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EMS Leadership Academy

The EMS Leadership Academy is a dynamic, two-part, 60-hour educational program designed to prepare participants to lead and manage today’s EMS.

The EMS Leadership Academy is for new and current leaders, as well as anyone with an interest in the leadership and management of EMS. It is designed to give participants the basic tools and information needed to quickly and successfully assume the role of a leader. Since 2009, more than 2,000 leaders across the nation have participated in the Academy. The two four-day sessions are:

Session I:     "Moving from Management to Leadership of the EMS Organization" and
                     "Showing Up as a Leader"
Session II:    "Moving Your Organization Forward" and
                     "Your Specific Role and Challenges: A Retreat"

** NEW!  "Executive Leadership Retreat" (Offered for graduates of Academy Parts I & II) **

Session I and Session II of the Academy are each 30-hour, four-day programs presented on consecutive days in comfortable settings that invite participation and openness. Class size is limited to 26 participants or less, and two faculty members are involved in the sessions at all times. Rather than long PowerPoint lectures, these sessions are engaging, lively and participatory. Dialogue is ongoing, questioning is encouraged, and laughter is common. Fifty percent of the time is spent in dialogue, small group exercises and role-playing. Students have the chance to see, practice and critique actual leadership activities in a safe environment. Each session has a specific agenda, but the agenda is always modified to fit participants’ needs.


Session details

Session I: “Moving Up from Management to Leadership” and “Showing Up as a Leader”+ show

The Academy begins with participants identifying the challenges and opportunities they are facing in their organizations and roles today. We then build a foundation of leadership thinking by exploring the differences in managing challenges and leading challenges. On this foundation we will launch a powerful exploration of today's EMS organization and the characteristics that make an organization thrive and attract and keep workers. We will address the following topics:

  • The essential components of a thriving EMS organization;
  • The emerging EMS worker of the 21st century;
  • What people really want from their work experience;
  • Creating a culture where people want to belong;
  • Recruiting and keeping more of the right people;
  • Ensuring people are enthused, committed, loyal and willing to do more than required;
  • The vital role of frontline supervisors;
  • The art of improving employees' performance;
  • Dealing with troublemakers; and 
  • Leading the new generations.

With an understanding of the EMS organization and the workers of today, we will look at ourselves as leaders. Leader is not a term most people use to describe themselves, but using various tools, assessments and exercises, we will discover the leader within each of us. We will explore the psychology of stepping out to lead and what inspires people to follow. We will demonstrate that leading is much more than title, position or power. Leading is a courageous choice we make every day. Specifically, we will explore:

  • The qualities and characteristics of effective leaders;
  • What makes one a leader in today's EMS organization;
  • How leadership shows up in our personal lives;
  • The connection between great leadership and a practice of deep listening;
  • Using time resources effectively;
  • Leading in spite of fear;
  • How to become a powerful influencer of people above, beside you and below you;
  • The leader's ethical use of politics and power; and 
  • Leading and the necessity of powerful storytelling.
Session II: “Moving Your Organization Forward” and “Your Specific Role and Challenges”+ show

Building on Session I, this session of the Academy tackles the work of leading change in a reactive EMS environment and moving the organization forward. We start by recognizing the importance of identifying and actually seeing the change you want to make. Then, using actual case studies, we explore the psychology and steps of leading change. Specifically, we will address:

  • Getting clear about what really matters;
  • Using the imagination to see where we want to go;
  • How to effectively plan and identify strategic priorities;
  • Turning big change into small, doable steps;
  • Understanding the power of variables and small change;
  • Effectively working with the psychology of change; and
  • Taking good care of yourself and finding joy amid the challenges.

The final two days of the Academy are a facilitated leadership retreat. This is where the practicality and applicability of the learning is tested. With a foundation in leadership, the formation of a supportive cohort and a shared understanding and language, participants set the agenda. We utilize an "open space" format in a warm and relaxed environment, and encourage participants to bring their own topics to the group. Brief presentations are made on the topics, and the balance of the allotted time is used to workshop each topic with discussion, exercises and the sharing of best (and worst) practices. Participants leave the Academy with a full toolbox and a solid network of supportive leaders.