Category Archives:

Focus on Success

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While God gives you talent, your mentor can teach you how to use it, but it is up to you to have the positive attitude to propel it forward. Focus on commitment and excellence by looking at what matters NOW.

Almost Good Enough

What does it mean to be “good enough”? Is being good enough sufficient to meet the needs of our customers? Is it good enough to meet safety requirements? Is being “good enough” good enough to keep civilians from being killed, much less firefighters?

Values

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If your organization doesn’t have agreed-upon values, it’s a good time to get your people together and discuss some. Value statements provide direction to those who have to make a watershed decision at some point with little guidance otherwise.

Get Your Facts Straight

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What facts may seem to be in evidence right now may not always be accurate, thus the need for continual re-evaluation of your situation. Even though something appears to be true right now, it might not be in a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days.

Trust Is The Mortar

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Trust is the mortar, the bond between power and responsibility. Without empowerment, people are unable to act on their vision. Give someone power and they are free to create all kinds of possibilities.

An Atmosphere of Trust

Trust is a pretty interesting concept of its own. As a leader, you have to earn the trust of the troops. And as I pointed out, twenty years of being their buddy can go right out the window if you hose them on one thing.

The Fixers

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What is our mission in the fire service? How can we go on in our lives without a suitable title for what it is we do?

Use of Faith-Based NGOs As Disaster Response Partners

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For some of the new readers here, not only is Firehouse Zen about enlightened leadership, it is about management issues and creative solutions to ongoing problems in the emergency service industry.  If you are a long-time reader, you may recall our discussions in the past regarding disaster response and credentialing, and in an effort to […]

Distance Separates Us

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Distance separates us.  Of course it does, you are probably thinking.  That’s not that much of a revelation.  But distance separates us all the more so because by being distant, or more so, by not being alike, it also indicates a schism between you and I.  The fire and emergency services are united in our […]

Science Is Your Friend

While taking Honora to school a few days ago, Bob Edwards was speaking on NPR Radio with Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum, the authors of the book, “Unscientific America”.  While the book apparently discusses “scientific illiteracy”, some of the commentary seemed applicable to what we currently endure in the fire service; clinging to tradition for […]

Turtles, Circumstances, and Change

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Just this week, not only on our relatively quiet haven of Hilton Head Island, but right here in the community in which I live (Palmetto Dunes), comes a story which has become national news.  Before I knew it would be on CNN and everywhere else, I read in our Island Packet this article on a […]

Ambition

At Mass today there was a reading from the Letter of St. James that got me thinking: “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice.”  It goes on to say, “Where do the conflicts among you come from?  Is it not from passions that make war within your members?” It […]

Innovation Distinguishes Between Leaders and Followers

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  If you didn't know, that's a quote from Steve Jobs (I didn't).  I was sitting in the office of our Deputy Chief/Ops, reading a magazine while he finished up a meeting, and I saw that quote.  I liked it a lot and wanted to share it with you. The quote was being used by […]

Reserving Our Scorn for the Deserving

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  I know that I am one of the chief purveyors of snarkiness as a means of combating the less-than-professional element in our midst.  I guess that just because I have a personal vision of what I'd like to see the fire service evolve into, there are those out there who also have a vision […]

I Had A Vision

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I woke up this morning with an idea for emergency services that is already a reality. It’s funny about technology in our business; innovation driven by the private sector and the military is implemented and has probably run through four or five revisions, then we look at it and say, “Wow, this is amazing technology!” while the others have likely moved on.

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