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Since 2011 we have worked with hundreds of leaders throughout the country towards finding a better version of their leadership.  This isn't a one size fits all style of leadership.  We challenge leaders to manage with their heads but lead with their hearts.  We believe people are the most valuable resources, and serving them is the only thing that matters.  We seek to humble the title of leader, and in doing so unleash the power and opportunity of leadership!

At Rethinking Leadership we pride ourselves in offering authentic leadership training that helps to bridge today's leadership gap in anticipation of tomorrow's organizational problems.  We offer behavioral assessments, leadership training, and entertaining keynotes.  We focus on improving emotional competencies and creating awareness of how leaders impact their teams.  We help you to find an improved version of your leadership capabilities--one of resilience, empathy, authenticity, and passion; capable of motivating and inspiring others to their full potential.  

Thinking Strategically vs. Reacting Emot

Intoxicated Leadership: Thinking Strategically vs. Reacting Emotionally

The Center for Creative Leadership estimates that "75% of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies, including the inability to handle interpersonal problems, unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict, or the inability to adapt to change or elicit trust".

Our flagship program reviews how our body processes and primes us to respond to conflict--including a review of emotional intelligence, common communication mistakes, conflict management, and executive functioning.

     Using real-world examples and videos, we coach how to have more effective relationships with our teams.  This improves our ability to navigate how and when to have conversations to address personal and professional problems. This also helps us regulate our emotions and have a stronger, more effective command and control during emergencies. We place an emphasis on the prevention and management of conflict, as opposed to solely its resolution. Be prepared to laugh (including at yourself) while learning how to build deeper, more authentic relationships with your team.

     Intoxicated Leadership illustrates how the body perceives disagreement and why we respond to conflict the way we do.  Luckily for us, emotional competencies can be learned and improved upon.  Using this information, participants commonly report improvement not only at work but also in their personal lives with their children and spouses. 

Learning Objectives Include:

  • Discuss the influence of emotion in maintaining an effective command and control presence, both in the firehouse and on the fire ground.


  • Describe ways in which to influence a difficult employee before, during, and after a difficult conversation.


  • Discuss how the body perceives and responds to conflict, and how to overcome nerves when leading 


  • Illustrate an "Intoxicated" leader; Discuss the disadvantages of creating a highly emotionally-charged workplace.


Where We Come From: Preserving and Influencing Fire Service Culture

  While change can invite and usher in innovation it can also create tension in our organizations, and space where incumbents fear becoming irrelevant.  If this happens we risk losing the common sense, historical perspective and value they offer our organization and teams.  Perhaps worse, we are inviting these folks to become toxic and disengage for our progress. 

In this class we discuss the importance of understanding culture, and when change, especially from tradition is necessary—and when it’s not.  

This presentation entertainingly discusses culture’s ability to influence our beliefs, values, attitudes, perceptions, traditions, and mission.  Leaders at all ranks are welcome for an honest discussion on how to move the fire service we know and love forward without forgetting where we came from. 

Learning Objectives Include:

  • Differentiate between culture and tradition. Why do leaders fail when they push changing tradition instead of culture?

  • Understand how culture informally approves or disapproves of employee behavior.

  • Illustrate the importance of mission and values to leadership in coaching, counseling, and predicting conflict.   


  • Identify the difference between internal and external culture. How does each affect organizational recruitment and retention? 


  • Review leadership case study involving a large urban department on the East coast. Identify conflict themes within the agency and with stakeholders.


  • Recognize and implement change when traditions are becoming unhealthy or irrelevant to an organization.   


Leadership & Learning for Today's Fire Service

What exactly is the deal these days with the hiring and volunteer pool for the fire service? Is the Millennial Generation really killing the blue-collar culture of the fire service? Are we seriously going to have to teach you which screwdriver is which?

Whatever your opinion of the latest generation entering the workforce it remains our job to teach them this job.  But many leaders and instructors struggle with adapting their message to audiences of different generations and backgrounds.

It turns out the average attention span in America is a whopping 8 seconds, just behind that of a goldfish at 9 seconds. Given this, how is it that instructors and leaders can gain and maintain the attention of their people?  Forget about the latest technology gimmick or latest learning fad, and focus on getting to the heart, or should we say brain of the matter.  

Utilizing Dr. David Rock's SCARF model, students will receive an overview of the five domains competing for priority in the brain and their impact on learning.  In this class, we entertainingly discuss and illustrate how threats to status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness occupy the attention of your audience, both consciously and subconsciously.   Participants will learn how to design their message to better align with the intended audience and situation.  We then include an exercise that demonstrates the impact of these domains on learning even the simplest of tasks.

This class goes way beyond your Instructor 1 and should be a requisite for anyone aspiring or existing as a leader or instructor in your organization.

Learning objectives include:

  • The participant will gain an understanding of working memory and attention in regards to learning.

  • The participant will understand the role emotions and feelings play in assigning meaning to the message they hear.

  • The participant will learn how to influence the learning environment positively while recognizing the instructor traps that students tend to present.

Interested in hosting a class at your department? We offer leadership development, behavioral assessments, and entertaining keynotes

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Past Events

Firehouse Expo


Firehouse World

Virginia Fire Officers Academy

Metro Atlanta Firefighters Conference (MAFCC)

Fire Rescue East

Virginia EMS Symposium

Fire Rescue Canada

Metro Richmond Public Safety Leadership Academy

Massachusetts Fire Chiefs Association Professional Development Conference

TEEX Leadership Development Syposium

EMS Today

International Association of Women in the Fire Service Conference

Central Virginia EMS Expo

British Columbia Fire Training Officer's Conference

Lake Oceanee Leadership Retreat

Angola Professional Firefighters Development

Atlantic Leadership Conference

Leadership Programs: Contact

Leadership Development Programs

Our mission is creating leaders with a heart for service.

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