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How to spend less time nagging and more time setting the right example

The other day I was having a discussion with the guys. Afterward, it reminded me of something I have heard before. There is an excerpt I remembered from the video Brotherhood: Life in the FDNY. I want to share that with you real quick and then go into the story.
 
“It’s the glorious part of the job, cleaning the sink. Somebody’s got to do it. There’s no sense in complaining about anything, because you know, you see something that has to be done, you can’t complain about it, just do it. Do it yourself. Just clean the sinks up or mopping the floors or whatever, there’s a lot of pride and you do it because you love being here.”
– Brotherhood: Life in the FDNY
 
That’s a great message and it resonated with me. It was a similar message that I delivered the other day. I’ve had a variety of different people come into my firehouse over the past couple months. The swaps were some guys came to the busy house and let the guys go study for a promotional exam at a slower house. Which is awesome. I’ve noticed complaints though from the new people to the company. I kept hearing the same thing and it was comments made over how the kitchen was left for us in the morning.
 
Awhile back I adopted a change in the mindset of when I came into the firehouse. I get the good and the bad. You left some leftover t-bone steaks in the fridge, those are mine now. Something’s broken or dirty, well now it’s our job to either clean it or fix it.
 
So back to the complaints about the kitchen. I explained that this issue doesn’t need to be solved by the captains. This should be solved at the Firefighter level. Figure out what’s the deal. Maybe it was just an accident or a simple oversight.
 
I told him, “Listen, if this is really bothering you, next time you come in, make sure your gear’s on the rig, go get a mop bucket and mop the floor.”
 
If the off going crew is in the kitchen, they’re going to see you setting the right example.
 
If it really bothers you, just clean it. Don’t complain about it.
 
He responded, “Yeah, it’s not a bad idea with it.”
 
I explained that I used a similar tactic when I was a floating officer and also when I was an acting officer. If there was something that had to get done I would just go start doing it. The crew would eventually join me.
 
There was one firehouse in particular. I’m pretty sure they would sit at the kitchen table all day if you let them. When I would fill in there on bay day, I would walk out to the bay and start pulling the rigs out. The next thing you know, everyone came out and started helping.
 
It’s really hard to resist doing some work when you see someone else working. Most people are going to join in and just start and guess what? You just set the right example and you led them in the right direction.”
 
If you got something out of this then share it out with somebody else.

How to spend less time nagging and more time setting the right example

Easy Way To Push Yourself More

Let me tell you a quick story about a group of people who made me feel like I could contribute more. Also, what you can learn from it.

This was some years ago. I started getting a little bit more involved with training in my county. At these trainings, I met a group of individuals who made me look like I wasn’t that into the job and I wasn’t passionate.

These guys were skilled in their craft. They were spending a lot of time training other people. They were spreading their expertise throughout the whole county. While most stick to their station and department, these guys took it one step further.

And after I met these people … I didn’t meet ’em all at once, I met them at some different trainings and events. I started to realize that … I wasn’t living up to my full potential. I could do more. What I thought was enough wasn’t enough. I could actually do more just by following the example they were setting.

They actually showed me that I could be a better firefighter and I could also be a better man. I had a good start with this by training myself more. I did this by going to more conferences, getting more involved in the fire service, and giving more. I was giving more by training those around me.

It’s very easy to fall into a category that you think you’re doing enough. You do not realize this until you surround yourself with other people who are doing more than you.

So it almost makes you push the envelope a little bit. And I’ll give you some examples.

I don’t know if you’ve ever gone to a Crossfit-style gym before. This is where they do group workouts. When you do a workout in a group, you start to push yourself more. You actually push a little more than you would on your own.

The same thing goes when you were in sports, in high school or college, or you still play some sports now. When you’re in a group and everyone’s pushing yourself, you do a little bit more. You do more than the status quo of things.

I’d like to ask you, where does this replicate in your own life?

What I want you to take away from this is you need to surround yourself with people who are actually going to push you.

So this actually means that you pretty much, you need a support group.

This support group is not always about bouncing problems off each other. It’s about pushing each other to do a little bit more than you did the day before. Pushing each other to do a little bit more than you did the year before.

You would be surprised what you are capable of when you surround yourself with like minded individuals.

Here’s the next step as it relates to what you and I just shared.

Joining my coaching program The Squad House, is going to be an element that I want you to think about.

It is comprised of people who will push you.

The Squad House can be the group who believes in you and shows you how you can be more than you think you can be.

Learn More HERE

Easy Way To Push Yourself More

Saying Goodbye to a Brother

 
There we were on the second floor of a training tower at the fire academy. The students could hardly hear us over the loud noises and voices coming from the first floor.
 
I asked another instructor what was being taught on the first floor. He said he was not sure but Camelo was down there. I smiled and looked out the window of the second floor. I could see Instructor Mike Camelo, Jr. sharing his passion for the job with the students at his station.
 
He was all animated, jumping around. I noticed him having every student engaged in what he was teaching. He was demonstrating a skill and had them all fired up.
 
That was Mike.
 
He was a passionate firefighter. Everything he did had this fire behind it.
 
We grew closer as we taught together at the fire academy.
 
Trying to figure out what conferences we wanted to attend to keep our passion for the job moving forward.
 
The ups and downs at the firehouse.
 
We would talk about our kids and how the addition of them to our lives have been so rewarding.
 
And of course these conversations all had a healthy dose of ball busting mixed in.
 
Mike was always smiling and I never once heard him talk negative about anyone.
 
I did not realize how much our friendship meant to me until I got a phone call last week.
 
Mike had aneurysm at the age of 37. He was on life support and not expected to recover.
 
I immediately thought of his father who had retired off of the job and also taught with us at the academy. They were best friends.
 
Then I thought about his 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son.
 
This was not right. Mike was a good person. Things like this were not suppose to happen.
 
I still do not want to believe it.
 
Mike taught me that when you are passionate about what you are doing then you will be good at it.
 
You will also enjoy doing it.
Mike passed away the next day.
 
Life moves fast and can change in an instant.
 
Cherish those you love and make sure to tell them how much you love them.
 
There has been a GOFUNDME account setup to assist Mike’s children.
 
Please donate what you can by clicking this LINK.
 
 
 

Saying Goodbye to a Brother

Is your passion helping or hurting your cause?

Is your passion hurting you, or helping your cause?
 
Being a passionate firefighter is awesome. When you enjoy what you do for a living that much, its not work.
 
How many people do you know who look forward to going to work everyday?
 
So how can something so great as being passionate about what you do, actually hurt you?
 
It comes down to how you are acting.
 
I’m going to explain below.
 
I want to tell you two stories about two different passionate firefighters.
 
The first story’s going to be about an individual who seems to almost have a chip on their shoulder.
 
They have this attitude of:
“Why aren’t others passionate?
Why aren’t they doing what I’m doing?
Why aren’t they helping out in the department, and why aren’t they going to the extra trainings?”
 
People do not like to feel bad.
People do not enjoy hearing others complain.
 
In turn, they’re turning their fellow firefighters off.
More time spent frustrated.
Missed promotional opportunity because they refuse to get the requirements their contract requires.
They have very few people following them.
 
So are they achieving what they desire?
 
The second story’s about a passionate firefighter who simply decides to do what is needed to bed done.
 
A degree required for promotion? Fine, I’ll get one.
I have to get various certification courses to advance? Fine, I’ll get them.
 
They may not like the courses or value them, but whats the end game?
 
They take the courses.
They get the position.
They make that rank that they want.
 
They start getting followers, building more likeminded people.
 
The people assigned to them then become acting officers.
They go on to other stations and help make those stations better.
Who’s winning?
Both passionate firefighters, right?
 
Except one is almost turning against the rest of the guys instead of attracting them.
While the other is trying to attract and build.
 
So you have to ask yourself:
 
“is the passion that you have making people want to follow you and do what you do, or is it making people run away from you?”
 
Sometimes we ourselves can be the actual problem when it comes to our struggles.
So ask yourself: which path are you taking?

Is your passion helping or hurting your cause?

Are you tired of dealing with rank chasers while you sit back wanting more experience first?

There are different reasons people become a firefighter and also choose to promote.
 
It took me awhile to understand this concept.
 
I thought everyone had some type of strong calling to do this job and the benefits to the job were only bonuses.
 
If you want to learn how to deal with what you think are rank chasers then read this article.
 
The following is my backstory of how long I spent in each rank. I spent my first 11 years in the fire service as a Firefighter. The next 5 years as an Engineer and the past 4 years as a Captain.
 
At my department, you are only required to spend 3 years in each rank before you are eligible to promote.
 
Some have promoted right at their 3 year mark to the next rank every time, while others took a different route.
 
So who is doing it the right way?
 
Everyone takes their own path in life and in the fire service. Often we see people get frustrated because someone else promoted quicker than them.
 
Each department sets the standards on what a person needs and the amount of years they need to promote.
 
You may not agree with your departments standards, but those are the rules of the game.
 
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
– Epictetus

 

Let me tell you a quick story about a time when I felt disappointed and exhilarated about not being eligible for a promotion all in the same day … and what you can learn from it.

 
My department recently had many openings to fill in our administrative staff. One of those positions was Division Chief of Training.
 
Its the only position that I had some interest in.
 
I was nervous though because I love being a Captain. I enjoy running calls and I especially enjoy going to fires. I also like the schedule of shift work.
 
I found out I did not meet the educational requirements though when the positions posted. I lacked a Bachelors degree and my Fire Officer II certificate.
 
I felt disappointed that I could not even interview. I felt relieved though that I would not have to make the decision to take it or stay a Captain.

 

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The person who got the position had 11 years on the job and 1 of those years as a Captain.
 
Is this person wrong for taking the position?
 
Absolutely not.
 
They took an opportunity that was available to them.
 
Just like everyone else who promotes when the opportunity presents itself to them.
 
Every position has its pros and cons.
 
I was told a long time ago to never promote past a level of happiness in the fire service.
 
I’m actually afraid to go any further than I am right now. Thats how much I enjoy it.
 
The thing I want you to take away from this is we all have different motivation and expectations for this job.
 
Follow the path you want which makes you happy.
 
Don’t get frustrated or bitter because someone else took a different path.
 
They may have took a path that lead to quicker promotions or higher positions.
 
Who’s to say you would have enjoyed the path they took though?
 
So what this means to you in your life is don’t let your ego influence your behavior.
 
Promote to the level of happiness you want.
 
Accept others to the level they choose also.
 
So here’s your next step as it relates to what you and I just shared: joining our FREE facebook group here.

Are you tired of dealing with rank chasers while you sit back wanting more experience first?

The Three Biggest Myths About New Guys

Do you know the 3 biggest myths about New Guys?

If you want to Have a new guy who understands the job then you need to read this immediately because the myths and the TRUTH about New Guys are inside this article.

Myth #1: the fire service is doomed with this next generation

Myth #2: its the departments job to make sure these new guys are squared away

Myth #3: you were awesome when you were new

Believing the fire service is doomed with this next generation hurts you because this frame of thinking shows no ownership of the situation.  Its an excuse to not get involved to help.  Nothing has ever gotten better when excuses were made.  Things get better when ownership is taken.

It has taken you however many years you have right now to have the knowledge and skills you have with this job.

So how is it fair to expect someone with only a few years on the job to know what you know?

Who’s job is to to train these new guys?

The actual reality in this situation is what are the Senior people in the firehouses doing to help the next generation?

YOU are the MENTOR they need.

 

[optin_box style=”6″ alignment=”center” opm_integration=”N” disable_name=”Y” email_field=”email” email_default=”Enter your email address” email_order=”0″ integration_type=”mailchimp” double_optin=”Y” thank_you_page=”http://brotherhoodcoaching.com/resources/” list=”98d5035a2d” name_field=”FNAME” name_default=”Enter your first name” name_order=”0″ name_required=”Y” opm_packages=””][optin_box_field name=”headline”]Want to start building team players in your firehouse?[/optin_box_field][optin_box_field name=”paragraph”]PHA+VGhlbiBkbyBtZSBhIGZhdm9yPyBGaWxsIGluIHRoZSBkZXRhaWxzIGJlbG93IGFuZCBJJ2xsIGdpdmUgeW91IGFjY2VzcyB0byB0aGUgcmVzb3VyY2VzIEkgdXNlIHRvIGJ1aWxkIGEgd2lubmluZyB0ZWFtLjwvcD4KPGZvcm0gY2xhc3M9Im9wLW9wdGluLXZhbGlkYXRpb24gb3Atc2lnbnVwLWZvcm0tMSIgYWN0aW9uPSJodHRwOi8vYnJvdGhlcmhvb2Rjb2FjaGluZy5jb20vcHJvY2Vzcy1vcHRpbi1mb3JtLyIgbWV0aG9kPSJQT1NUIj4KPGRpdj7CoDwvZGl2Pgo8L2Zvcm0+Cg==[/optin_box_field][optin_box_field name=”privacy”]We value your privacy and would never spam you[/optin_box_field][optin_box_field name=”top_color”]undefined[/optin_box_field][optin_box_button type=”0″ button_below=”Y”]Get Instant Access![/optin_box_button] [/optin_box]

Now that you’ve accepted ownership of this vital role in developing the new guys…..

Whats the best way to go about this?

Always start with the basics.

Do the basics and time them.  Adding Time adds stress and a sense of urgency.

Have a more senior person compete or the whole crew preferably.

Leading by example goes a long way.

Some basic drill ideas:

PPE drills

Mask up drills

preconnect line to door drill

Laddering abandoned buildings

Once they demonstrate skills in these areas

Have them teach a class to the crew or the next new guy that comes through

Too often new guys are left to “raise” themselves in the fire service.

We need Senior people to step up and mentor the next generation.

Are you leaving the fire service better than you found it or just taking up a spot?

 

Now that you know the myths, I’d like to invite you to further discover the truth about team buidling by grabbing your (free) copy of my book “Fix Your Firehouse” CLICK HERE

The Three Biggest Myths About New Guys

The Proven Stay Influential Success System To Prevent Frustration And Burnout

You’re about to discover the secret of How to make an impact without being frustrated and losing your drive.

What I’m about to share with you is a tool I use on a regular basis.  I’ve seen too many firefighters stay frustrated over things they do not have the ability to impact.

There’s one way to stay driven and impactful and that way is to stay in your circle of influence.

We’ve created this blog post for you to give you the answers to these important questions and challenges every passionate firefighter faces:

* How important to you is the action you want to influence?

Influencing others takes work.  So if there is something bothering you and you want to change it, you have to access yourself how important is it to you to change it.  It can be very challenging to fight every fight.  There are times we must lose a few battles in hopes to win the war one day.

If you regularly make a big deal of EVERYTHING, people will eventually tune you out and label you as a whiner.

Pick your battles wisely.

 

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* How much time and energy are you willing to commit?

Time and energy is the key ingredient for success.  Anything worth doing will take both time and energy on your part to do it.  If it was easy someone else would have done it already.

You will soon be limited on both your time and energy if you get involved in too many things.  Make sure whatever it is that you are working on is worth the effort.

Its like the saying “is the juice worth the squeeze”.

* How often are you around the person you want to influence?

Here is the biggest part of all of this.  Do you have direct influence over the situation you are trying to change?

I have somewhat regular conversations with another “go getter” company officer about staying in “our bubble”.  We are both happy with the performance of our crews.  We typically only get frustrated over the performance of others that are not assigned to work with us.

We have to regularly remind ourselves that while we should try to influence these other people, we do not work with them enough to make the impact we would like to see.

This also goes for most complaints that are heard around the kitchen table.

Maybe its complaints over another shifts probie or a crew complaining that their officer does not train them enough.

We all have a circle of influence where we can make a successful impact on others.

We have to remember that we are most successful when we stay in this “bubble”.

Strive to not let failures frustrate you that are not inside your circle influence.

So there you have it – “The Proven Stay Influential Success System To Prevent Frustration And Burnout“.

This blog post really delivered the goods when it comes to answering these important questions and challenges every passionate firefighter faces.

BUT, as you can also see, this is just the TIP of the iceberg when it comes to How to make an impact without being frustrated and losing their drive!

So, if you’re serious about wanting to start influencing the culture of your firehouse and you want make the culture of their firehouse/fire department better, then you need to check out “Fix Your Firehouse” right now – Click Here

Have a great day!

John Lovato Jr.

 

The Proven Stay Influential Success System To Prevent Frustration And Burnout

Do you have any recommendations on team building exercises?

Earlier this week I had someone ask some questions on team building. They said that was one of the sections that they really liked in the book Fix Your Firehouse. I figured why not just do a post and maybe other people have this question with this.

Team building is multiple people overcoming an obstacle together.

Think about where does team building come from? Sports. You have a group of individuals, maybe football, baseball, basketball, whatever it is, group of individuals have a common goal and they have to overcome something, win the game.

Well, same thing goes with our profession, right? We have a group of firefighters in a station. We have to overcome goals whether it be medical calls, helping somebody out, whether it be a structure fire working as a team.

 

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Everything we do basically revolves around teamwork. If you want to do some team building exercise, what’s the best?

That would be some type of training where everyone has got to pull their weight in it to make it successful.

The biggest part with the team building is having that mutual goal.

The thing I really want you to take away from this is team building can be as simple as you want it to be.

Don’t over think it. Team building can be as simple as doing drill together or playing a game of basketball and can be as complicated as taking trips, whatever the case may be with it. But don’t over complicate it. Just try to overcome something together as a crew and meet that common goal.

So what this means to you in your life is now that you have the template for team building, you can implement it easily.

So here’s your next step as it relates to what you and I just shared:

  1. Share this post with someone else who would appreciate it
  2. Check out my free book offer HERE

Do you have any recommendations on team building exercises?

Real World Firehouse & Family Balance Tips That Work Like Crazy

Do you want to know the 3 important Firehouse & Family Balance tips every firefighter should know to be successful in the firehouse and with their family?

If you’re a firefighter who wants to know the important tips to be successful in the firehouse and with their family without giving so much to the job that your home life suffers then you need to read this immediately to take your Firehouse & Family Balance to the next level.

Firehouse & Family Balance Tip #1: Be PRESENT

We here alot about being present these days.  This is due to all the distractions technology has afforded us.  Look around at restaurants.  Look around in Firehouses.  How many people were engrossed in their phone?

Its an easy habit to form and a hard one to break.  Most people think they are busy.  They are busy consuming content on their phones.  To be present, you need to be disciplined.

For starters, limit your leisure phone activity to a specific amount of time or only when you accomplished big item to do’s.  This goes for home life and work life.

When you are at the firehouse.  Be at the firehouse.  The best thing I have done is accept the fact that I am at work for 24 hours.  If we run for 24 hours, then so be it.  If my uniform changes to a pink shirt and capri’s (yikes) then so be it.  I’m getting paid and I have a job to do.  It might not be the way I would run it, but its not the “John Lovato, Jr. Fire Department”.  I have a boss and my boss has a boss and so on.

Now for me to be present at the firehouse like that, then I have to be equally present at home.  Firehouse work stays at the firehouse.  No email checking was a big help with this.

When I’m home, I’m home.  Play with the kids and interact with the wife.

This was a hard adjustment for me since I used to be a 24/7 Firefighter.  Always staying in contact and trying to work on ways to make things better.

This will take a toll on your family if you continue like this.

Its no different than the opposite effects seen by the ones who do little to nothing while on duty.  Their professional career suffers when they do not work on it.

Our home lives will suffer if we do not work on them also.

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Firehouse & Family Balance Tip #2: Date Your Family

This means going out for dinner, going to a museum, going ice skating, fishing, beach, anything that involved being together and sharing an experience.

This tip is priceless because this keeps things from becoming routine.  It helps set small goals to achieve as a family.

Here’s how to put this tip to work for you, start with going on family dates once per month.  Then evolve into once per week if you can.  The big thing here is to make whatever you do a sustainable habit.

Firehouse & Family Balance Tip #3: Every Firefighter Conference equals a Family Vacation

Do you go to conferences, trainings, or seminars?  I do.  There are so many to choose from now a days.

How many conferences did you go to compared to family vacations?

Investing in professional development is key to staying engaged and becoming better.

How much are you investing in your family development though?

Here’s how to put this tip to work for you.  For every conference you go to, plan a family trip.  I know a guy that would plan the family trip before the conference.  This way he “invested” in his family before the work trip.

Everyone’s emotional bank account was full before he left, so it went over better.

 

I’m going to share with you something personal.

I love being a firefighter.

I however will not let my love for this job ruin my relationship with my children and wife.

I’ve seen it happen to others.

I have cut back on the amount of conferences I go to.

I have cut back on my side job at the fire academy.

We all have to make sacrifices for what we want to achieve.

 

If you do nothing else, just be PRESENT for your family when you are home and for your crew and citizens when you are at the firehouse.

Now that you’ve got the important tips for Firehouse & Family Balance success down, I’d like to invite you to get even MORE advanced help with your (free) instant access to “Fix Your Firehouse”

FREE Book! Fix Your Firehouse
Click Here For More: fixyourfirehouse.com

Real World Firehouse & Family Balance Tips That Work Like Crazy

The Real Trick To Fitting Quality Training In While Being At A Busy House

Last week, I made a post about keeping members engaged while being at a slow house.  So its fitting to address the opposite side of the spectrum and talk about training when your time is limited.

There’s a good chance that your station would fall somewhere between this article and the previous one.

Everyone is busy.  Busy does not mean productive though.

To be successful, you must maximize the time that you do have to be as productive as possible.

I’m too busy is just another way of saying that it was not a priority.

So lets get on with how you can fit in training when your time is limited to do so.

Step By Step Guide To Fitting quality training in while being at a busy house

Do you want to know the 3 steps every firefighter needs to still being able to fit some type of quality training in even though they are busy running calls and taking care of department needs?

Step #1: Write down one area of training for each day

Spend some time at the beginning of each month figuring out what you will train on each duty day.   This step is important because we are all busy.  We all get pulled in different directions.  We can overcome these distractions by planning ahead of time what we will focus on for training on specific duty days.

Goals happen when we schedule them, until then they are just dreams.  Make your goals happen and put a date to them.

Step #2: Have a plan A, B, & C

We never know what the day will bring us.  So we have to remain flexible otherwise we risk getting frustrated over the fact the day did not go as we would have liked.  I say this because I used to get frustrated when my training plans got scrapped due to outside factors beyond my control.  I learned the importance of having multiple plans to get the training I wanted to accomplish implemented.

My plan A would be a training or drill where every member rotated through the evolution and performed the necessary skills appropriately.

My plan B is where I would just focus on my Engine company because our Rescue company would be out covering another station or running call after call.

Plan C would come into play when we are both running so many calls and have scheduled department events.  Plan C is doing some type of training while on calls.  Maybe its reviewing where the FDC connection is at a multi family or asking the guys how far of a stretch they think it is to the apartment we are at after clearing a medical call.

The goal is to still get training in but in short bursts.

This step is important because its real easy to let the day get away from you and make excuses why you are not training.  There is always time but you have to make the time.

Step #3: Strive for plan A

Be careful that Plan C is not always your default plan. I’m fortunate enough that there is one day a week that my station is scheduled to be out at our training field.  If for some reason I had too many Plan C days, then this is the day where we make up for it.

The #1 reason we exist is to answer the calls of the community.

If we do not make the time to train though, how well are we performing on these calls?

Don’t settle for good enough.

Strive for the best you can be.

Now that you’ve got the steps for fitting quality training in while being at a busy house success down, I’d like to invite you to take the next step with your (free) instant access to “Fix Your Firehouse

The Real Trick To Fitting Quality Training In While Being At A Busy House