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Juggling Personal Relationships and Professional Ambitions
Listen to the PODCAST here
Listen to host Eric Dye & guest Kelly Walsh discuss the following:
- Remind our listeners what is 1 Smart Life?
- One of your areas of expertise is work-life balance. Can you give our listeners some tips on how to juggle personal relationships and professional ambitions?
- Talk to us about the teeter-totter conundrum. How does that concept apply to every day life?
- Who should hire a life coach?
- What is the difference between a life coach and a therapist?
- With the extra stress of the holidays, does it make work-life balance even harder? How do you manage extra stress and unique situations?
Kelly Walsh is one of our coaches for the annual Leadership Academy. This year we are hosting it in Lafayette, LA. For information on registration click here http://www.1smartcareer.com/2019-swfca-leadership-academy/
By: Bob Norton, performance management specialist & consultant
Is performance management a pain for your organization or is it a power behind your organization?
When I first started working with fire departments, cities, utility districts and municipalities years ago I noticed common problems that each organization faced. These problems were sometimes intense and severe; other times they were just daily irritants. No matter the size or scope of these common problems, they created for each organization a reminder as to the need to get “serious” about performance management.
What is performance management? It is a combination of individual, team and organization goals moving in the same direction. It ensures that the employees and leaders are empowered to perform at their optimum level. It enhances communication and consistency within the whole organization.
Do any of the following common problems reflect your organization?
- Consistency between shifts, stations, and leaders
- Communication from Leadership does not get all the way to the first level employees
- Employees taking things personally
- No common goals on an ongoing basis
- No clear expectations for each position
- No accountability for lazy leaders
- No consequences for high performers or low performers
- Lack of follow-up and follow-through
- Ineffective Performance Reports/Reviews
If you can relate to any of the above common problems then performance management is essential to your organization.
What I found in each organization was a lack of clear understanding as to what leadership and performance management was all about. Many times individuals were placed in leadership because of tenure or expertise in a certain area, but they lacked proper leadership skills and focus. They tended to be more subjective in their leadership and not objective. They based their leadership on how they felt or what they thought about an employee and they missed the target of what they truly get paid for as a leader.
Every leader gets paid for results. They get the results through the only unlimited resource they have – the people that are a part of their teams. The truth about leadership is that every leader must get the most of each of their employees, and help those employees be the best they can be in their specific positions.
Leadership of these organizations also misunderstood the best motivator for employees in the workforce. They thought money was the best motivator but they found out once they paid the employee a certain amount within a short time the employee wanted more. I ask leaders every week, “What is the number one motivator?” I will get all kinds of responses but the number one motivator for employees is achievement. If we achieve something we are motivated, if we spin our wheels and get nothing done we are dragging by the end of the day. The number two motivator is recognition. Therefore, if a leader is recognizing achievement on an ongoing basis then employees will stay motivated.
Another problem that was very common was a lack of an agreement of expectations. Everyone in the organization had an idea as to what a specific position was to do but they did not have a clear agreement as to expectations. Therefore, performance was up and down continually. If an employee was motivated internally then the performance would be more up then down. However, most employees lacked the internal motivation and the performance was only up when a leader was micromanaging an employee, which created additional problems.
The fact is that most employees want to do a great job. Tension and conflict in the workplace occurs when the leader’s expectation differs from the employees’ expectation.
For example, an employee was trying to do a good job (their expectation) and was upset when they found out that leader wasn’t pleased with the outcome (differing expectation). Whose fault is that? Answer: the organizational leadership.
If the organization requires that everyone agrees on the expectation of each position, the tasks required in that position and how those tasks should be accomplished then there is little reason for conflict. Additionally, as the organization scales, or experiences turnover, the organization need not start from scratch again and again because the organization is not held together by individuals, it is held together by its own structure. Finally, most of the organizations conducted performance reviews once a year because they “had to”, and they were a PAIN! Leaders could not remember what happened 11 months ago, or 6 months ago; therefore, they usually responded to “how they felt” about an employee over the 4-5 weeks before the performance review was due. Also, the organizations would use the same performance review for every position within the organization and therefore specific areas important to specific positions would be missed in the review. Leaders would tell me how they dreaded the reviews and detested having to fill them out. The insecure leaders not wanting to offend an employee would give the employee good scores, but then complain the rest of the year about the employee. The major problem with these performance reviews was the subjectivity of them. They were based on the leader’s feelings and thoughts and not the employee’s actual performance.
Performance management systems and the associated annual performance reports have long been deemed a necessary but cumbersome process. The performance reports often have unnecessary complexity, the time they take and the frequently onerous format and content result in low or ineffective utilization. Most annual performance reports end up formally documenting specific issues from the recent past and vague comments mixed with editorials about the preceding fifty weeks. This questionable content is biased heavily by the mood of the leader and their relationship to the employee at the time of review. The annual performance report often ends up being inaccurate, soft or unnecessarily punitive, rather than an effective motivator. This usually leads to conflict, not improved performance.
What’s the Answer?
Tenzinga Performance Management system is the answer! It is an online active performance management system. It is a system that can be accessed from anywhere there is an internet connection. Each problem mentioned above is addressed through the use and implementation of Tenzinga.
TENZINGA Performance Power™ is the solution to the performance management problem. TENZINGA has developed a revolutionary performance management system that is based on decades of research and carefully addresses the failures of all traditional performance management systems. TENZINGA Performance Power™ offers leaders a simple roadmap to successfully manage both exceptional and underperforming employees. TENZINGA enables leaders and executives alike, to evaluate and recognize achievement of employees on a constant basis in a matter of seconds, turning recognition into results. With TENZINGA’s Follow-up & Follow-thru process, leaders will ensure that problem areas are identified, addressed and corrected.
Employees are invigorated on a consistent basis and challenged to perform at an elevated level throughout the year. Employees on TENZINGA Performance Power™ have clearly defined expectations for their position and know exactly what it will take to meet and exceed those expectations. They have the knowledge, ability and desire to work with leadership to create plans for their future, and then target their efforts to attain it.
Clients of Tenzinga have stated that Tenzinga Performance Management has effected morale in a very positive way:
“TENZINGA Performance Management has contributed greatly to our organization’s morale”
“The TENZINGA Performance Management system has improved our staff morale”
“We have found that the TENZINGA Performance management system has assisted with key employee retention”
“Tenzinga creates an environment for success”
“Tenzinga is a Bachelor’s Degree in a box!”
How Does It Work?
Each position within the organization has tasks, standards and measurements developed and implemented within the Tenzinga Performance Management system. Each leader enters a minimum of once a month a performance log for the employee. This performance log is objective and is focused on what the employee has done and not how the leader “feels” or “think” about the employee’s performance.
The employee always knows up to the minute how they are performing in their specific position. They are alerted as to a performance log has been submitted for them.
Clients respond with comments regarding the ongoing performance logs:
“With the TENZINGA Performance Management system our employees are always up to date with their performance ratings”
“Everyone has been very prompt in completing performance logs every month and the regular feedback is helpful”
“I really believe the system forces (in a good way) managers to be more cognizant of how they communicate and the importance of writing dialog.”
“I personally love the fact that we can document actions immediately so that we can guide staff in the best direction as time passes instead of in arrears.
“I like the system and I think it helps supervisors evaluate subordinates in a timely matter instead of semi-annually.”
Since the employee has received objective feedback from their leader throughout the year, the Annual Performance Reports take only minutes to complete at the end of the year. Performance Reports are saved to each employee’s dashboard for easy access by the employee or the leader.
Users of Tenzinga have endorsed the Performance Reports with the following comments:
“The TENZINGA Performance Management system has greatly reduced the time it takes to produce a professional performance report.”
“The TENZINGA Performance Management system produces a performance report that is fair to all employees, and cuts out the subjective opinions.”
“The TENZINGA Performance Management system has cut our supervisors’ performance report completion times in half”
Tenzinga is known as a “wind-shield” and not a “rear-view mirror” system; meaning, the time that a leader spends with an employee at the end of the year is looking ahead and not behind. The focus is on the Development Plan that is a part of the Tenzinga system. It allows the leader and employee to build an “action plan” for the year on how the employee will improve in the core competencies/values of the organization. It also has a succession planning module in it.
There are also Leadership Forms that assist the Leader in Coaching, Mentoring and Counseling.
Tenzinga Performance Management system builds an Org Chart for your organization that enables employees and leaders to view the organization and employees as a whole team.
The structure of Tenzinga allows the General Manager to see down through the organization. It produces a transparency that exposes lazy leaders and ensures communication is active and effective.
Clients have enjoyed the Org Chart feature by stating:
“I have enjoyed using the org. chart in the TENZINGA system to determine who to call for things. It was an added unexpected bonus.”
“Tenzinga has allowed me as a manager to see that my leaders are doing their job as a leader, and are engaging with their employees continually.”
Performance management does not have to be a pain, but it can be the power behind great success. Leaders and organizations that want to become more than just a mediocre functioning entity realize the importance and vital significance of having an effective ongoing performance management system. The challenge is being open to a culture and organizational change that causes every position within the organization to strive for excellence on a daily basis.
If your organization desires to move to a higher level of performance and achieve greater results then please give us a call at 615.647.8230 or email us at email@example.com for more information.
“IAFC-SW Division High Performance Coaching & Leadership Academy”
|What it isThe IAFC-SW Division, and 1SmartCareer proudly partner to bring “Cutting Edge”leadership training to the fire service. Our promise to you is that this academy will be considerably different than you ever have attended before and way more powerful.|
Join us to learn the key skills and practices necessary to successfully lead people and manage resources in today’s fire and emergency services.
What sets this training apart from other leadership training courses is that, upon completion of the symposium, 2 coaching and 2 mentoring sessions will be scheduled by phone for each participant.
Who Should Attend: Current Officers, Company Officers, Future Chief Officers, Mid-level Chiefs, anyone in FD Leadership Positions or aspiring to same.
|Academy Topics IncludeYou are the leader; roles, responsibilities and behaviorsCommunicating and Connecting effectivelyMoving Forward and dealing with obstaclesLeading into the Future and developing other leaders|
|When and Where|
This symposium is being held March 12 – 14, 2019 in Lafayette, Louisiana at the Lafayette Fire Training Center; event time 8:30am – 5:30pm.
Pricing at $849 per attendee. Includes a 3-day in person symposium plus 4 online classes, and 2 coaching and 2 mentoring sessions over the following four months, April – July, 2019. Class size is limited to 44 attendees.
|Learn More and to Register for the Academy Here|
|For specific questions or additional information contact: Steven Matzat|
Human Relations: Managing within the context of a fire organization
• September 2018 • Chief Robert Benoit – 2nd Vice President, IAFC-SW Division – Fire Chief Lafayette Fire Department
The basic principles for managing one’s personal and family life, a private corporation (small or large) and both for-profit and nonprofit businesses are similar to those needed to manage a fire department. These management processes provide an orderly structure to achieving goals and objectives through delegated authority under competent leadership.
Within the context of a fire organization, effective management is a learned behavior that demands continuous training, requires team spirit and provides a strong disciplinary influence.
The NFPA Fire Protection Handbook, Section 10, Chapter 1, states
Almost all fire departments were administered by clearly defined organizational structures long before system techniques were applied to industry and business. A system of task allocation to engine and ladder crews was developed whereby each person on the apparatus performed certain functions in sequence so the team operated as a coordinated unit, without duplication of effort.
Most fire departments are structured around this traditional model, and with it, leaders have a firm foundation to build on; continuous training, team spirit and influence are some of their construction tools.
On June 15, my department held its 101st recruit academy graduation, with 17 graduates who started their training in January. The academies are six months long, with the objective of making sure each recruit has the foundation needed to perform in an effective manner during the working test period, which totals 18 months of probationary status. At the end of the working test period, they’re confirmed as permanent firefighters.
This is where the real training begins, and it will continue throughout their careers.
Effective leaders in the fire service are no different than those they manage. Management principles must start at the top and flow downward through the chain of command. Lower-level officers often find it difficult to practice leadership styles different from their superiors if we are not practicing what we preach.
Common sense is not without its merits. However, it’s just one tool mangers use, along with consistent education and training, to help members understand that decisions made at the member level may resolve an issue temporarily but that some decisions need to be made from a wider perspective, such as seen by the department leadership, to have lasting effects.
If you are going to wear the jersey, become a team player. A spirit of cooperation is a powerful tool, meaning sometimes you will have to change your focus and direction for the betterment of the organization. Staff meetings are critical, can be very efficient and should be inclusive. All aspects of the department, both supervisors and members, should be able to sit at the table and present ideas to management on a regular basis.
The fire and emergency service is a very complex field that is constantly evolving, often very rapidly. Individual skills can make or break an organization and can best be managed when the leaders feel the pulse, which can only happen in a huddle (that is, staff meetings).
When employees are given the opportunity to provide input, self-ownership takes over and the stronger players have a way of getting the weaker players to buy into their goals and objectives. As a manager and part of the team, you have the authority to make things happen. Never let power keep you on the sidelines.
Black’s Law Dictionary defines influence as
“Power exerted over others. To affect, modify or act upon by physical, mental or moral power, especially in some gentle, subtle and gradual way.”
A lot can be said about influence depending on who is in charge. I like the phrase “gentle, subtle and gradual way” because it takes the sting out of having to use force to achieve goals and objectives in running an efficient fire service organization. The truism “you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar” goes a long way in making people feel appreciated.
Managers are held to a higher standard and are always being watched, filmed, recorded and scrutinized. Managers can get in trouble for off-duty actions, sometimes forgetting we’re always on the radar. Fire service leaders who excel do so because they’re on top of their games. More often than not, we forget that we’re human; it’s not the big things hurting us, but the illegal, unethical or immoral acts that destroy us because we don’t think things through.
Education = Knowledge = Success = Power
As an administrator, you have the authority to manage the performance within your organization. It takes a long time to build character and excel to the level of leadership in the fire service. It only takes a split second to crash and burn. As a leader, you owe it to yourself, your family and the entire fire service to finish strong, making a colossal impact on the organization you represent.
Chief Benoit is a member of the IAFC Human Relations Committee and currently sits on the executive board of the IAFC-Southwestern Division
NFPA releases the world’s first active shooter/hostile event standard with guidance on whole community planning, response, and recovery
Timely, critical document was developed with insight from law enforcement, fire, EMS, medical providers, facility managers, private industry, DHS, the CIA, FBI and others
May 1, 2018 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released NFPA 3000TM (PS), Standard for an Active Shooter / Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program to help communities holistically deal with the fast-growing number of mass casualty incidents that continue to occur throughout the world. Serving as the first of its kind, NFPA 3000 provides unified planning, response and recovery guidance, as well as civilian and responder safety considerations.
“The NFPA 3000 process, from start to finish, has been an exceptional example of emergency responders and other safety-focused practitioners swiftly coming together to provide invaluable perspective and address a significant threat in our world,” NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley said. “The proactive, integrated strategies recommended and defined in NFPA 3000 will go a long way in helping communities plan, respond and recover from active shooter and hostile events.”
This marks only the second time in NFPA’s 122-year history that they have issued a provisional standard. Provisional standards are developed in an expedited process to address an emergency situation or other special circumstance.
After the Pulse Nightclub massacre in June of 2016, Chief Otto Drozd of Orange County Fire in Florida requested that NFPA develop a standard to help authorities come together and create a well-defined, cohesive plan that works to minimize harm and maximize resiliency. NFPA responded by establishing the NFPA Technical Committee on Cross Functional Emergency Preparedness and Response. In mid-April, NFPA 3000 was issued by the NFPA Standards Council, making it the first consensus document related to active shooter and hostile events.
The 46-member Technical Committee responsible for NFPA 3000 is NFPA’s largest startup Committee, to date, with representation from law enforcement, the fire service, emergency medical services, hospitals, emergency management, private security, private business, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Justice, and many more. Committee members provided job-specific insight and real world observations from mass killings at Mandalay Bay Resort, Pulse Nightclub, Sandy Hook Elementary, the Sikh Temple, the Boston Marathon, and other less publicized events.
NFPA 3000 helps entire communities organize, manage, communicate, and sustain an active shooter/hostile event preparedness, response, and recovery program. In addition to offering NFPA 3000 via a new digital subscription – which will be updated automatically when the next edition becomes available – NFPA is offering an Online Training Series (the first of three courses are available now); a downloadable checklist; a readiness assessment document; and fact sheet for authorities to learn more about establishing a proactive, collaborative active shooter/hostile event program.
Some have asked why NFPA would be the organization to develop an active shooter standard. “For more than a century, NFPA has facilitated a respected consensus process that has produced some of the most widely used codes and standards in the world including more than 100 that impact first responders. Our purview goes far beyond our fire safety efforts as evidenced by our ongoing work to address new hazards with professionals in public safety, emergency management, community risk, electrical services, the energy sector, engineering, the chemical and industrial industries, healthcare, manufacturing, research, the government, and the built environment. The recent increase in active shooter incidents and the fire service involvement in them warranted NFPA’s standards development expertise, and the timely development of NFPA 3000,” Pauley said.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
SWFCA recently launched their 6 month leadership training coaching and mentoring program at the Oklahoma City Fire Training Center. The class was filled to near capacity for this inaugural class of 2017.
Participants traveled from other regions to take advantage of this remarkable training program.
State Fire Marshal Robert Doke welcomed the class to Oklahoma and emphasized the importance of leadership skills and training in all aspects of community. Also President Tom Bradley, Fire Chief of Stillwater Oklahoma and current President of the division spoke on behalf of the board of directors and state of Oklahoma about the decision to bring this unique opportunity to the IAFC-SW membership.
As your division elected leadership, we are committed to offering you the benefits you’ve asked for and deserve as a member of the IAFC.
Here is some feedback that we have already received after the initial 2-day classroom group:
The course was great. Honestly better than I expected
Training officer & volunteer fire chief – Oklahoma
I am looking forward to the online classes to see how they turn out and what the interaction is like.
Oklahoma volunteer officer
First time I’ve worked on my personal skills and I look forward to the follow-up classes
Fire officer, Lexington, SC
We want to thank Chief Richard Kelley, OCFD for hosting this class!
There will be a wrap-up session and graduation ceremony in October in conjunction with the division’s executive leadership conference in Houston, TX
If you or your department would like to host a class, please contact Lisa Moatts firstname.lastname@example.org or call 843-694-2768
Thanks to our local sponsors for making this class possible!
Don’t miss the first class of 2017!
Special introductory pricing to attend this interactive training class
Registration: $199 for members , $225 non-members
COMMAND SYMPOSIUM 2017: The Basics of Incident Command by Chief Bruno & Friends
Who Should Attend: Fire Command Officers, Company Officers, and Firefighters that have Incident Command decision-making responsibilities.
This is a 16 hour course that will provide the attendees with several new leading edge must know command lectures, case study and scenarios, from one of the American leading ICS pioneers, Alan Brunacini. Topics include critical decision making under stress; improving hazard zone communications and a review of several pivotal case studies.
Incident Command essentials include: Functions of Command; Case Studies; Managing Large Events… learn this and so much more
Chief Alan Brunacini
Chief Brunacini is one of the most highly respected figures in the fire industry. He has served as fire chief of the Phoenix Fire Department and as the Chairman of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1710 Technical Committee for Fire Service Organization and Deployment Projects. He was the first active fire service member to hold the position of chairman of the Board of Directors of the NFPA. His impact on the fire industry is widespread. Brunacini has authored or co-authored a total of nine books and has been referred to as “The Godfather” of Fire Service by those who he has mentored.
After serving as a firefighter, engineer, captain, battalion chief and assistant chief at the Phoenix Fire Department, Brunacini was named chief in 1978 after more than 20 years in the fire industry. Brunacini is a graduate of the Fire Protection Technology program at Oklahoma State University and a graduate of Arizona State University where he earned a degree in political science. He completed the Urban Executives Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a master’s in public administration from Arizona State University.
Chief Brunacini has authored Essentials of Fire Department Customer Service, Fire Command, Timeless Tactical Truths, and Command Safety.”
Chief Dennis Rubin
Dennis L. Rubin was first appointed as a Fire Chief in December of 1996. Chief Rubin’s experience spans more than 35 years. He has served as a line firefighter, company officer, command officer, and chief of the department in several major U. S. Cities.
In 1994, Rubin was the President of the State Fire Chiefs Association of Virginia. Chief Rubin hosted the 1999 Southeastern Fire Chiefs Association Conference held in Dothan, Alabama. He was appointed to several committees with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, including a two-year term as theSafety Committee and Program Committee Chair. Rubin is the Ad Hoc Chair for the Wingspread VI Conference.
Chief Rubin’s educational accomplishments include a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Administration from the University of Maryland and Associates in Applied Science Degree in Fire Science Management from the Northern Virginia Community College. Rubin is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) and the Naval Post Graduate School’s Executive Leadership Course in Homeland Security. Rubin is a certified emergency manager (CEM); and a certified incident safety officer as well has obtained the Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFOD) and Chief Medical Officer Designation (CMOD) bestowed by the Center for Public Safety Excellence.
Rubin’s teaching credentials are significant. Rubin is an adjunct faculty member with several state fire-rescue training agencies and at the National Fire Academy. Rubin is a popular lecturer at local, state, national and international venues. Rubin has been a member of seven National Fire Academy course development teams. Included among the development teams that Rubin has served on are: Incident Command, Infection Control for the Fire Service, and Tactical Operations
Chief Bobby Halton
Chief Cecil B. Clay (ret)
Chief Cecil Clay served 28 years on the Oklahoma City Fire Department, and retired as the Deputy Fire Chief of Operation.
Chief Clay holds a B.S. in Fire Science and A.A.S. in Municipal Fire Protection. He worked his way through the ranks in the Operational Services Division, Suppression.
Chief Clay serves as a Commissioner on the Oklahoma State Fire Marshal Commission.
Captain Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson began in the fire service in 1998 and has been employed with Travis Co. ESD#2- Pflugerville Fire Dept since 2000. Michael currently holds the rank of Captain assigned as a Training Officer. As a fire service instructor, he specializes in Incident Command, hazardous materials, and driver operator classes. Michael has an Associate’s Degree in Fire Protection Technology and holds Instructor III and Fire Officer IV certifications.
Michael currently serves as the Western Advocate Manager for the NFFF EGH program managing the Advocate and training programs of the NFFF for FEMA regions 6 -10.
Michael currently resides in Hutto Texas, outside of Austin. He and his wife Gena have two children, Jocelyn (9) and Luke (5). Michael continues hard work to have a lasting impact on firefighter safety and the reduction of line of duty deaths and injuries.
Chief Nick Perkins
Nick Perkins is an 18 year veteran of the fire service beginning his fire service career as a volunteer fire fighter in the San Antonio area at age 18. He began his professional career with Travis County ESD#2, Pflugerville Fire Department and progressively rose through the ranks to his current position as a Battalion Chief supervising the Training and Safety Division. He serves as National Fallen Fire Fighter Foundation Advocate in Texas. Additionally, he works part time as a Lead Instructor for the LBJ Fire Academy, and an assistant instructor with Texas Rope Rescue. He holds a bachelors degree in occupational education, and an associate’s degree in fire protection technology. He hold certifications as a master fire fighter, master instructor III, and fire officer III/IV from the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. He served for seven years as a Staff Sergeant and a medic in the Texas State Guard.