Category Archives:

Pay To Spray Redux

This is going to be an article about fire service funding, or the lack of it. If you are easily distracted, don’t read the title and start spouting off. There is ALWAYS more to the story than just your perspective.  Tragedy doesn’t begin to describe this situation, but in Saskatchewan a few days ago, two […]

Constant, Stable Spirit

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There is a tenet of Eastern philosophy, heijoshin, that translates to maintaining a “constant, stable spirit”.  The premise is that while we are constantly buffeted by distractions and emotions and other tumult, the true master lives in a constant and stable spirit, considering that nothing is permanent, that nothing is sacred, and that everything and […]

Lost Trust

I was reading an article this morning about yet another mutt (just because they are a “member” somewhere, I refuse to call them “firefighter”) whose actions erode the community’s trust in us as they broke into their own station and vandalized it.  To me it seems like the fire service could weed them out. However, even in my own […]

Promoting Mindfulness

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I woke this morning for a third time, having gone back to sleep when the alarm rang (twice- it’s a holiday), then later taking a nap (third time). Feeling refreshed, I sat down to take care of the business end of Firehouse Zen: answering e-mails, checking the Twitter feed, etc.  I also decided a “first post” for […]

Leadership That Matters: Series Links

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Back in 2012 I ran a 21-part series on Firehouse Zen on altruism and leadership (going back I realized I skipped Part 18- go figure).  There are any number of analogous theories that run along this vein, including just culture, transformational leadership, and servant leadership.  In each, the common thread is the concept of leading from […]

Blinded by Sight

Recently I have undergone Lasik surgery to “enhance” my vision.  I’m very happy with the result, although there were some adjustments that had to be made.  Sight has always been an important sense to me.  As someone who trained as an graphic artist and photographer, as a writer, and in the things I enjoy doing, my […]

And Yet It Moves

One group hails it as proof of the science.  The other, the “pussification” of the fire service.  There are those who say, “This isn’t new stuff, we were taught this years ago.”  Others say, “This is cutting edge knowledge.”  It seems that there are as many who want to assail the tactic of exterior streams […]

Speak With Real Knowing

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I happened to be able to enjoy a day listening and learning from Curt Varone this week, as he visited our department and we spoke about the ethics of leading. The discussion happened to tie in with some observations on communicating that I have made lately with my coursework.  Ethical principles should guide our business and […]

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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

In The Name of Love

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Optimization

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You don’t just “get there”: As any parent who has driven with children can appreciate, our subordinates, peers, and bosses all want to know “are we there yet?”

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