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Volume 4 Issue 7; Leadership Insight
2021 Leadership News
Symposium Update

Stay tuned for our Leadership Insight Video Series!

We are looking forward to bringing you several different short chats with leaders in our industry over the next months. 

The first one will debut in January 2021!

Leadership Perspectives
My Thoughts on Leadership

Extreme Ownership — No Passengers

At a recent Captain’s meeting, I introduced the notion of “No Passengers.”  The mindset here is that everyone must be actively engaged and take responsibility for the safety, effectiveness, and success of an organization—in other words, no one is just along for the ride. This represents a different level of accountability and ownership—where literally everyone is empowered to think, observe, invent, engage, and say something.  This is part of what I mean when I say, “Are you interested or invested? There are so many levels of lessons to learn from the principles of “Extreme Ownership” and “No Passengers” which can and should be applied to the Fire and Emergency Medical Services.   

I’d like to review some critical points found in a great book, Extreme Ownership, by Jacko Willink and Leif Babin, but first I want to emphasize what I feel is the essence of effective implementation of these ideas. Simply stated, everyone in your organization must accept and apply the principle of accountability, personal and crew commitment to excellence, and constant daily improvement (Kaisan) in all areas of service you provide. 

Three key points of the book, Extreme Ownership, and how it applies to us. 

  1.  “On any team, in any organization, all responsibility for success and failure rests with the leader. The leader must own everything in his her world. There is no one else to blame. The leader must acknowledge mistakes and admit failures, take ownership of them, and develop a plan to win." —Jacko Willink

    Winning for us means safely and effectively mitigating the situations we respond to. The two critical components—safety and effectiveness should be honestly and comprehensively assessed after every response, by both the formal leaders and informal leaders in the organization. 

    It is only through a willingness to be truly critical of our performance that we open the possibilities for improvement. We should train to and expect perfection because the consequences of us underperforming are too significant.   

  2. "Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team."—Jacko Willink 

    As Company Officers or leaders in any organization demonstrate humility and accept responsibility, members of their team will follow and a culture of accountability evolves. The focus becomes one of improving and progressing versus blame and excuses.   

  3. "There are no Bad Teams, Only Bad Leaders." —Jacko Willink 

    The message here is simple, as a leader, you must ask yourself where and how your leadership can and should improve the team. There is a great story in the book, Extreme Ownership, where an underperforming team is given a new leader with no other changes made, and the results were dramatically positive. Don’t make excuses, take steps, and action to make it better.   

As we individually and organizationally apply the principles of Extreme Ownership and No Passengers, we will advance and excel individually and organizationally. 

Jeff Case
Fire Chief, Retired
Avondale Fire and Medical Department (AZ)

Leadership in the News
Special Ops

Lessons on Leading Through Chaos from US Special Operations

“I’m sure the other candidate checks all the boxes,” a veteran of the U.S. Navy SEALs told his final-round interviewer at a financial services company. “But here’s one thing I can tell you about me: There’s not a single situation that will occur at this business that will make me feel uncomfortable.” With that answer, the SEAL won himself a job, beating out a traditionally better-qualified candidate with an MBA from a leading business school.

Read more about the lessons
Body Language

Body Language 99 Overacting
—The Trust Ambassador

Ideally, body language should be a natural form of communication that is mostly unconscious. Some people put too much energy into their body language, and it comes across as insincere and phony.

Read More about Body Language
Quote of the Month
Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or position - Brian Tracy
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