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 […]

We Are Still The Good Guys

Over the Christmas holiday, a drive-by gunman shot and wounded a Jacksonville, FL firefighter. With the recent law enforcement killings and given the hate that has been fueled in the past weeks, it doesn’t come as a surprise to me. All of the incidents in recent years toward firefighters are going to start becoming more commonplace […]

Blood On Our Hands

It wasn’t long before a few of the crazy ones took instruction from the hate being spewed by the ignorant. While there are others, in just this weekend, three police officers (two NYPD, one in Florida who ironically, was originally NYPD) have been executed for just being police officers.  Not because of their viewpoints.  Not because they posed […]

Career Change

The sign in front of one of the churches was advertising that “Prophet John Doe” [name changed for obvious reasons] was going to be holding a revival.  I wondered: “What are the job requirements for being a prophet? ” I kind of liked the idea of having the title “Prophet” in front of my name.  I […]

Someone I Would Have Liked To Have Known

Lately I have been considering the sad affairs of our world in regard to our tendency to create scapegoats for the things that go badly in our lives. I have thought a lot about diversity in any number of angles and again, it is tragic to me that today there are still those who lump […]

Think Fast

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The useful part of a wheel is not the wheel or the spokes, but the hole where all the spokes meet. We have to look past the obvious and turn to the esoteric; despite what we see, it’s deeper than that. Logical solutions exist to every problem, but the emotional mind fights those solutions because they aren’t, […]

Freak Occurrences of Cowardice

You simply can’t plan for everything.  We do try to make our scenes safer, but conditions change, or situations are presented where we can’t even imagine how they came to be.  How many people considered that individuals would try to bring down the World Trade Center, not once, but twice, succeeding in the end and […]

None Of This Works Without Trust

I got back from some opportunities I had taken and began to reflect on what I had learned.  Over a beer or two, I happened to have a conversation with a fire service leader about my blog and we were talking about different approaches and the like.  One of the things he said to me was […]

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 […]

Consider This

While at the eye doctor in Savannah the other day, I had an interesting experience.  I had to leave from work to go to my appointment, so I was in uniform.  While standing at the desk to check out, a woman almost directly behind me became faint.  She slumped into a chair as I turned […]

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 […]

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