It is that time of year when we begin to think about the long list of educational opportunities that are available to each of us in the Fire Service. It seems that the list grows every day. Whether we are traveling to the center of the country or to the West Coast, the type and range of opportunities for all sorts of training is on the rise.
This is a good thing. I have long been a proponent of training as the cure to many of our ills. It has been a personal observation that some of our worst problems have evolved (or popped up) based upon ignorance. We can cure ignorance with training and education. If people do not know, it is incumbent upon us to offer them opportunities to learn.
Stupidity is a tougher nut to crack. However, a friend of mine in the Midwest has offered me the perfect vehicle to begin my attack on fire service stupidity. He suggested that I create a very special fire service conference. In a recent e-mail to me he stated:
"The other night I stayed up late at home going over some FD stuff and long term planning. As I looked at some of the upcoming challenges facing me, my shift, and my department, and today's fire service, I thought, ‘…there must be a secret Poor Leadership Conference going on each year in this country’. Fortunately I have never received a brochure to this conference."
He further stated, "So I put my two fingers to work, and when I finished at 0211, these are the topics I thought would be offered at this secret conference. It's a spin off of the major instructor’s conference, but I did not intend to place a cloud over that successful, proactive conference. It turned out to be more of a ‘vehicle of vent’ for me, for at least I put my feelings into writing. Now (as I have learned from you) I must face the challenge of remaining a true and honest leader, and making sure I never wind up on the Fire Department Poor Leadership Conference mailing list."
Follow along as I share my friend’s frustration with how the fire service works. I will be injecting my commentary as the opportunities present themselves. My comments will be in an italicized format.
Fire Department Poor Leadership Conference
Overtime: Learning How To Shaft The Troops
Looking to make some quick and easy cuts while dousing morale and jeopardizing firefighter and community safety? Join us as we take a look at overtime expenditures and hack some easy money. Learn how to play it off as "a necessary move" to the firefighters, and then pass off false hopes that it will be restored in the next budget!
Far too many people in positions of leadership take an inward facing perspective. They have been inculcated with selfish values and have absolutely no cares for what people think about them. Unless those people are politicians who pull the strings on our leadership puppets. These people are lost already. I am writing for those of your who will grow up and take their places in the years to come.
"It’s Not My Fault": Passing The Buck
Can’t Recant? Sure You Can! Understand the latest trends in excuses when you make a poor decision. This session will show you how to place blame on anyone from the training division to the maintenance shop. When you make a big mistake, there’s no reason to stand up and be a responsible Chief Officer.
This is a very important course for gutless Chiefs. It takes a real miserable sort of person to blame everyone else for the sins of their own commission. But with just a little bit of effort, you can avoid having a conscience.
Power Play: Muscling In On Others
No one does your job better than you yourself. Now what? Why not make others look bad in order to gain more power for you? This fast paced session will demonstrate how easy it is to encroach upon someone else’s responsibility and turn the tables on them. At the conclusion of this course, you will know the true meaning of ruthlessness and self-gratification.