As many of you head to Philadelphia for the EMS Today Conference this month, some of your colleagues will attend another seminar, the Terrible EMS Leadership Conference. This secret conference is where EMS managers with poor leadership skills enhance their knack for mismanaging their organizations and employees. I recently received the brochure in the mail, and some of the courses sound interesting. Here are just a few:
Gossiping Made Easy by Al K. Seltzer:
You don't have to be Martha Stewart to get insider information. This session focuses on how you can dish about employees. By the end of this session, you'll know which employee is the best to whisper a deep, dark secret to about another employee's marital problems so it quickly spreads through the whole department.
The Blame Game by Chris P. Bacon:
Harry Truman said, "The buck stops here." But you're no Harry Truman. So when there's trouble and somebody has to take the heat, you need to know where to point.
The art of control by Luke Warm: There's nothing like delegating a critical task to an employee and then watching every move they make. Learn how to harass them with constant phone calls, e-mails, memoranda and office visits.
Giving Compliments Is a Weakness by Sharon Needles:
Your medics just worked a great code and got the patient back. It looks like the patient will make a full recovery. Do you tell them, "Great job!"? No, saving people is what you're paying them to do. Besides, that would show a flaw in your stern image, and they might think you actually care about them. This session focuses on how to avoid giving compliments.
The Great Dictator by Warren Peace:
Empowerment was a 1990s buzzword. The '90s are gone, and empowerment should be, too. This fast-paced session will demonstrate how easy it is to make a decision in a vacuum. When you leave this session, "My way or the highway" will be your creed.
Busting Morale in the 21st Century by P. Brane:
It's a never-ending challenge for the terrible EMS manager to constantly drive morale into the ground. But keeping your employees unhappy is easier than you think. This session teaches you how to belittle them, play favorites, throw the chain of command out the window, be reactive instead of proactive and make up rules as you go. This session is sure to bust any department's morale.
Only Wet Babies Like Change by Al K. Holic:
Maintaining the status quo means keeping things under control. Change is something a cashier gives you back ƒ not something meant for an organization. This session teaches the EMS manager to resist change and stomp on any employee who comes up with a new idea. After a few employees have been mercilessly shot down, no one else will want to rock the boat.
Surround Yourself with Mediocrity for Job Security by Sam Manilla:
Whoever said, "Surround yourself with good people, and they will make you look good," probably lost their job in less than two years to someone they hired. This session teaches you the finer points of hiring other management personnel who are mediocre at best. A follow-up session in the afternoon will teach you how to run them through assessment centers and identify and promote those who don't know the difference between a paper clip and a pair of scissors.
How to Discipline in Public by Hedda Hare:
Despite what the experts say, you can't be an effective EMS manager by disciplining in private. Learn to kill two birds with one stone: Discipline an employee and let everybody know what they did wrong so no one else will do it. This session teaches you to pick the location most frequented by your crews and to lie in wait for the troublemaking employee and an audience. This is a group-activity session where yelling and shouting at employees will be practiced. "No" Should Be in Your Vocabulary by Scott Free: This session teaches the EMS manager how to say "No!" to every employee who has a request, an idea or a suggestion. Scott Free, a former Medicare employee who reviewed patient care reports for reimbursement, will highlight the finer points of any conversation where the last word should be "No" ƒ and spoken only by you.
Play hooky Although some EMS managers practice what's taught at the Terrible EMS Manager Conference, many fine managers strive to learn from their mistakes. Others note the leadership errors of their peers and learn from those faults. I hope you aren't registered for the Terrible EMS Leadership Conference and, in fact, have permanently removed yourself from their mailing list.