How to Kill Morale

Issue 7 and Volume 171.

BY FRANK VISCUSO This wonderful profession has often been referred to as the “greatest job on Earth.” Every time I ask the firefighters and officers who attend my leadership seminars if they agree with that statement, at least 85 percent of the hands in the room go up. Most polls in America rank firefighting among the top professions in regard to career satisfaction; many polls rate it #1. Despite that, I find it interesting that in recent years I have come across a growing number of firefighters who seem bitter, frustrated, and sometimes disgruntled to a point where they begin counting the days to retirement months and sometimes years before they are eligible. : In one organization, an estimated 15 percent of its members—most of its veteran core—left the job before they had intended. One member told me that his team was consumed with drama; many of his coworkers regularly…

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