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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Sheriff’s visit to Visalia campus emphasizes leadership and motivation in the workplace

May 15, 2019

SJVC Visalia campus students and staff with Sheriff BoudreauxThe Tulare County Sheriff’s Department’s recruitment office can quickly identify the qualities and skills their best hires possess, and Sheriff Mike Boudreaux was happy to share those attributes with Business Administration and Criminal Justice: Corrections students during his recent classroom presentation on the Visalia campus.

“Sheriff Boudreaux emphasized the importance of leadership, knowing what it takes to be a true leader, and understanding that we are a representation of our jobs, our schools, our families and our communities,” says Jessica Gutierrez, Business Administration program instructor. These are the very qualities that Jessica reiterates in class each day that will prepare her students for their future work environments. “It (information) means more to them now that it came from someone with a badge,” she emphasizes.

About 30 students, staff and faculty members enjoyed the personable way Sheriff Boudreaux demonstrated many of the attributes he described as desirable characteristics. He took the time to approach students, face-to-face, and offer each of them his first impression and include something positive about their appearance.

“Every student got a personal interaction with the Sheriff and he told each of them what, to him, made them memorable,” says Jessica. “All of his messages were empowering in one way or another.”

The Sheriff wanted to make an important point. “He told the students that they would all remember what his impression of them was,” says Jessica. “He said, ‘Words are powerful and it’s important to make people feel valued and appreciated.’”

“One important thing that I took to heart was ‘Our words and actions have a bigger impact than we realize,’” says Minerva Garcia, Business Administration student. “To hear somebody tell you something positive about yourself has a big impact on your self esteem.”

The attitude you carry with you can determine how others respond to you. “The most important thing Sheriff Boudreaux shared with us about our career is to learn to listen to others,” says Maria Garcia, Criminal Justice: Corrections student. “It is a major quality for our field of law enforcement.”

Sheriff Boudreaux emphasized the importance of both leadership and motivation in the workplace. “He exemplified the meaning of a true leader and what it means to really motivate employees in the workplace,” says Jessica.

Students were quick to recognize the value of that concept.  “They both have their own impact in the workplace,” says Serena Gonzalez, Business Administration student. “Leadership shows one taking control, while motivation is what keeps others going and feeling important in the workplace.”

Sheriff Boudreaux also spent some time talking about how a positive attitude and open mind about employment opportunities might lead you into a job you might not have otherwise considered. He cautioned against crossing something off your list of interest until you fully explored its potential.

“He called it the Three Os,” says Jessica. Don’t overlook opportunities for options. “That means don’t let your insecurities get in the way of possibilities of open doors. He encouraged students to seek those out, make the effort and, if the opportunity is there, let go of insecurities and shoot for it.”

“What I learned from Sheriff Boudreaux’s presentation that was most important for my eventual job search was to make sure that you seek out all possible jobs out there, even if you think that you may not end up working in a specific place,” says Kevin Rangel, Business Administration student. “It doesn’t hurt to try.”

Some of those insecurities can come from something like body art. “Times are changing, and tattoos no longer carry such a negative connotation,” offers Jessica. “Sheriff Boudreaux said that his office no longer enforces the cover-up sleeves mandate for his deputies. Now it’s more of an opportunity for conversation, instead of an opportunity to judge people.”

“In a lot of workplaces, supervisors still look down on people with tattoos,” says Raiane Spray, Business Administration student. “It was really awesome that someone with such importance was not only accepting of my tattoos, but that he also liked them.”

Students also learned about a very small thing that can change the energy in a room or the distance between people. “The importance of giving people a smile and showing kindness; your smile can change someone’s day,” says Jessica.

Important information about the educational debt, earnings and completion rates of students who attended SJVC can be found here.