Level the Pursuit

Being a Supervisor with Lt Nick Palczer

February 24, 2021 Level the Pursuit Season 2 Episode 9
Being a Supervisor with Lt Nick Palczer
Level the Pursuit
More Info
Level the Pursuit
Being a Supervisor with Lt Nick Palczer
Feb 24, 2021 Season 2 Episode 9
Level the Pursuit

When you have the opportunity to lead and follow and different levels, you gain a ton of perspective on how to treat people and to advocate for your team. Lt Palczer went from firefighter to nurse to achieve his goals, and he's now putting his skills to work to take care of Airmen with dedication and humanity.

Show Notes Transcript

When you have the opportunity to lead and follow and different levels, you gain a ton of perspective on how to treat people and to advocate for your team. Lt Palczer went from firefighter to nurse to achieve his goals, and he's now putting his skills to work to take care of Airmen with dedication and humanity.

LTP:

In the race to success, we're not all starting from the same place. Level the Pursuit seeks to fill in the gaps and provide accessible bite sized leadership lessons for anyone looking to improve their skills and prepare for the next step, whatever that might be. Welcome back peeps, I hope you're having a great week. And if you're in one of the areas of the country that's been absolutely pummeled by the storm, I hope you're doing okay and that your families are safe. I know that my family has dealt with and still doesn't have potable water and finally got their power back on. And so hopefully, you and yours are doing okay, if you're if you're dealing now dealing with that as well. Today, we have a treat, we're going to talk to Lieutenant Nick Palczer. So this guy is a man after my own heart started as a firefighter and went back to school to become a nurse. And he's now serving our country as a nurse, absolutely kicking butt and doing it. And he has some really great perspectives having been rising up through the NCO Corps, and supervising at different levels. And then now being an officer and supervising in a completely different way. So he has some great perspectives on the best ways to lead and the best ways to follow as you go through that progression. This week, give some time to what makes a really good supervisor. Think about the things that you do in your life. And then find some ways that you can incorporate them better into how you behave as a professional each day. So Nick, welcome. It is such a pleasure to have you here today. I'm really excited to get to talk to you a little bit about your experiences and hear the great things that you're up to.

Unknown:

Oh, well, thank you for having me, ma'am. It's a pleasure to be here. Again, I always try to bring something to the table, but we'll, we'll see how we do.

LTP:

It's gonna be awesome. So let's start out with an easy one. Why don't you just tell us a little bit about your experiences? How you got to be a nurse today? Where did you start and where and what was your path to get there?

Unknown:

So that's actually a really crazy question. The short version is so I graduated high school in 2011. From Jensen Beach, Florida, went to Jensen Beach High School home of the Falcons. From there, I decided I was going to go to Virginia Military Institute didn't graduate VMI as much as I loved being a rat and getting my head shaved once a week, which is a great time. I left VMI after a semester, decided I was going to enlist because that's always a good thing. Obviously, I decided to enlist in the Air Force, because that's the right choice and I had the choice. And then from there, I got a contract as a firefighter in 2012. And it was already an EMT. So it was a nice fit. And I had always wanted to go medical. So the plan was eventually to go into the NURSE Corps. So from there I left in 2012 for lackland Air Force Base for BMT basic military training where you have a lot of fun, as people will tell you fun in quotes. And then from there, I went to Goodfellow Air Force Base in went to the Fire Academy there for the Department of Defense. It's a joint school, a lot of fun, great time. We own a lot of certifications out of it, which I still hold to this day, which are amazing. And then from there, I got an assignment to Kadena Air Base to Okinawa, Japan. first assignment as a brand new agency at 19 years old and Japan was amazing. I spent a little over two years there, which I could not go without saying I met my lovely wife there. And we've been married. As of this April, we'll have been married seven years. So thank you. So we were enlisted together. So we spent some time there. And then in 2015 fast forwarding through my time in the fire department, we came back to the states to go to fi one which is in Cheyenne, Wyoming, which is really cold. Just so everyone Fun fact. And then from there, that was when the nursing part kind of started to be I had been doing prereqs you know, along the way, trying to eventually you know, go to college, be that good airman and get my degrees. My got my community college of the Air Force Associate Degree in fire science pretty early on. So I had a lot of prereqs done. Excuse me. So I went from to everyone started doing more prereqs for nursing school started getting to the the anatomy, the physiology and stuff like that. And then I applied to go to nursing school at the local community college. Because to commission there's only a couple ways to get into the NURSE Corps. One of which is to have a degree beforehand and the other which is called the nursing list, commissioning program. So I was working in the fire department long story short, I got accepted into nursing school while I was an Effie one to an associate degree program. Did poda my associate degree program while still on active duty in the fire department. We did 48 hours on 72 hours off which as you know, ma'am, is a great schedule, but a very busy one. Went to nursing school, started doing that. And then in May of C was May of 18, I got picked up for the nursing holistic commissioning program. And then I transferred over to the University of Wyoming to the ROTC detachment there were my job was simply go to school, which if you don't, anyone who doesn't know going to school, and getting paid to go to school is a great job. And then in 2019, of the fall 19, I graduated University of Wyoming with my bachelor's degree in nursing. And then from there, it was off to a bunch of training. And then here I am now sitting at Wright Patterson Air Force Base as a nursing officer. So that's kind of the long and skinny on how we got to this point in life.

LTP:

So I'm interested, you went to VMI. And you were, obviously you are very intelligent, you're still are very intelligent, obviously, you were disciplined. And you you took those into enlisting the Air Force. So what changed that you weren't able to get it while you're at VMI, but you were able to continue moving forward.

Unknown:

So that is always another one I get to from a lot of people, especially my my former troops used to ask me that question a lot, too. So I left VMI, after the semester, a lot, some of it I will absolutely say had to do with money. I did not have scholarships and full rides that I would have had had I stayed in a different state, or gone to a different school, my grades in high school were decent, but they weren't getting me a full ride to any college that I wanted. out of state tuition to a different place other than Florida was pretty pricey. So I did take out a little bit of student loan to get through the semester, my parents weren't able to, you know, finance my college tuition by any means, which was fine by me. And then I'll say a lot of it without going too crazy. Otherwise, we'd be here for hours I was I was definitely still a little I was all say emotionally mature. I thought VMI was a lot worse than it was looking back. You know, things back home, there were some things that I was still hanging on to that I probably shouldn't have been. And it really just turned into like, Well, I'm not going to become a nurse being at VMI, because I was going to get a bachelor degree in biology, and then would have had to go be you know, God knows what officer at that point, honestly, because it would have just been Hey, here you go. And then eventually tried to transition into the NURSE Corps. And I'm like, well, that's gonna be a really long time and probably not get me what I want. So this might be a better road. And I could get some experience in the the enlisted corps get a lot of training and education out of it, you know, at the Air Force a dime, of course, and then probably have a better chance of going commissioning and becoming a nurse rather than trying to go that road. I'll say, I have no regret. I loved VMI It was a lifelong dream that my grandfather actually instilled in me to go to VMI he did the same thing. He also did the same thing he did not graduate VMI he left your life. He left after his rap semester, just like I did the first the first semester the fall, because he was a class of 44 Well, what about the class? 44 so neat, I say what he actually did, you know, he and all his friends left and enlisted off to war.

LTP:

Wow, that's, that's crazy. So I I can't really emphasize with that with that decision making process. So I you know, I went to Yale, and it was really expensive. My Grades actually were quite good. And I had quite a bit of scholarship support and also need based from Yale because Yale doesn't give merit based scholarships, you don't getting better grades doesn't help you there, but they do give me base based on how much money you have. Good. But if I had gone to Alabama, Oklahoma, there were several schools that were recruiting me for my grades for my academic performance, I could get a full ride. And so I had people in my family saying, Why are you so selfish? Why are you so conceited that you think you have to go to the school and place this burden on everyone? Instead of going to one of these schools, it's free. And I was determined to go I mean, and I was you know, I was a knucklehead, also it you know, you have this this things in your head and you have this, this way of looking at yourself. So, I push through. Exactly. And I was in a similar situation. My sophomore year, we got to the point when I went home for Christmas, my sophomore year, there was no more money. And my mom had had had some job issues and, and I was working full time at school. I had been working full time the whole time. I was there and I went home for Christmas. So I was like, oh, my goodness, I, I'm not going back. We, I can't afford it, I don't have the money, and through massive blessings. And I had been banging the door and the financial aid office for the last year and a half about slowly how they evaluated my finances. And because it without getting too far into it, they were taking some things into account that were not reasonable to take into account. And so I was paying more than I should have based on their algorithm. So I'd go in every semester and fight, fight, fight. And when I was home for Christmas, and I had made the decision, I'd realized, I'm not going back, I can't afford, we don't have the money, I can't go back. They called me over Christmas and said, Hey, we reevaluate your finances. And we've taken these other things into account as you've asked, and this is your new scholarship. And I was able to go back to school. So I was in exactly the same position you're describing, I just happened to be very, very lucky that it went the other way. But I very easily could have done this.

Unknown:

I mean, it's not a bad career. And I have many prior enlisted friends who did become doctors like yourself, and I, by no means Will I ever say I have the brain capacity that you do to go to MD school. I couldn't do that to save my life. But no, I would call that persistence. I would say you showed nothing but persistence. And you didn't. You didn't let them let the people who couldn't say yes, you didn't let them say no,

LTP:

absolutely. No matter we're gonna get to that. But I love it. My husband loves it too. Because he so um, so tell me so his perspective was never present your proposal to someone who doesn't have the power to say yes. And but yours is a little different. Tell me a little bit about your thought.

Unknown:

So I would say it's very similar. And I will not say that that's copyrighted by me by any means. I've actually heard that from many supervisors coming up through the enlisted side, I would say I actually agree with that, you know, you'd ever don't bring I'm not gonna bring a proposal to my flight commander, my squadron commander, my Chief Nurse. Um, you know, unless I know, hey, this is the proposal for this person, they have the power to say yes.

LTP:

So you your enlisted perspective, really gives you a leg up on that, you know, a lot of our young enlisted are supervising tons of people before they even get to, you know, they might be 22 and be supervising several people. And I think that experience is really, really cool. How do you feel that that helps you to build as you look at your your professional career now is going, you know, going into nursing.

Unknown:

So I would absolutely say being a supervisor was one of the best experiences of my career. To this day, and right now, I don't technically officially supervise anybody. You know, as as a nurse, as you know, ma'am, being a doctor, I supervise my Tech's on the floor, you know, my my medical technicians, as the nurse, and I, you know, I'm over them as an officer, obviously, just in the chain of command. But I actually don't officially rate or supervise anybody at this time, which, frankly, is actually kind of a nice breather, because I was doing it for a while. But absolutely the best experience and one of the best experiences of my career. I learned a lot and gained a lot, made plenty of mistakes along the way, being a supervisor, fortunately didn't harm anyone or harm anyone's careers. Except maybe my own at that point. I think the experience of it has probably led me to be able to be where I am today. Being able to supervise is probably one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done, you know, contrary to being a nurse's, probably about the same equivalency is, you know, you're still making an impact on people. But I liked being able to give my troops my airman kind of a different light in a different perspective. We all hear this, you know, beat down, beat down, beat down and know nothing but work. Nolan, Kaos? Well, I actually tried very hard to make a point to let my troops know that, well, if the bosses didn't care I did. And I had the power to go, you know, stand in front of the bosses on their behalf. And if I could, I would, obviously there was some specific trials and tribulations to that concept, where some of them got the noncommissioned officer side of me that was guiding them in a very direct manner will go with right. But for the most part, I would say it was it was a learning experience and great experience. And it definitely, I think it helps me today being a nurse and an officer.

LTP:

What mistakes have you seen young young supervisors make?

Unknown:

I'll own my first one, me, actually on that all day. One mistake of very specific situation was I had a troupe who's no longer in the Air Force. He's doing well from what I hear, but I haven't spoken to him in a while due to a number of factors is you want to always engage with them. troops and their family. It was a troop that came to me and was telling me he had thoughts of self harm. At one point, there had been a whole build up to this story of me, checking on him on the day on dailies, you know, with work and talking to the bosses and our management and the fire department, culture as a whole is, you know, man, sometimes, you know, that's, unfortunately, one of those things is, you know, self harm is something we deal with very frequently. And as young airmen, you know, being away from home at our first assignment, that's also a very real thing that we have to engage on with our people. So my mistake in that, though, was not that I wasn't engaged with him, because I was probably, I would say, overly engaged to a point, just because I wanted to make sure we didn't miss anything, you know, I wanted to make sure he knew, hey, somebody was there, which I thought was the right way. And my supervisors that I sought counsel from, you know, from my purpose was, you know, yeah, you're doing the right things. My mistake was is, and it's more of the leadership side, and the supervisor side, is that you want to always be open and engaged with your people and their family. And unfortunately, I got a little over engaged with his spouse in the regard of just passing information. And unfortunately, as you know, in the, in the military world, there comes a point where I have to say, I can't speak to you, as a as the family member, I'm only here but for the troop. For this situation, you need to contact the first sergeant. And it turned into this particular spouse just coming at me saying abuse of authority, I made up the story, you know, he never said these things to me, when I would, you know, to this day swear on a stack of Bibles that he did. And then, you know, I brought him to the resources that he needed, you know, the mental health counselors, and, you know, the physicians and my job was to bring him to the resources. Well, the resources were the ones that made all the decisions at that point, not me, but I was getting the brunt from the family side of it, which was understandable. You know, it was a very, very tense, very delicate situation. But I would say, the mistake was just, you know, knowing that line of when you have to just say no, you have to say no to the family say you have to talk to these people, not me, my mistake, my biggest learning lesson I learned very early as a supervisor, young supervisors today, I think a lot of it is just sometimes they forget, sometimes just sitting back, shutting up and listening does wonders. I say that with the most love to all supervisors in civilian sector, military sector, but especially in the military, sometimes we just don't shut up and listen. Great individual, I learned from one time a former command chief of mine. And if I said his name, you'd absolutely know who I'm talking about, I guarantee it. Never take it never pass up a great opportunity to shut the hell up.

LTP:

That's powerful advice.

Unknown:

And with that, I will now shut the hell up.

LTP:

So you know, everything had there's two sides to every coin. So I think that you just highlighted one about being a frontline supervisor is that you have the opportunity to be engaged. And to interface with the family interface with the people in the military, we interface with the family, as civilians don't necessarily do that as much, but to really be there for someone and potentially be a powerful force for good. But that proximity also puts you in a position to be the face of the organization in a negative way, and to be the easy one that they can reach out to if something doesn't go the way they want. So that can be a really difficult thing to balance is. And I wonder if that's one of the reasons that some supervisors are hesitant to engage, it's not so much that they're afraid to get involved. Some of them are probably afraid to get involved. But I think some of them are probably also afraid of being the recipient of all of the backlash.

Unknown:

I couldn't agree more. Ma'am, that's that that is putting it probably a lot simpler than I just explained that entire story. It really is because it actually is some supervisors and you know, I would argue, even officers, I would say sometimes we're absolutely afraid of backlash, and I wouldn't say so much negative or repercussion, but as much as it as backlash, just getting, you know, doing the wrong thing when you're trying to do the right thing or doing the right thing, and then you become the object of the wrong thing. And that's absolutely true. Supervisors sometimes don't because of that fear. You know, in the military, we hear, you know, the Inspector General, or Equal Opportunity office. You know, we hear all these big things. The first sergeant, you know, you hear all these big scary things, when in reality, they're not that real big and scary. I mean, yes, that situation did lead to me having to go sit in front of some people that I would have preferred not to sit in front of and answer some questions. However, my I had always kept my chain of command and my leadership engaged with me and knew that deep down, I was doing the right thing, and had no real say in the outcome, just I just became the opposite object of the fixation in this situation, which is understandable.

LTP:

That's a great point. That's one thing that I really try to emphasize and I have personally lived through it on several occasions, is when you are trying to do the right thing, you are taking a stand in one direction or another. And when you do that, some people are not gonna like it. So that can be a real challenge, because we do have so many mechanisms for people to voice their concerns, or to lodge complaints when they think that something is not being done correctly. And so you can be doing the right thing or believe you're doing the right thing. But if it's not communicated well, or if it's just, maybe you don't see some aspect of the situation where it's the wrong thing for someone else, or whatever it might be, people can lodge complaints. And once it's lodged against you, there's not a lot you can do about it. Other than just keep on Keep your head up, try to do the right thing. Be honest, when you're asked questions, that kind of stuff. But I have seen, and I'm curious to know if you have as well. In general, if you really are trying to do the right thing, it usually turns out, okay, it's not painless, going through a complaint going through that an investigation, any of that stuff, which I personally have gone through, is not fun, I really did not enjoy it.

Unknown:

I would imagine not.

LTP:

The first one hurts the most, they never get easy, but the first one hurts the most. But in general, the repercussions and there and honestly, even if you're innocent, there's sometimes are some repercussions to your psyche, to maybe to the job that you're in right there. Because people know about all this water under the bridge. So even if you're if you're found not to have done it, people are aware that this is going on, and they don't have the whole story. So they you know that that hole where there's smoke, there's fire mentality Can you can come in, so you can still deal with some stuff. But in general, the big stuff doesn't happen if you are doing the right thing and coming from a place of respect and trying to help people, even if you did it wrong, even if you messed up. I have seen that in general. It works out. Okay. I haven't I have personally not seen somebody be massively negatively affected. When they were doing the right thing. I have seen someone whose assignment was turned upside down by false complaints. Oh, absolutely. But I haven't seen any administrative action. You know, have you seen? Have you seen that?

Unknown:

I would say I would, I would have to agree with you it as long as you are absolutely on the right side of that coin. And you know, you're doing the right steps. And, you know, engaging with the right people. And unfortunately, I have to, you know, full disclosure, you got to cover your butt too. If you didn't document it, it didn't happen. So if you didn't make sure the right people were in the room with you, or you had someone to that conversation or, you know, you you wrote up a memorandum to state X, Y and Z happened and on this date. And you know, it's documented. I would absolutely say you're definitely not going to have those administrative actions, those repercussions? Will it probably tone your life and potentially a little bit of your career upside down? Yeah, absolutely. I've seen that many times on both the enlisted and the officer side already. The short example I'd give you is you know, another troop three ladders for you, ma'am. Oh, s I, for those who don't know, the Office of Special Investigations is the Air Force's, quote, FBI. And I've been in their room now, three times in my career. Fortunately, none of them were pointed at me. But they were pointed at my people. And unfortunately, that also becomes you know, you have to be afoot to to take care of your people defend your troops. But again, they have found the right side of that coin. In that situation, no negative impacts came to that troop. All these claims were 100% completely malicious and false. And we could actually prove it. Did it impact a few parts of his life and career for short term? Absolutely. Did he come back from it and there was no administrative actions? Absolutely. He's now living grade as an NCO didn't affect his career progression. We were able to still, you know, fix that and take care of that. But yeah, it definitely can be a hard thing to try to be doing the right thing when everybody is looking at you in the situation saying, You're the you're the bad guy.

LTP:

You just brought up something that I think is really interesting. When we hear we come,

Unknown:

it goes again.

LTP:

So when when you have someone who's accused of something in the military, obviously, or that can extend to criminal circumstances as well as a civilian, you wouldn't necessarily be dealing with someone's criminal activity in the job. Although there may be disciplinary action, you know, that kind of stuff. But one of the things that I think some people can really have a hard time with is supporting the person separate from the action, understanding that one, they're innocent until proven guilty, even if you believe it to be true. But to you know, this person, especially in the military, they are still your airman, they are still your troop. So it doesn't matter how terrible they are, if they did the most heinous thing, the one thing that bothers you more than anything else, it's still our responsibility as supervisors, as leaders, to treat them as human beings and try to get them through that and support them whilst you know, and so have you seen that be an issue? Or do you find that a struggle?

Unknown:

I would say, it definitely can be, I would say you're stuck in a place sometimes, you know, as you know, the leader you're supposed to be, you know, the leader you want to be, which obviously, are two very different things sometimes, and sometimes they get very blurry. We joke is, you know, and the officer call you live in the gray, that's what you get paid for. There is no, you know, left, right, middle those you live in the gray all day. So I would say yeah, it gets a little hard sometimes, because as an individual, you may have your own thoughts, your own ethical beliefs, your own leadership, beliefs, your own morals, etc. And think about those actions are those things that someone did, whether it's in the military in the civilian sector, you know, but you kind of look at it from a different perspective. And that perspective sometimes gets blurry as the supervisor, you gotta wonder, well, am I just letting my own feelings get into this? Or am I just being that objective supervisor that I know I should be. And that gets a little boy, sometimes, depending on the situation, I've been fortunate enough thus far in my career, and knock on wood, to where nine times out of 10, my personal life choices and thoughts and morals, and you know, beliefs have not swayed my opinions of my people. But I will say, you know, the example I brought up earlier about the troop with the self harm ideations, and again, he's, you know, no longer in the service. And I'll be full disclosure that was partly due to his own doing, and partly due to mine and the commanders doing, you know, even to this day, there are moments where I look back on that situation, and really, I just want to be like, you know, what, I'm so glad I, we got him out, you know, our forces better for it. And I don't say that to attack the individual, because I genuinely to this day believe both as a form of super as his former direct supervisor, and as an hour nursing officer, that there were some things that needed to get addressed, you know, with him, in his well being, and I do hope to this day that he's doing well, I do. But the way that it turned into the direct lash at me, both from him, and you know, his family, when all you know, me and our leadership were trying to do was help him. You know, that's a hard thing to think about, you know, that's a hard thing to come by, and have where, oh, I'm still gonna be here, and be your supervisor and engage with you and genuinely care, when you're coming at me in a way that, you know, can make me both get in trouble legally and ethically. And, you know, just just kind of put that down. So yeah, it's absolutely difficult and you have to own it. I would say, if you don't, then you're doing it wrong. Because we're not perfect. We're all human, as supervisors, we're all human as leaders, both civilian and military side. And that's just, it's just how it is. But at the end of the day, I'm not the perfect supervisor. I'm not the perfect officer, I was not the perfect NCO by any means. But yet, you still have to, at the end of the day, do your job. You know, no matter what the mission has to come first, your people have to come first. And, you know, a great supervisor once told me, people first mission always and if you live by that, you're probably going to do okay, every time.

LTP:

Yeah, I agree with that. You know, it's one of those balances. I like to not not no information that I don't need to know, in some way, even though

Unknown:

I'm sure

LTP:

when I was in training. We, we went every Monday we went into a prison to do medical care by I had a clinic in the prison. And we Yeah, we want to let the girls weren't allowed to wear dresses. And so it was a very interesting experience. But I didn't like to know what they did. I didn't I didn't want to know and I don't have any judgment. Like I mean, lots of people are incarcerated for lots of different reasons. But people that you know, there are certain crimes that really resonate with people you know, crimes against children and crimes against women domestic violence type Things were, you know, that can be very personal for people. And I didn't, I didn't want to know because I didn't want to even have the possibility of my medical care being influenced by my opinion of their, of their crimes. Now as I got older, I became better at separating and really compartmentalizing, which is I do very well, which is not always a good thing. But in command, sometimes you have to have as a supervisor, or as a commander, as a leader, sometimes you have to have all of that information. So you really have to learn to recognize when that information might be influencing your decision making and find a way to step out of it. And some of the ways I did that were by using advice, you know, trusted advisor, sharing the situation with one or two people that I could trust and kind of getting their perspectives, or one of my favorite things to do is, whatever your opinion about discipline or guidance or whatever it is on this person, pick someone who's the opposite of how you feel. So if it's your favorite person, pick your least favorite, would you do the same thing? And vice versa? This is the person that causes you the most trouble if this is one of your good ones, would you do the same thing and kind of juxtaposing those, those things were very helpful for me to say, okay, am I being objective? Does the does the crime fit? Or the punishment fit the crime? Does the award fit the accomplishment? Like what are we doing here?

Unknown:

Oh, for sure. I think that's an awesome example. And I am actually a kind of a little envious that you got to have that clinical experience. That is pretty awesome to me. But I also commend colleagues and peers and teachers for doing that. Because a lot of people couldn't do that. To be very frank, as you know, a lot of people in our world in medicine would absolutely, unequivocally just say absolutely not.

LTP:

No, it was it was an amazing experience. And honestly, I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to contribute to their medical care, because they did not get the medical care was not as frequent or as extensive as I would have liked. And there were patients. So you know, I speak Spanish. There aren't a lot of people in South Carolina that speak Spanish. And I had all of the I had all of the Spanish speaking, prisoners would see me. And I had one guy, no one had taken his cast off and forever long because he'd been trying to tell them that it was time to come off. And because it had happened before his incarceration and so there were things like that, that just made me so sad that there's no one here to talk to this person. But when one guy were talking, and my Spanish, I didn't get to talk, speak Spanish a lot when I moved out of San Antonio. And so you feel a little rusty, like sometimes people are talking and you know, in San Antonio, it's all Mexican Spanish, which is what I speak. But in South Carolina, we have Dominican Ecuador, El Salvador, like you name it, there's lots of different people. And so in the dialects are a little different. The accents are very different. They use conjugations like for us that we don't really use in Mexican Spanish, so is different. So I had to really think when I was speaking Spanish, well, this guy was here to see me about his ankle or something or his wrist. I forget, it was something straightforward. And we're talking and he's like, Can I ask you another question? I said, Absolutely. And he starts telling me, and I have to step back and I'm like, oh, my goodness, I can't be. I can't be. This must be wrong. I'm not understanding. And I asked him again, he was telling me he needed his anti psychotic medications, because since he'd been in the prison, oh, boy, he had not gotten his medications. And the voices that tell him to hurt people are back.

Unknown:

And and call your listeners can't see my face right now. But yeah,

LTP:

hold one, sir. Thank you for telling me. Hold on. I'm gonna get you home. And but you know, as an orthopedic surgeon, I didn't hear sounds like the voice is telling me to kill people are back. That's not something I heard a lot in north.

Unknown:

Wow,

LTP:

wait, I was I was so grateful that he told me, you know, and it just made me so sad that there was no one else for him. So I we kind of digressing a little bit fun to talk about that part of my practice, because it was it was fascinating. And I actually took care of a lot of really fantastic,

Unknown:

really the nurse and me it's not helping the situation.

LTP:

I got to talk about some talk to some really fantastic individuals who were, you know, being imprisoned means made a mistake, and you got caught and who knows who knows beyond that, but I was glad to be part of helping them get good medical care, because we did in fact, give them good medical care. But it's just an interesting perspective to to have to hear those things and understand their crimes, and have to act on it. And that was one thing that I had to grow into as a leader as being able to hear that information and still try to make an objective decision or at least recognize that it might be influencing how I was thinking about the situation. So I needed to step back for myself as I make the decision.

Unknown:

And again, that's, you know, it's extremely commendable. And I is I got to spend part of my summer doing my commissioning program, working for an NP friend of mine, a nurse practitioner friend who worked at a low income homeless clinic, and I got to be her nurse for the summer. She's like, Hey, you want to come work for me? And I'm like, Yeah, but I gotta do it for free. As long as you're good without paying me, she's like, Oh, I won't pay you. Like, well, they were great then. And, you know, we had a mobile clinic out at a, you know, a homeless shelter. And, you know, similar circumstances of just, you got to remain objective. And it also taught me, you know, leadership is fluid, it's ever changing, and it's fluid. And in maintaining your objectivity like that, as a leader, it's not easy. And as you just spoke on, you know, seeing those patients, and being able to pull that information versus, you know, your, your lens on at that point, I would say you had your orthopedic surgeon lenses on the second, the word psych came in, out of somebody's mouth, I'm jumping on it. Because I'm like, Oh, well, we need to handle that. And, you know, my lens at that point would be different. And even now, I would say, you know, the surgeons and physicians I work with our lenses are very different, you know, as leaders, outside of medicine, just as leaders in general, everybody wears a different lens, you know, the company grade officers wear a different lens in the field grade officers, as you know, but you know, we do is just in general, and I think we see it a lot in the civilian sector, you know, in our lenses or blood to the civilian sector. And we're like, what's going on, but all we see is what, you know, gets portrayed, you know, on social media, really, what lens are we looking through is where I would go with that. And, you know, again, commendable that, you know, anyone yourself and your peers would even go down that road. And that you, ma'am, were able to pull that away from it, especially when that could have potentially turned into a very dangerous situation.

LTP:

Right. Exactly. No, I agree. I feel really blessed that I got to be there. And absolutely, and I hope he's doing okay. I mean, Oh, absolutely.

Unknown:

I the fact that he was aware of it, and was bringing it up, for sure. Good on him as a patient. Yeah, that's what I would say to that. For sure.

LTP:

So, so final thoughts. We talked a lot about supervisors, and the challenges and the benefits of being a supervisor. What's one piece of advice that you would give to someone supervising people for the first time or maybe just increasing their their scope of supervision,

Unknown:

I have to say I try very hard to maintain the humbleness and being a supervisor because you have to be. And I've had some great, great supervisors, as I've said, and, you know, I'll dime out one of them real quick, retired master and Christopher Dooley was my very first enlisted supervisor, great leader, great supervisor has taught me, everything you're hearing from me today, most probably have been shaped coming from him. And definitely credit him with where I am today as a supervisor. That said, it's one don't stop learning as a supervisor. It is a never ending realm of learning to get better as a supervisor. Always listen to the ones that have been doing it longer than you. Good, bad or indifferent. Listen, always get that feedback about how you did Hey, you know, got this situation, sir. Ma'am. You know, I did this, what do you think, you know? And if they say, you jacked up, take it be like, Okay, what do I do next time, so I don't jack up. Just keep moving on from it and go from there. And don't let that stop you being a supervisor. So as we kind of talked about, you know, as a supervisor, don't take no from those who can't who can't say yes to you, especially as a supervisor, because it's your job to do that for your troop. You know, they're the ones that are going to come to you for a yes or no, and a lot of times you either yes or no, but a lot of times it's above you, and you have to go to your supervisor or your leadership in stand in between them and the boss. And, you know, standing in between the commander and one of your airmen, defending your man gets challenging for sure. So you have to be ready for that, you know, lastly, just don't ever take, this is the way we've always done it. It's a cop out to me. If there's a way to improve on something, and I hate using the word fix, I'll say improve. Because you never really need to fix something because it's working, but isn't working as efficiently as it can be. So let's improve it in with that, you take care of people, you know, always take care of people and don't take that excuse of Well, that's just how we've always done it. Because really, you're not going to improve anything both in yourself and as a supervisor, so you can't improve with people. You know, if you're just going to take that and you know, cop out to excuses like that, in my opinion.

LTP:

Awesome. So you, you see supervisors as advocates.

Unknown:

At the end of the day, I would say that is the perfect medical slash supervisor return. Yeah, we are the advocates and it's probably why I'm a nurse is you know, you advocate for your people at the end of the day, no matter how you look at it.

LTP:

I love it. I love it. That's a great answer. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for being here today. I really enjoyed talking to you. And I think that your perspective, obviously, we share the firefighter into medical pathway. But I appreciate all of the steps that you took in order to grow where you are today. I think that that's really it's really powerful to have gone through some of those wickets and learn those lessons so that you're more prepared to to be that advocate today. So thank you so much for being here today.

Unknown:

No, ma'am. Thank you so much. I truly do appreciate it. It was a lot of fun. You know, hopefully everyone will take something away from today and you know, just improve upon themselves for the future.

LTP:

Awesome. So leadership and followership may change, but they're important at every single level. So this week, spend some time with your journal. Think about what makes a great boss or supervisor, who are the best bosses you've had and what did they do? Now look at your own behavior. Are you doing those things every single day, if you're not brainstorm some ways that you can incorporate them into the way that you lead? Now, you might not actually be in charge, but that doesn't mean that you don't lead the people around you. And we can always practice these skills to get better at them. That's been our discussion of leadership and followership with Lieutenant Nick pelzer. Hopefully you enjoyed the discussion. If you did, give it a like, subscribe or share with a friend. If you didn't drop me a note on what I could do better. Next time, we'll talk to Dr. Stephanie Wilson about giving yourself grace. Don't forget to spend some time journaling and then head over to www dot level the pursuit.com to share your insights and your successes. I can't wait to learn from your thoughts. Thanks again for joining level the pursuit. Well, we can't choose where we start. We can choose our dreams and how we pursue them. Remember, success is a team sport and there's room for all of us to achieve our goals. So be a good leader. Be a good follower and do something great