“Officer – That’s personal!”

I found this video quite powerful.

Rhode Island Police Chief Dean Esserman is addressing the graduating students of Year Up. It’s an organisation that mentors young adults by offering six months of training and then six-month internships in companies like Bain Capital, Marsh and McLennan, and Bank of America – to name but a few.

There is so much that Mr Esserman is doing right as a speaker, it’s hard to figure out where to begin. He paces his speech with pauses to really let the images land on his audience. He maintains good eye contact so that the audience really feels like he’s speaking with them and not at them. He’s genuine and heartfelt – telling personal stories about his family, his experiences with violence, fatherhood, struggle, etc … so that we as an audience identify with his humanity and values.

When the video started, the first thing I noticed was a man in uniform. By the end, I saw a father. I’m curious to know if you agree?

If I had to put it into a sentence, that sentence would say that when we speak from our hearts and reveal our values, audiences will identify with us because they’ll see aspects of themselves and their values reflected back to them. Our impact is that we aren’t just communicating a message, we’re also addressing the feelings we want our audience to take away. Business leaders are facing constant challenges in motivating staff, and by addressing values and putting a human face on the decisions they make, they increase impact.

To to be clear, Is Mr. Esserman a perfect speaker? No, but his impact is powerfully based on his values and how he communicates them. We forgive the mistakes because he leads with his heart.

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