Category Archives: Uncategorized

Your Opinion

Hey, you know what they say about opinions…..they are like…….and everybody has one.

Opinions are the best. The first amendment says that in America we all get to have freedom of speech. There are some limitations about that but they are small.

The thought for today is, I know that you have the right to your opinion, but what is the weight of your opinion?

An opinion about the job is aways relevant, except on the fireground. The fireground and to many degrees the fire department organization itself is not Burger King….You don’t get to have it your way!

If your are truly an expert in your field then you have a right to expert opinion. The question here becomes who proclaimed you an expert? The court and judicial system/ An academic university? Does the fact that you have a PHD or a Masters degree give you expert status? Does the fact that you have written a book given you expert status? All of these have been considered in the past and I guess the listener has the right to determine your expert status.

If you have a ton of education but absolutely no practical experience does that your opinion mean more than someone with a limited education with multiple years of experience? I guess that your opinion is sort of like beauty, it is really in the eye of the beholder.

My advice, guidance and purpose for this week is this:

when you render opinion, know what the weight and limitations might be on that opinion. You have the right to express it, but others have no obligation to accept it.

I know this all too well by delivering an international podcast every wekk, and that is that I express my opinion every week on the podcast.

Sometimes, (and I am grateful) that many agree, but I cannot allow myself to get angry when someone disagrees. You see that is their right as well. BecauseĀ  I profess it, does not make it true.

My hope this week is this: If you have something to say, say it. Remember however that everyone else’s right might be to disagree.

Don’t be disappointed, don’t be angry, just realize that everyone has an opinion.

How we react to disagreement really speaks volumes about our character.

Think about it.

 

 

 

Boundaries

This week I am writing about boundaries. There are many boundaries we encounter everyday on the job and in life.

Boundaries areĀ  interesting things. We can explore them, expand them, build them and sometimes stretch them for good or bad.

My point is to try to get you to think critically about boundaries. How can you expand your professional FD boundaries. You can push yourself, you can train, you can take classes you can do everything you can to challenge these boundaries. You see in many ways boundaries are considered limits.They can be legal, perceived, or physical.

Overcoming any personal shortcoming can be considered overcoming a boundary.

One of the things I want to talk about is what do you set for boundaries? Will you stoop to personal negative attacks with those who have differing opinions from yours? Will you make fun and demean others? You see every day, everyone can see your boundaries, that maybe you cannot.

The way you treat others, the friends you hang out with, the mannerisms you display, all display your boundaries to others.

This week, make sure you understand the boundaries of your organization, the boundaries of law, the limitations of your training and experience, but most of all take a look in the mirror during some quiet time. See if you can see the boundaries that others see in you.

Lost And Found At Your FD

Lost and found. Two different things at two ends of the spectrum. Today I want to think about these terms in a way they affect you and your department.

By definition if you have lost something, you have given something away. If you have found something you have gained something. In most cases we are talking about objects, but in my discussion we are talking about less tangible things.

What gets lost in your organization? Sometimes departments lose focus. Sometimes members lose their own focus and no longer care about their job. Sometimes members do not train often enough and they lose perishable skills. Sometimes frustrations rise in the kitchen, or in officer meetings and people lose their temper or lose their patience. You get the point.

What can be found in your organization? Well nothing will be found if nobody looks! Nothing can be found if nobody is self aware enough to know that they themselves may have lost something.

I have been in organizations where caring could be found everywhere you looked. New information was always found and it was readily available and shared often. Great public service and professionalism could always be found. Friendship and camaraderie should also be easily found in your organizations. You see the things that can be found should not even need a “Lost and Found” sign over them.

Each and every day that you walk into your firehouse or firehall many things are lost and many things can be found.

I guess it really matters what you are looking for.

Inheritance

This might be a strange topic for a fire service Blog, but it should make sense in a minute.

An inheritance is something we all hope we leave for others. We want it to be thoughtful, plentiful, and meaningful and lots of good things. Well there is an inheritance in your department and your fire service life also.

How many times have you heard in a fire house (or firehall) “hey this is not my fault as an officer I inherited this mess!”

I think all of us have “inherited” something bad in our fire service careers. Hey I got hand me down gear from some guy who left the department…. We have to use the reserve apparatus today we inherited this piece of junk…etc.

So you get the point about stuff that you have inherited. Now the real question is what are you building and preparing to leave others. After you leave the station or the department what will you have left behind?

We can hope that it will be your good personality, your lack of complaining, your sense of humor, your willingness to help others, your technical skills competence and experience.

Who have you worked to train and leave them with some knowledge that they inherited from you.

Today, start thinking about the inheritance you will leave for others. Start now, whether you have 2 years on or 20,

We are always remember for what we left behind.

Be generous and thoughtful to those that follow you.