Female Firefighter ~ The Pioneering Spirit

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By

W. Michael Phibbs

Over the years I have spoken at a number of leadership conferences aimed at emergency services organizations and personnel on branding themselves. It has led to a number of interesting conversations about women in the different branches. The subject of female fire fighters is at the top of my mind at the moment as we reflect on the loss, the suicide, of a female firefighter in VA, as allegations of cyber bullying are surfacing. I have heard countless stories of how both volunteer and career fire fighters, who happen to be female, have been treated, including being faced with the antiquated notion that the women were only there to cook and clean the fire house. However, in my experience, the majority of firefighters, male and female, are exemplary and act professionally around their coworkers.

While women have faced and risen to the challenge of entering the law enforcement field, joining the ranks of fire fighters has been a slower process. Women who have joined the fraternity of police officers worked long and hard to reach the same job responsibilities as their male counterparts. They have paved the way for more women to follow in their footsteps. A number of very capable women now do the same as fire fighters and I have had the pleasure of meeting a number of these pioneers.

In today’s society, we are hyper vigilant, or perhaps hyper sensitive, creating an environment where a single misspoken word or action can destroy a brand that an organization or a person is trying to build or maintain. We have been going through a period of demographic change, starting with Civil Rights in the 60’s through today with efforts to give everyone an equal chance. This means that the volunteers and career officers can be held liable for their liable under Title 7 Discrimination lawsuits or department code of conduct violations. If terminated after a substantiated charge of discrimination they will unlikely find further employment or volunteer opportunities in the field. Public safety organizations are not striving be more inclusive and better represent the demographics of society. This will have significant impact on any agency which is almost entirely comprised of males. A challenge will be how to effectively prevent discrimination need to be discovered and implemented. You can’t find always find simple answers to complex problems; and this one is complex.

Law enforcement faced the challenge of integrating females into the profession many years ago, and in cases continues to struggle with the issue. Female law enforcement officers have the same job responsibilities as their male counterparts, but in many cases, they have had to work harder to blaze a trail for others to follow. Similarly, I have met many Female Fire Officers with outstanding reputations as leaders in their organizations. These women are the new pioneers of today, making the way better for those who will follow.

Firefighting isn’t easy and as such, the training isn’t easy either. Going into a burning building wearing heavy gear or administering medical treatment on a severely injured person is not for the faint of heart. After rigorous and extensive training and testing, when all of the tests are passed, the trainee becomes a “Firefighter”; they are not segregated by race or gender, they are all firefighters. After graduation, the new firefighters get assigned to a station, whereby livings in a station, for 24 hours at stretch, “rookies” integrate into the team. It is the duty of Fire Officer to help new firefighters assimilate.

Unlike law enforcement where officers can avoid officers they don’t like, firefighters are a team and must work together.   Fire Officers must ensure their subordinates effectively communicate and cannot allow a simple misunderstanding fester into resentment. Supervisors are held to a higher level of responsibility from organizations and courts. But that comes with the position. Supervisors have a duty to their community, male and female officers, to take swift action to stop what may be construed as discriminatory, harassment, or a hostile work environment. While in quarters Firefighters from time to time they will joke around. But then the question is raised: At what point does a joke or comment cross the line from being funny to harassment? The question is complex, but training and reinforcement on ways to handle workplace issues harassment and discrimination and provide guidance.

It can be tough to stand up to subordinates, who may spend more time together than with their own families. Their job is to lead not just by example, but also by the actions they condone. Leaders who allow problems to fester are in charge of a gaggle, not a team. Lives can be lost when a group intentionally leaves someone out instead of being a team. When effective communication, individual skill development, and team building training are conducted, differences diminish and the entire organization is lifted.

As society and the demographics of the workforce change, more women will enter the fire profession. The days of the male only profession are slowly dwindling. All public safety agencies must recruit and hire a more diverse workforce and we all feel the growing pains. The women who work in the profession today are true pioneers with the grit of the women who walked across the Great Plains in the 19th century. There are creating the path for the future and have earned the right to be called “Professional Firefighter”

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Female Firefighters: Demonstrate True Pioneer Spirit

I recently met with a fire chief in the area. During the meeting the topic of females in the fire profession came up. For many organizations, there are only a handful of female firefighters at most. Imagine being the female who goes to work every day knowing she is entering a male dominated profession.

Law enforcement faced the challenge of integrating females into the profession many years ago, and in some cases still struggle with the issue. These female firefighters are the new pioneers of today. They have the same job responsibilities of their male counterparts, but have to work harder to trail blazed the path for those females to follow. In many older stations, the buildings were not constructed with separate bathrooms or bunk spaces for men and woman. Besides the issues of building construction, they must still live and work within the male dominated fire culture. At what point is a joke or comment cross the line from being funny to harassment? How does a female stand up for herself as a person without being labeled a derogatory comment? These issues and many more will eventually be worked out. As society, and demographics of the workforce, changes more woman will enter the fire profession. The woman who work in the profession today are true pioneers with the grit of the woman who walked across the great plains in the 19th century. There are creating the path for the future and have earned the right to be called “Professional Firefighter.”

Riding The Roller Coaster Of Business Change

 

 

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While recently attending a conference at the Washington D.C. Head Quarts of SHRM, I saw an interesting curve that is used to implement change. The instructor was 100% accurate that implementing change means ending something. Then people enter an area called the “neutral zone” and finally with success a new beginning.

 Well, another way to look at it is from the perspective of a rider on a roller coaster. Some roller coasters are tall and long and others are short and quick; however, all of them have the same physical mechanisms in common from start to end. Now, let’s entwine business change into the picture. Initially, the management team determines there is a business case for change. It may be caused by unexpected changes in the environment, where you change or face major financial problems. The needs assessment is where you begin your case for change and your organization, and employees, enter the queue for the roller coaster ride.  While going through the queue your organizations leadership should begin to meet with key stake holders and employees to set out the business case for change. Why is this necessary? Why deviate from the normal base line?
 A leadership team creates a story line that sets out the realities of the situation, what it will take to change, and how the organization will look like when it is all over. They create an image that sticks showing what success will look like. They inspire and make people believe the change is necessary and they will get through it as a team; they help create the small and fast roller coaster ride. Management teams set out as a matter of fact the need for change. They show the facts and people will see the need to change. Management teams explain the process of change in systematic ways so people know what to expect. The management teams roller coasters are higher, longer, and create more fear because the inclusive story is not there. The hero’s story, the saving of a company, or taking it to the next level, for people to cheer and believe in is not present.

During the queue, the better the business case is laid the better chance for acceptance and success. Once the case had been made, and change is about to begin, everyone sits in their seats, buckles up, and gets ready for the ride. Everyone will have some level of trepidation and beginning the journey. The end is at hand and a new beginning is starting. As the train leaves the station, there are fewer and fewer chances to stop. As the train goes higher on the lift, the processes of change begin to pick up. The senior staff has to continue to sell the ideas, reassure the weak hearted, and increase the on-board of employees to the changes occurring around them.

 At the top of the lift there is no turning back. This is the part of most danger. How far the train goes down, or if it will come back up, is in direct relation to your thinking out the need for change, the process, and keeping people on-board. While riding down the lift many things will happen. Everyone will feel a high level of emotions. Some will feel terrified and stuck motionless in their seats. Others will feel exhilaration and throw their hands in the air. Others will simply look down and hold on for the ride. Going down, organizational structures are moved around, some may be sold off. People may be transferred, have new bosses, or jobs changed in mid stream. As things continue to change, people will wonder if things will ever get better; when will it start going back up? Your preparation was the key for people to see when they reach the bottom of the hill.  Once at the bottom of the hill, no roller coaster immediately goes back up. It will stay there short period burning off kinetic energy. This burning of energy slowly allows the organization to finish putting everything back into place. Emotional states of employees begin to subside. New business units begin to solidify. How long you spend at this level is also in direct correlation to your business change preparation before entering the queue.
 As solidification occurs in subset business units, the upward pull of potential energy starts to kick in. Even though the overall speeds are slowing, as must happen through the laws of physics, the change of potential energy back to change energy (kinetic) throws everyone back into their seats. The business is taking back off and headed skyward. As more systems start to work the higher the organization will go; however, it will never go as high as the initial power of ending the previous systems and preparing for change needed to impact the organization. As everything begins to fully function it will slowly even out and people will become accustomed to the new organizational model. Through the changes a new normal base line had been established over the old base line.

Changing an organization is like riding a roller coaster. The more compelling the need for change, preparation for change, and knowing what the end results will look like. Go a long way to making the roller coaster ride short and enjoyable rather than long and terrifying.

Positive Life Lessons from “Fat Boy – Express”

“Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail better.”
Samuel Becket

I came across a guy riding a bike the other day, and he had a yellow riding jersey with “Fat Boy – Express” written on the back. So, of course, when I saw the guy stopping to take a break I had to stop and talk. He explained the meaning of the jersey he created. “Fat Boy” is for the abstract anatomical weight of a middle aged man who has a larger waist than he wants. “Express” was the attitude that he possess. In short, “Fat Boy” is for weight, “Express” is an attitude. In reality as he continues to ride he loses weight and his speed continues to increase. But, “Fat Boy Express” is more of analogy for someone who will not give up; that failure does not mean quick, it simply means to get up and do it better next time.

It all started when his doctor told him he had to get in shape, or he would die years earlier than he should. He had problems with weight all of his life. As a child he was ridiculed by the other kids for being different. Now it is life or death, not simply teasing. He realized he couldn’t run the weight off; his knee and ankle joints couldn’t take the relentless pounding. He joined a gym, but found cardio machines boring. One day a friend recommended he try biking. To his amazement, he really enjoyed going out and riding. He saw things around him, at a slower speed, that most people never notice riding 55 mph in their cars. He said it felt great to get back to nature even if he was just passing through at 10 mph. He used to be terrified of large hills, knowing they would wear him out and leave him gasping for air. He had seen the Tour de France and saw how hills wear out even the best trained athletes.

He began to look for new ways to develop self-motivation and learn how to overcome those “hills in his life”. Then one day he changed his outlook on hills, and on life. When you change your perspective on something, what you are looking at also changes. He had already begun to transform his life when he changed his attitude about exercising and found an activity he was beginning to love. Now, he set out to change his attitude towards hills. They were no longer challenges to be feared, they are opportunities to be experienced and overcome. He used each hill as a test of his ability to first create and then test a strategy to defeat the hill. He would determine how much speed he would need as he approached the bottom of the incline. He would predetermine the best time to switch gears. What combination of gear changing would he use, the front or rear gears first. He would stay on the seat as long as possible; because once you get off to pump your legs you actually lose momentum. As his strategies developed he began to look for larger hills to “attack”. It was now a war between him and the terrain. With each hill defeated another victory racked up. Riding helped him develop the attitude that he could overcome all challenges. He began to lose weight and his co-workers noticed it. They began to encourage him to ride and ask him where he had ridden over the weekend or after work. On a day he felt down and did not want to ride, his coworkers first encouraged and then “ordered” him out for ride. His co-workers were beginning to feel the same pride of “Fat Boy – Express” after a long grueling ride. “Fat Boy – Express” made the connection between who he is and who he could become. He recreated a positive outlook on life. His mantra became, “If he can do it, anyone who is willing can do the same thing in their lives.”

Very few people are gifted at everything, and most people have something they struggled with during their life. It could be a weight problem like “Fat Boy – Express”, shyness around people, difficulty with math or science in school, or a host of other physical or mental problems. Success or failure is not if you have a problem, but your willingness to try and overcome the problem. Like “Fat Boy – Express”, once you change how you look at something then the things you look at change. Challenges become opportunities to rack up victories. Small victories add up to life altering events. “Fat Boy – Express” will soon loose enough weight that his jersey will be considered false advertising, but he will never change it. It is a reminder of his past challenges and the changes in his attitude that helped him transform into a new person today. In the end, we are all “Fat Boy – Express”. We all have the opportunity to transform our lives; the question is when we are ready to take the first step. “Fat Boy – Express” became a leader to many, not because he began to ride a bike and transform his life, but though the changing of his mindset. Remarkably, he moved from being a victim of life’s circumstances to the man who realized anyone can conqueror the problems in their own lives. If you have what you think is an insurmountable problem you can overcome it. Try to come up with a solution. If it fails, try again. If it fails again try a different tactic. Try harder. By taking the first step you begin to realize success. You will come up with the correct solution and that will transform your life.

Old school tangibles versus new school intangibles for motivating and connecting employees.

 

 

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by
Mike Phibbs

I recently read an old school book on leadership. To paraphrase a few lines, the organizations benefit packages are a key driver of motivation. The supervisor can’t influence those benefits but he or she can find out the costs of those benefits and tell the employee how much the organization is paying to keep them healthy and on the job. Because the employee received a high dollar benefit package they will be motivated. Well, welcome back to 1950’s thinking!

Let me illustrate how outdated this view is in comparison to today’s workers who value their “fit” within an organization. A potential employee interviews with the HR Director of an organization. The candidate asks about the organizations culture and how much it does for the community. The director responds that the organization has a great benefit package, which includes medical, life insurance and a 401K plan. The candidate tells the director that he saw that on the website, but wants to know how the employees are valued, and their interests to help out in the community are supported. The director responds back that they spend a lot of money per person on the benefit package. Again, the candidate responds back again that it is not about the co-pay, but rather the feel of the company he is interested in hearing. The director again, explains they give a great benefit package and people are motivated to work there to get those benefits. Community efforts are lauded, but the business of this organization is to make money. Here people are motivated by the money and great working conditions rather than touchy-feely outreach programs. At this point, the conversation is over and the candidate knows that he will not fit in with this type of thinking.

If you have to bribe people to work at your organization with expensive benefits then you have a problem. What happens if the benefit packages have to be reduced because of a downturn in the economy? That’s why you never rely on tangible benefits to motivate people. Rather, you highlight the intangibles. If the overall “feel” is right then the candidate will be more interested in the job and be more motivated as an employee. The emotional connections to tie people to the organization are the true drives of engagement and motivation.

It is the intangibles of the work and organization that attract, engage, retain, and motivate employees. From the outset, they want to know what it will feel like to work in a company. How are the employees treated? Even in assembly line style work employees can be extremely motivated and loyal to the organization. From the outset, you have to answer the question, “Are the employees treated as valued employees who every effort benefits the entire organization?” In turn, they will feel motivated if the intrinsic benefits exist for belonging to a high performance culture; where, excellence it not only expected from all employees, but freely given.

It all starts on how well the organization brands its self as a work destination for people who want to set down roots and are willing to work. When they are “welcomed” to the organization each new employee understands that they are a valued part of the team. Team leaders understand when someone is new to an organization they are nervous and need reassurance. During training, they meet everyone and are paired with a person of likeminded personality to help conduct the training and answer questions. Once trained and on the floor, the supervisors continue to build the team and integrate the person into the overall success of the organization. It is the intangibles of working for a leader, and being a part of a team, that motivates people. Benefit packages are important, but no one has ever been motivated to do anything more than what is required because they were told how much a company spend on their benefits. Employees who are intrinsically motivated be the organization, what it does, the internal community, and the right “feel” will fight to ensure the company is strong and profitable. The old school thinking that tangible motivate should be in a text book on bad management. Reading how to use intangibles of the organization to motivate employees is the future, and should be read by every leader trying to make a difference in their organization.

Sage advice from a true American success story.

American Dream

by

Mike Phibbs

 

“In America, you can have anything you want if you are intelligent and have courage.”  ~ Reza

 

I want to be a millionaire and so do many of you. Three sage questions arise when we admit that we want to be millionaires. First, how do we get the money? Second, what will we have to give up getting the money? Third, will money truly make us successful and happy?

I met Reza many years ago while visiting Miami with my wife. We met through a chance encounter and have been friends ever since. He is the model of the self-made American success story. As a group, driving through Miami, Reza’s phone wrong, it was a business deal in the final stages of negotiations. Reza told the guy on the other end of the line that 20 was the final offer. He continued by telling the other party if he kept trying to push the number lower then Reza was going to start climbing again. I thought they were talking about thousands of dollars. I was wrong, very wrong. I was shocked when Reza told the caller that he was going to ask my opinion. Not knowing the game I aloud, “make it 25 or nothing.” I could hear the guy on the other end choke a little and then agree to the 20. When I learned it was millions and not thousands of dollars I instantly knew I was not in Kansas anymore.

The story of the deal was interesting, but the man behind the deal is far more interesting than can be posted in a blog. We have all met those people, larger than life and with the personality to bring any room to life. Reza came to America in 1979, a week before the Iranian hostage situation began. Reza was born in Iran and left to come to American and make a better life. He brought just enough money to get to New York and buy a bus ticket to somewhere else. He could only say “Florida” in English, so he bought a ticket to Florida. Before he left the station the American Embassy fell. People were outraged and someone had to pay for the American humiliation. It was Reza. He was constantly being assaulted by people on his trip to Miami. Only one person helped him out, the bus driver. The driver tried to protect him and ensure he got to his destination alive.  Even the police turned a blind eye to the assaults. People seem to find this behavior acceptable when their country has been humiliated, the President is ineffective, and the citizens are scared. We are shocked when we see such behavior in other countries and ignore it in our own.

Reza has a charming personality, but he has something else:  A drive to succeed. He worked odd jobs and ended up working at a gas station. Unknowingly, fortune was about to show its face. One day a friend who owned a limousine business mentioned to Reza that he had too many jobs that night and not enough chauffer’s. Reza took the chance and asked if he could take one of the shifts. History is made during these types of serendipitous encounters and this was the case. Thus the rise of Reza began. He continued to work the gas station during the day and drove at night. He eventually bought his own limousine company and made customer loyalty and service the hallmarks of the company’s success.  He could have sat back running a lucrative business and been regarded as successful. But no, he continued to branch out into different areas and continued to make the South Florida financial empire he has today.

One night, while eating dinner at a restaurant overlooking the water with the Miami skyline in the background, Reza put his fork down and pointed out into the bay. He looked back and said, “Look at the billions of dollars out there. Why don’t you have any of it?” I replied that I didn’t have anyone rich enough to knock off. He then spoke the sage words that I use in seminars today, “In America anyone can be as successful as they want if they are intelligent and have courage.” He is completely right. Many people don’t have the intellectual acumen to develop a product idea which people will want to spend money on. More likely, in America has lost the will or courage that brought our forefathers here in boats that would be illegal by today’s Coast Guard standards. We have lost the desire to do what it takes to make a better life. Most Americans are not willing to risk what they have to fulfill the possibilities that America presents.

Does this mean you have to be a millionaire to be successful? If you want to be on the Discovery, TLC or Bravo Channels then yes, yes you do. But in the world of reality, success is something that is enjoyable, fulfilling and builds self-worth. For Reza the money is a by-product of enjoying the running of successful companies. He enjoys providing services and money is just a score card to gauge his own success. The companies he owns are centered on making both his clients and employees equally happy. He knows when you are happy at what you do then it is not a job or a profession, it is something deeper with more meaning.

If you are miserable at your job and have a desire to do something else then ask yourself three questions:

  • Am I an intelligent person who can research my own idea?
  • Do I have the courage to take the actions necessary to fulfill my life’s calling?
  • How happy will I be when I am in charge of my own destiny?

Only you can answer these questions. The answers are scary for most people. But when in doubt remember Reza. He came to a strange land with nothing, not even knowing the language. He became a proud American citizen and through intelligence and courage he became an American success. Put down the fork and look out the window. What is stopping you from living the American dream? Reza lives it and so can you.

Create success through Evidence Based Leadership techniques.

EBL

By

Mike Phibbs

Everyone has read a book with “Leadership” somewhere in the title. Why, we all want to become leaders that inspire and sought after for our sage advice. So, we go to the local book store and find a book that explains how Company A transformed itself from an average company to an extraordinary icon in its industry. Once you begin to read the plethora of books you realize two critical ideas. First, most books are more about management then leadership. Second, the ideas may be great for that specific organization but will not work for yours. However, there are two easy solutions for wading through the sea of books and learning how to truly transform you into a highly effective leader. To begin, you must understand the true nature of leadership and then look for Evidence Based Leadership training that provides a high-octane boost and will accelerate your leadership potential well past the next level.

First, understand that leadership and management are systematically opposed. People like to disguise management training as leadership training since it is cool to be a leader and a drag to be a manager. The overall concept is as simple as leaders lead and managers manage. True understanding of leadership requires a deeper understanding than that simple statement. Leadership is about transformation through the creation of a greater vision for the future and in-depth understanding of people to guide and motivate people. Leaders possess the ability to create the end goal vision for their organizations. They readily read the tea leaves and anticipate where the road blocks are, and how to navigate around them. They understand how to overcome organizational inertia that resists change and can prevent average leaders from creating an impact. Effective leaders have the capability to transform their organizations and take them to the next level. Extraordinary leaders transcend these bounds and create legendary organizations.

Management is about putting parameters on organizations. They develop and follow rules and regulations and keep score. They are the traffic cops that keep the organization moving along at a specified pace. Managers put the brakes on organizational change until ideas are clearly vetted. I am not saying managers are bad people. Managers are the yin to the leadership yang. They develop the strategies that keep organizations going day-to-day. Without managers a high-octane leadership driven organization will wander from one vision to the next, but it will make great time. Management trims the sails and ensures check points are developed and targets are met. Another analogy says leaders want to expand the balloon. Managers want to have rules limiting how fast it expands and requires constant pressure testing to ensure the balloon does not pop.
Now, are people born with innate leadership capacity? Have you ever read in the newspaper, “A great leader was born today at General Hospital” or hear in the hospital hallway, “That baby has great management potential.” Some people do seem to inherit innate leadership skills, but they are still limited. Some possess exceptional leadership skills that work in one industry, but they may flop in another. There is light at the end of the tunnel for struggling leaders: Evidence Based Leadership.

Evidence Based Leadership is a compilation of proven techniques that work in any organization, or profession. At first, I too was reluctant to believe there is a one size fits all solution to leadership problems. However, after I read the key principles and concepts I found they are right on point. I read the concepts and was reminded how it worked in another organization. The Evidence Based Leadership skills are based on facts of which leadership interventions works and which ones don’t. Your next book on leadership should be on Evidence Based Leadership. Then you can read other books on successful leadership and suddenly realized they took the long road to success. By understanding the differences between leadership and management and the principles of Evidence Based Leadership you are on the express route to being an exceptional leader.

ABC Philosophy of Leadership

ABC Philosophyby

Mike Phibbs

The greatest challenge to anyone is not the ability to look at someone else and accurately assess their strengths and weaknesses. It is far more difficult to look inside and determine where you stand and what drives you to success or failure. At the macro level of existence, the measure of a leader, manager, guru, or anyone who looks back and has followers is gauged in the impact they have on the lives of those who choose to follow him.  But there is much more to the story than the sum of the group of individuals who want to follow someone else.  The grander picture is the internal story of knowing oneself that compels that person to drive forward to complete a vision and connect to the greater masses. The ABC philosophy of leadership and knowing oneself creates the foundation for people to understand and connect to their inner person. Then, armed with these insights one can improve their ability to lead and make a greater impact on the people who follow them.

A: Ability and Ambition

Where ever you are in life, be it at work, a parent, or anything else, try to accurately gauge your ability at what is important to you right here and now. You probably already realize you are better at some tasks and worse at others. It’s simple, no one is perfect. However, in reality you are probably not as good and probably a little worse than you think at tasks. Take an internal look and realistically gauge your abilities. Look at the real you, warts and all, not just the imagined you. The take the leap and ask your peers, subordinates, and friends how effective you are a different tasks. Create the overall picture and determine what you truly need to change. Then do one thing better each day till you become the person you aspire to be.

What is your ambition? What is the internal desire which drives you to take action and reach the next level?   Do you know? If you are a store clerk, manager, or senior executive we all have ambition. The difference comes through the knowing where you want to go, and then developing a realistic plan which compels one to overcome their fear to take the first step. No one can force someone else to take the first step, but only show then the path and reassure then that it is safe to walk on. Again, what is your ambition and what is stopping you? By taking the first step, you at least know you made the attempt and will not go through life in wonderment of what could have been if you only tried.   

B: Beliefs and Behavior

Somewhere in the deep reassesses of your mind your beliefs are secretly influencing your decisions is the belief pattern that developed over a life time. For every act that is presented to you, solicit and equal response based on your customs, traditions and beliefs. It’s automatic. Most of the time there are no consequences. Other times you are praised or condemned by your reactions. By taking an introspective look into your own belief patterns you can better understand why you do what you do and why you react the way you do. Maybe your beliefs are based in an outmoded mental program that you will realize needs to be updated. Maybe you realize that your beliefs are sound and need to be reinforced. Sometimes they evolve and you didn’t know you had gone through the transformative process. Regardless of the version of your brain operating program, understanding your beliefs allows you the mechanisms to tailor your interactions with the people around you. 

How do you behave around people when you are happy, sad, or confrontational? Are you consistent in action or do you harbor emotions until they boil over? Do you know what sets you off? The answer to these seemingly simple questions greatly impacts the people around you. By understanding one’s behaviors allows for the anticipation and mitigation of unwanted reactions to situations as they arise. Then, instead of acting inappropriately, one can act in such a way to mitigate negative events and amplify positive ones.   

C: Courage and Commitment

It takes tremendous courage to take a look inside oneself and examine to the deepest corners to see what drives us. The most effective and truly influential people took the leap and observed what causes them to think and act the way they do. Some made remarkable transformations, while others simply accepted who they are with a clearer understanding of themselves. But they all stopped waiting for something to happen to them. They went on the offensive to take charge of their own destiny. The no longer held their emotions in check to explode at a later time. They utilized the power stored in their emotional batteries and focused the energy to resolve problems in a positive a positive manner. 

When making any changes the test comes to your commitment to make the changes over time. Like a New Year’s Eve resolution it is easy to backslide to behaviors that stifle your growth as a leader. It takes 28 days to make new neural connections in the brain that allow you to automatically behave in your new positive manner. But, it takes a life time of commitment to self-evaluate and ensure you are making the necessary changes that allow you to be the synergetic catalyst that makes a positive difference in the people around you.

You are only as good as you choose to be using the ABC method of leadership. Instead of looking at your followers or people you influence and look internally at what drives you to think and act the way you do. Then, you can make the changes that create change in your life that positively impact those of people around you.