Throughout the month of March, I have written about my journey in the fire service. From the first ride on a fire engine at age three up to my retirement from the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority, Colorado as a battalion chief in May of 2020.
I formed Impactus! Cultivating Today’s Leaders in June 2019 to coincide with the launch of my book The Furnace of Leadership Development. However, I fell into the typical entrepreneurial trap of targeting too broad of an audience, often creating confusion during networking events and with my marketing efforts as well.
Focus and rebranding!
Since leaving Loveland Fire in 2020, I have had multiple opportunities to teach leadership, decision-making, and hazardous materials to the fire service. In June of 2022, I concluded that my target audience is the fire service and also those individuals who want to become firefighters.
During the last half of 2022, I began praying and thinking about rebranding my business name to truly reflect who I wanted to work with, help, and impact. After supper one night in early February, I mentioned this to my wife and she said, “About time.” She and my youngest daughter had been talking about the need for me to rebrand my business because of the confusion over the initial name of Impactus.
After brainstorming several names and logos with input from family and friends, I settled on Fire Officer Leadership Academy. My daughter Emily designed the logo.
The need for leadership training
In his book “Six Essential Elements of Leadership”, USMC Colonel Wesley Fox (1931-2017) wrote of the need to learn leadership, and he asked, “where do they do that? Where does one acquire the art of inspiring and positively influencing others?”1 With that in mind, consider the following questions:
- Does your department provide leadership training?
- If so, is the training a one-time event or part of continuing education each year?
- How much time is devoted to leadership training in local or regional officer development courses?
- Do you have to throw your name in the hat, justify why you want the training, and then hope for the best after that?
- Does leadership training get hacked out of the budget and then you are left to your own devices for development?
I trust that you, your crew(s), shift, and department engage in proficiency training i.e., fire behavior, pulling hose, throwing ladders, SCBA, etc. But where do you, your crew(s), shift, and department fall out based on the above questions?
Fire Officer Leadership Academy
I offer a solution to close the gap with leadership training in fire departments. It is not my goal to supplant anything your department is doing, but to supplement that training (assuming it is taking place).
In addition to providing in-person and virtual training, I offer a membership-based service where individuals have the opportunity to learn and grow with like-minded fire officers.
On Sunday, April 2nd, I am hosting a free webinar at 9:00 PM Eastern/7:00 PM Mountain/6:00 PM Pacific where I will go into more depth regarding the services I am offering to fire department officers and aspiring officers.
Here is the registration link for this free webinar: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tailboard-talks-leadership-conversations-at-the-tailboard-of-a-fire-engine-tickets-595098384287
1Wesley L. Fox, Six Essential Elements of Leadership (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2011), 23