​​​​Warren “Country” Weidler

Warren "Country" Weidler


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Austin, Texas

Then

Battalion Chief, Austin Fire Dept.

Now

Search & Rescue (SAR) Coordinator - State of Texas

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Quote

"Calmness breeds calmness ..."


Why they're a Crisis Leader:

The majority of people I interviewed for this project were selected because of my observations and insights about them after they made their name as a crisis leader.

I had never followed them into battle or benefit from their leadership first hand. I relied on the quality of their character to decide whether or not to request their involvement.

This interview is different because I've experienced Country’s leadership first-hand on many occasions.

As an urban search and rescue disaster responder, “Country” was one of my leaders in ‘battle,’ and I have looked to him for guidance many times, even after our journeys took us in different directions.

As you'll see, his leadership style is on-point, direct, and effective.

And that pragmatic approach to crisis leadership is well suited for disaster response, too.

Early in my disaster response career, I was tasked to go on a mission that involved lots of moving parts and a fair amount of risk. My concern for those complexities overshadowed any confidence I had in my training to do the job, and Country detected that waning confidence.

He pulled me aside, put his arm around me and simply said: “go do what you do, Mike, you’ve got this.”

And just like that, I was mentally fortified and ready to slay dragons.

It’s been said that if you can’t describe something simply, then you don’t understand it very well.

That sentiment has never been truer than when listening to Country, particularly when he’s in command-mode. He says in one sentence, what the rest of us may spend an hour to describe.

I’ve had the good fortune to serve under a few great leaders in my life, and Country is one of the best.


#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?"


Key Takeaways:

  • Think outside the box
  • Never fail to make a decision
  • Read voraciously
  • Trust your instinct and your people
  • Calmness breeds calmness
  • Make the situation better, not worse
  • Don’t confuse bad decisions with decisions you don’t want to make
  • Read about other people’s crises to learn how they solve them

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