Leadership Under Fire

The Leadership Under Fire Humanizing the Narrative Podcast provides a platform to prepare performance leaders to navigate the moral, mental, emotional, intellectual and physical rigors in high-risk and ultra-competitive settings by developing strength of mind, body, character and critical thought.

Listen on:

  • Podbean App
  • Spotify
  • Amazon Music
  • iHeartRadio
  • PlayerFM
  • Samsung
  • Podchaser


22 hours ago

In episode number 10 of this podcast, we featured FDNY Firefighter and LUF Human Performance Advisor James Lopez. During the episode we discussed many timeless topics related to physical and tactical fitness as well as enjoyment and quality of life. It’s hard to comprehend how much has transpired since our previous conversation in 2019, to include a global pandemic, civil unrest, and war on the European continent, but Lopez is back in this episode to share how some of his practices and philosophies have evolved, and how some have stood the test of time.
Lopez joined the FDNY in 1997 and has served as a Firefighter in Rescue Company 2 for nearly 20 years. He’s a contributor to the FDNY’s Mental Performance Initiative and other LUF human performance optimization endeavors across the country. He competed as a collegiate wrestler while attending Hunter College, and holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition science from Kaplan University. He still operates a gym in Staten Island, New York but has modified things a bit since navigating the COVID pandemic as a small business owner. And he and his wife are proud parents of two children who are now attending college.

Thursday Sep 07, 2023

In this Podcast episode, we’re honored to share the story of FDNY Chief William M. Feehan’s leadership, service, and devotion to his family and the FDNY, compliments of insight from his son, FDNY Battalion Chief John Feehan, his grandson Firefighter Connor Davan, and former FDNY Fire Commissioner and friend, Daniel Nigro.
FDNY Chief William Feehan—better known as Bill—was a knowledge center of the New York City Fire Department. Chief Bill Feehan was well-versed on a wide range of subjects and possessed exceptional leadership qualities. He was a “firefighter’s chief” who held every rank in the FDNY and served the Department for more than 41 years. His command philosophy and leadership style were shaped by his love for the United States, New York City, the FDNY and its members, his Catholic faith and his devotion to his family. Chief Feehan was a strategic minded leader who balanced the necessity to innovate with an appreciation for the FDNY’s special culture, storied past and human spirit.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Bill Feehan was a FDNY Deputy Commissioner. He’d retired from uniformed service several years before but continued to serve his beloved Department and City. In true Chief Feehan fashion, he responded to the World Trade Center attacks that morning, donning his helmet and turnout coat as he provided counsel to the Department’s senior leaders such as Chief of Department Pete Ganci. Chief Feehan was one of the 343 FDNY members of who made the Supreme Sacrifice on 9/11, leaving behind an enduring mark on the Department and a legacy that continues to inspire many members in the FDNY today, most notably those members of his family who continue to lead and serve. 

Thursday Aug 24, 2023

July 2023 marked the 5th anniversary of FDNY Captain John T. Vigiano's passing, and several members of the Leadership Under Fire team thought it appropriate to reflect on the many lessons and words of wisdom that "the Vig" provided us, and share the ways in which they have continued to encourage and guide us even in his physical absence. 
In this episode, we're revisiting the second and final installment in our series dedicated to "Remembering FDNY Captain John T. Vigiano," which originally aired in 2019 when the show was branded the "Optimizing Human Performance Podcast." But first, listeners will hear a message from LUF Founder, Jason Brezler, followed by the original episode. 
We recommend listening to Remembering FDNY Captain John T. Vigiano–Part I prior to this episode. 

Thursday Aug 10, 2023

The original broadcast date for this episode was October 24, 2019. It features Hannah Huesman who was a Mental Performance Coach with the Philadelphia Phillies at the time of this recording. Huesman has since accepted the role of Mental Performance Coordinator for the Texas Rangers Organization. She also travels for speaking engagements on how training your mental skills can help ANY performer. She has worked with the FDNY, MLB, business executives, actors, and athletes of all ages. She is also the host of #MentalSweatMonday on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This is a one-minute video, posted every Monday, of different strategies to help you work on your mental game. LUF Podcast host and producer Patti Murphy caught up with Hannah recently to discuss her endeavors since 2019. So, first you'll hear that discussion, followed by the original conversation. 

Thursday Jul 27, 2023

The recording you will hear in this episode of the Leadership Under Fire Humanizing the Narrative Podcast features longtime LUF contributor Brian McNulty and was recently delivered as an online presentation to leaders enrolled in the online LUF Optimizing Tactical Performance Under Pressure course. Brian joined the ranks of the Milwaukee Fire Department in 1999 and was one of the department’s first rescue company commanders and a plank owner of Rescue Company 2. Brian is a very seasoned and no-nonsense fire officer who has advanced his understanding of human performance as well as refined how he trains and develops rescue company firefighters and leads at fires and emergencies—a perspective that is at the core of this conversation.    
Brian’s eleven-year tenure as Rescue 2’s company commander ended recently. After much deliberation, Brian elected to turn the company over to a new Captain and assume greater responsibility as a battalion chief. The LUF team would like to commend Brian for the success that he and his members have achieved in building Rescue 2. We wish Brian continued success as a chief officer and are confident that he will continue to be a trusted leader under pressure in the Milwaukee Fire Department.  

Thursday Jul 13, 2023

The original broadcast date for this episode was July 30, 2020, and features host Patti Murphy and American baseball executive Sandy Alderson, general manager of the NY Mets at the time. Sandy currently serves as the President of the NY Mets and has been a front office executive in Major League Baseball for 40 years. Under his leadership, Major League Baseball teams have won six division titles, three American League pennants, one National League pennant and a World Series Championship. Sandy has held executive leadership roles with the Oakland Athletic, San Diego Padres, and New York Mets. Under his leadership as general manager, the Oakland Athletics played in three consecutive World Series from 1988 to 1990 and won the 1989 World Series. Sandy guided the 2015 NY Mets to a National League pennant and the World Series. He has also served as an executive for Major League Baseball on two separate occasions.Sandy was a principal architect of “Moneyball” in the Oaklands Athletics organization. Sandy reformed the way Athletics did business in virtually every regard--he revolutionized the ways in which the club scouted and identified talent, used analytics, approached the mental game, and conditioned their athletes. Sandy’s approach to fielding a competitive team while at the helm of the Athletics was unconventional--decades later those once progressive tenets are now part of the game’s orthodoxy in virtually every organization in professional baseball. Sandy has been a trusted source of insight and encouragement in shaping LUF’s approach to systematically optimizing human performance in the fire service and ultra-competitive and/or lethal endeavors. LUF recently launched the LUF Human Performance “Team of Teams” – a collaborative network of human performance leaders from around North America. Though in its infancy, the LUF Team of Teams network will consist of several networked functional teams dedicated to exploring and advancing specific pillars of human performance. Each of the teams are named in honor of a human performance pioneer and we thought it would be fitting to name the program manager team “Team Alderson” in honor of Sandy’s immense contributions.Leadership and service are in Sandy Alderson’s bloodline. His father was a seasoned Army Air Corps and Air Force fighter pilot who flew in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Sandy graduated from Dartmouth at the height of the Vietnam War and did an unpopular thing, particularly as an Ivy League graduate--he took a commission in the United States Marine Corps. 2nd Lt Alderson soon found himself in Vietnam as a platoon leader of US Marine infantrymen. Sandy was commended for his combat leadership in Vietnam with a Bronze Star with a valor device. After returning home from Vietnam, Sandy received orders to the Marine Corps prestigious “8th and I” Barracks in Washington, DC, a billet customarily reserved for officers destined for great responsibility in the Marine Corps. Though Sandy unquestionably had a bright future in the Marine Corps, he opted to depart the service and attend law school at Harvard.In professional baseball circles, Sandy is revered as a maverick for his baseball intellect. But more importantly, he is respected and admired for his character and moral compass. Sandy has been recognized in recent months by the NY Friends of Vietnam Veterans Plaza and the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation for his leadership and civic virtue. The same character and conviction that was central to Sandy’s leadership style as a leader of Marines in combat has been at the core of how he has conducted himself and business in professional baseball for the past four decades. Sandy’s character is perhaps most evident in what the organizations under his charge do not just on the field, but also off the field. Under Sandy’s leadership the NY Mets have consistently, and quietly, gone above and beyond in supporting our Nation’s veterans, Gold Star families, and the families of fallen first responders--not because it is favorable for the brand, but because it is the right thing to do.

Thursday Jun 29, 2023

Our guest in this episode of the Leadership Under Fire Humanizing the Narrative Podcast is Aaron Miller. Miller is a Captain with the Fairfax County (VA) Fire and Rescue Department. During this episode, listeners will learn about how Miller's high-level baseball experience and competitive spirit influenced his leadership philosophy and perspective on fireground performance. LUF Founder Jason Brezler hosts.

Thursday Jun 15, 2023

The following interview was hosted by LUF's Human Performance Advisor and Senior Man's Performance Journal author, Jim McNamara. The conversation was recorded at our 2023 National Leadership and Performance Summit, which was held in Annapolis, Maryland. The interview features Jim Roussell who has served as one of the Leadership Under Fire team’s chief mentors and advisors since LUF's formal inception in 2012. We hope you enjoy this episode, and Roussell's insightful contributions to the Summit. 
James Roussell retired from the USMC and the Chicago Police Department after serving several decades as a leader in both organizations. Most recently, Jim served as the Chief of Staff for the Chicago Police Department. Prior to serving as the Chief of Staff, Jim served as the Executive Officer of Area Central and spent a preponderance of his 36-year career in gang-tactical units. He commanded the Rogers Park 24th District and the department’s mobile strike force which targeted gang violence citywide. He has supervised all facets of emergency response and joint operations during his career. Jim is also a retired US Marine reserve Chief Warrant Officer 5. Jim served with the USMC for 39 years with the bulk of his service in infantry and intelligence assignments including three combat tours in Iraq. He has completed the Command and Staff College, Expeditionary Warfare School, and Marine Air Ground Task Force Intelligence Officer Course. Jim has a Doctor of Education from Olivet Nazarene University with emphasis on ethical leadership as well as a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science degrees in Criminal Justice from Lewis University. 

Thursday Jun 01, 2023

The recording you'll hear in this episode took place at our National Leadership and Performance Summit in Annapolis, Maryland, in April 2023. It features FDNY Captain of Rescue Co. 2, Liam Flaherty. We hope you enjoy this conversation and its many takeaways, and encourage listeners to tune in to our previous episode--number 112--as it features the first talk of the Summit which we refer to during the episode.Captain Flaherty joined the FDNY in 1990. He currently serves as the company commander of Rescue Co. 2, which he’s been assigned to for the past decade. Liam was previously assigned to Rescue Co. 2 and Ladder Co. 157 as a Lieutenant and Rescue Co. 4 and Ladder Co. 44 as a firefighter. He is an adjunct instructor at the FDNY’s Technical Rescue School and was instrumental in the development of the course curriculum for the Advanced Firefighter Rescue and Removal Training for FDNY Special Operations Command firefighters and officers.As many listeners to this podcast know, fireground commanders rely on the experience and capabilities of rescue companies at complex fires and emergencies. More specifically, incident commanders rely on rescue companies to problem solve at fires where members are in distress or when conditions make members more susceptible to distress. Liam is one of FDNY’s most experienced and respected fireground leaders, and one of the Department’s most fervent advocates for mission-oriented service. Perhaps equally significant, Liam has led the FDNY’s Emerald Society band at several hundred line of duty funerals over the course of the past 25 plus years.

Thursday May 18, 2023

The conversation you will hear in this episode was recorded in April 2023 at our National Leadership and Performance Summit, which took place in Annapolis, Maryland. It features LUF Founder Jason Brezler interviewing Ty Daniels, a seasoned US Submarine Officer with extensive insight into leadership and ethical behavior. We hope you enjoy this conversation and others from the Summit, which we plan to share on this podcast.Lieutenant Commander Ty Daniels, USNR, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Ocean Engineering. Afloat, Ty completed his division officer tour aboard the Los Angeles Class submarine USS JEFFERSON CITY (SSN 759) as the Assistant Engineer and then aboard the ballistic missile submarine USS ALABAMA GOLD (SSB 731) as the Engineer Officer. During his sea tours he completed one Western Pacific deployment and three Strategic Deterrent Patrols. Ashore, Ty served as the Character Development Officer at the United States Naval Academy where he taught leadership and ethics as well as supported submarine engagement initiatives. Ty left active service with the US Navy in September 2022 and currently works for Amazon Web Services. He continues to serve with the US Navy Reserves and is assigned to Submarine Group 8.

Copyright 2023 All rights reserved.

Podcast Powered By Podbean

Version: 20230822