I know there's one question that a perceptive reader will have at this point, and that is, "Why should I care about what you've learned as a detective or supervisor? What relevance could that kind of training have for me in the non-law-enforcement world?"
First off, I cannot stress this point enough: this is not a book for someone who wants to become a detective. Yes, if you have aspirations to be in law enforcement, there's a lot of information in this book that will help you improve your skills. However, I have adapted this approach to work for whatever profession you're in. And a lot of the experiences I had while working as cop are in this book because the insight I gained during those interactions is just as effective in normal, everyday social encounters. Actually, some of the techniques I implemented at work, like visualizing my actions before carrying them out, were derived from my childhood, making them applicable in almost any situation. Without holding anything back, I'm going to share all the details associated with these practices so that you can incorporate them into 'your' life.
It's also worth noting that while working as a detective, I didn't want to be perceived as one-dimensional. I had aspirations to work for the FBI, so I went back to school and completed my master's degree in business management. Although my intent was to diversify my abilities, grad school also changed my perspective on leadership. If there's one thing I've learned about a police department in comparison to a private business, it's that the objectives may be different but the core principals, such as infrastructure and the operations of the administration, are the same.
Although I gained some insight while attending school, certain things can't be taught; they have to be experienced. I've had a lot of success throughout my career, but I've also seen a lot of tragedy, none of which I would wish upon anyone. I was only twenty-three years old when I was involved in a shooting with a man who tried to kill me. I was left with no other choice but to shoot him, and unfortunately, he did not survive his injuries. It was definitely traumatic, and I did a lot of soul-searching over the next eight months. I still reflect back on it to this day. Do you think I learned anything about myself from that experience? Absolutely. Was what I learned more about "Derrick the person" and less about "Derrick the cop"? Of course it was, and what I took away from that incident is beneficial to everyone, not just a police officer.
I will say this: I'm not a millionaire or a famous entrepreneur. If that's what you're looking for, I'm not your guy. But if you're someone like me, who believes that a large component of success is good communication, then you're in the right place. I built my career on my ability to interact and communicate with others, and what I've leaned is that no matter where you go, people are people. Whether they're criminals or colleagues, the same principles apply: they're human and have mannerisms and gestures that can be suggestive of what they're thinking. If you're able to correctly interpret that information, you can use it to build stronger personal and professional relationships, which will ultimately lead to greater levels of success.
From suspects to businesspeople, from drug dealers to reputable citizens—I've dealt with them all. And I've always been able to find common ground in order to open lines of communication. By the time we get through discussing the different lessons I've learned, both in the academy and on the streets, you'll not only have an entirely new perspective on other people, but you'll also have one on your abilities and what you're truly capable of accomplishing. This will allow you to push beyond your own mental boundaries and reach your full potential. In each chapter, I'll encourage you to improve by constantly challenging yourself and those around you. I expect you to notice more, interpret better, and have a heightened awareness of opportunities relating to self-improvement. I want you to feel transformed.
Think of this book as a guided tour of the major lessons I learned in law enforcement, but don't worry; you're not going to have to wear a bulletproof vest and two chrome pistols like Will Smith in Bad Boys—although deep down, I know you might want to. All you have to do is begin each chapter with an open mind. I'll be there as we progress to explain exactly what I learned, how I used it to my advantage, and how you can apply it in your own life.
Most people are never exposed to this information. No matter how many police television shows you watch, or how many detective stories you've read, you never really get a taste of the actual training that I'm going to share with you, because, frankly, it's not always exciting. What 'is' exciting is implementing the knowledge you obtain during your training into your daily routine and seeing positive results. 'That' never gets old.
The approach that I'm sharing with you is perfectly appropriate for anyone, regardless of your age, gender, or occupation. One of the main differences between you and an experienced detective is that they've been trained to be more alert and to notice the little details that the average person doesn't take the time to pay attention to. I'll explain not only what to specifically look for, but also why it's important to pick up on these indicators. It's amazing what you can figure out about a person just through observing a subtle gesture.