Tag Archives: Hilton Head Island

Excused Absence

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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 […]

The Annapolis Mansion Fire, Investigating, and of course, The Haters

As you are well aware, there was an extraordinarily tragic fire this week in Annapolis, MD* where it appears six people- two grandparents and four of their grandchildren- may have died in the blaze.  This incident has also gotten a significant amount of media attention, from CNN; CBS via WUSA; and any number of other conventional media outlets. Understandably, there […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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