Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 11 No. 1                                                                             January 2019

In This Issue
Featured Video
Blog Highlights
The Leadership Challenge
Consulting Transitions
Featured Article
Professional Development
Life Balance
From the Bookshelf
Speaker's Corner
Join My Mailing List
Featured Video
2018 EMvision Talks - Donald
2018 EMvision Talks
Donald "Doc" Lumpkins

It is with great sadness that I note the passing of my friend and colleague Donald "Doc" Lumpkins on January 26. Doc was one of the good guys, a voice of reason in the craziness that passes for planning in Washington DC. I believe this is Doc's last presentation, given at the IAEM conference last year in which he shares his thoughts on the changing role of emergency management. I believe it gives a hint of the depth of his wisdom and humor. A good man too soon gone. He will be sorely missed,
Blog Highlights

Canton blog masthead
Visit My Blog
The following are excerpts from my blog
Canton on Emergency Management. Please visit my blog to see the rest of my articles.  

Despite the presence of official shelters, evacuees may choose to create spontaneous shelters in other areas. Quick action is essential to head off safety concerns and to avoid public relations nightmares.
Visit my blog 

If you are having trouble accessing these articles, go directly to the blog by clicking either the logo or the green "Visit my blog" button.
EM Blog Masthead
Visit My Blog

The following are excerpts from my blog, Managing Crisis, published by Emergency Management Magazine. Please visit my blog to see the rest of my articles.

In the two worst fires in California history, authorities chose not to use a readily available warning system that might have saved lives. But with whom does the blame for this failure really lie?

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If you are having trouble accessing these articles, go directly to the blog by clicking either the logo or the green "Visit my blog" button.
Leadership Coaching

What Is The Leadership Challenge?

Is leadership a learned behavior or an innate personality trait? While there are certainly naturally charismatic individuals who are considered "born leaders", leadership is a measurable set of behaviors that can be learned and taught. This is the conclusion arrived at by researchers Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner after years of rigorous research. Starting in 1982, Kouzes and Posner set out to understand what happened when leaders performed at their personal best. They conducted hundreds of interviews and reviewed hundreds of cases studies and survey questionnaires. What emerged were five fundamental practices common to extraordinary leadership achievements:
  1. Model the Way
  2. Inspire a Shared Vision
  3. Challenge the Process
  4. Enable Others to Act
  5. Encourage the Heart
The Leadership Challenge begins with a 360-degree assessment of thirty leadership behaviors associated with the five practices, the Leadership Practices Inventory. The results are used to identify opportunities for improving as a leader by increasing the frequency of specific behaviors. Based on over thirty years of research, the Leadership Challenge is an effective and practical tool for leadership development.
To find out more about the  Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership , consider taking  The Leadership Challenge . Just click on the icon below for more information:
Click here to take The Leadership Challenge

The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations
by James M. Kouzes & Barry Posner


The Leadership Challenge is a registered trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Consulting Transitions
Free Resource Guide for Solo Consultants

For solo consultants, true wealth is discretionary time. Don't waste yours on simple tasks that can be handled by technology. This free resource guide reveals the four essential online tools I use to manage my solo consulting practice and save hours of valuable time. And the best part is - they're free!

Interested in exploring the world of consulting? My membership site might be just the resource you need to get started. You'll have access to blogs designed to answer very specific questions, a resource library of templates and articles, the opportunity to network with peers, and discounts on coaching and training programs. Download the free guide or click on the logo above to go straight to the site.

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Quick Links
L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the January edition of Emergency Management Solutions.
Like his many other friends, I mourn the passing of Donald "Doc" Lumpkins. I worked with Doc on several projects as a consultant and that professional relationship turned quickly into friendship. If you did not have the pleasure of knowing Doc, I invite you to share a bit of his wit and wisdom in this month's featured video.


Lucien Canton   
Featured Article

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Translating Vision to Action

Developing an effective mission statement

Last November I wrote about the importance of the vision statement as the first step in strategic planning. The vision statement describes what the organization hopes to achieve over the mid- to long-term and serves to guide decision making about current and future courses of action.

There is a Japanese proverb that states, "Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare." In order to achieve your vision, it is essential to translate it to action, to operationalize it. The first step in this process is the formulation of a mission statement. Where the vision statement tells us what we are trying to achieve, the mission statement tells how we will achieve it. Another way of looking at this is that the vision statement focuses on tomorrow while the miss ion statement focuses on today.

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If you are having trouble viewing my featured article, try clicking on the link at the top of the page. You can always find my articles in the white paper section of my blog site, Canton on Emergency Management.

  Visit my blog

Professional Development
Specialization is for Insects

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, con a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.

Specialization is for insects.

~ Robert Anson Heinlein

In this month's featured video, the late Doc Lumpkins paraphrases this quote from science fiction writer Robert Heinlein and says that it is the best quote on what we do as emergency managers. Being a big Heinlein fan, I am very familiar with this  quote and looked up the exact wording.

I'm thankful that Doc was using this as a metaphor because, while I can do a few of the things on the list (pitching manure comes with this job), I'm not sure anyone would want to live in a building I designed or sail on a ship I was conning. However, I have to agree that the sentiment applies very well to emergency managers.

Doc's point is one that I have talked about many times: emergency managers are generalists. There are certainly some areas in which we have specialized knowledge, such as planning techniques, social response to disasters, and so forth but our real skill is coordination. To be effective, we need to know a little bit about everything done by the real specialists while accepting that what we know is just a little of what they know. In other words, while we need to defer to expertise, we need to know how that expertise dovetails with the work of others,

I think of emergency managers as the equivalent of a general practitioner in medicine. We need to know enough to diagnose the problem, recognize when we need to call in a specialist, and know which specialist to call. As soon as we start thinking that we know more than the experts, we fail.

Professional Development Opportunities
June 3-6, 2019
FEMA Emergency Management Institute
Emmitsburg, MD
Workshops, plenaries, and breakout sessions highlighting how to build, engage, and amplify the work of the emergency management academic community while focusing on diversity, inclusion, and unity of effort.

44th Annual Natural Hazards Workshop
July 14-17, 2019
Broomfield, CO
The theme of the 2019 Workshop will be Convergence. Explore how we come together to study hazards and disasters, apply the knowledge that's generated, help one another, build community capacity, implement meaningful policy, and envision a future that leads to reduced disaster risk and improved social well-being.

Nov. 15-20, 2019
Savannah, Georgia 
The goal of the IAEM Annual Conference is to improve knowledge, competency level and collaborative skills. IAEM accomplishes this by attracting relevant high-profile speakers to address current topics and practical solutions.
Life Balance
The Things We Leave Behind

I've been thinking lately about legacies. I'm not particularly thinking about after death but rather what we leave behind when we move on. I'm of an age when many of my colleagues are retiring. Many of my younger friends seem to be in a state of perpetual motion. It seems everyone is on the move.

My experience has been that our contributions to any group or organization are ephemeral. Someone once told me that to understand your contribution to an organization, stick your hand in a bucket of water. You can splash around all you like  while you're there but once you take your hand out, what remains is your effect on the organization.

Your rewards need to be internal. We've all made major contributions for which we received no credit; it comes with the job, unfortunately. It's important that we recognize that we have contributed and done our best. 

Years ago, a close friend shared a quote from the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson that defines success. I remember it whenever I get frustrated about not being thanked or rewarded for some contribution:

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - that is to have succeeded
From the Bookshelf
Disasters and the American State: How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and the Public Prepare for the Unexpected 
By  Patrick S. Roberts
How did emergency management evolve in the United States? It's difficult to understand why we have the system we have without knowing where it came from. It's even harder to understand why so many policies don't make sense or contradict each other.

Patrick Roberts' book helps clear away some of the confusion. In very readable style, he traces the evolution of disaster policy from colonial days to the present, highlighting several common themes along the way.  

One of his most important themes is the continuing tension between civil defense/national security and disaster relief and argues that the "all-hazards" approach may be a misnomer and even counterproductive.

This is one of the few books I would consider reading for emergency managers. It will certainly change your perspective on concepts that we sometimes take for granted.


Emergency Management: Concepts and Strategies for Effective Programs
by Lucien G. Canton

Speaker's Corner

Need a speaker for your next conference? I offer keynotes, seminars and workshops.
Why Should You Choose Me As Your Speaker?
Three Reasons Why I'm the Right Speaker for Your Conference 
You can find more details and sample videos on my website or on my SpeakerMatch page.   
Speaking Engagements 

Emergency Preparedness Master Class
BLR Workplace Violence Symposium
March 13, 2019  
San Antonio, TX

Emergency Preparedness Strategy Review: What Worked, Didn't, & Lessons Learned in 2018 to Maintain OSHA Compliance
BLR Webinar
March 15, 2019 

©Lucien G. Canton 2019. All rights reserved.


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ISSN: 2334-590X