Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid Saturday

“On November 18, 1978, Jim Jones and more than 900 members of his People’s Temple committed mass suicide in the jungle of Guyana. Since that time, the event has occupied a grotesque but fringy place in American history. Jones’s followers are imagined as wide-eyed innocents, swallowing his outrageous teachings along with his cyanide-laced Kool-Aid.”

The disastrous effects of fear, brain-washing, isolation, and intimidation of a group of people contributed to the Jonestown mass(acre) suicide.  When an organization does not allow for open discussion, innovation, and debate the effect is a work force whose identity is destroyed.  Leaders in the fire service should be facilitators of the sharing of information and ideas.  Ideas and information are not things to be feared.  They bring strength by increasing the number of threads woven into the fabric of an organization.  In order to encourage the exchange of information and ideas leaders need to promote a knowledge-sharing culture.  “A knowledge-sharing culture as one where people share openly, there is a willingness to teach and mentor others, where ideas can be freely challenged and where knowledge gained from other sources is used (H. Smith, n.d.).”

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