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"Everyone should hear this guy speak"

Program & Keynote Reviews


"Best speaker I’ve had in a LONG time. Engaging, entertaining and educational. It was great to get such a different perspective on leadership". 


"Fantastic speaker with real world experience. Everyone should hear this guy speak. 

Great examples and clear delivery. Very engaging speaker. One of the best sessions I have attended since going to HCCA conferences for 10 years. Great story telling to make a point."


"Fabulous presenter. The style was creative but strong on substance with some great takeaways for being a better leader.  Benjamin was one of the most engaging speakers I have ever heard. He melded content with humor and relevant examples. His topic should come back  


"Interactive approach to engaging the audience. He was a very lively presenter and not afraid to use technology.  


Wow! Loved Benjamin! The art of story telling with a strong message. Really got me thinking. Very refreshing. Many examples, practical. A nice way to spend an hour learning.

Recent Reviews

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FDIC 2024 Reviews

Intoxicated Leadershp

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 at work and in their personal lives with their children and spouses. 


The problem then becomes that most leaders only focus on getting through the conflict rather than proactively and successfully managing it. As a result, we do or say things in the moment that doesn't necessarily represent the best version of what we intended.  This causes extreme discomfort, so we learn to avoid conflict.  When disagreements inevitably present themselves, and employees start to spread rumors of their side of the story, leadership must avoid becoming emotional—especially angry and defensive.  Dealing with difficult employees can be incredibly frustrating and discouraging, and it becomes tempting for leadership to flare up their rank and authority by quoting policy and “because I said so.”


So how confident do you feel when you have to have a difficult conversation? Are you able to recognize when the employee is visibly upset and sending signals that starting a conversation is a bad idea?​ Traditional leadership classes often trick us into thinking that we can resolve conflict in a ten-minute conversation. In reality, leaders may never be able to secure buy-in from the employee. Intoxicated Leadership illustrates why the body responds to conflict the way it does, be it with the customers of your business, amongst your leadership team, or even with yourself when trying to choose the right course of action.  Using this knowledge, we will discuss at length how leaders can create favorable circumstances to assist in constructing and having a difficult conversation. Participants will receive an overview of emotional competencies and real-world tips that can be applied immediately to assist leaders in having easier and ultimately more productive conversations.

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 Organizational 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.   

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Over the last eight years, Dr. Benjamin Martin has become one of the country's most sought fire-service leadership speakers, often presenting to standing-room-only classrooms. He provides leadership training workshops and keynotes internationally and throughout the United States, blending over 20 years of public safety experience with his doctoral degree in industrial psychology, leadership, and adult learning. His programs provide an entertaining and unfiltered view of various leadership topics, such as interpersonal communication, command and control strategies, conflict management, organizational culture and climate, systems thinking, and emotional intelligence.

He founded the popular website and leadership movement in 2017, focusing on supporting aspiring and existing leaders with his honest take on the challenges of leading others and yourself. In addition to his leadership blogs, he has been featured on most major fire service podcasts and is also a contributing author to several leadership books. He has also published articles in Fire Engineering, FireRescue, Fire Department Training Network (FDTN), International Society of Fire Service Instructors (ISFSI), FirefighterToolbox, and FirefighterWife. He is an Executive Officer and Acting Battalion Chief with the Henrico County Division of Fire in Virginia. You can email him at

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