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can only bring partnering agencies to the same room and help

them collaborate. Two county directors commented on their

jobs, as shown below:

I am not actually out there in the field saving lives . . .

you don’t see me out there on the beach with the

microphone predicting weather. Again, I am not the

one doing the fascinating work. I am the conductor,

think of an orchestra, I am not playing the instrument.

I am just conducting and I am the one going to motivate

all of the people to play the music, play their

instruments beautifully. And that’s what I do. If I can’t

encourage that collaboration, then I’ve failed. (ID12)

I think it is our job to educate and inform the

administration of the local government on what could

happen, what needs to be done, should that occur, and

who needs to help to do that. Because, honestly, the

community cannot do this and the government cannot

do this on their own. It has to be a community-wide

effort. And one of our tasks is trying to bring different

entities within the community together by using

collaboration and coordination to address whatever did

happen. (ID2)

Moreover, in order to complete their duties, local

emergency managers must understand their personal abilities

and quickly adjust to different situations. A successful local

emergency manager therefore should be flexible, equipped with

good interpersonal skills, and be able to adjust rapidly to all

kinds of situations since collaboration is always expected and

encouraged. A county director said the following:

Emergency managers have to be flexible in terms of

adjusting to different situations, different emergencies,

also adjusting to different leadership styles based on

people’s behavior. So first of all having a good

understanding of your own behavior and how you

respond, how your leadership skill responds to those

emergent situations. It’s critical to be able to adjust and

account for other people. (ID6)