Ethics

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As leaders, we face ethical challenges every day.  Ethical frameworks exist to provide some systematic approach to govern decisions.  While the study of ethics frames this question in “How should we live our lives?”, I want to examine right now the “What am I going to do?” question, especially as it relates to the individual in a company leadership […]

Get Over Yourself

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As a Jeep owner, you find yourself in a community of others who like the Jeep lifestyle.  However, I happened to go to a Land Rover website and found Jeep owners bashing the Land Rover owners. “Hate” doesn’t always come from fear, but it most certainly comes from a lack of understanding. I doubt the […]

Aware

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Just as things go badly in life, they go badly on emergency scenes. The problem is, people are geared to being optimistic- either hopefully so or blissfully so – and don’t anticipate bad things happening. Whether rolling through life with rose colored glasses on is our thing or not, I have a belief that if we […]

Vulnerability

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By failing to understand our weaknesses, we permit their exploitation. Their exploitation by others isn’t what we have to worry about though- it is our own hubris that will be our downfall. We are all vulnerable to ruin and it is our ego that sets us up for failure. A rock is subject to the […]

Resource Management

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Engaging others is difficult sometimes. Engaging others requires time. But while time is a valuable resource to a leader, the relationships we develop are valuable resources in and of themselves. So we can pay on the front end or we can pay on the back end. Regrettably, I have found this out the hard way. I’m finding it out now, […]

Today

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One of the things we probably don’t do in our lives is to take the opportunity to reset ourselves, especially after experiencing failure, or disappointment, or other setbacks. To an extent, we can all reinvent ourselves; we can look to improve by being kinder, by creating new experiences, by learning, or by just looking into […]

Excused Absence

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Hi, and welcome back.  This summer has been an interesting one.  Lifetime achievements and catastrophic failures in arenas personal and professional led to an amazing amount of stress and an overall reluctance to even sit at the keyboard. The passage of some “me” time hasn’t done anything to totally eliminate the highs and lows, but at least […]

This Is A Hate Speech

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Do you know what I hate? Hate.  When I was young, I may or may not have said I hated one of my siblings. I remember my mother telling me that “hate” is a really strong word. I may not like the offending sibling.  I may not even want to be around them for a […]

Considering Perspectives

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The man in the picture is my grandfather, Earl C. Mayers, better known to many as “Smokey”.  To me, he was “Grandpop”. My whole life he served as “the Fire Marshal”.  I say it like that because he carried that title in several jurisdictional responsibilities, the most visible being the Chief Fire Marshal for Montgomery County, Pennsylvania until his death […]

Consequences

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So, I’m assuming most of us in the emergency services world feel a little bit vindicated when we see a picture of a car, illegally parked in front of a fire hydrant, with a hose run through the smashed out windows. We have all seen a few either online, or in the news, or have even been on an […]

Adversity

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We all face it. Adversity. It’s what we do with it that matters. I’ve been slogging through a rough month and a half.  Things that have always gone right have gone inexplicably awry. People I thought I could count on, managing to question my faith. Even the things I have always sought to be my […]

Reaching Out – Talking About Suicide to Prevent It

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NOTE: I added a few other resources at the end of the post.  Please share these if you know someone who needs help. In the very first week of November  in 1993, a week I remember well, a fellow responder of mine put a bullet in his head.  He, along with many of my friends, were supposed […]

Different Perspectives on Truckies and Other Things

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Over on UniformStories.com I posted about a subject near and dear to my heart: the Truckies. Having led the Truck Company for most of my career (although now the “chief” days seem to be adding up), I wanted to share a little bit about what it is they do and why they have such a following. […]

Five Hundred and Five – Abandonment

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This is the five hundred and fifth post for Firehouse Zen. I would probably have called attention to number five hundred, but it was in the middle of the series honoring my brother’s 50th birthday and didn’t want to distract from THAT celebration. That is a lot of writing over a lot of days.  If you […]

Sunset – Brian’s 50th Birthday

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Tomorrow is the big day and Brian will be 50. He’s an amazing guy and best friend to so many. It’s hard to believe we have both endured a half-century on this mortal coil and given how I feel, and I am assuming Brian feels the same, we could easily go another 50. Maybe by then […]

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