We had the good fortune of connecting with Rick Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rick, so many of the folks we connect with are focused on having a positive social impact on their community or the world at large. Can you talk to us about how you are helping the community?
Research from Gallup indicates 50% of the U.S. workforce is disengaged, and another 20% are so disengaged their only reason for working is to collect a paycheck. Furthermore the American Psychological Association found that 75% of the workforce reports their boss contributes to stress. Why is this? The same Gallup research showed that 60% of the respondents said it was because of poor leadership. There are a lot of disengaged workers with stress because of the boss and poor leadership. Stress contributes to a multitude of physical and mental health issues. It is also no secret that poor health and unhappy workers increase the number of sick days people use. And this does not take into account the effects on rising health insurance costs. Disengaged and disgruntled employees have a negative impact on customer service, thereby driving clients and customers to other businesses. Unfortunately, many times it is the business owner or upper echelons of an organization that exhibit lousy leadership. My business helps the community and the world by teaching strong, ethical, character based leadership skills. I do this through workshops, seminars, using a leadership assessment tool, and coaching. Those who choose to seize the opportunity for leadership development become more competent, they grow personally and professionally, they increase their influence through integrity, and they add value to the lives of other people.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been fortunate to experience three dreams during my lifetime, (1) served in two branches of the military, (2) became a firefighter, and now (3) own a leadership teaching, speaking, and coaching business. I had my first ride on a fire engine when I was three years old and when I was four, my father gave me his old firefighter badge from his time on a volunteer fire department. After he died, I started to spend time in the volunteer firehouse down the street from our residence. When I turned eighteen two things transpired: I entered the delayed enlistment program with the U.S. Air Force and I submitted my application to become a member of the Cedarville Fire Company No. 1 in New Jersey. Initially I was not a firefighter in the Air Force, but that eventually happened, and I served as both a military and civilian firefighter with them. After leaving the Air Force I held a couple different jobs, but eventually returned to military service with the U.S. Marine Corps as a firefighter. However, the Marines had other plans and I was re-trained into aviation operations. When I separated from the Marines, I moved to Loveland and married Deb. Shortly afterwards I joined the Loveland Fire Rescue Department and over the years rose to the rank of battalion chief. In May of 2020, I retired from Loveland Fire after nearly thirty-years of service with the department. My total time as a firefighter was thirty-seven years. During my time with Loveland Fire, I led the following teams and programs: hazardous materials team, wildland firefighting program, special operations team, recruiting program, EMS program, health and safety program, and a multitude of miscellaneous projects. As a battalion chief I served as a shift commander and also functioned at one point as the department’s training chief. I am proud of my military service, time as a firefighter, and academic achievements. My father had always wanted me to go to college and I ultimately obtained a BS in Business Administration and then a MS in Executive Fire Service Leadership. I also graduated from the National Fire Academy’s four-year Executive Fire Officer Program. None of it was easy, especially when I came home from school and found my father dead on the floor from a heart attack. As I watched the firefighters load his lifeless body into an ambulance, I vowed that I too would become a firefighter. I had to overcome two obstacles though: being short and wearing glasses. Nevertheless, I was determined to do it and I persevered through many challenges to become a firefighter. I always kept the goal in mind and stubbornly pressed forward until it finally happened. I have learned several lessons along the way and many are detailed in my book, The Furnace of Leadership Development. The primary lesson I tell people about is that leadership must be based on integrity. Anything less or an absence of integrity is a sure formula for lackluster, unethical leadership. After retiring from Loveland Fire in May of 2020, I began to work fulltime on my business, Impactus! Cultivating Today’s Leaders. Also in May, I became a member of the John Maxwell Team and I’m now a certified coach, speaker, and trainer. What sets me apart from others? My background, experiences, personality, and skills allow me to connect with a broad spectrum of people, organizations, and businesses to add value to their leadership development and abilities.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife of thirty-three years, and our two daughters are three of my strongest supporters. They have always been there for me, they encouraged me to write my book The Furnace of Leadership Development, and they are supporting my efforts to build my business, Impactus! Cultivating Today’s Leaders. Although my father passed away many years ago, he deserves credit for having an integral part in molding my character and work ethic. My Uncle Cliff was also instrumental in my life. From the professional side, one of our former fire chiefs, Dick Minor, played a significant role in helping me develop during my career in the fire service. It is important for me to say that I would not be where I am today if it were not for the grace, mercy, and blessings of God.