Being a leader is not dependent on your rank or position with an agency. An “attitude of gratitude” is often the key to both personal and professional success.

These were among the messages recently delivered to law enforcement officers by Paul Butler, an internationally renowned speaker on leadership, motivation, public service, teamwork, and attitude empowerment.

Sheriff Mike Tregre and all officers with the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office attended the program, “Leadership for a Lifetime: How the Past Prepares Us for the Future” presented by Butler December 19-20, 2023 at New Wine Christian Fellowship in LaPlace. Joining them were several government, church, industry, and business and community representatives, as well as officers from other law enforcement agencies throughout Louisiana.

Butler, a 27-year veteran of law enforcement, has served as a training officer, sergeant, crisis negotiator, chief of police and chief deputy. At 22, he became chief of police of the Aynor Police Department of South Carolina.

A positive attitude can take anyone to the top or simply help anyone to be a good person wherever they are in their lives, Butler stressed to his audiences. Appreciating the big and small things alike in our lives – on a regular basis – helps us develop an attitude of gratitude, he said.

Butler talked about some of his childhood experiences of working on his family’s small farm in South Carolina with teaching him about leadership, attitude, hard work, mutual respect, and teamwork.

Sheriff Tregre said Butler’s program was well received by the two-day crowd.

“He encouraged us to be the best person we can be … and those actions … of being a good person will carry over into our professional lives,” he said. “… He wants us to reflect on our value. … We are all valuable to the team. It doesn’t matter if we are a team leader, a team builder, or a team mate. We all have something to offer, no matter what rank we hold.”