Leading the Chaos

Leading the Chaos
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Resources
Recorded on: 2019-08-08
Unit 1Slide Deck: Leading the Chaos
Unit 2Workbook: Leading the Chaos
Unit 3Recording: Leading the Chaos

In arenas that deal with emergency response and public safety, it is best to be prepared for things not to go as planned. Change can be scary – but it is the only thing that’s permanent in life and the best way to approach change is to embrace it.

Adam Ricci joins Justice Clearinghouse on this webinar to talk about leading the chaos – dealing and appreciating less than perfect scenarios at the workplace. Adam has a prolific career working across different fields – he’s served as a kennel worker, animal control officer, police officer, and a non-profit leader. He’s currently the Chief of Field Operations for the Animal Welfare Division of the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Takeaways from this session include:

  • Debunking memes and inspirational catchphrases about leadership.
  • Understanding one’s leadership style by looking into one’s strengths and personality.
  • What chaos theory is and why it is a great foundation for leadership and life in general.
  • Cognitive biases that help us navigate the world and how it works to our benefit and detriment.
  • The role cognitive biases play in our communications and the three main biases that can influence decision making and leadership.
  • Embracing the mess where we must adapt to what is in front of us despite the conditions being different from our expectations.
  • How challenges enable people to be more efficient and creative.
  • Accepting the reality that for everything to align, some things must be taken apart and changed.
  • Unpacking the points of Murphy’s law and how to make it work in your advantage.
  • Being an agent of chaos where you allow and accept things as they naturally occur without having the need for structure but remain guided by a vision.
  • The Big Three concept as the basis of one’s interactions as a leader that values subordinate’s creativity, adaptability and autonomy.
  • Adam provided examples and clarifications related to:
    • Working within your purview to initiate change in a dysfunctional workplace.
    • Balancing autonomy and learning from failure with public perception of the team.
    • How much change is allowed to occur.
    • Dealing with people who prefer the status quo and are not as accepting of change.
    • Managing volunteers that join for different reasons under the chaos theory approach and leadership mindset.


Resources Mentioned During Webinar:


Audience Comments:

  • “Being adaptable and letting your employees make mistakes while also being creative. I truly wish supervisors would be more open to our employees being creative.” — Brandon
  • “I learned about the concept of illusion of control that I had not heard before. Creating a working environment to encourage creativity, allow adaptability, and give autonomy is what I want to do as a leader.” — Cristy
  • “Great information that challenges how you look at managing people and situations. I like the simplistic examples and definitely makes a lot of sense. This is a good view on a subject that seems to cause a lot of conflict and division in departments and areas that struggle with looking at things from alternate perspectives. Great presentation.” — Jason
  • “I was able to connect a lot of the ideas back to what I have experienced. Especially letting something go too long before you pull it back and realize it is not working and there is a need to deconstruct and rework so that you can move forward.” — Judy
  • “The Rubrics cube analogy and cognitive biases. I am being groomed for a management position and will need to tackle other personnel that I work with on the same level. It will not be well received and this gives me a better perspective of how to develop the current staff. Thank you.” — Shirley


View our Animal Welfare Webinar  Schedule and Recordings



This webinar has been certified by the National Animal Care & Control Association and is approved for 1 Continuing Education Unit. Please refer to your NACA membership portal for current CEU submission process. Current NACA Members who attend the live presentation or watch the recording will be able to download a jointly issued attendance certificate that includes the National Animal Care & Control Association logo. Visit the NACA training page for a complete list of future trainings.




This webinar has been pre-approved by the Maine Animal Welfare Program for 1 Continuing Education Unit in Core Area 1 (ACO Safety)for the State of Maine’s ACO annual training. You can find more information about Certification, required annual training or submitting materials for credit at Maine’s Animal Control Officer Resource Page.





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