The 9-1-1
Directors’ Circle

Peer Support. Professional Development. Personal Growth.

Directors’ Circle

It’s lonely at the top.

You find yourself in a unique position, with responsibilities and stressors that few in your department understand. Challenges with self-confidence, feeling misunderstood, and loneliness are common. 

The one place you can be understood and feel like someone has your back is with other directors. They get it.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 
– African Proverb

Join The

It has been demonstrated in business circles that groups created exclusively for executives result in reduced stress and more efficient brainstorming, while creating a peer support network for ongoing encouragement. Top executives help remind each other that their challenges are shared by all of them.

As emergency telecommunications moves toward being recognized as an industry of professional first responders, 9-1-1 executives are no less in need of support than their counterparts in the business world.

Join the community of telecommunications executives in the 9-1-1 Directors’ Circle, a one-year journey of inner and outer growth.

About Your Facilitator

Joe Serio is president of The 360° Dispatcher and holds a Ph.D. in criminal justice, specializing in leadership and organizational behavior. He was co-founder of The Healthy Dispatcher and co-author of Dispatcher Stress: 50 Lessons on Beating the Burnout. He has trained thousands of dispatchers in the U.S. and Canada, and speaks at NENA, APCO, and Navigator conferences. The 360° Dispatcher hosts the week-long 9-1-1 Leadership Training Event at the Mayan Ranch in Bandera, TX, twice a year as well as the 9-1-1 Supervisor Leadership Academy. Joe regularly logs hours in 9-1-1 centers around the U.S., monitoring calls, talking with dispatchers, and interviewing supervisors.

The 9-1-1 Directors’ Circle Program

The 9-1-1 Directors’ Circle consists of small groups, or cohorts, of a maximum of 15 directors and
assistant directors from across the country. The cohorts are designated by number.
The first group is Directors’ Circle Cohort 1, or DC1.


Click on the to expand the section.

The cohort will meet once a month for a 1-2-hour Zoom call. These calls will address challenges specific to 9-1-1 directors through presentation and discussion. It will also be an opportunity on a monthly basis for cohort members to reconnect. The 360° Dispatcher will initiate the calls; all directors are expected to attend. When appropriate, calls will include experts on the particular topic being discussed, whether on professional development or personal growth. Calls will include case studies of 9-1-1 centers that have attained uncommon success.


All cohorts in the 9-1-1 Directors’ Circle will have a single Facebook group page where information, experiences, reflections, and questions can be shared. This private page will remain active indefinitely and will help directors network beyond their cohort with colleagues who are also participating in the 9-1-1 Directors’ Circle.

The Directors’ Retreat and the Zoom calls are part of the peer support aspect of the program. In addition, directors are encouraged to reach out to each other when necessary, whether one-on-one or through the Facebook group page.  A primary goal of this program is to provide a place where 9-1-1 directors can confer with their colleagues as needed. Directors are strongly encouraged to reach out to each other. The 360° Dispatcher can assist in identifying other resources for peer support, if necessary.

Each director will receive two sets of the Get the Nerve book series: one set for the director and one set for the director’s 9-1-1 center. Each director will also receive any new book in the series that is published in the course of the one-year membership.

The books in the Get the Nerve series are:
  • Overcoming Fear: 50 Lessons on Being Bold and Living the Dream
  • Emotional Intelligence: 50 Lessons on Knowing Who You’re Dealing With
  • Time Management: 50 Lessons on Finding Time for What’s Important
  • Public Speaking: 50 Lessons on Presenting Without Losing Your Cool
  • Dispatcher Stress: 50 Lessons on Beating the Burnout
  • Getting Healthy: 50 Lessons on Fitness for Law Enforcement
  • Leaving Blue: 50 Lessons on Retiring Well from Law Enforcement
Dispatch Supervisor: 50 Lessons on Being a Great Leader will be published in 2022 and will be provided to cohort members.

Selected readings from these books will be a part of the Zoom discussion.

One of the biggest challenges in 9-1-1 is communication. 9-1-1 professionals at all levels are often at a loss for healthy ways to handle conflict. Choosing the right words, phrases, or tone to broach challenging conversations can be problematic. Directors will receive sample dialogues, material, guidance, and advice on communicating for greatest effect in the 9-1-1 center.

It is said that leaders are readers, but so often there isn’t enough time to do the necessary reading, never mind extra reading. Directors will receive outlines and summaries of important professional development books and articles, saving a significant amount of time.

In addition, recommendations on audio books and podcasts will be provided. Directors are encouraged to share audio book and podcast recommendations with each other, and are encouraged to share book titles with The 360° Dispatcher. We will provide an outline of the salient points of books to the group.

The 360° Dispatcher will provide brief videos to follow up the ranch discussions and Zoom conversations. The videos will serve as reminders of what was discussed and provide new information when appropriate. The videos will be five minutes in length or less.

Each director has the option of six hours of one-on-one calls across the 12-month program with Joe Serio, Ph.D. These calls are not mandatory. The calls can be used to seek advice, career development guidance, personal growth feedback, or simply as a place to vent. These conversations are confidential unless it becomes clear that outside legal or psychological intervention is necessary. These calls can continue beyond the six-hour time frame and beyond the one-year program at additional charge.

Within the context of these calls, Joe will discuss specific projects, professional or personal, that the director would like to accomplish. If the project is applicable to the cohort, it will be shared on Zoom, Facebook, video, or an email.

Program Investment

The director’s one-time investment in the 9-1-1 Directors’ Circle is $4,295.00. Payment may be made by credit card or check (Made payable to Joe Serio Enterprises) Given that budget dollars may have already been allocated elsewhere for 2022, directors are welcome to enroll for the May 2022 DC1 cohort and remit payment at the beginning of the new budget year.

The Directors’ Retreat

The Directors’ Retreat is the first group meeting to kick off the year-long program. It will be held at the Mayan Ranch in Bandera, TX, outside San Antonio. Participation in the retreat is mandatory as it will establish the foundation for the rest of the year. The retreat constitutes an unparalleled relationship-building opportunity, an experience remembered for years.

In addition to fostering personal bonds in the cohort, the retreat provides a deep dive into the major defining philosophical tenet of the 9-1-1 Directors’ Circle: Exemplary leadership develops “from the inside out.” The retreat includes transformational presentations and provides quiet time so that each director may consider his or her journey to today, create a vision based on core values and beliefs, and identify personal and professional goals.

Discussions and exercises on the challenges of 9-1-1 leadership, understanding fear and resistance, dynamics of organizational culture, the power of storytelling, the future of 9-1-1 technology, and strategies for goal setting, among others, will be central to the retreat. Directors should be willing to have difficult conversations about fear, excuses, self-sabotage, anxiety, procrastination, and others. Vulnerability and trust are the foundation of the ranch experience as they are the hallmarks of any great leader.

No other telecommunications executive leadership program focuses as directly on personal development and growth as the cornerstone of success.

Retreat Dates

The retreat for Directors’ Circle Cohort 1 (DC1) will take place from November 14-18, 2022.

The fee for the year-long program includes all food and beverages, program, workbooks, books, and entertainment at the ranch (other than the gift shop). Travel to the ranch is not included in the program fee.

9-1-1 Loves 360 Dispatcher Programs

“Normally our trainings are very repetitive. It was so great to have an outside perspective from someone who really got down and dirty with us about leadership instead of just glossing over things in a way that didn’t really do us any good.”
“Thank you for opening my eyes to the skills I can use to manage my anxiety triggered by past trauma. I feel like a weight has been lifted.”
“I just wanted to say thank you for what you do. My daughter and my wife have both read your fear book, and we have had many great conversations. My wife went on to read all the books. You have had a real impact on our lives. You have an amazing talent and style in how you present!”
“Your books are amazing!!! Everything makes so much more sense to me now. I truly didn’t realize how much ‘undercover’ stress I was experiencing before these books. I’m making inner & outer changes & truly loving life.”
“Most nights when I come home from work I just go to my bedroom to hide and dwell there until time for work the next day. I have been out walking this week, and last night I even played soccer with my daughter, which took running all over the field and kicking the ball and, of course, LAUGHING! Before bed last night, she came into my room and thanked me. You are changing lives. I had no idea how much I needed your program until it was over!”
“I wasn’t planning on applying for the manager position. I don’t like change. I was comfortable where I was (safe zone), and I knew my job well so, “Why change?” I didn’t want to stress over the interview process, and I questioned if I was manager material. Then I remembered our first class on fear and realized I was making excuses out of fear. I used some of the tools and techniques I learned from your trainings to prep for the interview, and I got the position! I wouldn’t have applied if I had not gone through your trainings.”

Peer Support. Professional Development. Personal Growth.

The one place you can be understood and feel like someone has your back is
with other directors.
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