Senior Detective to Construction Mentor

Looking for significance rather than job security.

I’ve known Chris for over two decades and our paths have passed in recent years through the amazing world of social media.

For years I had the privilege of using vehicles like Facebook, LinkedIn & Instagram, sending out daily messages in the hope of challenging the audience to fight the temptation of mediocrity. I endeavoured to the best of my ability to live a life completely congruent to that which was reflected through the social media lens, warts and all.

I got Chris’s attention – I’m of the belief they are always watching, some secretly hope of your demise and some secretly in hope of your success. 

Chris messaged me through Facebook and asked the question “What do you do?” Having seen many of my posts and life through social media.

We arranged to meet and I shared with him my philosophy on life, my ups, downs and my passion to inspire young leaders in the making. Chris left that first meeting as most people that meet me for the first time, a little confused and stirred at the same time.

Chris messaged me some time later and said “I didn’t understand a lot of what you said but, I’m in” Chris caught something that day, he had a taste of significance. 

Chris was a career policeman for fifteen years and ended up a senior detective. He was ready to give up a future laced with security to venture into a life filled with unknowns in the hope of experiencing lifelong significance.

It was not long after our first meeting that I introduced Chris to Gerry Hanssen, a construction boss in the Perth high rise industry (another person that lives a life of significance). Chris shared with Gerry how he joined the police force to set people free, not lock them up. Chris making himself quite vulnerable, shared with Gerry how he prayed at a beach in tears asking God for more meaning and direction.

Gerry always the opportunist and eager to bring people of good character into his company offered Chris a role within the Hanssen ranks whenever Chris was ready. 

It takes time to make that leap into significance, courage must be mustered

Months later Chris messaged me while he and his wife were on a boat cruise somewhere in Asia and asked if Gerry was still interested in having him come on board. I suggested that he message Gerry direct. Chris ready to take a leap of faith from security to significance didn’t expect the powerful sign that he was doing the right thing. Within hours of messaging me, Chris was walking through a passage on the cruiser in the middle of Asia and he bumps into Gerry Hanssen who happened to be on the same cruise. You could only imagine how Chris felt at that exact moment. Gerry and Chris connected that day and the rest is history.

Chris has been with Hanssen for some time now introducing daily drug testing and refreshing mentoring methods within the company. Over an eighteen month period some of his methods revolutionised the drug culture that is so prevalent throughout the construction industry.

Chris shares a simple philosophy about his role within Hanssen “I want to create an environment that my children would feel safe to work in” 

A life of influencing young men and women all around him just because he chose significance over his own security.

Drug Statistical changes despite some resistance since Chris started with Hanssen has paid off.

At the time of this story three out of every four apprentices were taking some sort of drug substance. Currently all apprentices are showing clean, over sixty young apprentices within the Hanssen crew.

Seven out of ten workers were showing some sort of drug substance. Last extensive tests of one hundred workers, only one showed some sort drug substance.

Chris still feels he’s not doing enough.

I watch Chris push a broom and his face lights up when we connect as he shares yet another amazing story after story of change among the workers. Chris is living the dream simply because he has gone back to the grass roots of what really matters.

Chris had a hidden passion to keep young men out of jail and I think God heard Chris’s prayer and opened the most unusual door of significance.

The difference one life can make. 

Chris has no idea I’ve sent this testimonial out and as much as I don’t like to embarrass him; I think his story should be shared to encourage others to search their hearts to live a life of significance over self preservation.

I’m sure Chris will forgive me, he has no option.

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