August 2022 Leadership Message From the ISFSI President: Seth Barker


Success comes from being good at what we do. Success also comes from being fulfilled at the actions we are taking part in. How do we get to that end state? How do we measure it? How do we qualify it? I think about what makes me successful and how I get there. Then it hit me like Brad French hitting it hard from the yard. I measure my success by the relationships that I have. The professional, personal, and business relationships that have helped me succeed when failure was imminent. The relationships that I could call upon to help me navigate a scenario that I lacked experience in or did not have the answer to. These relationships have catapulted my personal and professional life to a place of familiarity. It has helped me calm stressful times and most importantly navigate waters that have been untested by me. A lot of these relationships have turned into mentors of mine that I talk with almost every day. We have called ourselves on the text thread “The Training Guys” and share stories and lessons learned sometimes hourly. It has been a tremendous sounding board for me and my career.

Recently I was fortunate enough to be part of a leadership conference in Loveland, Colorado. We talked at great length about establishing, building, and fostering relationships. It was a constant theme to make sure that the various organizations we all belonged to were in alignment with our values and missions. This dialogue was a huge first step at remembering why we are all here in the first place. To build relationships and be successful together.

The ISFSI has an amazing program in place to help with this. It is the ISFSI Mentoring and Coaching Initiative. This program is designed to help you connect with a mentor based on a short survey you fill out of your needs in your career. I was fortunate enough to participate and met Duon Ladner from Mississippi. The program was amazing. We were connected based on having similar fire departments, similar demographics, and similar challenges. We were able to help each other without re-inventing the wheel. We have since maintained our relationship calling on each other in time of need. Building another relationship to be successful together.

I challenge our membership to engage with this initiative and get involved. Reach out to Duon through our ISFSI platform to see what it did for him. Build relationships, foster them, and grow them.

Be successful together.

Stay Healthy and Safe!

1 Comment


September 1, 2022 05:09 PM by Mary Sovick

Seth, you've done a great job of expressing a concept that can be hard to recognize and put words to. Relationships can be such a gift. Thanks for taking time to write this.

Recent Stories
Navigating the Maze: Identifying Your Blind Spot

October 2023 Leadership Message From the ISFSI President: Seth Barker

Strategic Planning: Navigating the Future with Purpose