From Buddy to Boss: Effective Fire Service Leadership

From Buddy to Boss: Effective Fire Service Leadership

by Chase Sargent


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Whether you're a new officer or in need of a mentor, From Buddy to Boss: Effective Fire Service Leadership is a must-have management book you'll turn to over and over again. Fire service veteran Chase Sargent has taken his popular course and written a no-holds-barred leadership book for the fire service in a conversational and easy-to-read style. He tells you how to accept and survive politics, deal with the fringe employees, and keep your cool -- tricks of the trade that usually take years to acquire.

In this book you'll learn: Your credibility is a valuable currency that takes time to build up--what you do, not what you say, is the ultimate test of your credibility, reinforcing your expectations; that leadership requires individuals and organizations to create an environment where people and their ideas can thrive; how to use stories to impress upon our new members the necessity of doing certain things; the quickest ways to lose trust are to inconsistently apply and enforce rules and to allow your personal feelings to dictate what you will and won't enforce; why leading by example and from the front, doing not saying, is critical to your success.

Reading From Buddy to Boss is like turning to a trusted friend for wisdom and advice you can count on to improve your job performance. Use this book to master your leadership as well as your management skills and successfully make the transition to boss. Professionally narrated by Jack Shook. Perfect for uploading to your MP3 player.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593701703
Publisher: PennWell Corporation
Publication date: 03/27/2008
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Chase Sargent is a decorated fire officer who spent more than 26 years with the City of Virginia Beach Fire and Rescue Department as a Firefighter/Paramedic, Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief, and recently retired as a Division Chief in command of B-shift. He obtained his BS degree in Forestry and Wildlife, with a major in Fisheries Biology from Virginia Tech and his MPA from Golden Gate University. He completed the Executive Fire Officer program and is an NFA instructor. Chase is a member of VATF-2 and the Operations Chief for FEMA's Urban Search and Rescue White Incident Support Team. Chase was the night operations officer at both the Oklahoma City Bombing and the World Trade Center Collapse. He is the president of Spec Rescue International, a training and consulting company in Virginia Beach. Chase has been the Chief Tactical Paramedic for the Norfolk division of the FBI since 1995 and is both COTOMS and OEMS qualified. Currently, he works as an independent contractor to the US Government (DOS/DSS) and volunteers as a firefighter in Virginia Beach and as a paramedic for the Courthouse Volunteer Rescue Squad.

Table of Contents

Preface: Leadership Lost     xv
Ray Downey     xv
Jim Page     xvii
Introduction     xix
The Organizational Foundation for Leadership     1
The Governance Process     2
Time-Management Model     6
Mission, Vision, and Core Values     10
How the Organization Sets the Foundation     11
Values     14
Organizational versus Individual Leadership     16
Organizational leadership     18
Individual leadership     21
Why Senior Leaders Must Lead     25
Who Packed Your Parachute Today?     27
Notes     30
Knowing Yourself and Others     31
Understanding How People Are Made     31
Why Know Yourself?     35
Using Styles and Tendencies to Strengthen Your Team     39
Leading Your B-Team Players     44
Cain and Abel in the Workplace     47
Knowledge is power     48
Liars     49
Familiarity     49
Manage it-don't prevent it     49
Master of deniability     50
Notes     50
Universal Rules for Survival     53
Vision: The Essence of Leadership     54
Why We Don't Listen and Hear     56
On the frontlines     57
Middle management     58
It's not what you say, but how you say it     58
Your undivided attention     59
Two-way communication     59
In closing     60
Values-Based Decision Making     61
The Moment of Truth     64
Of Officers and Riverboat Captains     65
What does it all mean?     65
Super models     66
Growing a good crop     67
On a mission     67
The task at hand     68
My message to you     68
Understanding Your Duty as a Leader     69
The Universal Three     77
The ABCs of Leadership     77
Trust your subordinates     77
Develop a vision     78
Keep your cool     79
Encourage risk     79
Be an expert     80
Invite dissent     81
Simplify     81
Methods to Improve Your Leadership     82
The Best Leaders I Ever Had: Characteristics to Embrace     84
Caring for the job      85
Technical competence     85
Understanding people     86
Expecting the best     87
Taking a risk     87
A final word     88
Keeping Humanity in Your Leadership     89
People-Based Organizations     91
People before Plans     92
Keeping in Touch     95
The Second Chance     97
Some Final Words about People     98
Notes     98
Being Tested as a New Leader     99
How Personnel Test a New Leader     99
First day on the job     99
Well guess what?     100
The ballers     101
The routine call     103
Actions speak louder     104
Keeping the Kittens in the Box     105
Giving Orders     106
Intent     107
End state     107
Main effort     107
Rules of engagement     108
The Bank Account     108
Go first     109
Stay in touch     110
Make meaning     111
Teach through stories     111
Reflect on moments of learning     113
Big Stuff, Little Stuff-You Would Be Surprised     113
Notes     117
Maintaining Technical Competence     119
Education-What's It Worth?     119
Credibility-Earning It and Keeping It     120
Trust, Respect, and Other Concepts     120
Job Maturity     121
Getting into trouble     123
Liability-how we create it or avoid it     125
"People Are My Most Important Asset"     129
At the company level     131
At the organizational level     132
Sharpening the Saw     134
Physical competence     134
Mental competence     134
Spiritual competence     135
Social and emotional competence     135
A Final Word on Training     135
Notes     137
Understanding and Enforcing Policy     139
The Culture of Policy and Procedure Making     139
Your name on this policy     140
I'm the king or queen     140
Good sound policy     141
Statutes, laws, ordinances, and consensus standards     141
Crisis policy     142
Political policy direction     142
Influence      143
Methods to Expand Your Influence     144
Understanding the difference     145
The Consequences of Nonenforcement     147
Argue at the right time and place     147
Don't talk bad about policy in front of the troops     147
You don't have to like it; you just have to do it     148
Know the process and the policy     148
Don't pick and choose the policies you want to enforce     148
Don't allow or have a "look over the fence" mentality     149
Retooling     149
Rules versus values systems     152
Inheriting Policy Violations     154
Relief for Firefighter Jones     155
Conclusion     158
Notes     158
Evaluating and Compensating People     159
The Culture of Forming Evaluations     159
The Myth of Merit Raises     160
The bar     163
What Do We Know about Evaluations?     164
Beginning the Process     165
Using the Door and the Desk     167
Positive Influence for Positive Employees     168
Myths and Truths about Discipline and Employees     169
Fringe Employees     171
Rules for dealing with fringe employees     172
Documentation and Evaluations     175
A word about personnel files     176
Some learning points on documentation and attitude     178
The Hoover     179
Notes     182
Prejudice, Diversity, and Sexual Harassment     183
It Is What It Is     183
The Changing Face of the Fire Service     185
Diversity in the Workplace     187
Equal Employment Opportunity: A Primer     189
Sexual Harassment: What It Is and Is Not     191
What the courts have said     193
Supervisory actions     194
Pornography in the Firehouse     195
Showstoppers in the Firehouse     198
Notes     198
Anger and Violence in the Workplace     199
What Is Violence in the Workplace?     199
Managing Anger and Disappointment     202
Recognizing the Potential for Violence     204
Evaluating Threats and Taking Action     208
Defusing Violent Situations     209
Conclusion     211
Notes     211
Decision Making-It's Not Tarot Cards     213
Neurology and Decision Making     213
The Pitfalls of the Decision-Making Process     214
Colin Powell's Decision-Making Guidelines     216
Gut Decision Making-and Why It Is Important     218
Completed Staff Work     219
Making Choices     221
Fire Ground Decision Making and Choices     224
People Choices     225
Emotional decisions     226
Past experience     226
Values     227
Loyalty     227
Politics     227
Fiscal considerations     227
Choices about Moving On     228
Notes     229
Accountability and Responsibility     231
Firehouse to Fire Ground     231
Why People Follow You: Understanding Trust     234
Relationship-based trust     235
If you talk the talk, you had better walk the walk     238
Communications-the key to long-term commitment     239
Don't fly if you don't know how     240
The Look-over-the-Fence Mentality     243
The Virus; or, My Stomach Hurts, I Don't Feel Well!     244
Identifying the Disease     245
Making Accountability the Normal Operating Procedure     247
Inoculations for Success      248
Maintaining Accountability     251
Making Mistakes and Taking Your Lumps     253
Some Leadership Traits for Accountability and Responsibility     255
Notes     257
Battlefield Firefighting     259
Ruining Your Career in 10 Minutes or Less     259
It's All Yours!     260
Prioritization: Start with the End in Mind     260
Identify the Main Problem     261
Communications, Command, and Control-First-Due Perspective     262
Why Fire or Evolving Rescue Grounds Are Your Enemy     263
The Enemy at Work     265
Friction     265
Self-induced friction     266
Uncertainty     267
Fluidity     270
Disorder     271
The human factor     271
RIT-Doing It Right     272
Hypercool-How to Act When Things Look Bad     273
Final Considerations on Being in the Soup     276
Notes     277
Transitional Team Life Cycles     279
Constants When Evaluating the Team     280
Teams enhance the organization's capabilities     280
Through high-performance service     280
Small teams accomplish 90% of everything we do     280
Teams of any kind have a predictable life cycle     281
To reach peak performance, teams require leadership and vision     282
Teams are living entities     283
Team Life Cycles     284
Understanding Team Life Cycles-Managing the Big Picture     286
Development     287
Buildup     287
Fine-tuning     289
Drawdown     291
Buildup     292
Team Decision Training     295
The Concept of Team Decision Making     295
Where Teams Reside     297
What Works and What Doesn't     298
Developing the Model     301
Benchmarking Behaviors     303
Team identity     305
Team conceptual level     305
Team self-monitoring     307
Putting It All Together     307
Notes     308
Planning and Implementation     309
Planning or Decision Making-the Consequences of Doing Neither     309
Planning at the Company Level     311
Planning to Pay Your Dues     315
Paralysis by Analysis     316
Functional Planning Tools     317
Managing Change     319
Change-the Perilous Journey     319
The Reality of Change     321
The Model of Placebo Change     322
What Makes Change Successful?     323
Lessons from 2001     325
Lessons from 2006     326
Change as an Educational Leadership Tool     328
Winning the Stakeholders-Key Decisions for Success     331
Organizational Big Picture Mistakes     334
Notes     336
The Business of the Business     337
The Essence of Being a Firefighter     337
The 5% Rule     339
9/11 Retrospective     340
Why You Are Dangerous     342
Leading or Doing: Failing Either Will Alter the Moment of Truth     344
When Leadership Fails     347
Why Leadership Fails     347
Setting the Stage for Organizational and Political Failures     350
Case study: How trust and respect affect ability     352
Failure to Educate     354
Promotion of noncombatants     355
Individual Failure     357
Walking the walk and talking the talk     359
Failure to Exploit Small Teams     361
How to Survive Failing Leadership      361
Leading up     364
Bunker mentality     366
Political or managerial action     367
Moving on     368
What Next?     371
Notes     371
Conclusion-Changing the Culture One Person at a Time     373
Epilogue     374
Sargent's Critical Commandments of Leadership     377
About the Author     379
Index     381

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