The Part We Forget

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You may not be familiar with Dr. Bruce Tuckman’s 1965 article, Developmental Sequence in Small Groups, but you are probably aware of the end result: The “Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing” model embraced by many as the cycle teams experience as they go from infancy to becoming high-performing assets.  This article left out a very […]

Leadership Derailment

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We see it in the lack of leadership exhibited in some departments and it is prevalent in the business world as well. In today’s marketplace, the difference between effective managers and those who become sidelined before hitting their peak has a lot to do with the way in which they motivate and inspire their followers.  Traditional […]

Got Generational Issues?

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The new reality for leadership is that traditionally-run organizations, as they focus on control and rigidity, lose the ability to move fast and think on their feet, demotivating innovative and creative thinkers, and creating morale issues that are hard to shake.  Even the military recognized these issues as they evolved some teams into joint forces, realizing that […]

Heard This Story Before?

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In doing some research for a paper, I was reading about the difference between effective managers and those who become sidelined before hitting their peak.  While it might seem obvious that it has a lot to do with the way in which they motivate and inspire their followers, I still see traditional methods of “leading” […]

And You Call Yourself Professional…

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Watching a video today, I saw what was intended to illustrate that sometimes the people recording the video get a little too close.  The proximity of the videographer to the situation was MUCH too close.  As a photographer myself, I understand the shooter is more likely focusing on the picture and not on what is happening around them.   They had real […]

Jumping Through Hoops

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I was reading some commentary on the alphabet soup requirements we have to maintain as EMTs and paramedics and in agreement, started to join in the fray.  Both sides, however, had some pretty good points.  There are those who are right about the CPR and ACLS cards mandated by law being ridiculous when we are in […]

Questioning Heroism

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For some reason, I was scanning news today and came back to Dave Statter’s February 2014 post about a college professor suggesting the firefighter’s role as a hero is largely mythical, among other issues.  While the article dates back to the beginning of 2014, I re-read it to see if I could gain any perspective […]

Compassion

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Compassion is an interesting phenomenon.  I read an article that ran in Scientific American in 2012 titled “How Wealth Reduces Compassion” and there were certain aspects of it that I found intriguing.  There wasn’t any conclusion as to why this was so, but in at least five different studies using different means of observing behavior, a […]

Making Lightning

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What do we need to do to inspire others to action?  There are means of doing that through rewards and recognition, but ultimately, transactional leadership goes only so far.  We can set a positive example and drive our culture through our own actions, but that requires those we wish to inspire to pay attention.  Every expert on […]

Conclusion

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A while back, my daughter entered a project into her school’s science fair.  Being a dabbler in the physical sciences, I was looking forward to seeing the results of her experiment, which was to measure the effects of earthquake-like motion on different shapes. The short story was that while she worked to prove (or disprove) her […]

Celebration

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One of the interesting aspects of leading is success and how one deals with it and learns from it. To paraphrase Lao Tzu, one celebrates victory in war like a funeral, because there are winners, yes, but there are losers. In war, of course, this implies celebrating victory is the manifestation of delight in killing, […]

Empty Cup

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An influential and very critical consultant came to inquire from the Chief about the amazing things his fire department was doing.  The consultant was constantly on the lecture circuit, telling others how to run their fire departments and second guessing the actions of leaders. Even with a probie and other firefighters nearby, the Chief personally […]

Introspection

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Poor leaders find ways to keep their followers in line. Many times these ways are targeted at oppressing their subordinates. Ironically, when one takes action to rid themselves of oppression, the actions are labeled as terroristic by those who happen to be doing the oppressing. Good leaders listen to the voice of their followers; they […]

Who’s A Coward?

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One reason for becoming a firefighter is the thrill when the public sees us as important. The power of being a firefighter is a natural high. The reality is that every time we call attention to our deeds, we are calling out,” Look at me!” When we celebrate that power, it creates a problem. There […]

For Any of You Who Complain About NFPA

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We were talking last night on the Weekly Firefighter Hangout about “words that we live by” in the fire service and I was a little surprised not to hear anyone bring up the usual complaints on NFPA and other consensus standards, which seem to get thrown into a big steaming pile together when someone wants to badmouth […]

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Michael "Mick" Mayers

Deputy Fire Chief - Operations Division for Hilton Head Island (SC) Fire Rescue and an Emergency Response Coordinator with the United States Department of Health and Human Services  National Disaster Medical System Incident Response Coordination Team.
Recent Posts
The Part We Forget September 14, 2014
Leadership Derailment September 7, 2014
Got Generational Issues? August 30, 2014
Heard This Story Before? August 24, 2014
Comments
Colin Fanning
The Roto-Ray: Beauty or Beast?
One of the most important facts we reviewed when deciding on the roto ray purchase was this; With the speeds of traffic on SC 278, by the time people heard the sirens on our fire trucks our light bars (on top of the roof) were out of sight. The roto ray, with its mounted location…
2014-07-25 15:07:00
Mick Mayers
Questioning Heroism
Thanks, Bryan! I genuinely believe I do and they tend to reward me with professionalism, innovation, and compassion to our citizens daily. That's something I am happy to facilitate.
2014-07-15 04:10:00
Bryan G. Riebe
Questioning Heroism
Chief, appreciated in your response to Geoff that you work for the FFs. Believe if more Chiefs lived that philosophy our fire services would be bastions of honor, ethics, and human potential.
2014-07-15 00:05:00
Christopher Roy
Questioning Heroism
Geoff, EMS, as its own service, does not have a strong voice and in turn, does not get the respect in the media/public that it does deserve. I do hope that changes. EMS doesn't have a home either, and that doesn't help. There are so many different delivery methods in this country that its probably…
2014-07-14 23:49:00
Mick Mayers
Questioning Heroism
I'm sorry you feel that way, Geoff. The department I work with has been doing EMS (advanced care AND transport) with cross-trained personnel for over twenty years and doing a pretty good job. Our community expects a certain level of service that we have been able to provide through that model and while not every…
2014-07-14 22:01:00
New Leaders: JFK's Nightmare
New Leaders: JFK's Nightmare
It's OK.
It's OK.
Welcome to the Club
Welcome to the Club
Author Unknown
The Part We Forget
The Part We Forget

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Although I am affiliated or employed by certain entities, I in no way speak in this forum or others on behalf of those entities unless I have specifically stated such. Any implication otherwise is doing so contrary to my agreements with those entities. The result is that the observations and opinions by myself or on behalf of Firehouse Zen are not sanctioned by any other entity other than Graffiti Train Sherpa Publications and are protected by the copyright laws of the United States of America.

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