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PASS IT ALONG
Transitioning from the probie to the veteran will be a
change in thoughts, mentalities, methods of conducting business, and other areas that come from gaining experience. The
generational characteristics may change, but our vision and
what the badge stands for should carry us past our differences.
The differing generations must work together to develop each
other and appreciate the diversity each brings to the table.
Harnessing the power of all generations will make an unstoppable team, and it gives us the opportunity to understand the
historical perspectives of our chosen craft.
For years while I was working on my preplans, there was a
box for writing in the flow rate using the National Fire Acad-
emy (NFA) fire flow formula, and I checked the box religiously.
It was not until I fell under the mentoring of South Carolina
Fire Academy Superintendent Shane Ray that I learned how
the actual NFA formula was developed and its purpose. He
also taught me what the Iowa State fire flow formula meant
and how it was developed. Without an understanding of the
purpose and limitations of each of the numbers I was writing
in, the required box meant nothing. Ray provided the historical
perspectives of “why” we are doing what we currently do, and
he did it from a generation above me. Where can we pass down
information to the generation below us?
As I think through the life cycle of leadership, there are
numerous topics we will cover in this column. What is important to remember is that every individual can create an impact;
or, as Tommy Goran asks, “What will your legacy be?”
Leadership is not pigeonholed into a certain rank or title.
Leadership is about building the people around you to be
better and to allow them to make you better. In an article
concerning leadership traits written a few years back, it was
stated that you are the average of the five people you associate
with the most. Are you making those around you better or
are you bringing them down? Be the Barn Boss—the go-to
person who gets it done and for the right reasons.
Brian Ward is division leader of fire protection and emergency operations for Georgia Pacific (GA). He is a member of the International
Society of Fire Service Instructors, is Georgia Smoke Diver #741, and
is the founder of www.BarnBossLeadership.com. Ward is the author of
Barn Boss Leadership: Make the Difference and Training Officer’s Desk
Reference (Fire Engineering).
The best way to overcome differences is to train together. The only ones
that matter are those in the arena. (Theodore Roosevelt)