More Short Notes on Reading Going Pro

Going Pro continues to build on the “deliberate practice of professionalism.” Here’s more short notes:

  • “We must do the right thing, and do the right thing right. That is as simple as it gets.” ~quote from a speech by General Schwartz, USAF
  • The Six Domains of the New Professionalism – Weighted
    1. Professional Ethics – 25% (do the right thing)
    2. Vocational Excellence – 25% (do the right thing right)
    3. Continuous Improvement – 20% (continue to grow)
    4. Professional Engagement – 10% (focused on the customer)
    5. Professional Image – 10% (attention to detail and pride in our profession)
    6. Selflessness – 10% (keep our egos in check)

And more to come ……..

What I'm Reading Right Now: Going Pro by Tony Kern

Going Pro is Kern’s follow up to Blue Threat. It continues to build on human performance by sharing research, personal stories and observations on how to elevate professionalism, both personally and inside the entire organization.

Here’s some brief notes from the first few chapters.

  • Single unprofessional acts cascade as negative force multipliers into the system with the strong possibility of an exponential impact.
  • Individuals and organizations remain uniquely empowered to perform to higher professional standards, and in so doing, create a peer-to-peer positive force for change.
  • Mediocritters are critters of mediocrity. When they meet reality, they under-perform, and in the aftermath, blame others for the situation.
  • Elite performers (Level III Performers) say, I’m a pro because I am doing all I can to be the best I can and further the objectives of my peers, my organization, and the industry as a whole.

More to come ………

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Certain to Win: The Strategy of John Boyd, Applied to Business [Book Review]

USAF Colonel John Boyd was constant explorer, thinker, and doer (some say he was a rogue, but he did get things done). He influenced the tactical thought and critical decision making process of fighter pilots to “outmaneuver the enemy” during air combat operations. Boyd’s ideas can apply to everything from routine fire department productivity to high-risk, complex fire ground operations. Can his body of ideas be used for everything? Never. But they can be applied to most complex and rapidly changing situations.

Chet Richards was a close associate of the late Colonel Boyd and a lecturer at the Air War College and the Army’s Command and General Staff College. In Certain to Win, he introduces Boyd’s philosophy of conflict by examining how it works in the military arena as well as the business world. He puts forward that organizations, including fire departments, work best when they have clear visions, well-practiced skills, and implicit trust. Richards uses examples from military minds of Sun Zu, Musashi, von Clausewitz, Rommel, Patton, and Boyd seasoned with the organizational accomplishments of Toyota and Southwest Airlines to show how commonly held goals allow each unit of the organization to make decisions that continuously moves them toward the goal.

Why the title, Certain to Win? Sun Zu answers that here: If a general who heeds my strategy is employed, he is certain to win.

This is an excellent read for anyone looking to expand their knowledge on situational awareness, communication, decision making, teamwork, or leadership.

What I'm Reading Right Now – Streetlights and Shadows

Photo by Tim Olk

I am researching decision making to prepare for my next Firefighter-360 columns. I have read other books and several articles by Gary Klein about how people make decisions and cognitive task analysis. I find it interesting, and maybe the most important area for improvement in the fire service. We need to get better at “bringing thinking to action.”

Do we make decisions with our gut or should we analyze every option? It depends! Klein offers realistic ideas about real-life situations.

The book begins with this story:

A policeman saw a drunk searching for something under a streetlight. “What have you lost, my friend?” the policeman asked. “My keys,” said the drunk. The policeman then helped the drunk look  and finally asked him: “Where exactly did you drop them?” “Over there, ” responded the drunk, pointing toward a dark alley. The policeman then asked: “Why are you looking here?” The drunk immediately replied, “Because the light is so much brighter here.”

Reading List #1

I am not a bookworm, but I do like to read. It helps open my mind to new things and clear my thoughts about things that matter to me. Reading also gets me outdoors and away from too much seriousness.

Here are three books I am reading right now:
The Secret Servant. Daniel Silva
Wild at Heart. John Eldredge
Blue Threats. Tony Kern