Author: Robyn Benincasa

5 Leadership Suggestions from the Back Seat

Robyn’s Guide to Leadership Suggestions from the Back Seat:

I’m a full time firefighter for the City of San Diego. And I have been for 19 years. In those 19 years, I’ve had an annual evaluation each and every year.  But I have yet to be asked what I think about my Captain and his/her leadership performance. As someone who spent the first 10 years of my professional life in field sales for Fortune 1000 hospital supply and pharmaceutical companies, I had become accustomed to the “360-degree feedback” loop, in which both leaders and their team give well-intentioned feedback to make one another better at what they do, and to draw attention to leadership styles or actions that may not be working for the team members.  It keeps everyone in check and accountable to one another in a (hopefully) positive way.

But in the fire service… not so much.  The person with the captain’s badge makes the rules, and everyone else… well, we shut up and follow them.  That’s the culture.  So I’ve created a short list of a few “Leadership Suggestions” that we “back seaters” (the lowly firefighters and paramedics in the back seat of the fire engine, aka the folks that clean your toilets) have been talking about in whispered bathroom meetings, quiet hallways, and more recently in emoji laden cross cab text volleys.  And we hope that any manager who also wants to ultimately be a World Class Leader in their industry or business will hear our quiet unspoken pleas. Please.  Sir or Ma’am.
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Courageous Leadership Series

Robyn’s blogs on Courageous Leadership:

 

1 – Taking Risks and Stepping into Character:

How many times in our lives have we put something off because we’re not ready, we need more time, we don’t feel comfortable, etc etc. I’ve completed 10 Ironman Triathlons and over 40 10 day non-stop Eco-Challenge Adventure Races through the most remote places on earth, and here’s a secret: I didn’t feel ‘ready’ for any of them.

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2 – Do It Anyway:

How you feel is far less important than what you DO. Feeling scared, nervous and uncomfortable when you’re rappelling off that symbolic cliff of changing your life, starting a business, going for a big goal is just a GIVEN. It’s the price of admission for an exceptional life! The only difference between you and the guy or girl who is living her dream is that he or she felt the fear and ‘did it anyway’. Back in the day, I played Judo. I was only a brown belt, not a black belt yet, but I was lucky enough to do a little bit of traveling and competing on the US Team. We were at the Hungarian National Championships, and I was totally overwhelmed and scared to death in my first big international meet. And then I saw the brackets for competition and had to literally sit down on the floor because I felt nauseous.

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5 Effective Strategies to Create Synergy and Build a World Class Team

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My teammates and I have learned about building World Class Teams the hard way. By competing in and winning the world’s toughest ultra-endurance Adventure Races. From the leech-infested jungles of Borneo to the towering peaks of Tibet and Ecuador, to the frigid seas and glaciers of Patagonia and the searing desert of Namibia, we have run, paddled, mountain biked, climbed, whitewater rafted, spelunked, mountaineered, navigated and raced across the most remote places on earth for up to ten NON STOP days and nights as a team. Continue reading 5 Effective Strategies to Create Synergy and Build a World Class Team

We give the Mountain pulpit to: Robyn Benincasa

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After Kristin Salzman was diagnosed with breast cancer, she endured five surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. But she told me that the hardest moment was shaving her head. “I looked different on the outside, just as I was different inside,” she said. Kristin—a mother who loves to run and kayak—beat cancer. But she’s still recovering. Continue reading We give the Mountain pulpit to: Robyn Benincasa

6 Leadership Styles, And When You Should Use Them

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Taking a team from ordinary to extraordinary means understanding and embracing the difference between management and leadership. According to writer and consultant Peter Drucker, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Continue reading 6 Leadership Styles, And When You Should Use Them

Adventure Race Teams and Audacious Goals

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I’ve learned about building great teams the hard way: by competing in the world’s toughest adventure races. From the leech-infested jungles of Borneo to the towering peaks of Tibet, my teams have run, paddled, mountain biked, climbed, and whitewater-rafted for up to ten non-stop days and nights, with no shelter, no warm food, and no reprieve from the competitors nipping at our blister-covered heels. Continue reading Adventure Race Teams and Audacious Goals