Leadership
Written by Lyle Quan
Good fire service leaders inspire and share their knowledge with others. And they never lose sight of their two main responsibilities – to their people and their organizations.
Written by Laura King
Everyone has heard stories about people who are great at their jobs then get promoted into management and fail miserably – teachers who become principals, hockey players who become coaches, firefighters who become chief officers.
Written by Lyle Quan, Les Karpluk
In our March column we talked about reframing your organization’s future through hiring the right people and then supporting them.
Written by Peter Hunt
I ’ve had the good fortune to work with fire service leaders, chiefs and company officers who inspired and challenged me to be the best firefighter and company officer I could be.
Written by Lyle Quan, Les Karpluk
It is with enthusiasm and great anticipation that we co-write this column. Our friendship and journey into the challenges of leadership in the fire service began several years ago when we were classmates in the Lakeland College bachelor of business in emergency services program.
Written by David Hodgins
Do you need help to survive and thrive as a leader? I do, even after 33 years of service. Fortunately, there are many leadership development programs and tools on the market and I’d like to tell you about a type of leadership mentoring that has worked for me.
Written by Lyle Quan
Through my years in emergency services I have had the pleasure of working with some of the most interesting and challenging people with whom anyone could hope to be associated.
Written by Lyle Quan
I recently returned from the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs’ conference in Winnipeg. The theme of the conference was Passing the Torch and my friend Les Karpluk, fire chief of Prince Albert, Sask., and I spoke about supporting your people.
Written by Lyle Quan
In my office at fire headquarters, I have an inspirational poster on leadership that says leaders stand out by the nature of their commitment and the integrity of their character. I believe in this axiom, because anyone can be a leader when all is going well; it is how we present ourselves in times of adversity that demonstrates what types of people we are and how we deal with the highs and lows in our lives.
Written by Les Karpluk
We all know the saying about calling a spade a spade. Well, sometimes we need to take an inventory of our leadership style and see if it really fits with the department. We may think we are making the right moves, saying the right things and doing what has to be done but are we really leading?
Written by James Careless
The generation gap is nothing new. It was an aged Socrates who complained that the young “have bad manners . . . show contempt for authority . . . contradict their parents, gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”
Written by Lyle Quan
Thanks to two readers for recommending QBQ! – The Question Behind the Question, by John G. Miller and Managing in Times of Change by Michael Maginn.

In QBQ! Miller discusses the fact that before we can embrace change we need to become accountable for our actions.
Written by David Hodgins
Some advice for today’s leaders: don’t you dare attempt to think or even lead from outside the box unless you are willing to put your career on the line.

Now that I have your attention, I should clarify that those harsh  words are meant somewhat tongue in cheek. However, I assure you the element of risk in becoming an effective leader is based on real life observations.
Written by Lyle Quan
Networking and sharing is alive and well. Over the past couple of years, I have had the pleasure of speaking on leadership and change management at several conferences and seminars, and I have been thrilled to hear that my columns have struck a chord with many brothers and sisters in the fire service.
Written by David Hodgins
How can people improve if they don’t know what they don’t know?

Good leadership requires that individuals be aware of who they are (inward reflection) and what improvement is needed. Self-improvement is generally accomplished through informal development opportunities such as interaction with colleagues and participation in conferences but participation in formal education programs plays a significant role too.
Written by Lyle Quan
Recent studies have confirmed that most of us would rather get root canal work at the dentist than speak in public. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to small and large groups on different topics and it never ceases to amaze me how excited I am to talk about my topic but how nervous I can be about giving the presentation. Everyone who goes to hear a presentation does so to learn and even to support the speaker. So why, if everyone is there to support the presentation, do most of us get so nervous?
Written by E. David Hodgins
A story in the March 13 Montreal Gazette says: “The police and fire departments are on the hook for $21.45 million of Mayor Gerald Tremblay’s $155 million budget-cutting exercise.” The fire department has been told to cut $7.6 million.
Written by Lyle Quan
Recently, a fire chief with a neighbouring department asked if I could help to implement some necessary changes. He felt that having someone from the outside at the table would help get his officers energized.
Written by David Hodgins
A good leader can mean the difference between success and failure, but so can a good leader-in-training. It’s been my experience that good people typically make good leaders. Operating guidelines, rules, regulations and protocols become dated, systems fail, buildings deteriorate and machinery wears down.
Written by David Hodgins
It’s a new year, a new beginning and a good time to be frank. So let’s begin with a couple of questions: Why do people believe that Canadian fire services consistently provide extraordinary service? Why do they assume the fire services habitually go above and beyond the call of duty to exceed expectations?

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