Firefighting, Survival Zone

Lessons, Models, and Stories

Issue 1 and Volume 170.

BY ALAN BRUNACINI We have trudged through our monthly discussion about how the capability and personality of a boss can influence the internal environment of an organization. Our ongoing discussion touched on how the internal characteristics of a fire department, such as positive, progressive, and sensible, can create a workplace that brings out the best in the humans in that system. These characteristics are like most organizational things and exist on a scale (big-little, positive-negative, hot-cold, nice-mean, and so on) that describes a full range of stages of the state or place on the scale of that factor. Both ends of the scale reflect the existence of an opposite condition: No matter where the factor lands on the scale, there is a boss that goes with that organizational element who is responsible for either the positive or negative score. That score, most of the time, is a reflection of the…

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