want to be successful like Mike

We would all agree that number 1 played a direct role into number 2, however number 1 became a goal for millions of kids. The fact is there is only one Mike yet when you ask little boys what do they want to be when they grow up 9 out of 10 will pick a professional athlete. Hard work got Mike where he is today. The real role models, parents, teacher etc have been replaced by sound bites with difficult goals to attain. The fact is that any one kid has a far greater chance of being a brain surgeon than an athlete at that level. Somewhere in your life you heard your inner voice say, ” I wanna be a bodyguard.” Think about that moment and really think about what incident or who caused you to think that. Mine came from a former Director of the United States Secret Service who saw something in me and told me to call Chuck Vance. The reality of today can be encapsulated in one phrase, “Protection seeks no man/woman; men/women seek protection.”

The role model deficiency has emanated in our industry and specialists latch onto what they see and not what they are told. Regardless of what station the role model is in regarding their status in this industry, the draw is the apppearance of success. Success in this industry comes from putting in hard work. Proper training and continuous training is like shooting free-throws well after the team practice is over. That’s where the success comes from. Picking the right role model in this industry and aspiring to be at that level is admirable as long as you know that the honest hard work is the foundation in this industry. Shortcuts will result in short-falls.

What people won’t tell you is that this industry is not for everyone. Me and Minister have a good friend, that knows the business, knows his way around any detail and can charm any client to engage in a conversation and sustain the relationship. Recently he evacuated from the business because the business end of the industry did not avail itself as he thought.

Yea, this blog isn’t about spinning cars, shooting the CSAT qualifications, or flaring out before you hit a house that has your principal as a client, but it is about reality and the choices you make.

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