Byron's Babbles

Our Best & Our Worst

“What makes you best at your job also makes you the worst at your job.” ~ Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) to Detective Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos) on Chicago P.D. I love Chicago P.D. and statements like that make me love it more. This statement was after Hailey had gone against Voight’s orders while in search of a murderer who had kidnapped a little girl. Hailey is a lot like Voight in that she is very good at her job and sometimes blurs the lines. But blurring those lines kept the little girl alive. Hailey was particularly passionate about this case because it reminded her of being abused as a child.

The thing I love about Voight as a character is the relationship he develops with those on his Intelligence Unit. Also, how he serves as a father figure. He always knows when to have a conversation, who to have the conversation with, and what to say. He even tells them: “It’s my job to protect you.” I am certainly not condoning all he does on the show, but I can say there are things to learn. He cares, he listens, he wants the entire teams’ input, and he really knows how to spot talent and develop it. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced a real leader do it this well. I had a principal once during my teaching career who came close and I can tell you it was amazing. I was blessed to have that role model and have always strived to be like him.

Back to Voight’s comment: “What makes you best at your job also makes you the worst at your job.” In this case he was making sure Hailey understood to not let her passion for something take her over completely. Hailey had been so empathetic and compassionate that she was forgetting the boundaries. We must be conscious of what the situation requires rather than what our strengths are. If we are in a group of people focused on the details and the risks, the most valuable perspective we could bring is the opposite perspective. Sometimes we need to bring what is lacking to the table, not more of the same. We need to be flexible and bring a higher perspective.

Another thing you will see if you watch Voight closely is how he picks pairs to go out into certain situations or question people. Voight understands that having the right people isn’t enough. Sometimes you can have the right people yet have the wrong strengths to be effective or make good decisions. Great leaders not only play to their own strengths, but play to the strengths of others. Let’s not forget that every strength or virtue we have is kind of our own personal super power, and like any kind of power, can be distorted or overused.

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