All Clear - A Firefighter Health & Wellness Podcast

In The Footsteps Of Easy Company - Leadership Lessons Learned with Ray Allen

February 23, 2024 Travis McGaha / Eric Stephenson Season 2 Episode 6
In The Footsteps Of Easy Company - Leadership Lessons Learned with Ray Allen
All Clear - A Firefighter Health & Wellness Podcast
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All Clear - A Firefighter Health & Wellness Podcast
In The Footsteps Of Easy Company - Leadership Lessons Learned with Ray Allen
Feb 23, 2024 Season 2 Episode 6
Travis McGaha / Eric Stephenson

Unlock the secrets of robust leadership with retired fire chief Ray Allen, whose nearly three decades atf the City of Concord Fire Department have bestowed him with unparalleled wisdom on the subject. Ray brings to the table a 'lead from the tip of the spear' philosophy, channeling the spirit of Band of Brothers' Major Dick Winters. We take a deep look into how leadership can't be squeezed into a one-size-fits-all model, delving into the necessity of personal adaptation to truly inspire and direct a team. Ray's journey from the past to the present connects us with the essential pillars of leadership that withstand the test of time and evolving fire service dynamics.

The episode doesn't shy away from the tough transformations that come with leadership overhauls, as evidenced by the Concord Fire Department's own evolution from Chief Lippard to Chief Holloway's servant leadership style. Reflecting on my own experiences, we unpack the impact of such shifts on both seasoned members and fresh faces. Our discussion navigates through initiatives like cancer prevention and mental health awareness, painting a picture of the fire service's enduring adaptability and the importance of team well-being in fostering a truly service-oriented culture.

With an eye on bridging the generational divides, Ray and I dissect the varying resiliences across different age groups, particularly salient in the inherently stressful world of firefighting. We embrace the commonality of traits such as trust, competence, and the power of leading by example – qualities that resonate with every badge and helmet. By championing direct communication and mutual respect, and drawing inspiration from, "Band Of Brothers" we spotlight the perennial leadership principles that hold strong, regardless of the shifting sands of time. Join us as we ignite the flame of passion and dedication in our listeners, and head over to allclearpodcast.com for an even broader scope of insights.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Unlock the secrets of robust leadership with retired fire chief Ray Allen, whose nearly three decades atf the City of Concord Fire Department have bestowed him with unparalleled wisdom on the subject. Ray brings to the table a 'lead from the tip of the spear' philosophy, channeling the spirit of Band of Brothers' Major Dick Winters. We take a deep look into how leadership can't be squeezed into a one-size-fits-all model, delving into the necessity of personal adaptation to truly inspire and direct a team. Ray's journey from the past to the present connects us with the essential pillars of leadership that withstand the test of time and evolving fire service dynamics.

The episode doesn't shy away from the tough transformations that come with leadership overhauls, as evidenced by the Concord Fire Department's own evolution from Chief Lippard to Chief Holloway's servant leadership style. Reflecting on my own experiences, we unpack the impact of such shifts on both seasoned members and fresh faces. Our discussion navigates through initiatives like cancer prevention and mental health awareness, painting a picture of the fire service's enduring adaptability and the importance of team well-being in fostering a truly service-oriented culture.

With an eye on bridging the generational divides, Ray and I dissect the varying resiliences across different age groups, particularly salient in the inherently stressful world of firefighting. We embrace the commonality of traits such as trust, competence, and the power of leading by example – qualities that resonate with every badge and helmet. By championing direct communication and mutual respect, and drawing inspiration from, "Band Of Brothers" we spotlight the perennial leadership principles that hold strong, regardless of the shifting sands of time. Join us as we ignite the flame of passion and dedication in our listeners, and head over to allclearpodcast.com for an even broader scope of insights.

Your one stop shop for graphic design, screen printing, embroidery and more.  Proud sponsor of the All Clear Podcast.

Use the code All Clear to get 10% off your first order.

studioprintshop.com

Support the Show.

Thanks for listening to All Clear!

You can contact us with questions, suggestions or just to say hi at our website
allclearpodcast.com


Also Visit Our Sponsors - Studio Print Shop at
studioprintshop.com

Speaker 1:

This week on All Clear we sit down with retired fire chief Ray Allen and discuss, in the footsteps of EZCon, leadership lessons learned. Hey, how's everybody doing? We've got a special guest today with us. We've got Ray Allen, who is the retired fire chief of the Concord Fire Department, where I currently work. Eric's not with us today. He's out doing important work which I'm sure you'll hear about before too long. But I'm just going to say hello, Ray. It's good to see you again, chief. I know you also sit with us on the board at the Cancer Alliance, so you and I see each other quite frequently. But I wanted to have you on today to talk about what you're good at talking about leadership. But before we get there, why don't you tell our listeners about yourself and a little bit about what you got going on?

Speaker 2:

Hi Travis, thanks for having me today. As you already pointed out, I did formerly work at the City of Concord Fire Department for 29 years. I retired in 2019 as the fire chief there. I still reside in Cabarrus County in Concord. I'm currently working, I guess, multiple part-time jobs. I work for Rohan Cabarrus Community College in the fire programs doing continuing education, managing continuing education programs here in Cabarrus County. I do some part-time work for the North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs helping them run their conference, which has traditionally been here in Concord at the Embassy Suites. And I do a little bit of part-time work for O'Dell Fire Department driving a fire truck for them. I'm a busy man. Luckily, my wife didn't hear that. She would agree with you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we won't tell her that you're on the podcast.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, she knows that she wants to go out in the camp or more. And it's hard to go out in the camp or more with all those jobs.

Speaker 1:

Nope, I understand I'm a camp and fan myself. Me and my wife. We enjoy doing that as much as humanly possible, yeah, but no, you do a lot of great work. You've done great work while you were at Concord and we know that. Also, one of the things that you have excelled at and I'll speak from my personal experience is your leadership.

Speaker 1:

I know that when I promoted to Deputy Fire Marshal, I sat through the Executive Officer Training Program that we have at Concord or the OCS Officer Candidate Program and you taught a session on leadership and you talked about leadership theory and you used the example of the TV series Band of Brothers, the mini series back from I think it was like 2001,. That dealt with the Easy Company, and you use that as a backbone. But I wanted to have you on today to share some of your insight on leadership with our listeners, because leadership is something that is so important in the fire service. But we also know that sometimes it gets overlooked and I just wanted to get your voice in here as an experienced leader in the fire service and kind of fill us in on what your takes are on how leadership can be successful.

Speaker 2:

Part of the reason that I use Band of Brothers in that session that you're talking about is because that's a very lead from the tip of the spear type of leadership the Dick Winners major Dick Winners style of leadership, and that's my style as well, but that's not necessarily has to be everybody's style. The truth is, I believe that most people want to be led. You just have to do it. But most people will not be terribly resistant to being led and there's multiple ways that people can be led and a lot of that depends on your personality. So my leadership personality or traits may not be good for other people, but it doesn't mean that they can't lead. Obviously, everybody doesn't have to lead in the same way, but the Dick Winters in particular was what I focused on, because I do believe in the lead from the tip of the spear type leadership.

Speaker 1:

You know that's a very important point you brought up is that what works for you in a leadership model may not work for someone else. Leadership is something that it's hard for me to be, ray Allen, because I could never do that, because obviously I'm not you, but I take lessons from what you have taught and I've taken lessons from how other chiefs that I've worked for and other people that I've worked with, and I try to make my own leadership style based off of the experiences that I gained from others. So that is a very good point.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. I think everybody does that honestly, travis, and I'll add to that by saying you don't often think of this, but you mentioned how you pick up traits from people, and I picked up traits from people who were leaders in my life, but there's just as many lessons to be learned from poor leadership or people who did it incorrectly. To some extent, those lessons might stick with you even better than the positives, although the positives are important as well. But oftentimes, you know, as I was coming up, I would take note of things and I said that's not really the way to do it, that's not motivating me and it's not motivating our crew. I got to remember that so that I don't follow that path when I get into position to do it.

Speaker 1:

I understand exactly what you mean, not just, not necessarily in the fire service, but in my life, before working for the fire department, I've had leadership before.

Speaker 1:

That was terrible, whether it be in a menial job that I had when I was in high school, all the way up through when I was an adult, there were people that were meant to be leaders and there were some people that probably should have stopped before they got promoted there. And people talk about promotion to the level of incompetence. We don't ever want to see that In the fire service. It is good that attention is being given to developing quality leaders, because that's something that you can learn a certain amount of it, but you have to have something good to start with. I see exactly what you mean by what you're saying there about good lessons and bad lessons, depending on who you're looking at. So, yeah, good stuff, but for you personally, what were some of the most important lessons that you picked up in your early days in the fire service as far as leadership skills go, that have been beneficial to you throughout your career?

Speaker 2:

In some ways, travis, this is a little bit easy, because I came to Concord at a time of great transition. Actually I could argue that it was the most unique time because I worked. There was only 17 of us that were hired by the current chief at the time and that was Chief Blackwalder, who was doing the interim stint as fire chief in between Chief Lippard and Chief Holloway, and so that was a unique time with Chief Blackwalder. But perhaps more importantly was we still, when I first came, we were living under the rules of Chief Lippard, who had been in the fire service many years, like 42 years. He'd been the chief many years and the argument could be made that maybe it was time for us to modernize and look at some different ways of leadership. And we certainly did that. When we got Chief Holloway. That was a fairly easy transition for me because I only worked a short period of time under sort of the rules of the old regime. I'm much more of a Chief Holloway guy but there was a lot of guys who had been here so many years that they really struggled in that transition. But it was obvious to me during that period of transition that some of the things at Chief Holloway. Some of the leadership traits that I learned from Chief Holloway and some his leadership that truly was the way to do it and more servant leadership, more in a service to the community leadership and more of a and this is maybe particularly important in the fire service and a few other professions.

Speaker 2:

But you don't have to be. You can be the boss or the leader. Sometimes there's you have to be the boss in the fire service. If you're an emergency scene, you have to be the boss. We don't have time to debate it and take a vote and all that jazz. But most of the time you don't have to be in that boss role. Right, you can be more in that leadership role where you know your crew's working together and decisions can be made as a unit under your guidance. And that was that had not been the case, or was not the case when I first came to Conquered Fire Department. I owe a lot of that to Chief Holloway as he transitioned us more into that servant leadership role the boss sometimes, but not all the time and in service to the community type leadership model that we we did for 20 years under Chief Holloway.

Speaker 1:

I can speak. I was hired under Chief Holloway. Now remember when you became chief at his retirement there was that transition period. It was a little bit different, but I there were a lot of ways that it was the same and I see what you're talking about, how you were there during that modernization period, for lack of a better term when the way that we look at stuff changes and to draw a parallel to that, you and I both work on the North Carolina firefighter cancer reliance and I know 10 years ago or less, whenever we started teaching this information, people didn't care.

Speaker 1:

But since then there's been a modernization, like you were talking about, or the focuses have changed and people are more aware of the needs of cancer prevention or whether it be mental health or whatever the case. People are adapting as we grow and as we change and I think it's important that leadership does realize that and there there's a lot of lessons to be learned. But it sounds like Richard Winters from Band of Brothers was a that there was some positive leadership skills and possibly some negative ones that we could see that kind of popped up in that. But when we look at it through the lens of that Band of Brothers, what are some of those lessons that you see and that would be beneficial for us to learn in the fire service today?

Speaker 2:

Probably the number one thing that I think you'll see in that characterization because, let's face it, that is a movie of Dick Winters and his career in arms he had a career in the army during the World War II was his focus on his men and understanding their perspective and their viewpoint.

Speaker 2:

And if you watch the series, they originally had a commanding officer that did not have those skills. He did not have those skills at all and Dick Winters was forced to work under that until, quite frankly, right before they were heading to Europe, there was a, there was a for lack of a better way to put it a coup, and Dick Winters or Captain Winters at the time took over the crew and the men loved him because they felt like he had their interest at heart, that he had a job to do and they understood that, but that he always had a lens on how it was affecting them and what their interest was in that job to do. And he always had, particularly in that setting he had. Their safety was important to them and I think that is important in no matter what your position is of leadership. People want to feel heard and that you have their interest as part of your decision making process.

Speaker 1:

You know that that is something that we don't see in a lot of other professions outside of the fire service, outside of the first responder realm when you go to corporate America, for example the boss is pretty much interested in their own progression and if they have to sometimes step on somebody or push somebody out of the way to advance, it happens. Now, in the fire service there are some people that push and shove sometimes to get their weight to move forward. But in the fire service we have to realize, like you just mentioned, there are people that we rely on in order to accomplish the task that we identify that need to be done, and if you're not focusing on the people that are helping you execute your plans, you're not going to be successful at all. Or at least that's my take on it. Travis, that's where the rubber meets the road.

Speaker 2:

It's where the rubber meets the road, and if you're not focused where the rubber meets the road, it doesn't matter all the bells and whistles in the world, the car's not moving down the road.

Speaker 1:

Exactly.

Speaker 2:

So you've always got to keep focused at least some focus on the point where the rubber meets the road and of course, in the fire service. You know that's serving our community, that's our service to the community.

Speaker 1:

So, from a leadership standpoint, when you were the chief in Concord or any other times in your career, when you talk about serving others, serving the community did you feel like you were part of the community you were serving or did you feel like you had this was like a a solid position that was totally apart from the community that you were working with? I don't know if that question makes sense or not.

Speaker 2:

It does.

Speaker 2:

I felt it was very important to make sure that I was part of the community and, by default, the fire department was part of the community and so I served on multiple boards of nonprofits while I was the fire chief, some of which I still serve on we got you for that one Tried to tie the fire department to these different organizations where I was serving on the board, because they were all community oriented organizations, and so I felt like it was very important that the fire service be tied into all the little capillaries of our community that way, if you will.

Speaker 2:

And so, yes, I felt like I was part of the community and I wanted to make the fire department an intricate part of the community.

Speaker 2:

Because, as I've said many times in many presentations all across this country, there's one thing that every single community in this whole country has in common, and that's that they have a fire department at the center of it. There's not a come now. Some or have bigger communities with a fire department, some are smaller, but every single community in this country is served by a fire department. And if you look at a lot of people don't know this, but the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School some years ago, that the command post and that whole process was based out of the fire department, because that's a central focus as something we all share in common, no matter what part of this country you live in and going back to that point, if my history serves me right, even during the events of 9-11, when the mayor of New York was working through the active process, he actually stationed out of a fire station as well to be able to have a command post a little bit closer into what was going on.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you are right. The fire department is the center, in a lot of ways, of the community and it's important for us to be plugged in to that community as well. And also, when you look at Richard Winters and what all he did, dick Winters, however, you want to go with it. When you look at his leadership style, one of the things that was pretty evident in that series was the fact that there were a lot of characters, some of which were based on real people, some that were people put together, but ultimately they all had their own challenges. The people that worked with him, worked for him, had their individual struggles or individual challenges and outcomes that they were trying to improve.

Speaker 1:

How does that play into the fire service? You? You may have three or four guys on the truck with you and each one's his own individual personality, has his own family on kids, own struggles on successes. How do you as a leader. How do you maximize an individual's potential when you see someone that might be struggling with something, or maybe they're far ahead of everybody else in a certain skill? How do you bring everybody into line and into the same ability sphere when you do stuff like that?

Speaker 2:

I think it's perhaps the most important part is to identify folks strengths and things that they enjoy doing. And so if you focus on those things that they enjoy doing and that they can do and I say is a strength to them it doesn't necessarily mean that they are the best at it, but it's something that they are good at and enjoy doing and then you guide them down that path to focus on those things, then they will feel like they are enjoying some successes and they are having some triumphs every day and we all want to feel successful. We're making right, that we're accomplishing something. It would doing something good in our work life. And so you have to identify even though some people may argue whether certain people they're not good at anything, that's not true. They're better at some things than they are at others and you, in order to set them up to succeed, you've got to identify that and guide them down that road.

Speaker 2:

I had a company years ago and I had a very diverse group of folks and I had one that could be a particular challenge, but he was a really good driver and he was a really good engineer. He was really good at that and so I tried to guide him down that road. I knew he wasn't going to ever be a company officer. He didn't aspire to be a company officer, but that he enjoyed driving, and so I gave him tasks and guided him to tasks that centered around the truck and driving the truck and training other people how to operate the pump and so through that he could enjoy some successes, even though he had maybe a more limiting abilities than some other people on the company. That was one thing he was good at and you got to let him do what they're good at yeah, and that's very true.

Speaker 1:

And for a individual to be successful and I've learned this myself over the years that the effort that we put into our job pays off on a certain level. But if we don't enjoy what we're doing, you pick your battle, so to speak, as to what you know, what you're good at, and you have to accept your limitations as well, and sometimes a good leader helps their people identify what they're not strong at. Not, that's always a shameful thing, but no, maybe you're not the best at that. Let's put you over here where you excel and, yeah, when you do that, you can really help build their enthusiasm and their self-esteem at the same time exactly.

Speaker 2:

It's exactly right, travis. I used to say in the early days of our wellness program fitness program that I could pick the ideal workout for every single person that worked at the fire department, and that sounds crazy, but my answer to that was it the best workout for any individual is the one you will do, the one you'll do, and it's that way with this. If you got to assign people duties and guide them into things that they will do, if you're trying to make them do something that they're not good at and they don't enjoy doing, while you might make them do it, you'll never make them do it good exactly and I think there that goes into a lot of different levels of life too.

Speaker 1:

So a lot of lessons to be learned there. But yeah, band of brothers, like I said when I heard you give the presentation or the program that you did at our candidate school and you talked about that. You kept going back to the example of Dick Winters, and I had never really watched band of brothers before you had done that. And then I went back and I watched it and it's been a little while.

Speaker 1:

In fact it might be time to do that again this weekend, but it's great, though, right, it's great yeah, absolutely, and even though there was a lot of fiction in that, there was a lot of truth to what happened. And my, my grandfather, was of the World War. Two generation yeah, I think they refer to it as the greatest generation and they were very different people. They were wired differently, they handled opposition differently. And I'm not gonna beat up on generations Gen X or millennials, that's not my point but it seems like as we move forward in time, people become less and less resilient and I guess in the context of what we see in, like this in the series of Band of Brothers, people are softer. That's just a reality, I hate to say it. And even in the fire service we see that you have to lead differently when you're dealing with different generations of people. Have you found a way to adapt, to talk to newer generations of firefighters or to train newer generations of people as they come into the career?

Speaker 2:

Travis, I think there's some skills and character characteristics that transcend generations. If they trust you and if you're willing to do anything, that they will do and you are competent, I think it does not matter what generation you're of. Now I understand what you're saying, that sometimes your tactics have to be a little different when dealing with those folks, and that is true. That's where maybe you come into the boss versus the manager type thing and you'd be the boss a minimal amount of time or only when you have to and be the manager the other part of the time, because then you allow them to have input and have ownership into the product. But there's certain characteristics that I just went through that I think transcend generations, that people they have to trust you. If they don't trust you, then your team unit is not going to work. You have to be competent in the skills and abilities that are required and you have to be able to do whatever you're asking them to do.

Speaker 2:

And of course in band of brothers that was Dick Winters, to a fault sometimes that he was there. There's one scene where the Colonel had to shout him back because he was trying to join the battle and that wasn't his job at the time, but that was Dick Winters' way was. Okay, we've got to assault this hill. I'm going to be the first one to go across and if you're willing to go, they'll be willing to go.

Speaker 1:

I think you hit it right there. You mentioned you're being the spear tip. Leadership style is what you like to do and that worked for you. And you are right. Sometimes you want to be the one in there on the nozzle, you want to be the one fighting the fire, but at the end of the day, that might not be your role, but you've got to hand it down to someone else to do. But you have to be willing to show them. Hey, I'll do it if I have to, but I'm trusting you to do this.

Speaker 1:

There's trust as well, as you try to motivate people, but you also try to trust them and have them trust you as well. That is a very good point, although sometimes there is no room for avocado toast in the fire service jokingly saying but you have to be sensitive to and I'm using air quotes when I say that to people's individuality.

Speaker 1:

but at the same time, like you mentioned, sometimes you got to be the boss and you have to deal with difficult situations. So when it comes time to deal with problems and when I say problems, that could be whether it be a personnel problem, an attitude problem Maybe there's two guys that are two girls even on the fire truck that aren't getting along. How do you effectively manage disputes, effectively manage things when they get a little bit out of line?

Speaker 2:

So, travis, there's only one way that I know to do that. There might be other people that are smarter than me that know other ways, but the only way I know to do that is to hit that head on and open it straight up. And what I mean by that is okay, we just you got to force them to sit down. All right, we're gonna go in here and we're gonna talk through this and we might get mad and I might say something you don't like and you might say something I don't like, but we're gonna air it all out here and when we leave here it's gonna be better, because we did air it out. If nothing else, if you accomplish nothing else, at least you remove all in you window about what you think or what you're saying behind my back, because we're gonna say it sit down face to face and talk it out. So at least, even if I don't like it, at least I remove any doubt about what you're thinking or what your problem is. Does that?

Speaker 1:

make sense? It sure does. So listen, I don't think we ever had any issues when I was working for you, but had I had to sit down across the desk from you and I said, chief Allen, you're just a rotten and I don't agree with what you're saying? Would you be offended by that in the moment or would you take as a leader? Would you take that as just off gassing of how your person's feeling at that moment, whatever the discrepancy was?

Speaker 2:

So, first of all, I've been talked to way worse than that. But no, if you're willing to enter that format, if you're going to enter that arena, no matter your position, you need to be prepared for that. So if you can't take that constructive criticism and sometimes maybe not as constructive as you would like, but you understand it's a volatile situation you should be prepared for that. If you're not prepared for that, then don't take that route. Okay, because you'll just make it worse Oftentimes. The value of that is is that there's a book out there and I apologize, I can't remember who wrote it, but it's called it's your ship, if you ever heard of it. It's about a I have heard of it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it's a Navy Admiral who says we have to have the input of all of our when our aircraft carriers got these 3000 people working on it.

Speaker 2:

We have to have their input, because I don't know what's going on at the 500 different jobs that are on the ship, and so we have to have their input and depend on their input to make it better, and that's the way this is. So the value of that format is sometimes things come out of that that make you go, huh, I didn't think of it that way, or I wasn't thinking of it that way, or I didn't even know that was going on. And because, especially as a fire chief, I used to say often times you're the last to know, and so that format is very valuable to get you feedback on, not just that people don't like something about a procedure or policy or whatever, but why don't they like it. You get in, you get to dig into the weeds of why they don't like it or what the problem is, and often times then the solution becomes much more apparent based on that new information yep, very good.

Speaker 1:

So I have one final question. This is not a confessional question, okay, but as a leader and you don't have to specify time or whatever have you ever been wrong as a leader and your decisions are what you've done?

Speaker 2:

I'm sure yes answer to that is definitely yes. I can think of one big time which I will even talk about and you will remember this you don't have to, but that's okay, I want to go for sure I don't mind.

Speaker 2:

I was sold on the James Rowan program yes, yes, yes, I was, yes, I was moderately aware of what was going on with that yeah, and just to be honest with you, to this day, I believe in the value of his program, but I pushed it too hard because people were so resistant to it that it didn't matter how strongly I felt about it, it wasn't we weren't maximizing the program. So I made a mistake in either the way I presented it, the way I went about, can stick in with it. Whatever I made, I might have made multiple mistakes in that scenario, because it didn't matter how strongly I felt about the program if everybody else didn't feel as strongly about it. It was a failure and I think it was. It wasn't I'm not saying his programs of failure, I'm saying my approach to implementing it was a failure alright.

Speaker 1:

And when you realize that wasn't a positive outcome or less than desirable for what you wanted, how did you handle it? How did you fix not fix the situation? How did you address the situation?

Speaker 2:

so we went back and said look, there's value there. Take what you can get from it, don't just disregard it. But we're going to end the program and go to some different leadership avenues and resources. We're going to stop using him as our primary resource, but that doesn't. While I didn't mind admitting that I had been defeated, if you will, I didn't want people to say that there's no value in it. There certainly was some value in it. We just were not maximizing the value. So because we're not maximizing the value, we're going to end the program. Take what you can get from it and we'll provide you with other resources moving forward so basically, admit you were not necessarily wrong, but not the best implementation, and move on.

Speaker 1:

Take what you can, move on and look for a better way to address the problem it's okay to say I was wrong.

Speaker 2:

Whatever it was, I was wrong. We didn't do it the best. It didn't work out.

Speaker 1:

However you want to put it, that's true but we learned from it and as an organization we grew stronger after that.

Speaker 2:

I hope so.

Speaker 1:

I hope, so I'll say we did as one of your subordinates. Yes, we did well afterward. So anyway, ray, I appreciate you taking time, but I want I've made five bullet points here of what we've been talking about to take away specifically as it rolls back to band of brothers. The first thing focus on your men, focus on the review points. Try to tie yourself in the fire department into the community your men and women right, men and women.

Speaker 1:

I didn't mean I'm not trying to offend anybody, but I don't think I don't think anybody really be offended by that, but we have to. The second thing is we have to identify people's strengths, what they enjoy doing, and got them in that, help them to prosper and have satisfaction in their job through what they're good at. Yes, be willing. The third thing is be willing to do whatever you ask your folks to do. If you're asking your firefighter to do something, don't be too good to do it yourself. The spare tip of the spare. Right there, there you go. The fourth thing be willing to hit problems head on and when you do that you'll have the best outcomes. And don't be prepared to go in if you've got really sensitive, sensitive feelings on things. Sometimes your feelings may get hurt, but at the end of the day that is how you address a problem, is aired out and just talk about the problem and let's see.

Speaker 1:

The final thing is, when you're wrong, admit you're wrong and find a way to move on and to prosper beyond that. So those are the lessons that I have gathered from talking to you again today and was good refresher on the course that I had many years ago. Yeah, yeah, no, I appreciate it and, like I said, as a man working in the industry these days, I think we are moving in a very positive direction and a lot of that has come from leadership in the past, from guys like you and Chief Holloway and many other chiefs around the state in the country, whatever the case is, but thank you for taking time to inspire us a little bit with some leadership and I'm sure we'll have you back to talk about it some more. I look forward to it. Alright, very good, typically I use a dad joke on Eric, but since he's not able to be here, I will spare you the pain oh, I was just saying.

Speaker 1:

I can stand being the butt of the joke but it's more fun to watch his reactions and hear his groaning and complaining about it yeah, that's half the fun. The joke ain't worth it oh, okay anyway, but again, ray Allen, you are the one of the board members of the North Carolina Firefighter Cancer Alliance. If folks want to look you up, where is the best place to find you? I know you can be contacted through our website, ncfirefightercancerorg, but they can also find you at Rowan Cabares Community College, am I?

Speaker 2:

correct in that that's correct and basically that would be through my email at rayallinatrcccedu alright, there you go.

Speaker 1:

I appreciate you taking time today and, as we always say here, own all clear light. The fire within you have been listening to Paul Clear. All clear is presented by the North Carolina Firefighter Cancer.

Speaker 1:

Alliance and the first responders peer support network. This program is hosted and produced by Travis McGeach and Eric Stevenson. Visit our website, allclearpodcastcom, where you can contact us and leave feedback. If you like what you hear, please share this podcast with someone. The opinions of guests do not necessarily represent the views of the podcast. This podcast is recorded with Descript and with technology that is provided by Cortec computers. We'll see you soon and, as always, light your fire within.

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