The Side Alpha Leadership Podcast explores leadership in all fields of work. Guests talk about leading people and making a positive mark in their hearts and minds, while creating a cohesive team to accomplish the desired goals of an organization
To make big changes you have to start small
This month I had the pleasure to speak to Asst. Chief Siddiq. We discussed a lot of topics.
Change in the fire service is hard and you will be met with resistance if you try to go big right away. The key is to start small, get buy from those closest to you. Be honest with your reason for change.
Making decisions will come easier through training. Members will gain confidence with their skills and feel at ease making decisions. Let you firefighters plan and run drills.
Finally, as a senior member of your organization you need to train you subordinates to one day move into your position. This new generation will want to know the reasons why we do the things we do. Take the time to explain and be patient, remember you were the new guy once.
The new guy, senior staff and expectations
This month I have Stephnie White back on the show. We discuss the new firefighters coming into the service. Are they too soft or are we projecting our rookie time onto them and is that fair?
We discussed station members' expectations of seinor staff and vice versa.
if station members run for cover when the chiefs come to the station, the chiefs have a huge communication issue. we discussed how to overcome that communication gap.
Honest Communications, trust and good relationships = great morale
This month I welcome back Dr. Shelly Wheeler. Shelly is a Captain assigned to the training academy in Montgomery County Maryland. Shelly and I talk about how to make morale good in the fire service, foster a culture where firefighter make decision and prepare them for the next step in their careers. Start the officer prep the moment firefighters come off probation and continue until they sit for their first promotional exam.
Who's the mentor? You're the mentor
This month I welcome back RJ (Robert James) we dig into the topic of being a mentor. It is important to take the new firefighters under your wing, guide them and set them on the path to be successful. It is everyone’s job to ensure we are turning out the best firefighters. Remember your rookie is a reflection of you and your shift.
In the 2nd part of the show, we discuss officer development. The fire service drops the ball when it comes to teaching firefighter to become officers who can make quick decisions with imperfect information. What does the perfect officer development school look like? How long should it last? Sure, it will cost money, but you can put a price on well trained fire service leaders.
The Training Officer steers the ship
This month I sit down with Chief Dave McGlynn. We talk about his new book "The Training Officer" Being a training officer is hard work, but rewarding. We talk about the culture of the fire service. Many say we need to change the culture of the fire service, but I don't believe that. I think we should always try to enhance the culture of the fire service and strive to make it better, but not change it. The fire service has a rich history and the culture is a large part of it.
You say you take care of your people, but do you really?
You need to invest in your people to know when something is wrong. Firefighters are reluctant to ask for help, so you need to spot trouble and get the help members may need.
When you promote to a leadership position you are always on duty for your people. You have to answer the phone when someone reaches out to you. You may be their last call when their whole world is falling apart around them.
As a leader you are always on, you accept that role when you are in that position. Make sure you know the resources available in your department to get the help your people need.
Been waiting for his Podcast
I have been waiting for his podcast. He is great on the Capitol Fire Podcast and Fire Engineerings radio show Politics and Tactics
I work with Chief Polikoff and what you hear on this podcast is exactly how he is in person. He cares deeply about the fire service and men and women being the best they can be. Good leadership is the key to everything, and I appreciate how the podcast dives into the various aspects of what makes a good leader.
This podcast is raw
I like the face that the interview are raw and conscripted. He lets the interview run where ever it goes. There are great leadership tips. I Recommend this podcast for anyone in a leadership role.