​​​​John Nowell

John Nowell

John Nowell

Home

Thousand Oaks, California

Then

Battalion Chief; Los Angeles Fire Department

Now

Retired

Contact

LinkedIn

Quote

“Maintain consistent tone and tempo …” 


Why they're a Crisis Leader:

Before I met John Nowell, I heard about John Nowell. His reputation as a commanding, informative, and engaging leader preceded him.

And true to form, I completely understood and agreed once I had the opportunity to meet and work with him.

John’s diverse fire-service career enables him to distill many complex topics into those that are simple and understandable. As a teacher, John is in a league all his own.

As a crisis leader, his presence provides comfort. So much so that his crews memorialized that sentiment in a plaque presented to John upon his retirement:

Nowell-Retirement-Plaque

Your assignment, your spot, the place where you chose to work.

We had you on all three platoons, all three express now their gratitude …

You led by doing, teaching, guiding; Exemplary all the while.

Ever approachable, quick to laugh, first in offering yourself to any task or anyone in need.

We wish you God’s abundant blessing!

And know that never ought be forgotten, the comfort felt by those in the fight upon hearing John Nowell say:

“Battalion 12’s on scene …”

The relief his crews felt when he was in command is understandable.

From his quote about ‘tone and tempo’ to his answers to the below questions, you’ll see that his consistent and authentic crisis leadership is why I wanted to share his story.


#1 "What is a Crisis Leader?"

Click to read a transcript of the answer "What is a Crisis Leader?"


#2 "What's an example when you relied on your own Crisis Leadership?"

Click to read a transcript of the answer "What's an example when you relied on your own Crisis Leadership?"


#3 "What do you know now that you wish you knew then?"

Click to read a transcript of the answer "What do you know now that you wish you knew then?"


#4 "What advice would you give someone who wants to improve their own Crisis Leadership?"

Click to read a transcript of the answer "What advice would you give someone who wants to improve their own Crisis Leadership?"


#5 "Who is a Crisis Leader that influenced your career?"

Click to read a transcript of the answer "Who is a crisis leader that influenced your career?"


Additional Notes:

In a followup conversation I had with John, he reminded me how important it is to "BEWARE of crisis leaders who DEMAND your respect because of the position they occupy in the organization."

He added some additional insights which are worth noting:

"We all know individuals who expect/demand your respect/devotion just because they were able to pass a promotional process and are now in a position of authority. 

Needless to say, the true crisis leaders are those that have EARNED your respect through a career of exceptional performance and experience."

Bravo, John!


Key Takeaways:

  • We always fall to our highest level of training
  • Successful leaders manage their tone and tempo
  • Only ask of others what you have done yourself first
  • Everyone needs to be successful in order for the leadership to be successful
  • Put yourself in a position that challenges you to be your best
  • Build a slide show of experiences to draw upon in the future
  • Immerse yourself in training
  • Work and learn from people that are intimidating (from having immense experience)
  • Train as if your life depends on it, because it does

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